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Anime and American audiences

The Japanese term otaku is used in America as a term for anime fans, more particularly the obsessive ones. The negative connotations associated with the word in Japan have disappeared in its American context, where it instead connotes the pride of the fans. Only in the recent decade or so has there been a more casual viewership outside the devoted otaku fan base, which can be attributed highly to technological advances. Also, shows like Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z provided a pivotal introduction of anime's conventions, animation methods, and Shinto influences to many American children.

Ancient Japanese myths – often deriving from the animistic nature worship of Shinto – have influenced anime greatly, but most American audiences not accustomed to anime know very little of these foreign texts and customs. For example, an average American viewing the live-action TV show Hercules will be no stranger to the Greek myths and legends it is based on, while the same person watching the show Tenchi Muyo! might not understand that the pleated ropes wrapped around the "space trees" are influenced by the ancient legend of Amaterasu and Susano.[63]
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Influence on world culture

Anime has become commercially profitable in western countries, as early commercially successful western adaptations of anime, such as Astro Boy, have revealed.[51] The phenomenal success of Nintendo's multi-billion dollar Pokémon franchise[52] was helped greatly by the spin-off anime series that, first broadcast in the late 1990s, is still running worldwide to this day. In doing so, anime has made significant impacts upon Western culture. Since the 19th century, many Westerners have expressed a particular interest towards Japan. Anime dramatically exposed more Westerners to the culture of Japan. Aside from anime, other facets of Japanese culture increased in popularity.[53] Worldwide, the number of people studying Japanese increased. In 1984, the Japanese Language Proficiency Test was devised to meet increasing demand.[54] Anime-influenced animation refers to non-Japanese works of animation that emulate the visual style of anime.[55] Most of these works are created by studios in the United States, Europe, and non-Japanese Asia; and they generally incorporate stylizations, methods, and gags described in anime physics, as in the case of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Often, production crews either are fans of anime or are required to view anime.[56] Some creators cite anime as a source of inspiration with their own series.[57][58] Furthermore, a French production team for Ōban Star-Racers moved to Tokyo to collaborate with a Japanese production team from Hal Film Maker.[59] Critics and the general anime fanbase do not consider them as anime.[60]

Some American animated television-series have singled out anime styling with satirical intent, for example South Park (with "Chinpokomon" and with "Good Times with Weapons"). South Park has a notable drawing style, itself parodied in "Brittle Bullet", the fifth episode of the anime FLCL, released several months after "Chinpokomon" aired. This intent on satirizing anime is the springboard for the basic premise of Kappa Mikey, a Nicktoons Network original cartoon. Even clichés normally found in anime are parodied in some series, such as Perfect Hair Forever. Anime conventions began to appear in the early 1990s, during the Anime boom, starting with Anime Expo, Animethon, Otakon, and JACON. Currently anime conventions are held annually in various cities across the Americas, Asia, and Europe.[61] Many attendees participate in cosplay, where they dress up as anime characters. Also, guests from Japan ranging from artists, directors, and music groups are invited. In addition to anime conventions, anime clubs have become prevalent in colleges, high schools, and community centers as a way to publicly exhibit anime as well as broadening Japanese cultural understanding.[62]
Posted 4/30/10
Distribution
See also: Anime licensing

While anime had entered markets beyond Japan in the 1960s, it grew as a major cultural export during its market expansion during the 1980s and 1990s. The anime market for the United States alone is "worth approximately $4.35 billion, according to the Japan External Trade Organization".[45] Anime has also been a commercial success in Asia, Europe and Latin America, where anime has become even more mainstream than in the United States. For example, the Saint Seiya video game was released in Europe due to the popularity of the show even years after the series has been off-air.

Anime distribution companies handled the licensing and distribution of anime outside Japan. Licensed anime is modified by distributors through dubbing into the language of the country and adding language subtitles to the Japanese language track. Using a similar global distribution pattern as Hollywood, the world is divided into five regions.

Some editing of cultural references may occur to better follow the references of the non-Japanese culture.[46] Certain companies may remove any objectionable content, complying with domestic law. This editing process was far more prevalent in the past (e.g. Voltron), but its use has declined because of the demand for anime in its original form. This "light touch" approach to localization has favored viewers formerly unfamiliar with anime. The use of such methods is evident by the success of Naruto and Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block, both of which employ minor edits.[citation needed] Robotech and Star Blazers were the earliest attempts to present anime (albeit still modified) to North American television audiences without harsh censoring for violence and mature themes.

With the advent of DVD, it became possible to include multiple language tracks into a simple product. This was not the case with VHS cassette, in which separate VHS media were used and with each VHS cassette priced the same as a single DVD. The "light touch" approach also applies to DVD releases as they often include both the dubbed audio and the original Japanese audio with subtitles, typically unedited. Anime edited for television is usually released on DVD "uncut", with all scenes intact.

