Isn't it a bit strange how people seem to think of anime as "one thing"?

Oly J

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Nov 9, 2009
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Hi all, I've been thinking this for a long time, (as someone who has in the past claimed to be a fan of anime) it struck me once, that that's sort of a strange thing to say, anime is basically, (I think) animation that originates from Japan, it's become synonymous I think, with a certain art style, it's an art style I happen to enjoy, but it's not necessary, there are different art styles used for different anime.

I'm rambling I know but what I'm trying to say is, when the subject of anime comes up with someone they tend to treat it as if it's a single genre or something, if the question "are you a fan of anime?" or any variation thereof, comes up, people respond as if asked "do you like country music?" or something like that, when really if I think about it it seems more like the question should've been treated as "do you like music?"

For example I have a friend who absolutely won't give anime the time of day, this frustrates me, because he's only seen Highschool of the Dead and Excel Saga, (he doesn't seem to believe me when I say Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z were also anime) which, even if you like those, you have to admit they're a pretty poor example to show fir what is not, as some seem to believe a single genre of entertainment but an entire medium.


Now I'm not trying to tell people to stop not liking things I like, but it's got to the point that I don't even say I like anime anymore, when the question comes up I respond "yeah, I like some of them" because saying you like or don't like anime is like saying you like or don't like TV, it just doesn't seem like the right thing to say one way or another.

I happen to be a big fan of Studio Ghibli, I love Dragon Ball I remember Death Note being great to name just a few, but I also thought Bleach went downhill in a hurry after season 1, (haven't even bothered watching past season 4) and I don't really like Evangelion, or Gundam, not really into the mecha thing in general, does that mean I do or don't like anime? no! they are all incredibly different, and it frustrates me that people seem to think all of these things can be judged by "it's anime so I will/won't like it"


anyway, sorry to get up on my soap box there, but yeah what do you think? isn't it strange that people seem to pain anime together with one brush? (or whatever the expression is) does it annoy you as much as it does me?
 

StriderShinryu

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Dec 8, 2009
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I wouldn't say it bothers me too much, but I do find it rather silly and feel that people who have that opinion are often missing out on all of the good you can find in anime. I'm guessing it's just largely because while a variety of anime is much easier to access now than it used to be, it does still require a little legwork. Animation, be it anime or just in general, is not something commonly found unless you're watching the cartoon network or something. With more exposure would come a greater understanding of what anime is and can be. Sure some people just don't like animation or the anime visual style, but it's pretty silly to say "I don't like anime" given that in many cases that's the same as saying "I don't like TV and movies."
 

Fox12

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Jun 6, 2013
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Well, it's not a genre, but it is a medium, and a niche one at that. Therefore, it sort of makes sense that it gets put under a single umbrella. Even Japan does that to some degree. I don't really mind it, myself, though, like most things, my tastes tend to differ from the mainstream.

I guess, if you wanted to, you could just say I'm a fan of animation. I love Pixar and classic Disney, and I think that Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea were fantastic. Coraline was great. I like the different styles, so I guess I've turned into an animation aficionado. I don't know when this happened. I used to just call myself a casual fan, until I realized I actually knew a lot more then the average person.

If you really want to go there, though, you could just say I'm a fan of art. Anything that has a good story will grab my interest, no matter the medium or genre. The reason Anime stands out, though, is because it tends to cater to a larger demographic, to its benefit. There's just more available to adults, which is fantastic.

I typically don't describe myself as an "anime fan," though, even though I've seen a lot. I say I'm a fan of Ghibli, Eva, Berserk, Akira, ect. I'm not a fan of comics, I'm a fan of Watchmen. You get the idea.
 

DOOM GUY

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Jul 3, 2010
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It's annoying, but whatevs I guess, some people just don't wanna learn anything more about anime than "weird Japanese cartoons" and you can't really force them to look into something more.
 

Thaluikhain

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Yeah...though I don't think your analogy is quite right. I'd say "do you like music with guitars", rather than "do you like music", but that's just me.

