View Full Version : What makes anime so unique and compelling to you ?
What makes anime (in the comic, TV or cinema mediums) so unique and compelling to you, compared to what's available and produced in live action ?
09-24-2006, 02:27 PM
It gives a view into a culture that is dramatically different from the culture I live in. It shows some positive values that have all but been abandoned by western society.
It also has some morals under the stories, so it is more than just cheap mindless entertainment. You can usually get more out of watching it than watching some American sitcom. Of course, if you don't want to think, you can just watch it for entertainment value as well.
09-25-2006, 04:05 AM
Never really thought about it.
09-25-2006, 03:22 PM
I'm not really sure.
One could argue that being animated allows me to suspend disbelief easier, but that doesn't work too well - I become much more attached to anime characters and root for them all the time, whereas live-action stuff usually doesn't hold my interest at all. I have no problem marathoning a 7 disc box set of anime in a day but can't stand sitting down for 30 mins a week for a regular show (no, I don't quite understand that myself).
I like the style and the depth of the characters, which seems lacking in many other forms of entertainment. I like being required to put some thought into it occassionally but I also like just having a good time watching something. I like being able to have a variety of shows (comedy, drama, sci-fi, etc) yet have similar characteristics between many of them.
I guess anime just appeals to me on many levels. It's hard to pinpoint and put it to words though ><
09-25-2006, 06:26 PM
It's cinematic, exciting, and sometimes epic. The animation quality can be amazing and detailed and stories can be dark, deep, and feel more real.
My two favorites, Escaflowne and Utena. Wouldn't work live action (maybe Esca, but only with great special effects). Can you imagine if it was America that drew it? It would be so simplistic and ugly, with cheesy music and watered down stories.
Not american-animated movies, those they put lots of work into a can look great, but they usually end up being comedies and somewhat generic in comparison to the epic-ness of Escaflowne.
I don't really know how else to describe it. Another thing is the MUSIC! I wouldn't consider buying the soundtrack for a single American cartoon. But anime....... that's some awesome shit right there.
Summary: I like anime so much because it does what other cartoons don't/won't do.
09-25-2006, 07:58 PM
09-25-2006, 08:21 PM
The anime we see outside of Japan is made by real trained artists, working in a visual tradition accessible to a non-Japanese audience, and tells complete, realized stories.
Those are the reasons. Most of the cheapo, stupid anime never makes it outside of Japan. The visual traditions used in Chinese, Southeast Asian (and, to be honest, quite a few Japense) comics are less accessible to foreign audiences. American cartoons exist in syndication hell and must be episodic, which favors low comedy and kid-vid over everything else.
And as was pointed out, some concepts work better with stylized drawings than with photgraphic or photo-realistic images of people. See Madarame's tutorial in Genshiken for more information.
I have found anime compelling since the days of Speed Racer, and I don't figure I'll stop any time soon. Much of it is utter junk and I tolerate the eccentricities of the rest, but when it's good, nothing else is good that way.
09-26-2006, 11:39 AM
To answer that question, I went back to my gateway shows. And the answer is "emotion". And that is why I am so fond of the spoken Japanese as well.
Anime is animated drama, reflecting humanity in different situations, whether fantastic, or more realistic at its best & worst.
What also sold & still sells me, along with the animation & designs was & is the personalities & depth given to them in many shows.
Another unique aspect of anime that attracts me is that female characters are a main feature. Not your supporting cast, or frail needing to be rescued, but often the main action & attraction of a show!
Lack of political correctness! Anime characters smoke, drink, make love, dress immodestly, & go for the jugular etc. etc. /images/graemlins/tongue.gif
Lastly there is the growing interest in Japan I am gaining for its language, pop-culture, society & ways of life generally. The language I'll probably never get, & hope translation software develops into something really useable before too long - both for spoken & written!
The fact that a 26 episode anime is a visual book in all the details that a movie might leave out. The fact that Off Broadway, Hollywood, British live action TV and American TV once had the hot creative hand and now lost it to anime. I like the chances that the writers and directors take to please just a segment of the audience. I like the hearing the Japanese writers and directors talk at conventions in a way they care about their art, craft and characters.
When anime puts character development first, before plot, it draws me in where I care about what is going on.
I like how music, writing and art come together in anime to make a complete story the way they forgot in Hollywood.
Anime has the best stories of young love and romance around anywhere. Hollywood seems to have forgotten how to do a believable and caring romance.
A good anime can still make me cry:)
I will give a couple of examples. In Risky Safety, only the old Off Broadway could come up with a story about teen suicide from the teens point of view, make it a comedy and make it work. When I watched Pet Shop of horrors I was rooting for the monster to come alive and kill the two-faced bastards and yelled when it did^^
When doing an anime, no one has to put up a sign saying, "No animals were hurt in the drawing of this anime!"
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