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The "Anime is a Cartoon" Argument.
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31 / Aincrad Floor 61
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Posted 6/21/13 , edited 6/21/13
This is a hard topic to describe. Personally I have a problem with people calling an anime a cartoon. Cartoon in my mind and in most people's mind, growing up in the states, has almost always meant something for children to watch. Disney movies, Saturday morning cartoons, and etc. Even the more recent Avatar series or Thundercats reboot both seemed to be aimed generally at a younger demographic. Saying that though I know there are a few adult animated movies and shows out there that have been developed in the west but those are extremely rare and quite a few are just plain weird. Anime on the other other, as we know, has a huge variety of shows that are aimed chiefly at adults or older teenagers rather than children in grade school and they can't be mistaken for anything else. That's one way I mark the difference.

The other way I mark a difference is just geographical. Anime is from Japan and cartoons are from the west.
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50 / F / Center of the Uni...
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Posted 6/21/13

windsagio wrote:

The funny thing to this question to me always is the fact that people apparently think 'cartoon' is derogatory in some way and have to define what they watch around it.


My point exactly.

It's only an issue your invested in value judgements around the words.

"anime is the cool stuff that I, and the elite like me watch. Cartoons is the trash that everyone else watches."

If you actually think like the example above. Of Course the word "cartoons" is going to make your forehead throb and eye twitch. Of course once you go off on your otaku explosion of rage. the rest of us, who just enjoy the great shows, put our faces in our palms.

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Posted 6/21/13 , edited 6/22/13

papagolfwhiskey wrote:


windsagio wrote:

The funny thing to this question to me always is the fact that people apparently think 'cartoon' is derogatory in some way and have to define what they watch around it.


My point exactly.

It's only an issue your invested in value judgements around the words.

"anime is the cool stuff that I, and the elite like me watch. Cartoons is the trash that everyone else watches."

If you actually think like the example above. Of Course the word "cartoons" is going to make your forehead throb and eye twitch. Of course once you go off on your otaku explosion of rage. the rest of us, who just enjoy the great shows, put our faces in our palms.

I wouldn't have to think that way if I didn't have to deal with people who also think that way. I go pretty far out of my way to not call things like Plague Dogs, The Rats of Nimh, or Watership Down cartoons just in case the other person(s) have any preconceptions. It's also convenient that we can call things like The Lion King or Toy Story either Disney or Pixar films. People do that for a reason; namely because vocabularies are only useful when everyone agrees on what all the words mean. Obstinately using a word in a way that invites misunderstandings is a bit ostentatious itself.

Besides, what's the point of having a bunch of words that mean the same thing. It's more convenient when they have slightly disparate meanings, it allows for more concise communication. That's why we've bothered making so many.
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Posted 6/22/13

Insomnist wrote:


papagolfwhiskey wrote:


windsagio wrote:

The funny thing to this question to me always is the fact that people apparently think 'cartoon' is derogatory in some way and have to define what they watch around it.


My point exactly.

It's only an issue your invested in value judgements around the words.

"anime is the cool stuff that I, and the elite like me watch. Cartoons is the trash that everyone else watches."

If you actually think like the example above. Of Course the word "cartoons" is going to make your forehead throb and eye twitch. Of course once you go off on your otaku explosion of rage. the rest of us, who just enjoy the great shows, put our faces in our palms.

I wouldn't have to think that way if I didn't have to deal with people who also think that way. I go pretty far out of my way to not call things like Plague Dogs, The Rats of Nimh, or Watership Down cartoons just in case the other person(s) have any preconceptions. It's also convenient that we can call things like The Lion King or Toy Story either Disney or Pixar films. People do that for a reason; namely because vocabularies are only useful when everyone agrees on what all the words mean. Obstinately using a word in a way that invites misunderstandings is a bit ostentatious itself.


For the record, I usually use the word Anime and self-describe as an anime-fan. I usually only reference anime as cartoons when trying to explain anime to someone who doesn't know what the word means. Also went through a phase where my favourite animes were rather adult and 'intellectual' and used to react when someone said "so that's like that pokemen stuff" when I was talking about "Ghost in the shell, Millennium Actress or Perfect Blue". But you know what. some people just don't know. And the rest of us need to get over ourselves.


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21 / M / Nowhere Islands
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Posted 6/22/13
Anime, the term is just a short name for animation. The Japanese tend to shorten all kinds of popular names like for instance:
Pokemon - Pocket Monsters
Doraque - Dragon Quest also known as Dragon Warrior in the US
So coming from a guy who for a long time thought that Avatar came from Japan. I like to believe that anime is more of a specific genre of cartoons rather than being what cartoons are. So that way, any cartoon that looks like anime is in my eyes anime.
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41 / M / Oakland, CA
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Posted 6/22/13 , edited 6/22/13

Insomnist wrote:


I wouldn't have to think that way if I didn't have to deal with people who also think that way. I go pretty far out of my way to not call things like Plague Dogs, The Rats of Nimh, or Watership Down cartoons just in case the other person(s) have any preconceptions. It's also convenient that we can call things like The Lion King or Toy Story either Disney or Pixar films. People do that for a reason; namely because vocabularies are only useful when everyone agrees on what all the words mean. Obstinately using a word in a way that invites misunderstandings is a bit ostentatious itself.