OTOH, could just be a stereotype.
 

Julius Terrell

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Feb 27, 2013
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Why don't you people understand how good you got it now-a-days. Being a close to middle aged otaku who has been loving Japanese anime since the mid-80s. I always try to explain to people that anime isn't some genre but a medium with every genre just like Hollywood. Some people look at me like I have 8 heads or something. It frustrates me that I have little to nobody to relate to with my love for Japanese anime. in the last 10-15 years anime became tangible for the younger generation. Us grown-ups are only supposed to worry about bills and such, but if you happen to have hobby outside of watching sports on TV, you're weird, or all you're watching is cartoon porn. GAH!! I need to stop because now I'm ranting. -_-

Edit: I like the fact that the Japanese adopted a single universal artstyle. Over the years I've noticed that there is A LOT of flexibility within it's confines. It's a lot more recognizable. There are a few titles that have gone against the grain(Kaiba), and there are was a particular movie I saw (Metropolis) that embraced the classic American style. Just damn interesting.
 

Michel Henzel

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May 13, 2014
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Can't say I'm bothered at all, guess I'm too old to still give a shit really. In some cases it makes me laugh as it seems that the mere mention of Anime can send people into a fit of rage while foaming at the mouth.

Anime is just a word in the end that has now become the mainstream way to defer to a certain art style. Like Julius, I've been a fan of this stuff since the 80's, so I remember the time when the term "Anime" wasn't even really used, back then we called it Japanimation, back in the time when Fansubs used to be distributed via VHS tapes. You really needed to have connections to get ahold of that stuff. But the term "Japanimation" has all but been forgotten and now we use the term "Anime". Even though Japanimation is a much more accurate term as Anime is merely slang for Animation and thus was used to describe any and all animated content, that includes western animation.
 

Casual Shinji

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Fox12 said:
I guess, if you wanted to, you could just say I'm a fan of animation. I love Pixar and classic Disney, and I think that Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea were fantastic. Coraline was great. I like the different styles, so I guess I've turned into an animation aficionado. I don't know when this happened. I used to just call myself a casual fan, until I realized I actually knew a lot more then the average person.
I'm a fan of animation, too, which is why I don't care much for anime anymore. As it is now it just doesn't embrace the medium of animation like it did in the 80's and 90's, when it was pushing the boundries of what people thought was possible. Not that Western animation is fairing that much better, but at least there it isn't crammed with high school settings.

OT: Anime is a medium, yes, but it's a medium from Japan. And that is the "one thing" some people just don't care for. There's also plenty of people who don't care for French or Italian cinema, eventhough it's the same medium of cinema.

It's a culture gap.
 

hybridial

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Feb 24, 2015
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Yeah, this has long bugged me too.

I consider myself a fan of animation in general and not anime specifically, and I certainly feel not all anime is created equal (I'm pretty old school, give me the original Macross over Frontier, give me City Hunter over Dragonball, Z, and so on) so I just go with what I like.

I do like animation that is made for adults, and I feel that's what anime is quite rich in compared to the rest of the world. Still, I also consider one of my favourite movies to be Felidae, which was a German production and most definitely not for kids or cat lovers.

but yeah, I'd probably say if you want to sell an anime show to someone based on the content of the show itself and not what country that spawned it, selling it based on that could help (just check out this awesome show).

Monster's a good one to do that with for example, so is Fullmetal Alchemist. Good writing and art wins the day.
 

Entitled

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Aug 27, 2012
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Eh.

I'm a "gamer" too, even though I mostly just play a handful of genres, and I would prefer a good TV show over a multiplayer shooter.

People categorize their fandoms and communities in weird ways.

Also, Japan is pretty much the only country outside of North America that has a consistent, large scale animation industry with an accessible fan community, so if you like to go out of your way to watch foreign works because of their culture shock/ novelty value, then you are pretty much an anime fan.
 

