Post Reply Anime you can do, it can do better (why you should watch anime)
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23 / California
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Posted 6/23/17

Anime you can do, it can do better.

First forum post. I decided to make this in order to direct my friends to it whenever they ask why I enjoy watching anime.


Anime (or Japanese Animation) has been on of the most misunderstood and under appreciated forms of entertainment in the United States. Yes, that is a generalization, but it's also what I have found to be fairly accurate as I am one of the only of my peers that watches anime or even finds watching anime remotely normal. It's practically a taboo to mention on a first date how I enjoy anime--now even write about it--in hopes that the girl won't misjudge me.

There's always been hundreds of thoughts in my head on how to justify my "unique" taste in entertainment, when honestly it should be completely viewed at as normal. Alas, since it isn't, I decided to conjure up a couple of points that may put an outsider's pessimistic viewpoint to rest.



It Isn't Just Fighting or Porn!

First, lets get one thing straight. These are the two things people always bring up when I tell them I watch anime. It's either that they've assumed it's Hentai (Japanese animated porn), or Shonen (an action genre aimed to the younger male audience). So very quickly, I'm going to give you the reasons why anime is typically only seen as these two genres to the unfamiliar audience.

Hentai: For everyone who watches porn (about 77% of American men and women in the US between the ages of 18-30), it's quite possible the only correlation they've been able to make with anime is when they skim over a hentai video. Even if they know that there's more to anime than straight porn, people could identify the genre as more lewd than an American animations.

Shonen: A genre that literally translates to "young boy," this was what many of us late 80's and early 90's kids grew up watching. If it's still not ringing a bell, a great example of Shonen animes are Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, One Piece, Zatch Bell!, Yu Yu Hackusho, and plenty more. These anime shows typically have the good fighting the bad, as well as very long and drawn out fighting scenes. If this was the only relation you've ever had with anime, then it would also make sense that you'd imagine Shonen as anime, rather than a genre within anime.

So on that note!
Imagine if everything on our television networks were animated. That may seem like a stretch to some of you reading this, but that's how many genres anime has. MyAnimeList, a website that wikipedia for anime--if you will--categorizes its anime into 43 different genres.




Think About the Budget!

One thing that people take for granted when watching television is how much goes into actually creating the show, whether it's the cast, crew, or most importantly, the budget. Without a large enough budget, many shows can fall flat (this includes both western television and anime!). Though, a huge part of said budget in western television goes to location and equipment--two things anime does not use. As a film graduate in both critical studies and production, one thing I love to point out to my colleagues when showing them anime is how every angle imaginable can theoretically be used, as long as it's animated.

But camera angles wouldn't be the only difficult thing to achieve. Lighting is another important aspect in the television and film industry that takes a ton of time, jobs, and budget to successfully pull off. Same goes for filming fight scenes, rather than having them animated. In the filming industry, everything is about getting the best take with the time they have. When animating, you're also on a time crunch and are working with other animators to achieve the best results, but there's much more they can work with, rather than work around.

Bottom line: I'm not saying that creating any scene that involves these actions is easier or harder for either form of entertainment. I'm saying that there's more potential in an animated scene than something shot through a camera. In addition to having more potential, the style and visuals can be perfected much more in anime, than in post-production of a western television or film.



Imagination is Its Only Limitation!

While we're leaving the subject of budget, I'd quickly like to mention fantasized or abstracted ideas are actually much more common in anime. Yet, it makes sense that this would be the case, considering if a production company spent money on quality CGI or After Effects just to have the show flop due to anything sort of situation would be tragic. Seeing how anime has always been a successful form of entertainment in Japan though allows storytellers to widen their imagination with creating story ideas. A couple examples of interesting concepts found in very popular anime stories are but not limited to: ​​
-10,000 humans get trapped in a virtual reality game, where if they die in the game, they die in real life. Sword Art Online.
-The world is invaded by parasitic aliens that take over human bodies, in order to consume other humans. The only force that can stop this invasion is a boy who's semi-merged with one of the aliens. Parasyte -the maxim-.
-A boy becomes a grim reaper in order to save the world from demons and other forces. Bleach.

