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Old 03-17-2007, 11:24 PM   #1
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What is Anime?

What is Anime?
Anime, otherwise known as Japanese Anime, is the term designated to animated television programs that originate in Japan. Contrary to popular belief, anime is nothing like the simple cartoons we see here in the United States, where art, sound, and storylines mean very little to the young audience U.S. cartoons are intended for.

Anime vs. Cartoons
In the U.S., cartoons (i.e. Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Scooby Doo, etc.) are intended solely for children. These types of cartoons bear simple art and storylines meant for the simpler minds of our children. Very little budget goes into making such cartoons as children are easily amused and do not stop to admire the beauty of the art or how engrossing the story is...or so we think. Many of your U.S. cartoons are also very unrealistic in their production. Characters like Bugs Bunny can walk over cliffs despite gravity, take gun shots without a scratch, and perform the classic toony antic where the character stretches beyond normal anatomical elasticity.

In Japan, however, animation is a highly elaborate artform with as much cultural priority as the high-budget films produced here in the States. Unlike most cartoons in the States that contain totally different stories for each episode, nearly all anime episodes for each series are played in order as their stories merge into one long flowing storyline that you just can't stop watching (kinda like a soap opera, but less depressing).

For kids?
In Japan, there are HUNDREDS animes for literally ANY age group. There are animes with simpler animation for children (i.e. Hamtaro, Pita-ten, Pokemon, Digimon, etc.), not unlike the cartoons here in the States but still bearing better art and deeper storylines. Characters in animes do not defy gravity or stretch their bodies unless they actually have that ability as part of the overall story in the series. When such characters do possess such abilities, anime writers are very good at finding clever ways to explain how such abilities can be attained and mastered. Anime writers are infamous for adding angelic, demonic, or technological additons to an otherwise ordinary, human character. Inuyasha, for instance, is a half-demon which accounts for his inhuman strength and demonic powers. Abel Nightroad of Trinity Blood is a Crusnik (vampire lord) which accounts for his bizarre, demon-like powers.

Animes for teens, however, and up by far out-number kids' anime 10 to 1, many of which cannot be shown on public television for their violence, gore, or sexual content. Yes, you heard me right! There are even Japanese animes for adults only because they contain mostly sexual content! These are known as "Hentai" which means "pervert" in Japanese.

Another of the things I like most about anime is that each one has a hidden message encrypted into its complex story. Pokemon, for instance, teaches friendship (with people and animals), fair-play, and persistence. Naruto teaches you to respect your elders and to chase your dreams. Eureka 7 teaches you how to determine what is right despite what others think. Card Captors teaches friendship and how to take responsibility for your actions. Each anime you can name has true life lessons burried beneath their entertaining stories. This is something U.S. cartoons usually lack.

It is important to always remember your deepest fantasies as they are part of your inner-child. U.S. cartoons patronize this concept, in my opinion, because they offer short-term entertainment in exchange for reality itself. Hence the reason many parents do not watch cartoons with their kids and many grandparents feel cartoons rot your brain. Japanese anime, on the other hand, show you your deepest fantasies (no matter what they are) in a way that makes them far more easily reached in your mind and in your dreams. True Japanese animes show you life itself by showing you true emotional scenes of joy, sorrow, death, and even romance both youthful and not.

Last edited by AnimeSpirit; 03-17-2007 at 11:37 PM.
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