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Japanese Anime vs. Western Cartoons.

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Introduction

Japanese Anime vs. Western Cartoons WRI 122 6/4/03 Japanese Anime vs. Western Cartoons Memories of television programming from my youth consists mostly of great educational shows like Sesame Street and The Friendly Giant, but also consists of classic 1980s cartoons like Transformers and G.I. Joe. Mention these two cartoons to any other guy in his late teens or early twenties and his face will light up as he reminisces on the great fun they had growing up with these action/adventure shows. However, ask any adult in their forties or fifties about these shows and they'll answer with "All that violence on TV... what a shame." or "Sorry, I didn't watch any of those kiddy shows." These are typical responses in America, where animation has evolved into an industry aimed, more or less, at children. In Japan, an entirely different result has occurred in the evolution of the Japanese animation industry, where the main audience consists of anyone aged from one to one hundred. When westerners turn on the television and see an animated show on, they tend to assume that they are on a children's channel and what they are seeing is a safe, humorous cartoon that would not hold their interest. Half of the time, they would be right, since there are many channels that are loaded with cartoons (e.g. Cartoon Network) or have certain hours of the day where cartoons are shown in lieu of other programming (e.g. ...read more.

Middle

This is impossible in the real world, and we, the viewers, know that, allowing us to laugh at it all. Thus, American cartoons are inferior to Japanese anime because of the American animators lack of attention to explicit details. Another reason for American animation's inferiority to Japanese anime has to do with the kind of content shown in each style. In cartoons (with exception to adult rated cartoons), a person is rarely, if ever, going to see death, blood, or even the slightest sexual/gender innuendoes. In anime, even in children's anime, it is not uncommon to see an occasional, if not frequent, amount of death and bloodshed among the characters. Anime is also known for its attention to sexual body parts, especially among the female characters. Japanese anime uses a variety of different themes for its programs, most of which are very shocking to the American people. Animators tend to gear their programs toward the older, more mature audiences. For example, Dragonball Z, Gundam Wing, and Inuyasha are all programs geared toward the entertainment of teenagers and adults. There are some programs made specifically for children, however, which include shows like Pokemon and Hamtaro. In America though, there is a very specific reason for cartoons, the entertainment and, sometimes, teaching of the younger population. These cartoons, such as Recess, Mickey Mouse, Spongebob Squarepants, and the like, are usually comically oriented, as it will hold a child's attention longer then any "serious" programming. ...read more.

Conclusion

The rule in Japan is that if a movie can be done by real actors in a live action film, then it can be done by animated characters in an anime. In fact, at times it is preferred since what can be drawn has no bounds. A film that would be excessively costly by real actors could be done at a mere fraction of the cost in animated form. Thus, just about any theme can be found in anime. These can range from explicit pornography to educational children's shows. Overall, though, anime are directed at a wide audience. As such, they normally have stories that do not insult the intelligence of the viewer, though still understandable by children. Likewise, the characters have complex personalities and sometimes the line between good and evil becomes vague. Concepts such as sex, death and failure are not avoided. This leads to the misconception that anime are all sex and violence. This is simply not the case, as cartoons like Speed Racer and Marmalade Boy show. Thus, Japanese animation is superior to Western cartoons due to anime's ability to conform to the interests of a wide age group. These distinct differences between Japanese art and Western art allow Japanese anime to spring forward, accept social challenges, and prove that their animation style is vastly superior to any other form of cartooning or animation. So, before turning on the TV and letting the "babysitter" take over, be sure to check to see if the content or theme is what you wish your children to see. ...read more.

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