OK, so maybe I'm not the best at creating loglines. Hopefully it gets the point across though. If these also sound like they can be cheesy films or TV shows, it's because they can! This proves my point further. In order to make something not as cheesy, it needs either a big budget for post-production and costume design, or it could be animated. Nonetheless, I urge you to take a gander at the anime mentioned above through its hyperlinks.



It's Unique in Its Own Way

This is one point I have to mention to my friends before they start their first anime. The style of storytelling is far different than the typical western style we see in day to day television. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just something to look at with an open mind.

What many don't notice the western style lacks is being able to audibly hear characters' thoughts. Even in western cartoons, rarely is this found. Instead, there's generally a supporting character that talks to the character who's being focused on in order to flesh out their thoughts or emotions on a particular issue. Anime also uses that technique, but it's also very common for the show to narrate their thoughts in order to progress the story further without the help of the supporting character.

This technique also sets up another technique that isn't used greatly in western television, and that's flashbacks. Flashbacks can help the audience recall specific details that may have been from several episodes prior, since it's quite literally showing them an excerpt of a scene. With that said, sometimes flashbacks aren't from previous episodes, but rather put in to give more backstory or clarity on the arc. This allows said anime to portray the shows story in a non-linear fashion.



When All is Said And Done

Ultimately, this is an untapped genre of television or film for one who has yet to try watching anime. Thousands of anime shows have been created, meaning there has to be at leas one thing for everyone. This also means thousands of shows have already been finished, meaning--for all of you binge watchers out there--you won't have to wait until next week to find out what happens next. I, for one, started watching anime around six years ago and have only finished around 200 shows (which may seem like an excessive amount to some), yet I'm still starting shows that began in the early 2000's.

So for those who have always questioned whether or not they should try out anime, please do. It's a completely different world and view on storytelling that can be very aesthetically pleasing to the eye. If you're interested, yet you do not know where exactly to start, I'll be posting another article real soon that may narrow down your vast amount of choices to pick from. Happy watching!
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38 / M / Maniwa Japan
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Posted 6/23/17
Plot and PLOT!
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Posted 6/23/17 , edited 6/23/17
Moe anime is trash.

Any anime with a female heroine under the age of 18 is trash and is meant for pedos
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27 / M / This Dying World
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Posted 6/23/17
No such thing as hentai.
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Posted 6/23/17
Yeah, definitely should have mentioned plot (considering it's the main thing we all watch anime for). Another great point I forgot to mention that within the plot, the antagonist typically has a justified viewpoint on the subject matter, making the character development and plot far more complex.
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Posted 6/23/17 , edited 6/23/17

Yamstarch wrote:

Plot and PLOT!


riem2k 
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38 / M / Canada
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Posted 6/23/17

person403 wrote:

Yeah, definitely should have mentioned plot (considering it's the main thing we all watch anime for). Another great point I forgot to mention that within the plot, the antagonist typically has a justified viewpoint on the subject matter, making the character development and plot far more complex.



Indeed, more mature and complex story-lines are surely some of anime's strong points.

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Posted 6/23/17
They have long form openings.
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38 / M / Maniwa Japan
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Posted 6/23/17
There needs to be more Moe Mecha like Regalia.
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M / Mega-City One
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Posted 6/23/17

riem2k wrote:


person403 wrote:

Yeah, definitely should have mentioned plot (considering it's the main thing we all watch anime for). Another great point I forgot to mention that within the plot, the antagonist typically has a justified viewpoint on the subject matter, making the character development and plot far more complex.



Indeed, more mature and complex story-lines are surely some of anime's strong points.



Also, panty shots.

I thought the Japanese were ridiculously overconcered with people doing upskirt shots until I watched a bunch of anime. I get where it comes from now.

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57 / M / U.S.A. (mid-south)
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Posted 6/24/17

MadeDragon wrote:

Also, panty shots.

I thought the Japanese were ridiculously overconcered with people doing upskirt shots until I watched a bunch of anime. I get where it comes from now.

But which came first, panty shots in anime or upskirting IRL?

