Anime and genre at
Sun Oct 1 06:57:09 EDT 2006

I've always taken the view with Midnight Eye that if a film is feature
length and released theatrically then it is a movie, regardless whether its
animated, shot on film or video. To regard live action film as something
intrinsically different (superior?) to animation really limits any
discussion about the moving image. For me its like people saying they don't
watch silent films, or black and white films or subtitled films- or films
made after the 70s!

Alex's argument is absolutely nonsensical, as any  art historian who studied
the 20th century is hardly likely to dismiss photography just because it is
not painting. You only have to look at artists like Fernand Leger,
Moholy-Nagy or David Hockney (to name but a few) to see in the plastic arts
how the mediums of painting, photography and also cinema were all combined
to new effect.

Someone like Mamoru Oshii, is doing a very similar thing with his films - 
working both in live action and animation, and in for example Avalon doing
his utmost to blur the boundaries in between, by making the "unreal"
animated CG footage look as cine-realistic as possibile while in altering
the the colours digitally in the live action footage to make it as unreal as

So where do you draw the line? The Spirits Within and Polar Express both use
computer generated characters and landscapes with no basis in reality but
which are intended to look as realistic as possibile, while films like
Scanner Darkly and Waking Life  use real-live actors as their basis who are
then rotorscoped over to make them intentionally look like cartoons. Look
how many live action films from the Matrix onwards now include so many CG
embellishments so that the actual basic reality captured onscreen is only a
tiny of the actual film - and it won't be long before we'll have computer
generated actors who can outdo the likes of Keanu Reeves in the charisma

When it comes to Japanese cinema, there are lots of live-actions directors
who made one off anime projects - Seijun Suzuki, Nobuhiko Obayashi (now -
his Kenya Boy is definitely one I'd love to see subbed!), Kiriro Urayama.
And Hayao Miyazaki has received far more plaudits on the international stage
both at festivals like Cannes and the Oscar ceremonies, than any live action
director in the past ten years.

So to dismiss anime and exclude it from discussion is extremely perverse in
my eyes.

Jasper Sharp

--------- Original Message --------
From: KineJapan at
To: KineJapan at <KineJapan at>
Subject: RE: Anime and genre
Date: 28/09/06 08:52

> I think there are certainly distinctions within anime and a lot that
> certainly doesn't stand up to cinema standards - though you could say the
> exact same thing about a huge number of films - but there are also a
> number of animation directors in Japan who are increasingly ill-served by
> having the anime tag applied.  Mamoru Oshii, Satoshi Kon, Hayao Miyazaki,
> Masaaki Yuasa among others are all legitimate auteurs in their own right
> are not accorded the respect they deserve because they are forced into the
> otaku ghetto.
> Todd.
> &gt; -----Original Message-----
> &gt; From: Brian Ruh [mailto:brianruh at]
> &gt; Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 9:28 AM
> &gt; To: KineJapan at
> &gt; Subject: Anime and genre
> &gt;
> &gt; --- Lewis Cook &lt;lcoqc at; wrote:
> &gt; &gt;
> &gt; &gt; 1. No idea how others on the list think about this - I don't
have an
> &gt; &gt; interest in theoretical debates about genre per se - but I don't
> &gt; &gt; consider anime to be of the same basic genre as 'movies.'
> &gt;
> &gt; I know that you say above that you're not interested in genre
> &gt; but I just have to ask -- why is &quot;anime&quot; separated from
&quot;movies&quot; in
> &gt; your estimation? (Of course, not all anime is experienced in a cinema
> &gt; setting, so that might be one good reason.) And do you consider anime
> &gt; to be a genre?
> &gt;
> &gt; I'm curious about such perceptions of anime and how it's thought
> &gt; and categorized. I'm interested to hear what others might think about
> &gt; this as well.
> &gt;
> &gt; = Brian
> &gt;
> &gt; Brian's Essential Reading:
> &gt; Book:
> &gt; Research:
> &gt;
> &gt; __________________________________________________
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