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Do you consider "Avatar - The Last Airbender" anime?
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28 / M
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Posted 5/23/13
I don't consider it anime. It was an american attempt at anime and for what it's worth it's not too bad. Still in order to really be anime it needs to be from japan. Maybe I'll change my mind on that in the future but for now that's where I stand
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21 / F
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Posted 5/23/13

I gave an example of an anime that has no profound storyline in which you just tried to correct me on something I already know.


I am not entirely sure what you mean here. First of all, as far as I can tell, you haven't given any examples. And what does an example have to do with what you already know anyway? Also, what is it that you already know?

You pointed out I gave no examples of an American show with an underlying plot, and yet when you say pretty much all you watch is cartoons you don't really give me any examples of which cartoons you watch or what types. You say you watch cartoons from the 60's, but that's so vague that it could mean you've watched every cartoon produced in that era, or just one or two shows, which isn't enough to define an era.

You didn't give me a counter argument. Instead, you went straight to defending yourself. This topic is about ATLA, particularly about whether or not it's considered anime. The problem I had with your argument is that you generalized so harshly American cartoons. Which, by the way, if you watch so many cartoons, why would you be bold enough to state that Avatar is pretty much the only cartoon that has a plot? Because even though you might have meant something else, your wording made it sound like you truly believe this. Cartoon is another word for animation, and while they may have different connotations, they are still basically the same thing.

However, I know that if this turns into an ugly argument and we hijack the thread, we'll both get in trouble and annoy anyone who might have something totally different to say. So, I have said what I wanted to say. If you have anything more you'd like to add, please message me. If you message me and begin harassing me, I will report you.
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19 / F / Tiphares
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Posted 5/23/13 , edited 5/23/13
^ I like this woman. She's 'ight.


Insomnist wrote:

So basically people want to call Avatar an anime because they're embarrassed by American animation?

Seems legit.


Indeed.
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21 / F
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Posted 5/23/13
In the end, what we should be discussing with ATLA is the show itself, not whether or not it's truly anime. It's an awesome show, and if people end up hating it because it's an "anime copycat," then that's their loss.

I watched the special features on one of the DVDs about the animation (I actually watched all of the special features), and the Korean animators said that they really like Japanese anime and wanted the animation in ATLA to be like it. So, that's pretty much the reason the animation in ATLA is so anime-like. Unfortunately, a lot of judgmental anime fans ended up hating the show because it's American made with an anime style.

Okay, so in my weeby days (back in middle school) I had that anime-jerk outlook as well, but I watched the first episode anyway and ended up loving it. Now that I'm older and more thoughtful, I am more able to look at things with an open mind and not be instantly judgmental. It just seems like a lot of anime fans get so wrapped up in anime that they close their minds to all other thoughts and automatically hate anything that isn't anime or is trying to "copy" it.
EmpReb 
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23 / M / Incoming Air Stomp
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Posted 5/23/13
Anime.... Technically no. Because its not Japan made. But really its the closest we can have to anime made with western story and vision in it. So in that sense YES. I think in some ways Anime influenced american animation can be more popular and have more audience just be more people will look at it because its not Japanese focused but Western Focused. Bigger market and English is just more market able and easier to translate from (we are really just a language that is built off of a lot of others and still is building new words.) Really, I wish some of the Japan studios would do what they have already done to our car market. Beat us at are own game and make better TV via their animation and writing skills.
Sogno- 
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Posted 5/23/13 , edited 5/23/13
No. It is influenced by anime, but it is not anime. It's an American cartoon, which is not the same as Japanese animation.

I'm fully aware that Bryan & Mike are big fans of FMA, the fighting styles are Asian (actually much more accurate than most anime thanks to Sifu Kisu), and Korean artists were involved, but the art is not anime style, because again, it is a toon.

Also, it's owned & created by Nickelodeon, also known for Spongebob Squarepants, Fairly Odd Parents, Little Rugrats, Catdog, Rocket Power, Hey Arnold, The Wild Thornberrys, etc.

Seriously now.

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21 / M / Amegakure
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Posted 5/23/13
Nope.
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19 / F / Tiphares
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Posted 5/23/13

Sogno- wrote:

No. It is influenced by anime, but it is not anime. It's an American cartoon, which is not the same as Japanese animation.