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21 / M / Oppai Hell
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Posted 6/24/17
Well, let us be honest. Anime as a whole is typically more lewd than the West. In the West, when an animated show has a TV-14 or a MA rating, it is usually among the lines of adult humor that transgresses social norms, excessive animated violence you can't depict in live action, and graphic language. Western animation can be sexually explicit, but it is not the same as intending to arouse, which even from the adult animation I watch, can't be said to be the case. Quite simply, some of the humor intended ones had distorted art styles that would greatly negate it. I haven't seen any Western Animation that does this consistently.

Anime of course, can have many examples of animations that are focused solely on viewer arousal, and all that implies. Sin:Nanatsu No Tazai, High School DxD, Hajimete No Gal. These of course only serve as an example of sexually explicit shows you can avoid, but also take in mind shows like Hinako Note, Fate Stay Prism, Code Geass or Hentai Ouji To Warawanai Neko don't have it as their primary focus, or at least don't appear to in Prism's case, and realize that it is much more subversive in general anime, even with popular shows like Fairy Tail having it in the main series.

I cannot honestly look at Rick and Morty and say that I am aroused, or that the purpose of several scenes such as the inception based episode as being purposely made to arouse. It just lacks the substantive art style, alongside The Simpsons and Bob's Burgers, and the point is easily understood, versus the unnecessary camera angles of Hinako Note's later episodes and end cards even the hours of boobage in works who primary purpose is fanservice.

Though franchises like Berserk do work it into their settings, of course, and it can be argued that Code Geass is more akin live action adult shows, in a way.
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Posted 6/24/17

Hentai: For everyone who watches porn (about 77% of American men and women in the US between the ages of 18-30), it's quite possible the only correlation they've been able to make with anime is when they skim over a hentai video. Even if they know that there's more to anime than straight porn, people could identify the genre as more lewd than an American animations.


If someone thinks sexual innuendo and such are uniquely prevalent in Japanese animation just show them The Wall (1982) and Heavy Metal (1981).


Seeing how anime has always been a successful form of entertainment in Japan though allows storytellers to widen their imagination with creating story ideas. A couple examples of interesting concepts found in very popular anime stories are but not limited to: ​​

-10,000 humans get trapped in a virtual reality game, where if they die in the game, they die in real life. Sword Art Online.
-The world is invaded by parasitic aliens that take over human bodies, in order to consume other humans. The only force that can stop this invasion is a boy who's semi-merged with one of the aliens. Parasyte -the maxim-.
-A boy becomes a grim reaper in order to save the world from demons and other forces. Bleach.


Those are actually pretty commonly used, very old premises that you shouldn't have trouble finding analogous examples for to ease people into anime.

-That's pretty much Tron (1982)
-Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
-Pretty much every monster movie ever made will fit here

Once you've shown that the premises aren't so different and strange after all they should be more receptive to the idea that animation simply takes the things they already love and confers new and exciting ways to deliver their favourite stories.


What many don't notice the western style lacks is being able to audibly hear characters' thoughts. Even in western cartoons, rarely is this found. Instead, there's generally a supporting character that talks to the character who's being focused on in order to flesh out their thoughts or emotions on a particular issue. Anime also uses that technique, but it's also very common for the show to narrate their thoughts in order to progress the story further without the help of the supporting character.


Huh?

Wait. I've seen old Disney and Looney Tunes cartoons with voiced internal dialogue that was indicated as such by the character's lips/beak/whatever not moving and maybe an echo effect, and those cartoons definitely weren't taking their cues from anime. They came out in the 40s. If they weren't doing that they frequently illustrated the character's thoughts using pictures in thought bubbles.
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26 / F / Various
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Posted 6/24/17
Sexual content is not a bad thing, people who think it is need to get over themselves.

But I'm more concerned by the fact that the OP thinks that voice-over narration and flashbacks only happen in anime. ...what?

Off the top of my head, the first Spider-Man movie and Disney's Tangled both feature narration. And .... anime don't have it all that often. Probably at about the same rate as any other media. Probably at about the same rate as first-person vs. third-person novels.

And almost every story ever has flashbacks, unless it's only like two pages long. (* every story except for older stage plays, for obvious logistical reasons).

Handy way to tell if something only occurs in anime - if English-speaking fans use some Japanese term to refer to it, there's a 50% chance it only happens in anime, and a 50% chance they're just being weeaboos. Anything else, it's in all media, or at least, it can be. And chances are Shakespeare did it, and did it better than anyone alive today.
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