Besides, what's the point of having a bunch of words that mean the same thing. It's more convenient when they have slightly disparate meanings, it allows for more concise communication. That's why we've bothered making so many.


Well fix the problem then. Continually refer to things as they actually are and don't pussyfoot around.

All situations are different anyways. I work at a game studio, a very very very geeky place, but I'm comfortable talking about the western cartoons I enjoy watching and not as comfortable about the anime I watch. In that business culture (or maybe just in my mind) the latter gets more negative connotations than the former... or more likely less comprehension

I can talk about Adventure time or Venture Bros' all day, and people immediately connect. If I were to talk about say Saki, I'd get blank stares from all but 2 or 3 of my coworkers.

So, to the point, using the word cartoon in no way invites misunderstanding, because it's absolutely descriptive. If you went around describing things as 'japanese cartoons' everyone would immediately know what you meant... which I suspect is the actual problem.

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41 / M / Oakland, CA
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Posted 6/22/13
I actually had something a bit wrong anyways in my post right above. This isn't really about how the general world sees it (to most of the people outside the culture, anime has worse connotations for adults than cartoons anyways), but it's about how we see the differences internally ourselves.

Whatever people have in their minds that make them love anime but want to reject cartoons, that's their own monkey really.
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Posted 6/22/13
What about GI Joe? Is it an anime, the only thing keeping use from say it is is the country of origin. there might be a very small stylist difference but since anime runs the gambit of those as well as other "cartoons" it is hard to say even stylistically you could tell the difference. The only difference between ghost in the shell original and GI Joe is the color plait and the place of origin. Here is a question, which show most closely show the style that we would call anime? Excel Saga, Full Metal Alchemist, Ghost in the Shell (SAC or movies, since there is a wide difference there), Bleach or is it some some other. If so what about the other mentioned, do they lose anime status.

Yes it is a cartoon, that hold a bad connotation with some. I would say it is just another medium to tell a story. If you are hung up on that connotation then you will have a hard time getting into Anime. I recently got people who hated "stupid cartoons" hooked on Legends of the galactic heroes. Now they might be interested in other shows. Most of us who are a few years older may of got hooked on Cowboy Bebop or DBZ, not because of some love of japan but on a different story that we enjoyed seeing. I still love the Animanics, something that is and was completely different, and hate some animes as stupid as hell.
Posted 6/22/13
I remember when I was 12 and I called "Ed, edd and eddy" an "anime", and the people on that Harry Potter forum would get so mad at me. And I kept wondering why...

Technically, I was correct.
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Posted 6/24/13
Avatar was an anime, it had romance, action, and they way they avoided death in the show wasn't so childish. It really deserves alot more credit then people give it. at 19 I watched the whole series and it really was better then some japanese originated animes.

Fan Service is the reason America probably thinks us anime fans are weirdo's. Cartoons to me are for children (DBZ is like a cartoon to me) they miss what animes do best which is a good plot and deep characters you can relate too.
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17 / F / Pfft as if Id say
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Posted 6/24/13
Yeah anime are cartoons, but not the cartoons like johnny test or spongebob.
Lets say cartoons are western and anime are eastern.
I just call things like Naruto or Fairy Tail or Amnesia anime
and things like Spongebob, The amazing world of gumball cartoons.
I dont know what the big issue is really, Anime is the Japanese
way of saying cartoon, so in all sense its the same. But not the style.
Im making no sense lol



also can someone reply to me and tell me why the gif is all, weird?
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25 / M / USA
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Posted 6/24/13
it is the same, BUT people usually associate Japan with anime and everyone else cartoon. If it is Mexican or American it is Cartoon (Caricatura in Spanish).
Anime has a wide range of categories and genres while Cartoons are usually associated with children. Both can be targeted to teens and adults, but anime tends to do that more while adult cartoons are found or made every once in a while like American Dad, Family Guy, Venture Bros. The cartoons that seem somewhat anime are the Avatar series, Venture Bros (to some extent), Young Justice, and more, yet these will be considered cartoons simply because they are not really related to Japanese culture or influence.
Although, people who know that anime is something Japanese will tend to call it Anime, but in some places, or some people, they do not care and they will call everything cartoon since that is how they were taught and will refer to anime as Japanese Cartoons.
bhl88 
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29 / M / USA
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Posted 6/24/13
Said ault cartoons believe that it must be like South Park.
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30 / M / Bay Area CA
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Posted 6/24/13

GamerOtakuGirl wrote:

also can someone reply to me and tell me why the gif is all, weird?


because of how some gifs are uploaded and compressed via the site it screws them up. If you want a gif to work for sure upload it to someplace like http://imgur.com/ or http://minus.com/ for really big ones.
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Posted 6/24/13
There is no argument, it is a cartoon
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