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Post Reply Anime or Cartoon?
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Posted 11/17/15
Alright, so this is based off a 'debate' that appeared in another thread, and indeed has appeared all over the place before. That is to say, the old debate over whether or not something is an 'anime' or a 'cartoon'. Despite the fact that the two words are essentially identical in meaning, a lot of westerners tend to focus on the fact that an anime must be from Japan while a cartoon is from anywhere else.

From Wikipedia's anime article:

Anime are Japanese animated productions featuring hand-drawn or computer animation. In Japan, the word refers to all animation, being a shortened form of the rōmaji animēshon ("animation"). Outside Japan, the meaning of the word anime can vary slightly; definitions include animation from Japan or, alternatively, a Japanese-disseminated animation style often characterized by colorful graphics, vibrant characters and fantastical themes. Arguably, the stylization approach to the meaning may open up the possibility of anime produced in countries other than Japan. For simplicity, many Westerners strictly view anime as an animation product from Japan. Some scholars suggest defining anime as specifically or quintessentially Japanese may be related to a new form of orientalism.


I'm a pretty by the books person. If someone calls my favorite anime a cartoon, I won't get upset because they are not wrong. Likewise, if someone uses the term anime to describe a cartoon with eastern influences (examples: RWBY or Avatar: The Last Airbender), then it is all the same to me. In my opinion, anime isn't just something that exists only inside Japan, it is an animation style that originated there and can be emulated anywhere else in the world. After all, even if the idea originated in Japan, sushi made in the United States is still sushi.

However, a lot of people out there don't share my opinion. But what about the rest of you? Do you draw a sharp divide between what is a cartoon and what is anime? Does a cartoon need to be from Japan to be called anime? Does referring to anime as a 'Japanese cartoon' offend you? I want to hear your thoughts!
Posted 11/17/15
Anime as a term to refer to Japanese animation exists with its current definition so people know what you're talking about. Referring to them as cartoons are fine in my opinion, but referring to everything else as anime is a crime that should be punishable in a Russian gulag.
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Posted 11/17/15
Agreed vision.
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Posted 11/17/15
So calling RWBY an anime is punishable by Russian gulag?

That's pretty harsh. You don't mess with Russians.
mnmike 
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Posted 11/17/15 , edited 11/17/15
Read this article:

http://kotaku.com/what-anime-means-1689582070

Or, to summarize, anime can mean 3 distinct things:

1) In Japan, any animation. Frozen is anime, if you are in Tokyo.

2) Outside Japan, any animation from Japan.

3) Outside Japan, any animation that conforms to a particular style, wherever it is from. (In that regard, some animation from Japan is not anime, whereas some animation from outside Japan is.)

Personally, I tend to use #2, because I don't have a good eye for subtitles in art and animation styles, but I won't fault anyone for using #3.
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Posted 11/17/15

Well since I am not in Japan , I refer Japanese animation as anime.

If I talk to someone who doesnt know what anime is, I would say its an animated cartoon from Japan.

If I am in Japan, anime is pretty much any animated cartoon.





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Posted 11/17/15 , edited 11/17/15
They are pretty much the same thing, and only distinguished by where they were made. Like others have said, the Japanese can call whatever they want an anime, but I will consider it weird if a westerner referrers to a western cartoon, such as say, The Simpsons, as an anime.

Obviously this thread is referring to the RWBY argument, and the issue comes from the show presenting itself as an anime. Why it needs to do that, is beyond me, but as it's to my understanding that the creators made it as a "western anime" otherwise known as cartoons... it's created a complication to some people as to what can be considered anime.

But still, they're the exact same thing. If people take anything from this thread, let it be that.
Posted 11/17/15
I think the term American anime is insulting in some cases, because some American animations are quite good, but to label them anime means you undervalue American animation beneath Japanese animation, when there's a lot of good animation in the west. What, should Ratatouille be considered an anime because of its quality? How about avatar or the legend of korra? People thinking that because something has a good storyline makes it anime, when in reality it does not make it anime, because good story lines are not endemic to anime, and to suggest otherwise is to give a middle finger to american animation and others. Now its hard to say what has been inspired by anime. We all know the likes of pixar and disney have been inspired by Miyazaki, but how about works like RWBY?


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Posted 11/17/15 , edited 11/17/15
What we really need is a term that covers animated entertainment directed at a 16+ audience, which for the most part is where anime is targeted, regardless of the country of origin. Why with the Simpsons and Southpark being on for so long why we don't have such a term is a bit beyond me.
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Posted 11/17/15
It was weird being in Japan and describing my work, as I'd have no choice but to say "I do anime" since that's the term for animation there, but then they'd get super enthusiastic and I'd have to try and explain that it was something totally different from what they were thinking of lol

But it's clear that to Japan, 'anime' just means 'animation' of any shape or form. I think Western fans prefer to label 'anime' and 'cartoons' as something separate because of the mood and target audience. Animation is generally aimed at children in the West, whereas in Japan it's of a wider variety aiming at all ages. Basically, fans of Japanese animation don't want their fellow Westerners to misunderstand and think they're into 'kids' shows'. Well, not speaking for everyone here, just my general social pool.
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Posted 11/17/15 , edited 11/17/15
American Anime is insulting ......right
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Posted 11/17/15
I always thought that if it was a cartoon then it was probably not as good, or in depth. and the term american anime is not an insult but a compliment as it is the top of american animation. were as jappanese have good and bad anime, america has only good anime. but only the good stuff get's called anime
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Posted 11/17/15
アニメ comes from the word Animation. As this is written in Katakana meaning this word is non-ancient Chinese and non-Japanese. Thus calling a western animation アニメ (shortened form for animation) would be justified. The only reason people want to use the word アニメ to refer to Japanese only is to give them justification and help explain what they enjoy.

コーヒー is the Katakana form of Coffee a English word. No one argues that コーヒー refers to Japanese coffee only yet with アニメ they seem to make the argument it only applies to Japanese animation and this baffles me.
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Posted 11/17/15 , edited 11/17/15
Like you, OP, people using either term to describe shows doesn't bother me;however, I prefer to use "anime" as a lazy way of saying "Japanese cartoons/styled." It's less of a mouthful.
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Posted 11/17/15
Anime are Japanese animated productions featuring hand-drawn or computer animation.

Thank you for proving my point Wikipedia.
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