What counts as "anime"?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Tigrin, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. Tigrin

    Tigrin Member

    I just got finished watching this video, and since I know this subject comes up a LOT with AMV contest rules, I'm wondering what are people's personal thoughts on this. What do you think counts as anime?

    I thought I agreed with one thing or another until I saw this video and now I'm not so sure. I used to think that "anime" was only animation that originated from Japan, but that's kind of a murky definition. It's even a bit odd to try to define it around the art style, because the style differs a lot from one thing to another; personally there's not anything about Steven Universe I consider to be anime, but in terms of the storytelling and influences on the show, it arguably could be.

    I know that myself and other people who work on the South Park games have drawn from anime a lot for things like the style of attacks, and have even done anime-like sequences in collaboration with our sister studio in Japan, but it seems absurd to consider that actually "anime".

    I'm starting to think that by nature it's just an arbitrary definition and that there's no way to say any one rule is the official one.
  2. seasons

    seasons Member

    And you were correct!
  3. Tigrin

    Tigrin Member

    As to not shut down conversation.... what do you consider counts as "originated" from Japan? The production was paid for by Japanese people? The director is Japanese? It was storyboarded or animated by Japanese people? Does it have to be all of the above or can it only be one of these things?
  4. TheAceRailgun

    TheAceRailgun Conlangery person

    Imo anime is just animation in general, and anime is simply the Japanese term for animation.
  5. WolfandSerpent

    WolfandSerpent Queen of Plushies

    Funny thing is, the vast majority of anime is usually now outsourced to Korea or China (usually the in-between framework or the less important 'relaxed' scenes) with the Japanese themselves making up only the important and key scene drawing of the anime itself. Mostly due to labour costs and what-not being cheaper in those countries than paying someone in Japan to do it
  6. Rider4Z

    Rider4Z The Machine

    Did ya'll even watch the video?

    Thanks for sharing Tigrin :) That guy is right on the money.
  7. seasons

    seasons Member

    Semi-serious, take-it-or-leave-it: I find it hard to work up the motivation to engage with a video that's literally challenging the viewer to a fight.

    I realize this can be a contentious topic and I understand why it's still a matter of debate. But I do prescribe to the belief that words have meanings, those meanings come from a specific cultural source and it's no simple matter for an outsider to just step in and redefine that.

    I have also attempted to enter non-anime sources into MEPs and tried to justify it on my own terms so I've been on both sides of this and probably will be again.
  8. CrackTheSky

    CrackTheSky Administrator Staff Member

    Serious question (keeping in mind that I haven't watched the video) -- what is the meaning/definition? As in, the historical definition, or the "insider" definition. Because that seems to be what's in contention here -- if "anime" is only animation that originates from Japan (which is the position I assume you take), how does one account for the many series which have portions of the animation work outsourced to other countries? If it's a stylistic thing, that would mean that something like RWBY would fall under the "anime" umbrella. If it's where the idea or story originates, and not the animation itself, then something like Hanna-Barbera's adaptation of Godzilla could be argued into the "anime" camp.

    I mean, I agree with you that words have meanings and cultural context that shouldn't be ignored, but that's what makes this a valid discussion, because those meanings seem to have shifted away from the once-accepted norm and what was once black and white really isn't anymore.

    Personally, I subscribe to an "I know it when I see it" mindset, but if there truly are hard and fast rules (i.e. definitions) here, I'm curious to know what they are, and why they are that way.
  9. Tigrin

    Tigrin Member

    Yeah I don't think it's necessary to fight over, I'm sure that angle is just to get viewers. I'm more interested in having a reasonable discussion about it, though I'm highly aware that discussion has been done before.

    Not knowing your take on it outside of "anime is animation originating from Japan", that definition is definitely undermined by your argument that we should defer to the original culture's definition of the word... because in this case, "anime" is just a shortened form of the Japanese transliteration of "animation" which, in Japan, encompasses all animation, regardess of country of origin. Having "anime" refer specifically to Japanese animation is a Western appropriation. So who's really the outsider?
  10. Nate

    Nate Nate The Old School Otaku AMV Contest Coordinator

    Didn't watch the video cuz' I really don't care about any points brought up into it. I'm on the view that the term anime is the japanese term itself. Not the popular western idea of a shortened version of 'japanimation' or 'japanese animation' or 'japanese anime'. I prefer to use the term as it was originally coined, in japan, and Tigrin already hit on that definition. To me that's what anime is. Just animation.
  11. seasons

    seasons Member

  12. seasons

    seasons Member

    I will say that if I ever get myself into a real fight, I really hope that my opponent is a self-styled Youtube personality.

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