This is a companion post to my previous one on the 'Drawbacks in Drawing Anime'
Please bear in mind that I did not write this. It is a post by some frustrated anime fan, whose name I stupidly forgot to remember. While these articles are hardly related to conceptual art, I don't really care. Bleah!! It's not like this blog is popular enough to garner outrage!

So why does he say their is still a pervading 'ignorance' among the population regarding anime? While I, ChrisK doesn't really agree with a lot of points here, its food for thought by Mr. Know-it-all here. So let's go! (I will be inserting my own thoughts from time to time like this)
  • The problem lies in three forms. the 1st is a problem of clarity. Terms/jargon are frequently used but not understood.
  • the 2nd is a problem of media, (television, internet). All too often corporate television networks such as cartoon network market its anime in an unfavorable manner. Deviantart is filled to the brim with shitty cartoony anime. (you said it - What is this Robotech crap? Just kidding)
  • The reputation of anime is further injured by its associated fans. I would like to believe that most anime fans are intelligent people with a sound understanding of art.Unfortunately, as listed below, there is evidence of the contrary especially in high schools across America.
Evidence of the problem of ignorance of anime?
  1. Thousands of anime fans who make an attempt to draw well are making shitty drawings in an attempt to mimic anime/manga style.
  2. Art schools and professional art communities tend to avoid anime like the plague. (Refer to my article again on Drawbacks of Drawing Anime')
  3. the few people who draw anime well and have fundamental technical drawing skills are ridiculed and tagged as unprofessional.
Side Note: I hate this f***ing attitude!
  • Anime is often associated with goth poseurs or nerds who wear black.
  • hot topic regularly promotes anime in the form of T shirts. I have nothing against hottopic, since I bought a "Death Cab for Cutie" shirt from there, its not a terrible place, but it adds to the problem at the same time. (This guy is confusing me...)
  • the T-shirts that have anime on them are poorly designed, for the most part.
Something must be done and people need to know why! Here are my "Reasons to solve the problem"


  • The goth community has been injured by poseurs for a variety of reasons. Goth poseurs are attracted to anime, and that association is bad for both genuine goths and genuine anime fans. (This is getting weird, maybe he should mention 'emo' as well)
  • Some non artists also shy away from anime because of its percieved association with shitty people.
  • The art community is also starting to turn its collective back on a unique and truely wonderful art form as a result of media and shitty association. (Arguing in circles..?)
"The Facts"

I disagree with the notion that not all animation from japan is anime.

Anime - a blanket term that describes all forms of animation in Japan. All animation in Japan have common elements that separate it from western animation or comics. The same elements occur in manga as well.

NOTE: exaggerated features are not one of these elements.


Element A - anime has an emphasis on being there in that moment, where the work has a ton of "aspect to aspect" illustrations. This is a aesthetic 'pioneered' by the Japanese. It occurs more frequently than in western animation. (uh...)

Element B - that heavy emphasis on the moment to moment representation rather than action to action. An American cartoon would be more likely to portray a man getting out a gun in 2 seconds. In anime however, would show him unzipping his jacket, wiping his hand accross his face and slowly reaching in his pocket and getting the gun out. (this is a lousy example, but I get his point. These elements are often better seen when comparing western comics to 'manga' in general, with lots of subtle and not-so-subtle actions to expand a scene, giving it more depth or character)

Soap Opera Aesthetic
- most of anime is in a serialized format, with long sagas and complex plotlines. Lets put it this way, if you went a watched episode 49 of batman beyond, you would have no problems comprehending the plot. This is not the case with all american cartoons, but as a whole, they lack this serial element. However, if you were to view the anime "Last Exile" at episode 53, you would have no fucking clue as to how to make sense of the plot. (We can minus the fact that American television industry is completely different in that they want to extend a series as long as possible - look at shows like the Simpsons. Plus the fact that the general American public still sees these animated cartoons as 'kiddie fare', whereas the Japanese view anime as an alternative to live-action storytelling mostly due to tighter budgets)

Japanimation - a term used and invented by the Japanese to describe animation produced in Japan. This term was created to distinguish Japanese anime from the the more general word for animation or "anime".

Anime style (also known as manga style)- a method of abstraction which relies on exagerated eyes, etc. It is based off of the cartoony aspects of anime, it is not however, derived from animation from Japan as a whole. That is simply a [false] western perception of anime as a whole. It is a style that is apparent in certain anime, but does not apply to all.

Anime inspired - a term used to describe western cartoons, illustrations and comics that seek too mimic the design aesthetic and storytelling techniques of anime/manga.


