Is anime a strictly cultural phenomenon?



  • I mean, are there any American companies that produce anime series or is it a strict cultural thing to Japan? Reading a lot of the forums for my favorite shows convinces me that what is popular in Japan is NOT always the case here (and vice versa). The obvious disappointment when you invest in the characters and then the series disappears is quite palpable. Or maybe we just want Scherezade to keep us constantly enthralled.



  • Anime is, by definition, Japanese animation, so, no, American companies can't produce anime. They can produce shows with heavy anime influences, such as Powerpuff Girls, or Avatar, but that's the extent of what can be made in America

    You are correct in saying that popularity is a cultural thing, but I'm not sure how you could make a decent argument in saying that it isn't



  • Well, to answer your question, you must first dive into what the definition of the word "anime" really is. Depending on the terms and areas in which it is used, there are two possible meanings of the word.

    The American interpretation of the word refers to anime as "animation originating from Japan." This would mean that only animated features coming out of that country, and that country alone, would really classify as quote/unquote "anime". Therefore, shows that are anime-like or are heavily inspired by anime - such as Avatar: The Last Airbender, Teen Titans, RWBY, etc. - aren't technically anime, simply because they don't originate from Japan.

    However, the literal Japanese definition of anime is simply "animation". That means that in Japan, EVERYTHING is referred to as anime. Spongebob? That's an anime. My Little Pony? That's an anime too. Bob's Burgers? Yep, even THAT'S called an anime.

    So the question presents itself: Is something not an anime just because it's not from Japan? Or is everything that's ever been animated in the history of mankind actually an anime? It's a debate that has rocked the anime fandom for years, and even to this day has no sign of slowing down.

    But to answer your question in the simplest terms as to what you probably believe "anime" is, no ,there aren't any American companies producing anime series. It is true that American and Japanese tastes often vary quite drastically, as the Japanese tend to have much more of an attraction to the otaku-centric moe/slice-of-life genre whereas Americans prefer more action-packed series. Shows like Space Dandy and Afro Samurai, which seem to be made predominantly with a Western audience in mind, are exceptionally rare and tend to be quite a large risk for Japanese production companies, who make the majority of their money off of Japanese DVD/bluray sales. And not quite as rare, but still uncommon, are the universal smash hits like FMA or Attack on Titan, which are popular EVERYWHERE regardless of demographic.

    One of the main reasons shows tend to end before they have a "true" ending is because the anime is nothing more than an advertising tool for the manga. Anime series are expensive to produce, whereas manga is generally much cheaper. If you can increase the sales of your manga by attracting people using a flashy, fully-animated TV show, then dropping the story right when it gets good so they pretty much HAVE to read the manga to see what happens, then that's a sure-fire way to rake in the dough. It's under-handed and sneaky, yes, but it works.

    That's why I always tell everyone who comes to the forums wailing and gnashing their teeth over the sorrow and woe of not getting a third season of Rosario+Vampire or Sekirei: If you really want to see what happens next, the manga is always there for you. That's what Japanese audiences had to settle for, so you might as well join in.



  • Every country makes animation, but yes "anime". which is the term for animation in Japan, is from Japan. There are western animations with anime influences & anime with western infuences. But anime is indeed made in Japan

    And of course the main differencs is U.S. toons are mostly made for kids and anime are made for lonely horny otaku who just want A new "waifu" to buy crap of & fap off to.

    . Now thats A joke of course son, so Don't get your knickers in a twist yea hear! XD

    • only half of all anime are made for that reason XD*


  • @Soundmonkey44:

    And of course the main differencs is U.S. toons are mostly made for kids and anime are made for lonely horny otaku who just want A new "waifu" to buy crap of & fap off to.

    . Now thats A joke of course son, so Don't get your knickers in a twist yea hear! XD

    • only half of all anime are made for that reason XD*



  • It's funny because it's true; it's sad because it's true.



  • @TIL:

    It's funny because it's true; it's sad because it's true.

    It's lame because it's not completely true; merely a generalization, business as usual I guess; but I agree that there are some sad fans in anime for all subgenres.



  • Ahh lighten up neon, like I said. I was just kiddin around. We all know the type & percentage of shows vary by season, some more otaku centric then others, some more kiddy, some more artsy, etc, etc & so on.

    But honestly I'd argue at least 40%-70% of any season is more focused on Hardcore Otaku then others these days, yeah there seasons with just as many artsy or children's programs as well, but a good chunk of the time the seasons do tend to be heavily Otaku centric.

