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Why is anime popular in the west???

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Nam Huynh

on 5 November 2013

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Transcript of Why is anime popular in the west???

90's Anime taken apart
Western culture was first impacted on by Anime in the late 90’s. One of the reasons for this was due to the large range of unique never really seen before art. One of the reasons why Anime appealed to 90’s kids it was much different in the way of interacting. Anime e.g. Pokémon, was a contemporary form of basic animation, but what made anime so appealing? Was it the story line, the weird shapes and lines, the unique character or the way the audience interacts with the show? These are valid examples of why Anime became one of the best art forms in the 1990’s.
You could say that the boom from the 1980’s Anime and the 1990’s was the difference from making a show great and then making a show a revolution. To this day Anime such as Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z still exist, and this is due to the fact that Western culture has a love for unique art that you can interact and play with.

There are many popular Anime shows that boomed in the 90’s but based on my preferences and overall unanimous decisions based on both internet forums and person opinions here are my top 10.

In the 70s and 80s, the Western world of animation often looked down upon anime for cutting corners and classically low production costs. Which in turn resulted with sloppy voice syncing and blocky animation.

However in 1988, the film AKIRA was released by Manga Entertainment. It would soon change the Western world's view of Japanese animation forever. AKIRA, a film adaption of the original 2182-page manga written by Katsuhiro Otomo. Set in a a dystopian version of Tokyo in the year 2019, with cyberpunk tones. Is now considered a landmark in Japanese animation.
The film remained relatively unknown outside of Japan until 1994 when the film gained a cult following in America and the UK, after being dubbed for English audiences.

AKIRA grabbed the attention of many by breaking the trend of poor animation with detailed scenes and well lip-synced dialogue, the first for an anime production.
The voices were recorded prior to the animation unlike the common choice of putting the voices in after completion.

Western culture was first impacted on by Anime in the late 90’s. One of the reasons for this was due to the large range of unique never really seen before art. One of the reasons why Anime appealed to 90’s kids it was much different in the way of interacting.

Anime e.g. Pokémon, was a contemporary form of basic animation, but what made anime so appealing? Was it the story line, the weird shapes and lines, the unique character or the way the audience interacts with the show? These are valid examples of why Anime became one of the best art forms in the 1990’s.
What made Pokémon, Sailormoon, Dragon ball, was there story. Never had we ever seen before a non-fictional character e.g. Pikachu, entice such a broad range audience, and this was Anime’s first stepping stone from a show to an actual worldwide phenomenon. I believe that the reason why Anime in the 90’s became not just something to watch was the fact that they started to merchandise and sell their art.

I remember when I was young all I wanted was to watch yu- gi- oh or dragon ball Z and then by the toys and be the characters, this I was why I believe it was so popular. Because each individual show connected with people in a different way.
By Mark .H
By Mark.H
By Mark.H
By Mark .H
1990's
2013
The beauty of Anime, and especially Anime in the west, is its drive to better represent its self to its target audience. As you can see there are two examples of Pokemon, X and Y and Pokemon first generation, as we can see the vast changes pokemon has been custom to. The difference between Anime then and now, is creating a set of characters that adapt and appeal to the current generation.
-Claudia
The most notable animes, that have been created in the West, are Teen Titans (aired 2003 -2006) and Avatar: The Last Airbender (aired 2005 - 2008)


These American animated TV shows, that have some of the biggest fanbases, took a lot of inspiration from Japanese anime & it's animation styles. Teen Titans going as far as referencing a popular anime Furi Kuri (Fooly Cooly) in an episode of their own.
Perhaps they're so popular because of the great character development and stories that happened throughout the episodes. We're able to relate to anime characters more easily (no matter how unrealistic their setting is) and enjoy their stories because anime as a whole is often aimed at older audiences instead of children.
There's also such a wide range of different animes to choose from, someone who doesn't like Teen Titans might absolutely adore Avatar: The Last Airbender. Anime is so much more diverse than people take it for.
-Claudia
Now let's talk about culture, and why it probably has something to do with animes popularity in the West.

Animes are almost always set in Japan, so this bring a very new world to us as people in the West. It's like experiencing something brand new. We're fascinated because the culture is so different, the traditions are different.

I personally love "slice of life" animes, which often follow the life of a highschooler, usually comedic, although the supernatural somehow always finds a way of sneaking into that genre. These animes portray daily life and usually focus heavily on the characters themselves.
-Claudia
Lets first talk about how it started...
One of the very first anime to be introduced to west was Astro Boy which was translated and dubbed in english during the 60s.
This was a milestone Osamu Tezuka who would later become the father of Anime and Manga.

For the western audiences (more specifically the US) this was something different from their usual animated features films and cartoons.

Even then anime or 'Japanimation' as it was called then were not as popular back then as its
animation and story telling
never really stood as being
Japanese
.

Note that Osamu Tezuka, Creator of Astro boy was strongly influenced by Disney thus developed a similar style


Nam.H
Continued~
Despite all this there were other nflaws that affect Anime's popularity in the west, and in somecases was considered
lazy
.

- Blocky animation
- Panned stills
- Lack of mouth movement
(some of which is debatable)
It was not until the late 80 - 90s that anime's popularity began to grow.

Licencing and Distrubution

. Princess Mononoke
2. My Neighbor Totoro
3. Dragon Ball
4. Dragon Ball z
5. G Gundam
6. Fist of the North Star
7. Medabots
8. Slayers
9. Gundam Wing
10. Pokemon

Why is Anime popular in the west?
Over the years Anime has become well known across the world and has gained fans of almost all nationalities and has become quite a distinguished animation style.

And reasons for its popularity varied from its unique character designs to its wide variety of genres unlike its western counterpart.

Anime was capable to having a large range of audiences and explored many themes whether it be something as cute and childish all the way to blood and gore.


Intro~!
With Anime's sudden boost in popularity it became clear
that this was quite profitable in the Western market.

Companies such as FUNimation Productions (DBZ, Sailor moon), Bandai Entertainment, 4Kids Entertainment (Yu-Gi-Oh) and etc began licensing anime this ofcourse lead to the translation and dubbing of anime.

AKIRA -
Hospital scene
- Claudia
With more companies distrubuting Anime its popularity would only rise as creating more merchandise an introducing new possibilities
Conclusion
No matter what happens in the world of Anime and Animation, we are constantly astounded from the vast improvements of next gen art. Anime was once thought as something only few could achieve, but with the drive, motivation and persitance animation has brought to western culture we can all agree that the future has much to give in the way of Animation.
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