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Anime What Separates anime from normal shows?


haruko girl
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[COLOR=Navy]I started thinking the other day about this, and after not coming to come to any definite conclusions, i decided to start a thread and put this up for debate.

At this day in age, as the fan base for anime grows, so does the variety of available shows. There are the Shows that we all watch and love that we know are anime- like Spirited Away, Neon Genesis Evangeleon, Fruits Basket, & DBZ- but there are also more and more shows that seem more "questionable" when it comes to their category such as Teen Titans & Avatar. With the line that separates anime from general cartoon becoming more and more blurred, where do you think the line begins and ends, and why?

Tell me what u think.[/COLOR]
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As far as cartoons vs. anime goes, its usually agreed apon that "cartoons" are western pieces of animation while "anime" is animation from the far east, or more specifically, Japan.

As for what sets Japanese anime apart from the rest of the stuff that we see around here, its really a mixture of several elements.

For starters, there's character developement. How many American movie characters do you really connect with? In my case, there's not very many. Maybe James Bond, the cast of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, and the main characters from Last Samurai and Gladiator. And that's about it. But the anime medium as a whole has a lot of characters that I connect with. Onizuka from GTO; pretty much the entire main cast of Evangelion; same with Love Hina; Guts and Caska from Berserk; most of the Fullmetal Alchemist cast, hell, I'm even starting to connect with some of the characters from Elfen Lied, and I've only seen the first 4 episodes... and there are plenty of characters that I didn't bring up here. The story writers in Japan seem to understand the importance of strong, developed characters.

Second would be the focus on story and setting. Honsestly, I think that the general depth of anime storylines and the worlds that they take place in are severely overrated by anime fans, what with the constantly repeated themes and situations, but its still better than what we usually get here. How often in American media do you see a universe as grand as Cowboy Bebop's, Outlaw Star's, or even Inuyasha's or Tenchi's? Once, maybe twice, in a decade. Those grand scaled storylines and universes are almost common place in anime.

Third would be that its simply a different breed of action. Have you ever seen a fight like Yusuke vs. Togoro in our media? I know that I haven't. Or how about the battle between Ryoko and Kagato? Nope, you won't see that coming from here. Or the last battle on Berserk? Nope. Inuyasha vs. Sesshomaru? Nope. Kenshin vs. Aoshi? Nope. Unit 01 vs. Sachiel, or any of the angels for that matter? Hell no. Simply put, you won't find this bread of action coming out of America.

I think that just about sums it up. Anime generally has more depth than American movies and television series, and that's what draws people to it.
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On most of the content points above that boils down to two things: culture and cost.

In the west, you don't really get cartoons made people over 10, they are, after all, seen by the majority as "babyish". This means that making a universe with scope on par with Bebop, Eva or Last Exile become impossible. Think about how much any of those series would cost to make in live action. The suits would have a fit.

With the absence of "real" actors, strong characterization becomes vital. Animated characters, in themselves, are harder to empathize with. Compare a photo of a scene with a stylised drawing of the same scene, more people will probably feel a connection with the people in the photo. Hence strong writing is required to overcome anime characters inherent lack of charisma, through the action and dialogue.

On the subject of the original thread topic, in my opinion anime is eastern animation, but it loses this classification if you're watching a particularly poor dub.
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Well really there is a simple way to determine what is an anime and what's not. I've also questions many shows that are aniime but really aren't. The simple way is to run the shows of question through the test of the Rules of Anime. These rules should be the fine line to determine what is anime and what's not and how anime is different from regular cartoons.
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Really I just see the distinctions as how Bloodseeker put it. Anime's the label for Japanese animation while Cartoon's been our name for Western Animation. Western animation and Japanese Animation have influenced eachother over time. When anime first came out, some influence came from Disney cartoons. What goes around comes around, with Japanese animation influenceing cartoons like Teen Titans.

What exactly do you call a normal show? If your saying Anime and Western Cartoons, then here's some difference.

Anime use expressions like :animecry: and :animeknow and :animeswea , but that was an obvious one.

Western Cartoons rarely have 'to be continued' episodes.

Western cartoons rarely have character development, since it doesn't really matter when a lot of cartoons are adventure of the week or villain of the week style.
They do have some character development, but it usually happens once a season.

Western Cartoons rarely have good fights in Cartoons, I can't explain why, they just don't. I can't even think of one good fight at the moment.

What are these so called "Rule's of Anime"? Animations don't have to follow any rules besides obviously being Animated. The only guess I have as to what these "Rules" are, are the general differences between Anime and Western Cartoons.
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First off, haven't we had this conversation already?

Second. A lot of these "rules" that people are posting are VERY big misconceptions, or are just opinions without factual background.

For example:
[quote]Western Cartoons rarely have 'to be continued' episodes.[/quote]
Not only is that not true, it can describe Anime as well. Although many anime follow a single storyline, you're leaving out all the Anime that DON'T.
A great Anime is [b]Paranoia Agent[/b], and there are _no_ "to be continued" episodes. Yes, it's one story, but what about [b]Reboot[/b]. It's a single story also!
Another great example is [b]Samurai Champloo[/b]. There are mini-arcs, but if you take the different arcs, you can practically watch them out of order! The 90's version of [b]Spiderman[/b] does a better job of keeping a linear attitude, while keeping the mini-arc pattern.

