Anime. What comes across your mind when you hear that word? Is it nostalgic though about sailor moon and dragon ball Z? Or is it how much you wish your son and daughter would stop talking about that great and go out and socialize. Does this word bring up last Saturday nights binge watch with your friends. If it’s the last one then congratulations you have pasted the test. If you’re not quit sure what anime is then allow me to explain. Dictionary.com defines anime as “a Japanese style of motion-picture animation, Characterized by highly stylized, colorful art, futuristic settings, violence, and sexuality.” But what Americans such as my self define it as when explaining to the older generation, is Japanese cartoons. This is wrong though, because anime and cartoons are actually very different. I just say call them Japanese cartoons because once I say that I am twenty year old college students that still watches animated anything is when the listener usually losses interest. My mom’s eyes glaze over when I mention it and during that time between the listening and slow glaze into ignoring me I’m sure has began if not already regretted asking me what I’m watching.
Now before you go any further if you are thinking, anime is for kids then continue reading, once again if your not thinking that because your fifteen years or older and still watch then your still passing the test. Let us start with the first part what is the different between anime and cartoons. The biggest part of this is that they are drawn differently; anime puts more emphasis on certain things like the eyes, and hair. Where as cartoons don’t really have as many rules to the, Now if your thinking right now “omg I have had so many arguments with these people about how they are the same exact thing, and this is the only difference” You are still a little wrong. Anime also has a wider range of genres then cartoons do. For example, during the holidays such as Halloween, and Christmas episodes, where as there is a genre of horror for anime. One of the ones that really had me scared was Shiki, a family of vampires move into a small town and slowing start to turn the villagers into vampire. This is not just one episode or special like “Billy and Mandy’s jacked up Halloween” which involves Billy being jack o lantern while trick or treating and screws things up. Cartoons have different genres also but they aren’t as many as anime from my experience.
Genres can range from Slice of life, which is about every day life, to action, comedy, and sports, the genres fit in to bigger categories like shojo and shonen. Shonen manga’s/ animes a re geared more towards boys, such as yu yu hakusho, Dragon ball Z and Naruto. The anime characters in Shonen are drawn more fit like they have six packs and are always ready to fight at a moments notice. Also the girls are drawn a little more mature as in bigger bust and more revealing clothes. Shojo anime/manga geared towards girls, these are slide of life animes and magical ones such as Salior Moon, Himouto Umaru- Chan and Uta no Prince Sama, which translate into to Prince of song. Shojo main characters are less aggressive and look more like teenagers or regular students. The girls are under developed, and the boys, on the raid occasion that you do seem them shirtless, do not have abs or muscles and everyone is pretty much covered up. There are animes that go between there to categories like Michiko and Hatchin, Durarara and so on.
Everyone once and a while some animes have special episodes, like black butler has an episode where you go behind the scenes of black butler as if they are all actors instead of actual supernatural characters. These type of episodes are called OVA’s which are according to anime news network.com known as Original video animation, these episodes are not “cannon” or are called stand alone episodes, they are not shown on TV to viewers but instead put on the DVD or blu ray so only consumers get the joy of watching them. Stand-alone episodes are just exactly what they sound like. They are episodes that don’t much have to do with the story line but they still involved all the characters, such as adventures that go along with what ifs. They do not always come in episodes but sometimes as movies, which are released to the public from time to time.
Anime’s are also but not always based on Japanese comic books known as manga, which read left to right and unlike out comics they are colors in black and white. Manga’s also tend to be a little bit longer, then normal comic books. Comic books have arcs and such all in the same but it doesn’t really go anywhere, comic book characters die off, come back or get interchanged all the time. Manga is more of a story that can go on for years and years and finally come to an end. And things constantly change in manga more then it does in manga’s. I have found that though buildings may fall in New York when I read my marvel comics you don’t much seem them rebuilt unless they are towers of importance, otherwise they just pop back up like here ya go its fixed now. But when I watched the guild get boomed in Fairy Tail, I saw as people struggle to find somewhere to live because this guild was their home, or how there were piles of wood for re building. And the members of the guild rebuilt it, not workers. Manga is a big influence on anime because for the most part the creators of the anime try to fallow as closely as they can with the show to manga, unlike the disappointed viewers of twilight. This brings me to my next subject.
Fillers. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Filler. Filler happens when the anime gets close to catching up with the manga, so they wait for the writer to come out with a few more volumes. Filler Arcs are different from OVA’s because not only are they released to the public they are seen as part of the series as a whole, and fit with the plot of the series, where as OVAs are a way to express creativity and goes away from the plot of the series. Now I know what your thinking, that still sounds like a OVA, but its not, OVA’s can be spin offs, Prequels, Squeals, and like I said before what ifs. But fillers are in no way cannon at all, and are just there to keep the viewers attention. They are often used to starch out an arc also. For example, in the anime One Piece, Luffy the main character has set out to save his friend, while he is standing seconds away from saving her, each episode is a flash back of how he’s been a good friend and saved all the members of his crew from one time or another. Each episode I kept tuning in, thinking “ He’s gonna do it! He’s gonna save Robin!” but I was wrong, it was Luffys first time meeting blah blah and doing blah blah blah with said person. These were not cannon or needed because it was all in the first season that I had already seen. Naruto does the same thing; instead of continuing with the arc we get stuck in flash back land.
Are you still with me? Now to the main point of all of this mess, Anime is not for kids. Cartoons are made to entertain children, keep them busy, laughing and every ounce in a while teach them a lesson. This is not the case for anime, though sometimes it is fitting for all ages and you and your little or older sibling and watch them together and remember them fondly. But there are some places young eyes should not go, some animes are made for a more adult audience, I am not talking about the mature sexual stuff that people also associate with anime. There is a strange spectrum it’s either for kids or its porn and that is not try at all. The mature anime I am talking about is stuff like the anime Blood C, or Another, or the oh-so famous Attack On Titan. These animes are storylines that evolved people getting murder, eaten, and ripper about by monsters and humans, they question humanity and the idea of the needs of the many outweigh the few. There are also some anime’s like Blood Lad, Angel beats, Sunday without God, that follow adults themes like sex, cursing, and life and death that are suitable for children.
Now if your wondering then what can we watch that doesn’t have all f this stuff, I won’t lie, nothing. But anime to me has opened me up to a whole new culture that I knew nothing about, it has taught me that family is the people you care about, not blood related, that if you love some enough distance may hurt but in the end its all worth it and that giving up should never be an option. Yes, American cartoons do this, but in in a way I find appealing. I would rather stand with Luffy and chant along that I will be king of the pirates, and stand by Ichigos side as he protects everyone he cares about even if it pushes him to an early grave. And if I catch you doing wrong I will punish you in the name of the moon like Sailor moon.
Comparing cartoons and anime, or assuming that because it’s an animated is for kids is wrong, and assumes that it is just for perverts is always wrong. And if reading this didn’t make you want to relive Pokémon then stop watching those type of animes and go into Horror, or Sports animes, that’s right anime about basketball or baseball or almost any sport you can think of, though I haven’t found any on ice hockey. My point is that not everyone is opts out of reality to enjoy something else is okay from time to time.