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English definition of "anime"?

The original Japanese meaning for the term anime is quite simply, "cartoon". They will use it for any animated feature, be it a movie or a TV show.

In English, we've kind of already got a word like that ("cartoon"), meaning we will probably only use the Japanese term to refer to Japanese animation (similar to how "manga" generally refers explicitly to Japanese comics.)

The problem is to, to what exactly does "anime" refer? Does it refer to:
- Any animation that is made purely by Japanese individuals or within the physical confines of Japan regardless of anything;
- Any visual art that resembles a "typical" Japanese animation's art style (e.g. simplified coloring and large eyes with contrasting eyelashes sorta like I draw);
- Something else



There is absolutely no meaning to the condition of where something is from. If the same output is generated from one location as from another, these should not be regarded as different things, except in the context where that itself is vital to the study at hand (in evolutionary biology, "where something is from" explicitly and necessarily changes the end product, which is simply not true for art forms)

As such, "anime" does not need to literally be from Japan so long as it maintains the great majority of traits associated with animation from Japan, although its country of origin should be specified whenever plausible because...

... the country of origin will provide a cultural contribution - but this applies to absolutely everything. It would be silly to create separate words for individual works of art from every single last country...

... unless those forms of art have specific traits that cause them to stand out, in which case one is literally naming the art form for its traits as all art forms should be. The only trait unique to anime is its art style. Everything else about it is found in absolutely everything from Japan and many things that aren't, and those other traits are not consistent in the first place. Therefore, anything that follows the same art style can be called anime - it would be called so for the same reasons that anime is

Furthermore, English dictionaries leave an awful lot of room for this to be the case:

"a style of animation originating in Japan"

"a Japanese style of motion-picture animation"

Notice they DO NOT SAY "an animation from Japan" or even "a style of animation unique to Japan", which they would say if it was at all important that anime only be from Japan.

Which it's not so they don't so they don't because it isn't. The Chinese invented stir-frying, which is therefore a Chinese style of cooking, but it is not at all unique to China because everybody else does it too.

Anime is no different.
Viewed: 23 times
Added: 7 years, 6 months ago
7 years, 6 months ago
be like me and just call anything animation
7 years, 6 months ago
I think the same way since anime in English is a loan word just like how there are words in Japanese that are loaned from English like "rampu." (Sorry if that brings images of Spencer shouting at a lamp.)

But, yeah, anime doesn't have to come from Japan. There are many examples of anime made for western audiences, classic example, Teen Titans. It was produced in the US, but it had a distinct anime look that made it so popular and my favorite example of "Western Anime."
7 years, 6 months ago
And you should note about how was Japanese animations became like it is.  Believe it or not, blame it on Walt Disney for giving a leg up on how Japan can make their version of cartoons.  Long ago, even way back, like in the 1920's or further, you can find classic Japanese animations like mirrors to the US cartoons.  Search it on YouTube and you will see what I mean.  

Plus, it seems it is the US fault to help modernize Japanese animations to be what we associalate with anime.  When Osamu Tezuka started to work on Astroboy, his vision wasn't to make a cartoon for Japan.  It was to present it for the US.  Therefore, his artwork was inspired by the classic American cartoons that seem to influence them.  

There's more examples of how the US seems to "westernize" Japanese animations.  I started to notice the art design behind the Sonic franchise.  Some suggested Disney artwork, like Mickey.  However, Sonic looks more like the other classic American cartoon that is just as popular in Japan: Felix the Cat.  South Park also influence Japan, more or less.  There's a lot more of these "adult" animes because of it.  Ironic considering Crayon Shin-Chan was created before South Park.  And then there's the Powerpuff Girls.  What an influence towards the Japanese public!  Not only a lot of animes are inspired by the series, but also some Japanese studio has make a Powerpuff Girl anime as well.  Interesting, because I could of swear that PPG is based on all of those magical fighting girl animes Japan is known for.

When it boils down, it's hard to put a static definition on anime.  All of those inspirations with various artworks pretty much confuses all of us on what is "anime".  It's more likely that "anime" is the trend we tend to follow.  Maybe it's high octave action, or maybe it's the non-lip-synching movements, or maybe it's fighting with magical creatures, or maybe it's the realistic-looking human characters.  We all take it forgranted that this is what "anime" is about, representing those characteristics within a cartoon.  All you need to know is anime are cartoons.  For anyone who wants to make anime, don't think about how to make "anime".  Think about on how to make "cartoons" in your fashion.  Otherwise, you'll never going to make an influence towards both the US and Japan.  If Craig McCracken can do it with PPG, then so can your animations.  
7 years, 6 months ago
That is so true. Almost everything you see has inspiration taken from some where.

The animation style of The Power Puff Girls, for example, inspired the recent "anime" series Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt with the large eyes the main characters have. Chuck, also, has a resemblance of GIR from Invader Zim. A simple comparason, yes, but a good one in a long list of animated programs that pulled inspiration from others.
7 years, 6 months ago
Hmm . . . ironic for me to state that "make 'cartoons' in your fashion", because if I'm going to inspire the entire world, I have to make my own artistic direction . . . and that's something I can't do.  Or to put it in another statement, that's something I'm forbidden to do.  -_-  
7 years, 6 months ago
Fine!  I can take a hint.  I'm a failure among failures.  If I can't inspire others with my creations, I'm no one.  Might as well find a way to kill myself.
7 years, 6 months ago
7 years, 6 months ago
It isn't your fault.  It's mine, because I exist.  
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