[quote]Western cartoons rarely have character development, since it doesn't really matter when a lot of cartoons are adventure of the week or villain of the week style.
They do have some character development, but it usually happens once a season.[/quote]
I'll bring Spiderman back since it's on the top of my head. Characters developed, not slowly, but often! People were always changing.
[b]Todd Mcfarlane's Spawn[/b] was a great series ALL ABOUT character development. A man goes through hell on Earth and has to figure out his self.
Compare this to [b]Excel Saga[/b]. A girl runs around for 24 episodes before realizing ANYTHING. Or any of the [b]Tenchi series[/b]. The dude is doing the same thing, over and over again.

[quote]Western Cartoons rarely have good fights in Cartoons, I can't explain why, they just don't. I can't even think of one good fight at the moment.[/quote]
Western Cartoons are CENSORED. But fights DO exist!
Watch [b]The Maxx[/b]. Possibly the greatest mind puzzle ever, and there are still GREAT fights. I believe [b]Invader Zim[/b] had hillarious, wonderful, and amazing fights.
Watch your Anime again. Watch the fight scenes, take a watch, and TIME the total length where you don't actually see the characters ANIMATED, but you see a picture of them with the background or camera moving. And all that yelling and talking? Great fights indeed. This is a matter of opinion on what is a good fight, definately not a good means of comparison.

[quote]In the west, you don't really get cartoons made people over 10, they are, after all, seen by the majority as "babyish". This means that making a universe with scope on par with Bebop, Eva or Last Exile become impossible. Think about how much any of those series would cost to make in live action. The suits would have a fit.[/quote]
This is for the most part true. But you cannot use your ignorance as an excuse to say cartoons for adults do not exist. [b]The Maxx[/b], [b]Spawn[/b], [b]Heavy Metal[/b](?), and SO MUCH more exist for adults. Granted, the child market is much larger, but the adult market [i]does[/i] exist.
As for scope and large worlds? Compare [b]Beast Wars[/b] or [b]Reboot[/b] to [b]Love Hina[/b].
One is a war that has taken place through, time and space. A war that has aged for eons. Finally taking root on an alien planet that allows them to spawn into half beasts, they continue the fighting with new bodies, new allies, new enemies, and a connection to the past, and the future.
Another takes place inside a computer where two virii run rampant. Programs are running left and right trying to keep the system running while the virii make hassle for a Guardien program downloaded from the web. The Guardien program has to deal with them, and incoming games, which can nullify an entire sector. Eventually the computer gains access to the web, super computers, hackers and pirates.
The last, is a story of a boy who likes a girl. And lots of girls like him. And they all live in the same house.

Yes, that's right. The anime has a larger world and scope there. @_@

-================-

I don't mean to sound like a jerk. It's my pet peeve when people have these preconceive notions.

The word Anime (アニメ) in Japan, is ANYTHING animated.
the word Anime in the West is used to mean Japanese animation, or Japanese-styled Animation. Teen Titans being an example of the latter.

Like Leofski said, the only differences in American and Japanese animation are culture and cost.
COST: Believe it or not, [b]Americans spend more money on their Animations than the Japanese do[/b]. The Japanese companies just focus on different aspects of the animation to make it higher quality. Examples: Limited Animation, Music.
CULTURE: Japanese people don't have the same stigma Americans do when it comes to Animation. Americans think cartoons are for children because of the strict censorship laws that affected the "above ground" comic industry in the forties and fifties. In Japan, cartoons are just another medium.

-================-

Ugh. Sorry for the long post, and again, I apologize if I offended anybody. This is not an excuse, but an explanation ---> This kind of thing is my pet peeve. >.<

-ArV
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  • 2 weeks later...
[QUOTE=Bloodseeker]For starters, there's character developement. How many American movie characters do you really connect with? In my case, there's not very many. Maybe James Bond, the cast of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, and the main characters from Last Samurai and Gladiator. And that's about it. But the anime medium as a whole has a lot of characters that I connect with. Onizuka from GTO; pretty much the entire main cast of Evangelion; same with Love Hina; Guts and Caska from Berserk; most of the Fullmetal Alchemist cast, hell, I'm even starting to connect with some of the characters from Elfen Lied, and I've only seen the first 4 episodes... and there are plenty of characters that I didn't bring up here. The story writers in Japan seem to understand the importance of strong, developed characters.

Second would be the focus on story and setting. Honsestly, I think that the general depth of anime storylines and the worlds that they take place in are severely overrated by anime fans, what with the constantly repeated themes and situations, but its still better than what we usually get here. How often in American media do you see a universe as grand as Cowboy Bebop's, Outlaw Star's, or even Inuyasha's or Tenchi's? Once, maybe twice, in a decade. Those grand scaled storylines and universes are almost common place in anime.

Third would be that its simply a different breed of action. Have you ever seen a fight like Yusuke vs. Togoro in our media? I know that I haven't. Or how about the battle between Ryoko and Kagato? Nope, you won't see that coming from here. Or the last battle on Berserk? Nope. Inuyasha vs. Sesshomaru? Nope. Kenshin vs. Aoshi? Nope. Unit 01 vs. Sachiel, or any of the angels for that matter? Hell no. Simply put, you won't find this bread of action coming out of America.[/QUOTE]

So basically what you're saying is that Lord of the Rings is anime, and Sailor Moon isn't? ;)
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