Music and Movies / Japanese Animation

Japanese Animation

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Autor:  anton  29 October 2010
Tags:  Japanese,  Animation
Words: 648   |   Pages: 3
Views: 705

Japanese Animation

While some people think Anime is a genre, it is in fact, actually an art form that incorporates all genres found in television and books. The plots range from romantic comedies to science fiction and even action adventures. Anime is released in three forms: TV shows, Movies, and OVA. What is an OVA you may wonder, OVA stands for Original Video Animation. An OVA is an anime released straight to video because of financial or social circumstances.

What is it about Anime that makes them special, unique, and different? If you compare Anime to our American cartoons it is very different. In America, you usually have a happy ending, the loved ones don't get killed when faced with potentially dangerous villains or hit men, they are saved by the hero/heroine but that is not the case for the Japanese. In Anime it is not unusual to see a character lose a love one or even their whole family [e.g. Tamahome in Fushigi Yuugi]. The characters are much more complex, villains can have some redeeming qualities and just as well, good guys can perform some horrendous acts. There are social problems portrayed in Anime, such as abuse, neglect, homelessness, crime, juvenile delinquents, and infidelity.

America for a long time tried to maintain children's innocence and youth, and therefore their primary entertainment - cartoons, have not really ever displayed any thought provoking issues. The majority promoting Judeo-Christian views that there is a "good" side and a "bad" side, with one "right" answer in the end. The line dividing these two sides is strong and never fades. They are designed to be an escape from the harsh world of reality from which we all want to protect our children. Recently however several American cartoons have broken the mould and chosen to tackle real world problems and issues, while still maintaining a cartoon persona. Cartoons like The Simpson's, Family Guy, South Park or Spawn have come to the forefront and some have even been labeled for a mature audience. The ways these cartoons depict society is interesting in itself. One great difference between Japanese and American TV Series is that the Japanese TV Series are designed to last only one or two seasons, 13 or 26 episodes and then come to a climactic and definite ending.

If you approach your average Joe and strike up a conversation about Anime, his likely response would be the following: "Huh?" or "You mean the cartoons with the big eyes that take up half their faces?" It is true that most Anime shown on TV, such as Pokemon, Sailor Moon, or Card Captors Sakura, feature most of the characters with HUGE eyes. Surprisingly, the way Manga artists draw the eyes are for a specific purpose: it represents the character's personality and maturity/age. Now let's take Tokyo Mew Mew for example. Let's take the eyes of Ichigo Momomiya and Zakuro Fujiwara for example. The eyes of a person in Anime or Mangas can usually tell you about their personality. Ichigo Momomiya has the big eyes Anime is well known for because she is the normal, cheerful girl while Zakuro Fujiwara has more slanted almond-shaped eyes. The style the artist uses reveals her maturity and her calm and sometimes distant nature. Another technique that artists use to show a character's personality is their hair color. A particularly feisty character might have red hair, a wise and mature character white hair, and a foreigner will typically have blonde hair.

To directly compare the Eastern and Western styles is quite difficult especially in comics, as it would probably take years to fully comprehend all of the symbolic images representing emotions, seasons, etc., like the cross on the forehead that represents a swollen vein that pops out of your head when you are angry. Americans use words to convey emotions. Not so in Japan.

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