What Anime is and is Not

Do you watch cartoons? I do. Not bugs bunny; . การ์ตูน I’m talking about anime. Do you know what that is?

Anime is, simply put, animation that’s made in Japan. I’ll give you some examples of anime that you might know. Speed Racing, Hello Pet, Pokemon, RoboTech, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Unces, and a lot of the cartoons you find on Anime Network qualify as well, particularly Adult Swim.

Thankfully our country has gotten the liberties to translate the stories from Japanese people to English, because the storylines in anime are really good. Often they’re better than what The movies shovels into your brain.

That’s basically what anime is. Now let’s talk about what it’s not.

Anime is not a category; it’s a creative art form; a medium. From now on I like you to consider anime as being equated with movies, books, music, etc; all the entertainment media. Exactly have movies for kids, movies for teens, adults, so it is with anime.

All your entertainment comes in 31 flavors, right? Comedy, horror, drama, suspense, action, etc. You file similar movies on the same rack in the store, don’t you? But you shouldn’t be putting all anime on the same rack because anime is not a category. It’s a medium, like movies are a medium, like books are a medium. A medium can have any category of entertainment in it; well so can anime. Anime is not all sex and physical violence as some people will tell you. When i hear someone say that anime is sex and physical violence, that immediately tells me that they seen probably one particular anime show that had that and then they’re going “Oh well that’s how it all is. inch

Now granted, some anime has that. Just like some movies have that. Just like some books have that. Does that make all books bad? No. So why should it for anime? Again, anime is a creative art form, not a category. Anime can have comedy, it can have horror, drama, suspense, action, hey it can get porn or blood-and-gut, but that doesn’t mean it all has it! I’m not going to lie to you and say that anime is all happy goodness and none than me has whatever you decide and don’t want to see. There is good stuff, and there is bad stuff, and there is everything in between, just like any other form of entertainment. If somebody came up to you and said “Hey man, we should really be censoring these ‘movies’ that people are talking about. They’re all sex and physical violence. Come on, man every movie has that in it, and I don’t think we should let our children be watching movies. inch Would you believe that? No, you’d go “Excuse me, but that doesn’t apply at all movies leave me alone. inch

You then have a rating system in the movies, right? Gary the gadget guy, PG, PG-13, 3rd r, NC-17. Anyway, think about the movies. Even if Lord of the Rings was PG-13, did that mean it was necessarily dangerous to kids to watch? That’s opinionated. Okay, think of a movie you like your kids don’t like it because they don’t understand it. The themes are over their heads and they don’t go for all that portrayal. In our movie rating system what would we rate a movie like that? It doesn’t have anything your kids won’t be seeing, it’s just that they don’t understand. What do you think MPAA would rate it?

Now with anime it’s the companies who distribute the anime who rate the anime. Their rating system is a little totally different from the films: They’ll take all factors, not just sex, physical violence, nudity, language, etc. but also factor in if younger audiences will be able to understand it. So on the back of an anime the rating could be OT for Older Teens, but really all they did that for was because the story is difficult to understand. Now granted OT can be for the other stuff too, but you have to realize that they think of everything when they rate.

You could have a Gary the gadget guy movie that’s for little kids, and a PG movie that they completely don’t understand. The rating system didn’t help in this case; you need to review the movie so you know what’s in it, and that really applies all entertainment, including anime. You need to review something you want to watch, read, listen to. It may be okay; it may not. You can’t expect the rating system to do it all for you, because it won’t.

Another reason why people may be against anime is that certain companies make only anime that a lot of us don’t want to watch; when you do people get introduced to anime, they unfortunately find it from these companies, which is like taking an Amish person to a shoot-em-up movie. That Amish guy is not going to think well of movies after that!
So understand that just as certain publishers publish certain books, and certain movie companies put out certain movies, so certain companies put out certain anime.

So nowadays, unfortunately, all anime is grouped together like it’s a category, and it’s not. You could have a porn right next to Hello Pet and who knows the difference because “Oh it’s all the same. inch Watch Hello Pet and watch that porn! You’ll see a difference! Those are two opposites, by the way. Like I said, not all anime is porn; in fact most of it isn’t; just like movies. And not all anime is for little kids, but I would expect more of it’s for them than is for porn-seeking people.

So that’s one extremist viewpoint of anime: that it’s all sex and physical violence. Another view that people take on it is that anime is just like cartoons: it’s for little kids, and it has nothing bad in it. Don’t take that approach either. I just went over anime, so you know now that it’s just like movies, books, and music: it can be good or bad, for little kids, for teens, for adults, could contain this or that. Just like we wouldn’t believe the stereotypes that all blondes are stupid, that bodybuilders have no feelings, and that life is always a happy ending, so we won’t be casting anime as cartoons gone bad.

But I don’t want to lead you into the thinking that an anime that has like nudity is necessarily a bad show to watch. You have to consider that anime comes from Japan, and just like other countries that come into contact with each other, foreign exchange Japan has different thinking than we do. Is that to say that nudity has no effect on them? No. Something that you find objectionable, they may not. For example, Japan has public baths, therefore their stories occasionally includes that. You may see in an anime a public bath scene in which the characters are talking while they are in the bath. Public baths are part of Japanese people culture; the nudity is not sexual in any way, but some people find that offensive.

And anime often has sexual humor in it. Not anime for little kids, just for us seniors. You may also see a person bare-skinned or moderately so, but it doesn’t have to be sexual. What I’m getting at is that the Japanese people are willing to talk about a lot more in their cartoons than we ever will in our bait. They are a lot freer; depends on you to decide whether that’s a good or a bad thing.

And once people say that “Oh this anime has nudity in it, inch you have to ask them “What kind? inch Then they’ll give you a look. (Make a look) “What do you mean ‘What kind? no? inch Well there are several kinds! There’s the making out kind, there’s the public bath kind, then–and I don’t even know that I would put this in here–the short skirt kind. Japanese people girls wear short skirts to school, and since a lot of the anime stories are going to center around Japan, since that’s where it came from, you’re most likely going to see short skirts. The kind that if there was a big gust of wind–you could easily get a big gust of view. And some people might find this offensive. You know, you’re watching the show, and there’s a gust of wind, and you get a panty shot. Now granted, you could take that as sexual, but it was the wind’s fault, not anyone else’s!

But you might see a skirt that you think is too short, and oh! That’s bad! It depends with you. It’s what you’re comfortable with. Just like movies; you watch what you’re comfortable with, but again, many people think of anime as cartoons, therefore they’re for little kids. Not absolutely the case. You have to understand that we as a culture have accepted other culture’s stuff like languages, customs… we are the fading pot, and you can’t think of cartoons as being for kids anymore.

In summary, there is anime that is porn. There is anime that is for little kids. There is anime that has wonderful stories and that really forces you to think, all without objectionable stuff. And there is everything between those. And the reason that anime can be so varied happens because the japanese view anime as a creative art form; a medium. They’ve got it figured out; a lot of people through America think that cartoons are for little kids, and anime as some screwed up anime. But that’s false. Anime can be and often is deeper, richer, and more thought-provoking in its stories, but what I really want to stress to you is that anime, and all the other types of cartoons, are a form of entertainment, not a category.


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