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Can Americans create anime?
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Posted 2/12/14 , edited 2/12/14
I was thinking about all of our american action cartoon shows. Is anime every japanese animation? Or at this point is it an art form?

I've been going to animation school for a few years now, and being a huge otaku, I started an online animated series called Deadstar. I've loved anime since I even know what anime was, back in the dragon ball z old school toonami days. So naturally once I learned how to do animation, the first thing I wanted to make is something like Dragon Ball Z and Bleach. So I decided to create the characters in anime style, but at the time I thought well I'm just making an anime. Of course later i learned that's not correct because anime is animated film from Japan. But then I started thinking about The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. They're both animated by the same studio that animates Naruto and many other animes, Studio Pierrot. I find that really interesting, because I see those shows as anime. And I'm just an animation student but what do you think?


Here's a link to the series I started, which I mentioned before. I'm not trying to shove it down anyone's throat, like I said I'm just a student. But if you're curious:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P83TOv6WUm4
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23 / M / Ohio
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Posted 2/12/14
anime isnt actully just animation done in japan its the word japanese use to describe all forms of animation.

there is no reason americans cant make an "anime" tho if what you focus on are the style anyone with the skills can do it
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Posted 2/12/14
In Japan it may be used to describe all forms of animation, but in the west its often used to describe the animation style from Japan specifically. However, all you need to look at is RWBY. It even had simulcast on here, so even if its not from Japan as long as you make a good show people will support it.
xxJing 
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30 / M / Duckburg
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Posted 2/12/14
Well, yes and no.

I think it is possible, it is kind of difficult though.

From what I have seen, Anime inspired American cartoons tend to lack subtlety. They often feel like an exaggeration of what an American expects to see in anime, rather than anime itself. Also, American's are usually obsessed with one-liners, puns, and quick gags. I am an American myself, but I pretty much only watch Anime. It's more or less the only thing that interests me, I also like HBO's Dexter, South Park, and Futurama, that is about it though. I rarely watch movies, however, when I do watch a movie now and then, I notice that the movies are filled to the brim with one-liners and puns these days, they don't even try to set them up anymore, they just force them in there. I have seen that sort of mentality really leak into Anime inspired cartoons.

So, yes you can make anime. But from what I have seen, if you are not careful, it is very easy to make it seem like an exaggeration of anime.
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Posted 2/12/14
No, it's just not possible.
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25 / F / Vermont
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Posted 2/12/14
Well anime is literally just the Japanese word for animation, so yeah. The biggest difference I've seen between Japanese and Western animation is that anime tends to be a story that progresses over many episodes, where most Western cartoons have short one episode plots, but there's exceptions like Avatar the Last Airbender, so I feel like ultimately it has more to do with the kind of story telling you want to do, rather than where you live.
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Posted 2/12/14 , edited 2/12/14

kufirst wrote:

No, it's just not possible.


You give nothing to back that up. At all.

Yes, we've seen very good examples of American companies making anime. Avatar is a very good example and the most recent Rooster Teeth series, RWBY, is another one. When I watched Avatar when it first came out I though right away "Oh cool Nick has an anime!" yet I had no idea it was made in America. It's still an anime though. Why? Because as this point anime is a style of art rather than a form of cartoons originating from Japan. RWBY, a series made by video game and comedy company, Rooster Teeth, was famous on the internet already with the popular Halo series, Red vs Blue and all the other stuff they do but when RWBY came I didn't see it as just another Rooster Teeth series. I saw it as an anime. Crunchyroll saw it as an anime. It is an anime.

It's basically like looking at the difference between anime and cartoons and what makes what.

An average American cartoon is aimed towards kids and teens, sometimes adults. Have childish jokes, and rather stereotype look for character design (they make the jocks look buff and scary and nerds covered in acne and wear glasses). The plot usually runs for about an episode or two and most of the time are about 15 minutes long. Tend to through in an unneeded life lesson. The opening is just giving a basic of the show with clips from the show.

