the allure of anime part 2
So, if you have read part 1 called the appeal of asian drama, then we will travel back to the next step... anime.
Cartoons in America have existed since the dawn of moving pictures and I will not discount them for being funny and entertaining.... but the Japanese took the concept and like all things, improved upon it. They even have their own name wihich is copywrited and no one else, save Japan, can call their cartoons ... anime. Case in point, The Last Airbender... purely American made, but a genre similar to the Japanese anime, was prevented from advertising it as such. It is a serious business. These shows have a strange flair of the dramatic, using real dialogue that real people would speak, with problems and solutions facing the characters that would bring anyone down to their knees. They are also short in nature... finishing the story as a linear time line.... not just a funny episode each week without any connection to the next one, but, more like a fairy tale with a beginning, a middle and an end....
Animes are made to appeal to target audiences, like their manga(Comic book) counterparts. Each type has a description and all in the industry would know immediately who that particular style would appeal too. Also, with the manga as it basis, the artwork and settings that are already drawn, will easily give way to the moving pictures, and thus the anime is made.
Appeal to the female population is prominent in anime. FRUITS BASKET, PEACH GIRL, SAILOR MOON, TOKYO MEW MEW... are the ones that come first and foremost to my old mind. Some are dubbed, some are only subbed, but the popularity of them make them rather worth while to sample.
How did this old granny get to this place? Well, the very first manga I read was FRUITS BASKET, This anime never made it to American TV, but the manga hooked me and when Funimation got the rights and brought it here, we bought the series. The artwork was amazing, the story line very sweet and funny, and the circumstances that our heroine and her friends face are daunting.
Then came PEACH GIRL... probably not well known... teenage themes. of acceptance and finding oneself abound in this one... Being over the top so to speak, as our heroine struggles. The villian in this one is truly a mean girl, then also has to come to terms with herself. I enjoyed this particular series... not for all the teenager melodrama, but the realization that i had been there and felt that.
Sailor Moon is an older anime, as is Tokyo Mew Mew.... and as I recall did make it to the saturday line up here in the U.S.
Now for the male population, these fall more along the lines of the good vs. evil kind of plot and always have swords, martial arts, ninja moves, etc. in the fore front... yet, there is a quiet moral, or a social more that slides in under the radar. The two most popular are NARUTO and BLEACH. These are undoubtedly, in this humble granny's opinion, the ultimate in the genre... and their fans get over disputes as which is the best.
The premise of Naruto... an orphaned boy is forced to carry a demon inside of him in order to save his shinobi villiage. Stands to reason, that although they are grateful, they don't want to get near him. Yet, he overcomes the isolation with the help of a few teachers, masters, etc to become a great shinobi and protects his villiage.... his friends and the events that happen to him and them as they grow up sends chills down my spine, but it is very thoughtout and well played. I believe it is in its tenth year by now...
Bleach... The premise to this is deep and dark. Shinigami, ghost like death gods, are sent to collect wandering souls before they are eaten by Hollows... souless creatures who are starving to be filled. A high school kid interferes with one and boom, due to incident, fate and misfortune has to become a Shinigami to save his family. Character development and the shear undertaking of the writer to have about twenty to thirty characters involved, keep this anime alive and kicking. It has been around almost as long as Naruto.
Now as much as I enjoy the above, this genre has been around quite awhile. Just the last fifteen years or so, it has hit the US. I think there are even folks lobbying against it... But these that I recommend are a lot better than family guy, the simpsons, and south park.(Before i get hate mail, remember this is only my opinion. And, folks, if they band anime, what makes you think they won't ban southpark for the same reasons....) Pokemon, Yugio, and others have made it to Saturday morning cartoons without the need for censure. And as in all media, porn and obscenities can also do abound. This article is not about those... but I am a firm believer that one does not throw the baby out with the bathwater...
Older animes that have touched this old heart.... the list could be endless and just because your favorite is not mentioned may be just remiss on my part, or I may have never seen it, which, I would love hearing your recommendation for it. But the following Iist are the ones that touched my soul... so here goes...
Chronos Crusade......about self sacrifice for the greater good.
Wolf's rain.... about purpose and meaning of life, of duty, and loyalty.
Jyu-oh-Sei... about the question how to save mankind from extinction
This is a very short list of a very involved form of entertainment. So I will shut up for now and give a shout out to others that I like, SAIYUKI, THE GETBACKERS, DEVIL MAY CRY, COWBOY BE-BOP, TRIGUN.... the list goes on and on. Some are simply not for the faint of heart, like HELSING and GLASS FLEET.... these two due to the extreme violent scenes and extreme adult themes should fall to the over eighteen group... but in their defense, the violence and adult themes explain the story and are not just put in for effect.
So i think i have ran out of steam... hope ya'll will try it... and if not, hope ya'll will defend the right for this genre to stay in America... take care... and please let me know what you think.
One thing that anime has produced are fan made amvs. I do not own these, but they are a few of my favorites. So I thought I would share them with you. I will not make any money on this. I just really like these. So enjoy.... and again let me know what you think, take care.