I'm fully aware that Bryan & Mike are big fans of FMA, the fighting styles are Asian (actually much more accurate than most anime thanks to Sifu Kisu), and Korean artists were involved, but the art is not anime style, because again, it is a toon.

Also, it's freakin' owned & created by Nickelodeon, also known for Spongebob Squarepants, Fairly Odd Parents, Little Rugrats, Catdog, Rocket Power, Hey Arnold, The Wild Thornberrys, etc.

Seriously now.



Plus the fact that it wasn't made in Japan.
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18 / M / California USA
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Posted 5/23/13
well what i consider anime is a book first then it is animated and the legend of korra was just a show it didnt start out as a book so its a cartoon not a anime
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28 / M / The Wired
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Posted 5/23/13
The term 'anime' simply refers to animation (whether conforming to the typical 'anime style' or not) which is made in Japan. This is the broadest possible application of the term and can consequently cover anything from Ghibli to independent/experimental short films. The key thing is, they must be made in Japan. Sometimes this can lead to interesting hybrid projects. The old Rankin/Bass Christmas classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was an American-funded and directed animated special, but the actual animation (for cost-saving reasons) was all done in Japan. I'd classify that as 'anime' since the actual work of the project was done in Japan. Nonetheless, if pressed, most people would call that an 'American' TV special, regardless of where the animation was physically made (or by whom).

For Avatar: The Last Airbender, the project was American-backed, and Korean-animated... that is, until the second season of Legend of Korra where Studio Pierrot in Japan did work on several episodes. So under the broad definition of 'anime,' those episodes at least could be called 'anime.' But like Rudolph, I think that regardless of the actual realities of production, most people wouldn't think of Korra as a 'Japanese' production. Even more interesting to consider, I think, are 'anime' where a significant amount of the animation work is done in Korea by sub-contractors (like DR Movie). Does that make these 'anime' actually 'Korean'? It's all a bit more vague when you think of things like that. When considered like that, virtually every animated TV series of the past 30 years has been 'Korean' in some way, whether they originated in America or Japan. The best way to think of these things, I think, is simply to accept that animation has become a global collaborative effort, and that things like nationality and artistic styles are far less meaningful dividers than we sometimes make them out to be.
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27 / F / Southern Oregon
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Posted 5/24/13
No, and honestly I don't really see why people say that. I can only think that the mix up comes from the architecture/culture of the different nations in the show, but even then I'm confused because the nations in the show are based more off of China (like the different bending styles are based off of Chinese marital arts). The type and timing of the jokes, plus the pacing of the show are strictly American. The only things that could be considered anime like is in the fact that each season has a story arc that fits into a larger story arc, that there is an actual ending to the show, and that characters mature and grow over time. To say that the you considered it Anime because the animation is eastern is wrong. Most American cartoons are animated in the east (Korea usually) or are you saying that you think shows like The Simpsons are also anime?
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19 / F / Tiphares
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Posted 5/24/13 , edited 5/24/13

kaiamowana wrote:

well what i consider anime is a book first then it is animated and the legend of korra was just a show it didnt start out as a book so its a cartoon not a anime


That's wrong. Did you know that Neon Genesis Evangelion, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Angel Beats, 5 Centimeters Per Second, Akira, and Cowboy Bebop were all original anime? They weren't adapted from a book or graphic novel. It can be adapted from something else, but not always.
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20 / M / England
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Posted 5/24/13
Doesn't really matter what you consider it. It's not an anime.
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25 / M / USA
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Posted 5/24/13 , edited 5/24/13

LainEverliving wrote:

The term 'anime' simply refers to animation (whether conforming to the typical 'anime style' or not) which is made in Japan. This is the broadest possible application of the term and can consequently cover anything from Ghibli to independent/experimental short films. The key thing is, they must be made in Japan. Sometimes this can lead to interesting hybrid projects. The old Rankin/Bass Christmas classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was an American-funded and directed animated special, but the actual animation (for cost-saving reasons) was all done in Japan. I'd classify that as 'anime' since the actual work of the project was done in Japan. Nonetheless, if pressed, most people would call that an 'American' TV special, regardless of where the animation was physically made (or by whom).