Anime is aimed towards all. Have a wide range of genres and more human look compared to most cartoons and make you become attached to the characters. The plot can run from an episode to an entire season and tend to be more serious. Life lessons are thrown in at unneeded parts they can be very obvious simple lessons or rather hidden life changing moments. Usually run a full 23 minutes with openings and endings that have original animation and relate to the show in some way.
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26 / M / Los Angeles Calif...
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Posted 2/13/14
No. It must be done in Japan, for a Japanese audience. Of which we (at least me) as American(s), watch.

Or another rule of thumb, if it's not on MAL- It's not anime. :]

Hence Airbender, is not anime.
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29 / M / Illinois
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Posted 2/13/14
For me to call something anime it has to be produced in Japan with glorious nipon language tracks. Anything else is anime style. Personally don't really like dubbed shows... if an American company released anime style shows with japanese voices I'd probably be all over that as long as they don't try to charge me 40 dollars an episode.
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Posted 2/13/14 , edited 2/13/14

EspeoangeTieler wrote:

anime isnt actully just animation done in japan its the word japanese use to describe all forms of animation.


And cafe is literally the French word for coffee. So, you better not use it to describe a small restaurant. People would get mad
(sarcasm)

Honestly, do you want people to resurrect that Frankenstein of a word known as "Japanimation?"

Websites like MAL, Anime News Network, and Anime Network focus on animation from Japan. If the animation looks like Kill-la-Kill, a Ghibli film, Astro Boy, or Wooser, that obviously doesn't prevent people from calling it "anime" does it?

But then ontop of that, I'd like to see you try telling people on a forum for South Park, the Simpsons, or Phineus and Ferb that they're watching "anime."


On Topic: If you want to make an animation that's inspired by Japanese anime, that's perfectly fine. It worked out great for Air Bender (and very poorly for most everything else.) Personally, I like to consider "limited animation" as the primary form of Japanese anime (think about it like a refined Rocky and Bullwinkle.) As such, something created using a 3D program (not sure which you're using) will be very distinguishable from anime in general.

And so, you wouldn't have to worry about arguing whether or not the characters seem like anime, I wouldn't think.

Isn't it great that you don't have to worry at all about being a "pretender" or "not doing your own thing?" Using anime as springboard of inspiration is great.
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49 / F / Center of the Uni...
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Posted 2/13/14
I say YES,

But I would probably call it "an anime style cartoon"

Of course to me anime is a subset of the more general cartoon. and literally means to ME: "imported Japanese cartoon" regardless of style or content. Anime is just shorter to say.

Your Mileage May Vary.
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Posted 2/13/14 , edited 2/13/14
Since Danny Choo is working on Mirai Millenium, this might be an interesting read:
http://www.dannychoo.com/en/post/26240/JC+Staff+Makes+Mirai+Millennium.html
http://www.dannychoo.com/en/post/26668/Mirai+Millennium.html

His website is very English friendly.
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24 / M
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Posted 2/13/14
Anime is a sub-set of the larger medium of animation. It's a particular style, so yes, I do think Americans can make anime.

That doesn't mean they do it though. RWBY, imo, is anime-influenced, but lacks some of the stylistic sensibilities of anime. I suppose that makes me think that an American trying to copy the Japanese style would be doing just that, making a copy, rather than imbuing in with their own sensibilities. I don't know, though.

In the end (and this is coming for someone who is generally a non-relativist), both genre and medium are extremely fluid terms, sometimes so much so that they are basically useless.
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Posted 2/13/14 , edited 2/13/14
I also say that Americans can make anime. The trick is getting the general American public to buy it.
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Posted 2/13/14 , edited 2/13/14

iblessall wrote:

I suppose that makes me think that an American trying to copy the Japanese style would be doing just that, making a copy, rather than imbuing in with their own sensibilities.


Yes. Be careful of this ^

Getting inspiration or learning new techniques by copying the ones you like is great (painters do it all the time) and will develop your skills as an artist.

However, try not to make it your goal to make "anime." Make it your goal to make the best animation you can reasonably make. Like most television shows, movies, books, and video games have taught us, if you're just regurgitating something you've seen you'll never do better than it.
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