Anime: Japanese Animation Style
Anime: Popular Animation Style
Anime is a hugely popular animation style originating from Japan. Anime is special because it has unique characteristics in it's character drawings compared to traditional western art. Instead of realism, Anime accentuates a characters body part, such as the eyes. Anime also usually contains less complicated animation than western cartoons, due to the limited finances japanese cartoonists had.
In the beginning, Anime was actually a substitute for the live action western films that Japan could not afford to make. So instead they replaced these live action films with animated cartoons. This was a cheaper alternative than real actors and a real set.
Anime gained huge popularity in Japan, spreading all the way to America. Today anime is a staple for kids who watch channels such as Cartoon Network. Popular tv shows like Inuyasha, Pokémon, and Fullmetal Alchemists are anime styled cartoons. Even western film have adopted some of the characteristics of anime.
How Anime Began
Anime was used as a replacement for live action films in underdeveloped Japan in the 1930s. Due to the scant resources and finances the live action industry had, anime was the main source for both live action and kids films.
Comparing animation between the west and Japan's anime, there is a visible frame difference. Western cartoons usually have more complicated gestures and movements, while in anime there are long dialogue scenes which only have the mouse and eyes moving. This was due to the limited finances of animation companies. Animating the eyes and mouth during dialogue scenes stretched resources that much further.
In the 1970s, Anime was aided by a growing surge of popularity with manga. Manga are comic books in japan, which would later be so popular there would be a demand for it in animation. It is very commonplace for an anime to have started as a japanese manga. A few examples are animes like Death Note, and Go Naigi.
Anime Cartoon Characteristics
Anime cartoons have significant differences with their western brothers. Differences range from realism face, body proportions, hair, and body parts. Anime focuses on clean, accentuated lines. It doesn't focus so much on the realism, but the feeling they want the audience to feel for a certain character.
Here are notable differences between anime and traditional western animation:
Body Proportions: Bodies in anime can have very disproportionate sizes. The heads on anime characters are unusually large, and faces shaped in sharp or narrow lines not seen on human faces. Also in some anime, the breasts are largely drawn either for hentai or comedy. Feet, eyes, and mouths have all been disproportionated in anime.
Eyes: Anime eyes are %90 of the time very large, sometimes spanning half of the head. Eyes in anime are usually very expressive, with a black center, and colored gradient. The eyes are usually fox shaped, sloping down, or very wide and boxed, resembling the shape of a window.
Hair: If you were given a picture of a hair from anime compared with 10 others from different animations, it would stand out like a sore thumb. Anime hair is very stylicized, and in unusual contortions. The most popular hair style is the grass cut, with long strands poking out of the hair. Anime hair also comes in bright unnatural colors. Ranging from purple to red, to pink.
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