Story

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Sep 4, 2013
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Hey man, I feel you.
I do think it's pretty weird but considering that animation in general is considered just one thing (aka a genre), can't say I'm surprised.
 

COMaestro

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May 24, 2010
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These days it is kinda strange. In the past, however, I remember going to a Blockbuster or any other video rental store and there would be one tiny shelf of foreign tapes with just a few anime selections. When you just have 10 or so different films or shows, why wouldn't you just categorize it all under one title? Most people just didn't know any different.

These days, when there is so much that is available through DVD or streaming and anyone who looks can just see how many different genres are covered by anime, it is odd to consider anime a genre in itself. However, its only people who look and pay attention that will notice this. The average person just doesn't care. There is still an ingrained assumption, in the US anyway, that animation or animated films are primarily targeted towards children, or at the least family friendly so that it can be enjoyed by anyone. The idea that there can be animated films with more adult themes, and I am not referring to sex or language, just doesn't compute for some people, though there is no logical reason that such themes cannot be explored in an animated medium.
 

Olas

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Dec 24, 2011
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It's true of anything people are distant from. To people unfamiliar with video games, video games are all the same thing. To people who don't read comic books, comic books are all the same. To people who don't play Zelda games, Zelda games are all the same thing. I would say this is the source of most prejudice you see throughout history.

Then, once you actually go in and explore the medium or whatever, you become keenly aware of the diversity and how not all of X is bad.

I don't think anime is helped by the fact that so much of it looks fundamentally similar. With western animation you see lots of different visual styles which leads to the surface appearance of diversity, but most anime I've seen looks like it came from the same artist, even if it obviously didn't.
 

Marik2

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Nov 10, 2009
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Well you can't blame them when theres really only anime about teenagers and moe girls these days.

And it usually feels like nothing is progressing and it's mostly a teenage power fantasy.
 

Queen Michael

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Jun 9, 2009
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On the one hand, I agree that anime can be a lot of different things and is a very multifaceted kind of storytelling. In short, Puella Magica Madoka is one thing and Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo is another. (And then there's The World of Golden Eggs, but westerners never watch that.[/i]

With that said: Anime is still one thing. It's just a very big thing. There's a reason that we say we're into anime, and that's because anime does have things that set it apart. What those things are vary, of course, but still, there's always something. It could be the art style, the humor, the dialogue... There's always something.

And to put it the other way around, it's not like western shows lack their own style. Family Guy or Bob's Burgers wouldn't get made in Japan.
 

Yopaz

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Jun 3, 2009
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No, I do not find it strange.

I like anime, but it isn't sacred, it isn't something everyone must or should know about. People aren't interested, it's also not mainstream (and what is aired here at least is kinda samey). It's simple; lots of people aren't interested, thus lots of people don't care.

I don't care for classic literature so I could easily say it's all the same because I find it all dull, stretched out and pointless. I know much about the subjects I care about, I don't know much about the stuff I don't care about. It's the same for music, it's the same for books. I don't care. People like different things than me.
 

CelestDaer

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Mar 25, 2013
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That's like asking, "Do you play video games?" and getting the response of, "Only RPGs on the PS4." Are they video games? Yes. Is it anime? Yes. Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species. You can't expect someone who isn't that into it to know as much as you do about your pass time.
 

snekadid

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Mar 29, 2012
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Caramel Frappe said:
OT: Most animes sadly are all about high school kids. Have you seen Persona 1-4?
....What? There was a anime for persona 1&2? I've watched Persona 4 the animation(I don't know about the P4 golden anime everyone is talking about hating but the other one is actually a pretty good representation of the games story) and I knew that a P3 anime was being made/had been made but I've never heard of Persona 1 & 2 getting animes. While I'm thinking you either made a mistake in sentence structure or referring to the games as anime, I'm kinda hoping I'm wrong and there actually are animes for those 2 games.
 

Kaimax

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Jul 25, 2012
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Honestly, You can replace "anime" with "anything" that came from Japan and people would still think that "Japanese thing" is just a one thing.