TV networks regularly broadcast anime programming. In Japan, major national TV networks, such as TV Tokyo broadcast anime regularly. Smaller regional stations broadcast anime under the UHF. In the United States, cable TV channels such as Cartoon Network, Disney, Syfy, and others dedicate some of their timeslots to anime. Some, such as the Anime Network and the FUNimation Channel, specifically show anime. Sony-based Animax and Disney's Jetix channel broadcast anime within many countries in the world. AnimeCentral solely broadcasts anime in the UK.

Although it violates copyright laws in many countries, some fans add subtitles to anime on their own. These are distributed as fansubs. The ethical implications of producing, distributing, or watching fansubs are topics of much controversy even when fansub groups do not profit from their activities. Once the series has been licensed outside of Japan, fansub groups often cease distribution of their work. In one case, Media Factory Incorporated requested that no fansubs of their material be made, which was respected by the fansub community.[47] In another instance, Bandai specifically thanked fansubbers for their role in helping to make The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya popular in the English speaking world.[48]

The Internet has played a significant role in the exposure of anime beyond Japan. Prior to the 1990s, anime had limited exposure beyond Japan's borders. Coincidentally, as the popularity of the Internet grew, so did interest in anime. Much of the fandom of anime grew through the Internet. The combination of internet communities and increasing amounts of anime material, from video to images, helped spur the growth of fandom.[49] As the Internet gained more widespread use, Internet advertising revenues grew from 1.6 billion yen to over 180 billion yen between 1995 and 2005.[50]
Posted 4/30/10
Animation technique
Main article: Animation

Like all animation, the production processes of storyboarding, voice acting, character design, cel production and so on still apply. With improvements in computer technology, computer animation increased the efficiency of the whole production process.

Anime is often considered a form of limited animation. That means that stylistically, even in bigger productions the conventions of limited animation are used to fool the eye into thinking there is more movement than there is.[3] Many of the techniques used are comprised with cost-cutting measures while working under a set budget.

Anime scenes place emphasis on achieving three-dimensional views. Backgrounds depict the scenes' atmosphere.[3] For example, anime often puts emphasis on changing seasons, as can be seen in numerous anime, such as Tenchi Muyo!. Sometimes actual settings have been duplicated into an anime. The backgrounds for the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya are based on various locations within the suburb of Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan.[35]

Camera angles, camera movement, and lighting play an important role in scenes. Directors often have the discretion of determining viewing angles for scenes, particularly regarding backgrounds. In addition, camera angles show perspective.[36] Directors can also choose camera effects within cinematography, such as panning, zooming, facial closeup, and panoramic.[37]

The large majority of anime uses traditional animation, which better allows for division of labor, pose to pose approach and checking of drawings before they are shot – practices favoured by the anime industry.[38] Other mediums are mostly limited to independently-made short films,[39] examples of which are the silhouette and other cutout animation of Noburō Ōfuji,[38][40] the stop motion puppet animation of Tadahito Mochinaga, Kihachirō Kawamoto[41] and Tomoyasu Murata[42] and the computer animation of Satoshi Tomioka[43] (most famously Usavich).[44]
Posted 4/30/10
Facial expressions

Anime characters may employ wide variety of facial expressions to denote moods and thoughts.[33] These techniques are often different in form than their counterparts in western animation.

There are a number of other stylistic elements that are common to conventional anime as well but more often used in comedies. Characters that are shocked or surprised will perform a "face fault", in which they display an extremely exaggerated expression. Angry characters may exhibit a "vein" or "stress mark" effect, where lines representing bulging veins will appear on their forehead. Angry women will sometimes summon a mallet from nowhere and strike someone with it, leading to the concept of Hammerspace and cartoon physics. Male characters will develop a bloody nose around their female love interests (typically to indicate arousal, based on an old wives' tale).[34] Embarrassed characters either produce a massive sweat-drop (which has become one of the most widely recognized motifs of conventional anime) or produce a visibly red blush or set of parallel (sometimes squiggly) lines beneath the eyes, especially as a manifestation of repressed romantic feelings. Some anime, usually with political plots and other more serious subject matters, have abandoned the use of these techniques.
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Eye styles

Many anime and manga characters feature large eyes. Osamu Tezuka, who is believed to have been the first to use this technique, was inspired by the exaggerated features of American cartoon characters such as Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse, and Disney's Bambi.[3][28] Tezuka found that large eyes style allowed his characters to show emotions distinctly. When Tezuka began drawing Ribbon no Kishi, the first manga specifically targeted at young girls, Tezuka further exaggerated the size of the characters' eyes. Indeed, through Ribbon no Kishi, Tezuka set a stylistic template that later shōjo artists tended to follow.

