The Japanese animation industry has attracted much interest in the West, with English-speaking fans avidly adopting Japanese terminology such as anime (short for "animation", but used almost exclusively to refer to animated features originating from Japan) and even otaku (a derogatory term meaning "obsessive fan", the Western equivalents of which are likewise derogatorily called "fanboys" and "fangirls"). The term anime (アニメ) is the short form of the Japanese word animeeshon (アニメーション), which is itself derived from the English word animation. Anime shares a similar visual style with its print couterpart manga and both are derived from the works of Japanese artists such as Osamu Tezuka.
As in the West, Japanese animation tends to follow Japanese comic book styles (called manga). An author/illustrator of a manga is called a manga-ka. Many anime begin as manga in magazines such as Weekly Shounen Jump, one of the most popular compilations in Japan.
In recent years, the translation process of anime and manga has come under criticism for the process of "Americanization". This process is the editing of the original works so that they can be made more acceptable for the American public, or at least in the mind of the localizers and distributors, since the general fanbase and true fans and customers always want and ask for an uncensored and faithfully localized and translated product. Episodes are known to be shortened to add more time for commercials. Religious influences and homosexuality are removed so that anime can be shown and marketed to younger audiences, despite the original product with said subjects and topics in it was not originally target mainly to children. Some directors adopt a policy of "no cuts", where their works cannot be altered and are more literal translations. If this condition is not met, the director will not allow his work to be translated. In some cases, because of the original Japanese producers' utter insistence at literal translations and not allowing for any alterations, the quality of the dub tended to decrease in quality and be considered inferior to the original version. A more infamous example of this was the English dub for Love Hina, where the producers constantly overruled the directors in terms of delivery and often required the voice actors to adopt roles they weren't suited for. Some groups of bilingual speakers have, thus, taken to providing "unofficial" translations for the general public, uploaded to the internet for free. This was one of the major controversies of the SOPA bill that was recently a major issue.
Some non-Japanese animated cartoons, particularly such shows as Avatar: The Last Airbender, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Totally Spies!, The Amazing Spiez, Code Lyoko, The Boondocks and Kappa Mikey, have anime-influenced artwork and appearances (with Kappa Mikey and Totally Spies! and its spinoff The Amazing Spiez being the most anime-like in appearance and feel), showing a heavy influence by the anime style.
Japanese for young boy, Shounen is the most popular genre in Japan and the most well known outside the country. Aimed at young teen boys, Shounen are often action/adventure series featuring martial arts, Japanese and Chinese folklore, simplistic animation and conceptual fantasy and science fiction. Popular titles that have been translated to English include Astro Boy, Gigantor, The Amazing 3, Jungle Taitei (adapted for American audiences as Kimba the White Lion), Speed Racer, Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (adapted for American audiences by Sandy Frank as Battle of the Planets and later by Ted Turner as G-Force: Guardians of Space), Star Blazers, Force Five, Captain Harlock, Robotech, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Fist Of The North Star, Dragon Ball/Z, Hunter x Hunter, Gundam, Attack On Titan,Fullmetal Alchemist,Prince of Tennis, and Sgt. Frog. Pokémon, the 1990s superfad, is also Shonen.
Japanese for young girl, Shoujo is also popular outside of Japan, with such famous dubs as Sally the Witch, Princess Knight, Laura the Prairie Girl (an adaptation of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books), Candy Candy, Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura (Cardcaptors in America), Tokyo Mew Mew and Fruits Basket. Within Shoujo there is the subgenre of Magical Girl, where an otherwise average Japanese girl has magical powers with which she saves the world. More often than Shounen, Shoujo are romance tales or rely heavily on romance in the plot. The heroine is often saving the world by night and snagging the boy of her dreams by day.
Japanese for young man, Seinen (or seijin) targets the 18 to 40 male audience, though it is not uncommon to find much older men reading manga on the train ride to work. Good examples of seinen anime and manga include: Ghost in the Shell, Gunslinger Girl, Bartender, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Cowboy Bebop, Elfen Lied, Vinland Saga, Aria, Bokura no, One Punch Man, Hetalia: Axis Powers, as well as the feature films of Satoshi Kon and Makoto Shinkai. Titles like Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell are considered classics, while Cowboy Bebop was the first anime aired on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block. Seinen shares many elements with shounen, but is often darker and more mature (or immature, depending on the sense of humor) than Shounen, with horror, mystery and suspense. Sometimes, seinen manga features graphic violence, for example in the film Akira. Often it will also take a slice-of-life look at stories, and provide deeper character insights than shounen action-driven works.
Japanese for young woman, and targets women in the 18 to 40 age band. Can also be referred to as "redisu" and "redikomi", the latter being taken from the English "lady comic". It differs from shoujo in that the artistic styles of josei tend to be more realistic and restrained, and the stories tend to be more realistic and mature. Examples of josei manga and anime are Paradise Kiss, Hataraki Man and Honey and Clover.
Japanese for child, Kodomo are the cartoons most like American cartoons, as in for small children. They are often moral teachings with simple animation. Astro Boy is the first anime brought to America, having the notoriety that comes with being a child icon for 60 years. Modern titles include Hamtaro and Doraemon.