The solution
  1. Remove the term "anime style" from your vocabulary. (The author speaks of creating new terms for all kinds of anime. It sounds like the failed 'Metrosexual' revolution - and we know what happened to that)
  2. Market more anime T shirts that incorporate better graphic design and are form fitting. (This guy speaks of T-shirts, I'm thinking of the whole package of advertising)
  3. Convince Dolce and Gabanna and other high fashion houses to design and sell anime clothes and accessories (Ah, to allow anime to penetrate the mainstream again. It has worked to some degree in other areas over the years)
  4. Somehow convince cartoon network to air a huge amount of realistic anime. (I think G4 TV and other networks are doing this, and a lot of other networks)
  5. somehow convince cartoon network to run a yearlong documentary explaining the differences between realistic anime and cartoony anime and their relationship with cartoony american comics and realistic american comics. (Ah, that would be nice!)
  6. market anime to a more mainstream audience, besides nerdy people and poseurs. (Isn't anime and manga already attracting a lot of female enthusiasts?)
  7. Remember when everybody aside from geeks were staying up late playing Halo? The same thing needs to happen to anime. Market, market market!!!!
Possible Outcome
  • Make the above distinctions widely known and accepted by the art community in every scene so artists, teachers and art school admissions would stop bashing anime due to a misunderstanding of what anime actually is. (According to Scott McCloud, comics are also facing this want to be reccognized)
So these artistic and media bigwigs will:
  • Stop telling kids anime is merely kiddie fare, and is capable of a mature form of storytelling that won't just cater to nerds.
  • Realize that realistic anime/manga is to be celebrated and accepted part of American pop culture. (New York Post I think praised films like Paprika for its grown-up storytelling)
  • Realize that a few good anime pieces can make an already polished portfolio even better.
To make the above information known to budding young art students who love anime so that they will:
  • understand the differences between terms
  • Realize the existance of "realistic anime".
  • Begin to see that drawing realistically wont betray the anime/manga aesthetic elements.
Well, this is all the guy says. It's essentially a weird anime-fan rant where the author really want anime's generally kiddie image to change in the United States, especially among high-art aficionados. For some reason though, he thinks anime-otakus are similarly classed as goths...

There are "good" points, though for me the biggest problem is that I don't live in the United States - but I do know that a lot of people still regard anime as something for the kiddies, rather than being a legitimate art form. I don't know the extent of it though, and forgive me if it actually turns out that people in the States already appreciate anime in the way that this guy is ranting about. Bah!

In the mean time, why not feast your eyes on this old anime trailer?



5 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. the suggestion has been made that there is a "clear" link between anime and kiddy-porn? I would appreciate any comments with regard to this.
    Thanks
    Signed - "starting to wonder"

     
  3. ChrisK Says:
  4. Dear Wondering,

    My guess is that some people will always have a problem with mediums that sexualize 14-year olds. Unless of course, short-skirted panty-showing high school students suddenly became acceptable in mainstream society.

    It's only my opinion, but this issue may in fact be a cultural thing as well. Take a look at any Youtube video with the cute female Japanese host and they seem to act and sound like children. Look up the Gothic Lolita movement on Google, with Japanese women dressing up as frickin' Little Bo Peep.

    Japanese are just more open to this stuff.

    Just saying...

     
  5. Anonymous Says:
  6. Many American companies avoid Anime because of how different the art is from what they need. Companies like Pixar, Industrial Lights and Magic, and Massive Black need concept artists that draw to a point of realism that the directors, producers, costume designers, and make-up artists can actually see what the character will look like with the actor in full gear so they can make changes if something doesn't work. One of the best concept artists around is Marko Djurdjevic. People who draw Anime are competing with him and others who draw like him or better.

    You think that these companies avoid Anime because of stereotypes, when it's just a matter of how they actually view the art. They find the art too simplistic and unrefined for their purposes.

    My bestfriend is in the art program in the heart of silicon valley where all of the companies go to recruit, and has been for a few years, and I'll be joining him soon. He told me all these things beforehand, so I'll know what level of artistry is expected from me.

     
  7. David T Says:
  8. Anime's storylines go way beyond serial... They are convoluted to the point of... well I can't compare to something else really, they truly set a standard of what the french call 'compliqué'.
    Another problem with it is the prevalence of "fan service", which demotes it automatically to "B-movie" quality at best. "Fan service" is trashy. And it's everywhere in Anime.
    Also... it's cheesy. Largely due to translation issues. But even then... Japan loves kitsch. And kitsch does have it's place. But, even the best translation could not remove all the kitsch present in Anime. Of course I have seen many Anime shows that go to the other extreme of trying to be super serious; also to their own detriment.

     
  9. Chris Says:
  10. I haven't thought about this topic in a long while. I rarely, if ever, tune in to the Japanimation being produced today due to all this endless fan service and tiring moe trend.

    I'm not sure it will ever get the recognition it deserves beyond its thousands of crazy prepubescent fans that flock the cons.

    Hollywood will forever be ripping off the cooler aspects of anime, and the better stuff, like the ones produced by the new generation of Ghibli directors, the late Satoshi Kon, and the like will be largely ignored by the Western public. A sad reality.

     
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