Definition of Anime

B Dunn bdunn
Thu Apr 22 23:02:29 EDT 1999

> On Thu, 22 Apr 1999, B Dunn wrote:
> > Anime is animation from Japan.

I agree with all of M Arnold's comments.

The above >>'d section was in my message, but actually it was the first line
of an overview of the basic argument on what anime is or is not (as I
recently saw on raam).

>You're not missing much.  Basically it goes like this:

Next is what I saw as the basic argument on r.a.a.m.

>Anime is animation from Japan.

This is the basic view of anime through the eyes of fans outside of Japan,
in my opinion.  The following is what would be based on the fact that in
Japan, 'anime' means animation or cartoon.

>Well, what about animation produced in other countries that still keep the
>Japanese style (ie., production work sent to Korea or other asian
>or there have also been some arguments about Korean anime/manga being the
>'real thing')

>Maybe that's anime, too.  But it has to be 'that style' (drawing style in

>But what about other stuff from Japan that doesn't fit that style (Crayon
>Shin-chan or older anime)?

And to reiterate what I said earlier,

>>I think the argument is kind of pointless.  To me, anime is just cartoons.
Sure, they may be different in Japan, as far as style or content, than in
America.  But even in Japan there are hundreds of styles and ways of doing
it.  Just like in manga or American comics or even film or music, every
artist has his/her own style or way of doing things, even though it's all
 >>the same genre.

But if you took the 'what is anime' argument to music, would classical music
(or insert the 'cool' or 'trendy' genre of choice here) be 'music,' so that
R&B, Rock, Hip Hop, Electronica, Pop, Country, Heavy Metal, or any other
genre is left out as a sub-standard type of music, or not as worthy of being
called music?  I mean, we don't call Japanese movies 'eiga' outside of
Japan, unless we are speaking in Japanese.  Here's a question:  What would
it be like now if Japan had adopted the word 'kaachuun' or cartoon, instead
of 'anime' or animation?  Would people outside of Japan be so excited about
'kaachuun/cartoons' from Japan, where the word 'cartoon' has a childish or
immature connotation to it?  Would they be so exotic,  like M Arnold put it

>Words like "anime," "manga," "otaku," and even "hentai" take on an air of
>when used in American fan discussions.  "Anime" are not just cartoons--in
>fact they're not "cartoons" at all, some might argue--they're something
>different, better and unique.

So basically, here's what I think:  For people living in Japan, the word
'anime' means any cartoon produced anywhere in the world.  But outside of
Japan, the word 'anime' means Japanese cartoons/animation.  And again, it's
the mentality of 'I like something cool and unique that nobody else knows
about.'  It's like music fans who like bands (usually on the local or
independent music scene) until the band gets a big record contract and radio
airplay.  Then it becomes the cool thing to do to call the band a 'sellout,'
usually because they aren't unique for liking the band anymore and it is
then the 'unique' or 'cool' thing to do to call the band a 'sellout.'  I
think that it's this exoticness that anime fans like, just like M Arnold's
comment, although some people ( I guess you could say the 'otaku' crowd) do
actually like anime for good reasons (a lot of people just like anime
because they get to see cartoon violence and scantily clad babes on screen,
which isn't really available except for anime).

And thanks to for the link to the article

I just wanted to bring up another topic about anime.  In the aforementioned
article, it states that:

>Fans I interviewed and surveyed remarked upon the fact that anime are
realistic because >they are aimed at an adult audience, unlike Western
animation, which is aimed largely at >children.

Now, in my opinion, anime is aimed at a young audience, albeit older than
the target market of Disney films, not adults.  I'd say, depending on the
title, it's aimed at kids to teenagers, of course with some people
continuing their love of anime in to later life.  I mean, besides hentai
anime, what anime is really aimed at 'adults.'  I do think, however, anime
is aimed at a more mature audience, in general, than cartoons in America.
But does that mean that teenagers and adults don't enjoy a good Disney film
with their kids or siblings, or on their own?

That's all.

bdunn at

More information about the KineJapan mailing list