    Kind of like how in U.S. TV most new shows put on during the fall are either comedy or drama, there's other stuff in there, but a lot of it is comedy &/or drama.



  • @Soundmonkey44:

    Ahh lighten up neon, like I said. I was just kiddin around.

    Well, as far as “lightening up” is concerned, it would be nice to see a decrease in hypocritical politically correct hyper-sensitivity in the anime community.

    Aside from that, people in any fan community usually don’t like people making silly generalizations. I know people who like anime along the lines of Fate/Zero or Neon Genesis don’t like being called pretentious just because of their selections. More specifically, I know people who consider themselves “bronies” or align themselves with the “brony” community don’t like it very much either, and I’m sure, just as I have, you’ve heard every horrible generalization in the book.

    The point is, despite the fact that the primary function of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is to sell product to its target demographic, it’s indisputable that the series has substance to it, that it is good family programming. So we know there’s nothing wrong with anyone outside of the demographic enjoying the series.

    My problem is that people seem to forgo this logic when it comes to a certain type, or subgenre within a given art form, like anime by making the same generalizations against fan bases they themselves wouldn’t look to kindly upon when they’re on the receiving end of such ridicule.

    So yeah, you told a joke; I simply didn’t find it funny because it’s the same crumbly ideas that I’ve been hearing for too long. So, maybe I’m overreacting, perhaps I’m being grouchy, but this sentiment that gets expressed over and over is like hearing the same song over and over on the radio on multiple stations at the same time; at first, it’s no big deal, but after a while, it just gets annoying.

    @Soundmonkey44:

    But honestly I'd argue at least 40%-70% of any season is more focused on Hardcore Otaku then others these days, yeah there seasons with just as many artsy or children's programs as well, but a good chunk of the time the seasons do tend to be heavily Otaku centric.

    I would completely disagree with this; I would say most anime is the more “accessible” material like action, comedy, drama, slice of life as opposed to niche type stuff like “otaku” or even “elitist” bait.

    @Soundmonkey44:

    Kind of like how in U.S. TV most new shows put on during the fall are either comedy or drama, there's other stuff in there, but a lot of it is comedy &/or drama.

    It depends on the station; there is a lot of comedy and drama, but also a lot of action, suspense, mystery, reality, and even somewhat documentary or competitive, but as I said, it depends heavily on which station you tune into.



  • Dood, seriously, chill. Yes all media is made to sell product, yes every form of media has good & bad shows, yes a toyetic or ecchi title can become more then it's initial intent, and at times it does, no one is denying that.

    As for accessibility, depends on the person & the title, I would say in general a Shonen, Shojo, or toyetic show would be more accessible then then a harem, ecchi, or more otaku centric or "elitist" centric title, but that's just me.

    No one is bashing anything, I was just being humorous. If it makes you feel any better I bash certain aspects of bronies on pony forums and joke with my friends about the silly things we comic book fans do. I meant no ill will overall.

    But yes on a more serious note, yes I would say there's more anime made these days to cater to Otaku then a general audience.



  • I think the anime fandom echo-chamber leads to a severe underestimation of just how alienating some aspects of anime are to an outside audience.



  • @Renzokuken:

    I think the anime fandom echo-chamber leads to a severe underestimation of just how alienating some aspects of anime are to an outside audience.

    @Soundmonkey44:

    As for accessibility, depends on the person & the title, I would say in general a Shonen, Shojo, or toyetic show would be more accessible then then a harem, ecchi, or more otaku centric or "elitist" centric title, but that's just me.

    Yes, that’s pretty much what I said in my post; there are certain shows that are what could easily be considered “gateway” shows; ecchi, harem, art house even psychological thrillers are risky to present to someone who hasn’t seen any anime, hell, some of those shows don’t even sit well with people who are long-time fans.

    I can sit here and go on about how great Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Texhnolyze or The Tatami Galaxy is, but the art style and execution can easily turn people away in the same way the fan service on Queen’s Blade, High School DxD or Samurai Girls can despite the fact that these shows offer more than just a bunch of ecchi.

    @Soundmonkey44:

    No one is bashing anything, I was just being humorous. If it makes you feel any better I bash certain aspects of bronies on pony forums and joke with my friends about the silly things we comic book fans do. I meant no ill will overall.

    Okay, it’s just I hear this crap enough times and it’s at the point where it’s gotten old; in some cases I can simply avoid it. For example I just don’t watch any of Jesuotaku’s videos, or read any of Zac Bertschy’s reviews if they’re about an ecchi anime. They cease to be reviews at a certain point and become mudslinging, and it really sucks because both Zac and Hope are smart people, so to hear them say ignorant things is pretty demoralizing because I feel they’re intelligent enough to know better. But, I suppose there is a difference between intelligence and maturity.