For Avatar: The Last Airbender, the project was American-backed, and Korean-animated... that is, until the second season of Legend of Korra where Studio Pierrot in Japan did work on several episodes. So under the broad definition of 'anime,' those episodes at least could be called 'anime.' But like Rudolph, I think that regardless of the actual realities of production, most people wouldn't think of Korra as a 'Japanese' production. Even more interesting to consider, I think, are 'anime' where a significant amount of the animation work is done in Korea by sub-contractors (like DR Movie). Does that make these 'anime' actually 'Korean'? It's all a bit more vague when you think of things like that. When considered like that, virtually every animated TV series of the past 30 years has been 'Korean' in some way, whether they originated in America or Japan. The best way to think of these things, I think, is simply to accept that animation has become a global collaborative effort, and that things like nationality and artistic styles are far less meaningful dividers than we sometimes make them out to be.

This is why I'm more focused on the source of the story rather than the animation. An animation style can be mimicked - I'd imagine perfectly, even, except that'd probably get you in hot waters when it comes to copyright.

But if the original story comes from the culture of the United States, for the United States, no matter where its animated, its ours. And if a story comes from the culture of Japan, for Japan, it's Japanese (anime).

Styles and everything come into play, but personally the most important thing is what culture birthed the story. Because out of all the anime in the world, I can only think of three I wouldn't immediately know are anime just by their content.

I'm sure there are more, because I've only watched a tiny fraction of the anime in the world, but still. There is so much more that goes into making an anime an anime than simply the way it looks. And most if it is cultural influences.

So ATLA and LoK are not anime, because they reflect the culture of the United States, not Japan.

Edit: There are exceptions for original stories from outside Japan which are adapted through a Japanese cultural lens, though. Like how Haiyore! Nyaruko-san is... loosely... based on Lovecraftian horror. Sort of. Vaguely. A little bit.
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Posted 5/24/13 , edited 5/24/13

Insomnist wrote:

This is why I'm more focused on the source of the story rather than the animation. An animation style can be mimicked - I'd imagine perfectly, even, except that'd probably get you in hot waters when it comes to copyright.


Even when it comes to animation style, no country or culture has a lock on a particular visual 'look.' Just as the American style and production method created by Disney has spread all over the world and been standardized in different animation industries/cultures, the look and feel of Japanese anime has spread and created ripples of influence. I don't even really consider works like Avatar: The Last Airbender to be 'copying' or 'mimicking' anime; the anime visual sensibility has become so widespread that it is now a legitimate style to work in, just as the 'Disney' style is. Does that mean that Avatar: The Last Airbender would or could exist as it does independent on anime? No, of course not; or rather, if it did, it would look and feel very different. But does it mean it's nothing more than a copy? No, since at this point, the 'anime' look is one that anyone in the world can freely work in and enjoy, regardless of ethnicity, culture, and so on. In terms of breaking down anime into a collection of standardized visual traits, it is a style of illustration and animation that anyone can use (just as impressionistic paintings, while having originated in Europe, can now be painted by anyone, anywhere).

So again, what makes something 'anime'? It's a combination of two factors: where the story originated, and where the animation was made. On the first point, most Japanese animated content fits the bill of 'anime' (unless it is a rare case of a project like The Animatrix or Halo: Legends where the story is originated from America or elsewhere, but executed in Japan). On the second point, with the exception of older content and a few recent films (namely the Ghibli works from Ponyo on), no 'anime' is 'purely' Japanese. The production realities of the modern anime industry are such that virtually every film and TV episode we watch is, at least in part, made outside of Japan. To classify these works fairly and credit the people who are bringing them to life, I think we have to view most 'anime' as international co-productions (though the non-Japanese partner is often denied the prestige and respect they deserve, due to being a subcontractor). Modern 'anime' as we know it is a highly-developed, multi-national industry drawing upon the skills of artists in Japan, Korea, China, The Philippines, and Thailand. The sooner we come to understand that, and also understand that 'anime' as a label is broader and less black-and-white than most of us would imagine, the easier it will be to recognize that all forms of animation (regardless of origin or style) can be equally deserving of our attention and respect.
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