Not Quite Otaku

Scrolling through Pinterest the other week I came across a comment about Disney Productions’ influence on anime. At the risk of offending and hurting some people’s tender feelings, I have to disagree. It’s actually the other way around.

See, I liked anime before it became popular or well known in the States. In fact, I’m the one that introduced (read..corrupted) my kids to Japanese cartoons. Back in the days when all we had were Hanna-Barbera cartoons and the same dumb backdrop repeated ad nauseam, Japanese fare was a shining star in an otherwise black night. Not only were the graphics incredible (some resembled actual photographs long before Disney came on the scene), anime featured strong plots and crisp dialogue, not to mention intriguing characters who somehow managed to grow and develop. Sure there were character stereotypes and facial styles were reused in different series, but for the most part no one thought Naruto looked liked Captain Tyler with a different hair color. In addition, anime featured epic space battles—a far cry from sappy birds singing a love song about a helpless princess. Japanese heroines could wield a blade as effectively as the hero without losing any of their femininity.

I’m not decrying Disney, nor am I putting down the current generation of animators. I just think anime deserves its own day in the spotlight without being beholden to an American animator.

While Disney characters are limited to the nursery and elementary school (when’s the last time you saw a teenager decorate his room with Mickey Mouse?), anime is wildly popular with all ages in Japan (and gaining ground in the U.S.) The bold colours, sharp detail, and complexity of its characters create a world not limited to children or teens. Anime inundates Japan from cosplay cafes to festivals to decorations on public buildings, trains, and buses.

And best of all, there is no stigma attached to anime in Japan. Watch cartoons in the U.S.? There must be something wrong with you. Cosplay downtown as your fav anime character? Cool! Can I come, too?

 

 

 

 

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Posted on 2016/07/23, in Flotsam and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Journeys of the Clayfoot and commented:
    The world of anime is a fairly recent discovery for me, so this is timely!

  2. Reblogging, Carol. Anime is a fairly recent discovery for me even though it’s been around for a long, long time. 🙂

  3. Thanks, my friend. I just wish Netflix had more anime … or at least all the seasons of the good ones. You should check out Rouroni Kenshin and Case Closed. There are some others, but I’d have to check the spelling on the titles. LOL

  4. It’s nice to see someone with the same thought process. I love Disney, I really do, but it’s got nothing on Anime for me. Well, except the part where there is no stigma. Maybe, not in U.S. but in India, anything that’s animated is looked down upon, though it’s been changing recently.

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