Coloring is added to give eyes, particularly to the cornea, some depth. The depth is accomplished by applying variable color shading. Generally, a mixture of a light shade, the tone color, and a dark shade is used.[29][30] Cultural anthropologist Matt Thorn argues that Japanese animators and audiences do not perceive such stylized eyes as inherently more or less foreign.[31]

However, not all anime have large eyes. For example, some of the work of Hayao Miyazaki and Toshiro Kawamoto are known for having realistically proportioned eyes, as well as realistic hair colors on their characters.[32] In addition many other productions also have been known to use smaller eyes. This design tends to have more resemblance to traditional Japanese art.[original research?] Some characters have even smaller eyes, where simple black dots are used. However, many western audiences associate anime with large detailed eyes.[citation needed]
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Music
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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For other uses, see Music (disambiguation).
This article is semi-protected due to vandalism.
Music
Music lesson Staatliche Antikensammlungen 2421.jpg
A painting on an Ancient Greek vase depicts a music lesson (ca. 510 BC).
Medium Sound
Originating culture various
Originating era Paleolithic
Performing arts
Major forms

Dance · Music · Opera · Theatre · Circus Arts
Minor forms

Magic · Puppetry
Genres

Drama · Tragedy · Comedy · Tragicomedy · Romance · Satire · Epic · Lyric

Music is an art form whose medium is sound. Common elements of music are pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. The word derives from Greek μουσική (mousike), "(art) of the Muses".[1]

The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of music vary according to culture and social context. Music ranges from strictly organized compositions (and their recreation in performance), through improvisational music to aleatoric forms. Music can be divided into genres and subgenres, although the dividing lines and relationships between music genres are often subtle, sometimes open to individual interpretation, and occasionally controversial. Within "the arts", music may be classified as a performing art, a fine art, and auditory art.

To many people in many cultures music is an important part of their way of life. Greek philosophers and ancient Indian philosophers defined music as tones ordered horizontally as melodies and vertically as harmonies. Common sayings such as "the harmony of the spheres" and "it is music to my ears" point to the notion that music is often ordered and pleasant to listen to. However, 20th-century composer John Cage thought that any sound can be music, saying, for example, "There is no noise, only sound."[2] According to musicologist Jean-Jacques Nattiez, "the border between music and noise is always culturally defined—which implies that, even within a single society, this border does not always pass through the same place; in short, there is rarely a consensus.... By all accounts there is no single and intercultural universal concept defining what music might be, except that it is 'sound through time'."[3]
Posted 4/30/10
History
Main article: History of music
Prehistoric eras

Ancient music can only be imagined by scholars, based on findings from a range of paleolithic sites, such as bones in which lateral holes have been pierced: these are usually identified as flutes,[4] blown at one end like the Japanese shakuhachi. Instruments, such as the seven-holed flute and various types of stringed instruments have been recovered from the Indus Valley Civilization archaeological sites.[5] India has one of the oldest musical traditions in the world—references to Indian classical music (marga) can be found in the ancient scriptures of the Hindu tradition, the Vedas.[6] The earliest and largest collection of prehistoric musical instruments was found in China and dates back to between 7000 and 6600 BC.[7]
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References in the Bible
Main article: History of music in the biblical period
"David with his harp" Paris Psalter,
c. 960, Constantinople

Music and theatre scholars studying the history and anthropology of Semitic and early Judeo-Christian culture, have also discovered common links between theatrical and musical activity in the classical cultures of the Hebrews with those of the later cultures of the Greeks and Romans. The common area of performance is found in a "social phenomenon called litany," a form of prayer consisting of a series of invocations or supplications. The Journal of Religion and Theatre notes that among the earliest forms of litany, "Hebrew litany was accompanied by a rich musical tradition:"[8]

"While Genesis 4.21 identifies Jubal as the “father of all such as handle the harp and pipe,” the Pentateuch is nearly silent about the practice and instruction of music in the early life of Israel. Then, in I Samuel 10 and the texts which follow, a curious thing happens. “One finds in the biblical text,” writes Alfred Sendrey, “a sudden and unexplained upsurge of large choirs and orchestras, consisting of thoroughly organized and trained musical groups, which would be virtually inconceivable without lengthy, methodical preparation.” This has led some scholars to believe that the prophet Samuel was the patriarch of a school which taught not only prophets and holy men, but also sacred-rite musicians. This public music school, perhaps the earliest in recorded history, was not restricted to a priestly class--which is how the shepherd boy David appears on the scene as a minstrel to King Saul."[8]
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