    So, the reason I got jumpy about it is because you’ve said similar things in other posts, but actually meant it.



  • Intellegance & maturity also relate to perspective. The content in most media is a mixture of mature & juvinile content, because humans are never truly "mature" no matter age or percived intelligence we all have parts of our psyche that are more or less developed then others and "childish" and "mature" tendices at all stages in our lives. And disagreeing with anothers opinion doesn't always make them wrong or less mature then you, they just percive/view things in a different manner.

    And speaking soley of anime, in terms of ecchi, many are just shameless Otaku bait. There are those that end up being more but a fair amount are candy wrappers without anything inside. Just like in the toyetic sphere for every MLP or TF: Prime, there are a dozen Strawberry Shortcakes.



  • @Soundmonkey44:

    And disagreeing with anothers opinion doesn't always make them wrong or less mature then you, they just percive/view things in a different manner.

    You still don’t seem to understand what I’m trying to say; it’s fine to express an opinion, and I’ll either agree or disagree, but, just because you may dislike a particular type of anime, or music, or movie, doesn’t give you the right to dump on the people who do like that material.

    That’s what I’m trying to say with Hope and Zac; think they’re smart people, I disagree with their opinions, and I’m not bothered by them; I’m bothered by what they say about the fans of the material they don’t’ like. I feel that it’s in poor taste and quite immature on their part, especially from reading or watching their stuff and see they’re competent individuals; so it’s fine to dislike a particular anime, but to say horrible things about the people who like that anime; I don’t care how you slice it, it crosses the line.

    Do you see the train of thought I’m conveying here? Opinions on art are fine, but to degrade the people who appreciate that art is immature and irresponsible. It’s the same thing as someone saying the people who enjoyed, or the fans of Neon Genesis or The Tatami Galaxy or Fate/Zero are pretentious; implying they only watch these shows because it makes them appear more intelligent. We all know that’s a logical fallacy in every sense of the word because these shows, while they are rather clever, are also a lot of fun.

    So to simplify; a review should be an opinion about the art itself with evidence to explain why the person likes or dislikes it. It shouldn’t be about insulting the people who watch and enjoy it; both Zac and Hope do it a little too often.

    @Soundmonkey44:

    And speaking soley of anime, in terms of ecchi, many are just shameless Otaku bait. There are those that end up being more but a fair amount are candy wrappers without anything inside. Just like in the toyetic sphere for every MLP or TF: Prime, there are a dozen Strawberry Shortcakes.

    I agree; in the case of ecchi stuff, for every Queen’s Blade or High School DxD we get 5 or 6 Master of Martial Hearts, okay, maybe not that bad, I mean a series has to be pretty awful to top Master of Martial Hearts, but, yeah, a lot of shows that are just, there, that I’m generally indifferent to. But then again, that’s the same as any subgenre of anime.



  • Fair enough, I do agree belittling the actual fans is wrong, no matter what you think of the media, and that Zac does it far too often!



  • @neonwalrus:

    You still don’t seem to understand what I’m trying to say;

    I understand

    You took a joke too seriously and ended up being condescending, and instead of owning up to your apparent mistake, you decided to try and justify your claim



  • @Riles:

    You took a joke too seriously and ended up being condescending, and instead of owning up to your apparent mistake, you decided to try and justify your claim

    Did you eat a lot of paint chips when you were a kid?



  • Is that some kind of new slang to refer to a valid interpretative conclusion that doesn't resort to inaccurate ad hominem irrelevance, or is that just simply inaccurate ad hominem irrelevance



  • @Riles:

    Is that some kind of new slang to refer to a valid interpretative conclusion that doesn't resort to inaccurate ad hominem irrelevance

    No, it's a valid question to wonder why you lack sufficient reading comprehension skills which leads you to draw inaccurate conclusions.



  • Which part was I wrong about? The part where I said you take offense to obvious jokes that peripherally relate to you, or the part where I said you attempt to justify your disapproval of obvious jokes?



  • @Riles:

    Which part was I wrong about? The part where I said you take offense to obvious jokes that peripherally relate to you, or the part where I said you attempt to justify your disapproval of obvious jokes?

    Well, let's see, I started off just saying I didn't find the joke funny with the meme I had made, then another someone else made a post, I disagreed with that, then Sound added his thoughts on the matter, some of which I disagreed with and the discussion continued from there.

    Not all that difficult to follow really.


Log in to reply