Anime and Christianity
Christianity is a minority religion in Japan, whose majority faith is Shinto (with Buddhism also prominent to a lesser extent); as a result, very few anime series are influenced by Christianity in that country. Of the few that are, notable ones include Haibane Renmei, Bunny Drop and Clannad. At least three anime adaptations for the Christian story A Dog of Flanders also exist (two being standard anime series, and one being a feature-length film based on one of the aforementioned series). The Pokémon anime series, at least the original series, also had some Christian influences, such as the character Brock making a reference to Noah from the Book of Genesis in one episode, the character Misty attempting to ward a Gastly off via a crucifix in another episode, and James's (fake) flashback to his childhood depicted him supposedly dying with his Growlithe near the steps of a church, referencing similar scenes from The Dog of Flanders and/or The Little Orphan (all of which were surprisingly retained in the Dub). In addition, a major subplot for the first movie had the character Mewtwo questioning its existence, including wondering whether it was in fact created by God, with it being explicitly mentioned that, besides humans, only God has the ability to create things (which, unlike the other examples, was cut from the 4Kids Dub for the movie.). In addition, Pocket Monsters: The Animation, an adaptation for the anime in book form, implied that Pokémon themselves originated as an extra species created by God during the six days of creation, more specifically when he "doodled" them during the seventh day of rest.
Criticism of anime
Anime has come under criticism over the years by animation purists due to most, if not all, anime shows (particularly the more recent shows from the 1980s onward) looking stylistically similar in their artwork and lacking a clear-cut distinction between styles, as well as being unfairly considered inferior in visual style to American animation. The anime genre has also been criticized for the inclusion of such above-mentioned subject matter as homosexuality, pedophilia (this latter unfounded, unproven and not true), pornography (which has its own anime subgenre, hentai), horror and violence, which tend to make such shows taboo for younger viewers in the West, despite the fact that Western entertainment is filled with horror and graphic violence even in films, shows and comics targeted to kids since the beginning of the Western Golden Ages of animation and comics, which exposes a hypocritical and imperialist anti-Japanese bias despite all the "modern" Western liberal-globalist corporate virtue signalling. Another glaring criticism of anime is the poor adaptation of many such shows into English, with poor voice acting (in particular, making some characters sound childish), nonsensically-interpreted storylines and dialogue (especially when the dialogue and/or its tone do not match how a particular character feels in a scene), the changing of character names to ridiculous-sounding names, the altered lines to replace them with Western progressive, marxist, liberal, globalist, feminist, woke/SJW and anti-capitalist propaganda not present in the original Japanese works and source, and the elimination of Japanese cultural references and their replacement with more recognizable pop culture for English-speaking audiences; while done with the intent of sanitizing the translated anime to make it more kid-friendly, such shows end up looking and sounding farcical and non-serious.
Veteran Japanese mangaka and cartoonist Ken Akamatsu (author of Love Hina) has been elected in a landslide victory with a position and a platform in the Liberal Democratic Party (Japan) to protect Japanese manga, anime, videogames (Japanese pop-culture, arts and entertainment in general) and creative and artistic freedom of expression from aforementioned (mainly) Western politically correct/woke, globalist and neo-puritan censorship, influences and imperialism.
Anti-Japanese Leftist and Woke imperialism and racism
On February 17, 2022, when episode 6 of the mini-anime series Petit Sekai titled "Petit Sekai: Leo/need Style" first premiered on YouTube in early 2022, it was accused by some woke neo-puritan American viewers of "doing/promoting blackface" and "cultural appropriation" due to a scene inspired by gyaru fashion substyle of ganguro perceived as being blackface. The next day, the episode was withdrawn indefinitely and a public apology in both English and Japanese was uploaded on the official Twitter account, quite probably with the reluctance of the Japanese work side due to woke American imperialists. The removal of the episode is controversial and many fans of the game and the show, either Japanese and American, especially Japanese, were disappointed with the company's decision, with some even openly blaming SEGA for its "bending the knee" and "listening to outraged Twitter users who insist that everyone should respect foreign cultures while applying and imposing their own Western prejudices, views, puritanism and imperialism against foreign media and subcultures". The episode was reuploaded to YouTube on the 15th of March 2022 with some modifications, removing the typical ganguro tan and make-up and also the tribal items. The anime My Dress-Up Darling received the same hypocritical, ignorant and bigoted attack by woke puritan and racist parasites, however, it didn't bend the knee like SEGA and Project Sekai did.
On October 21, 2021, the event "Revival my dream" was released on the Japanese servers of the game. This event sparked controversy among woke imperialist English-speaking viewers on social media due to the cards’ costumes portraying perceived (again, "perceived") racial stereotypes of Native Americans or American Indians and a character in the event describing “forest dwellers” as “barbaric”, which some people took as "racist" or "colonialist towards Native Americans". Due to the wording English Twitter account of Colorful Stage, some might theorize that the Western developer might have - like the hypocritical imperialists they are - asked the Japanese developer for permission to alter the original content, but were denied, and thus chose to simply not have the event at all. Due to this, the event was skipped in the English server. Players defending the event have stated that it was intended to be a reference to the movie Princess Mononoke, and that the story was about overcoming racial prejudice.
- The Christian's Guide to Anime and Otaku-dom at Beneath the Tangles
- Anime at TV Tropes
- Anime Recommendations for Christian Viewers at Beneath the Tangles
- Criticism of Anime and Manga
- Our reasons for not liking anime
- Captain Harlock vols. one and two by ZIV International at the Captain Harlock Archives
- Anime Adaptations
- Anime at Fanlore Wiki