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What defines an anime?

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What makes an anime an anime and no longer a cartoon? Like Avatar the last air bender isn’t considered an actual anime, but I think it has the qualities to be one

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easiest answer is to say that people do. if enough people say Avatar is an anime than at some point it will be regarded as an anime.

Other than that I'd say something like a mix of art style, some reoccurring story elements and also how the characters behave. usually this is also influenced by Japanese culture. It might still be an anime if you have none of that, just an unusual one.

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Posted (edited)

Anime in Japan means animation.

Anime in the west means animation from Japan.

Anime is not a word with a clear definition. Anime is what you think is an anime because everyone has a different opinion about it.

I love atla and rewatched it 3 Times! 

Id qualify it as an anime.

It wants to be one and does a good Job at it.

Eventually more American and European cartoons will be recognized as anime like castlevania.

So the answer is what you think is an anime, is an anime.

Though i think that atla was made too early and for that reason  will not be called an anime by a lot of people.

This is a never ending question with no clear answer and will probably never have one.

Edited by Humbby
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Posted (edited)

Whenever this topic would come up on a forum I used to frequent, there was a member who would always point out that the Japanese do not have a separate word to distinguish between their animation and animation from other countries, it’s all referred to as “anime”. 

My own personal definition is animation that was originally created for a japanese audience, the primary characteristic being that the original dialogue was japanese, but is later translated into different languages (usually this is where the japanese cultural influences can be noticed)

But as was previously noted, it’s largely a matter of opinion (though I still cringed when I’ve heard people refer to Family Guy as  anime), and the distinction is a lot less clear today than in the early days.

Edited by Ohiotaku
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I call avatar the last air bender an anime.. but really it’s a cartoon 🤣

A very nicely done cartoon 

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Posted (edited)

@Illusion of Terra

some people seem to use the word anime as a catch-all phrase for animation not intended for “little kids” (profanity, graphic violence, talking about sex, etc.) which ironic considering that there is anime geared towards children. While I understand my own definition is probably too restrictive, I think that’s being too broad.

Some people would probably call my definition hypocritical since I consider Star Blazers to be my first anime series, but even in it’s heavily edited form it stood out as different from all the other “cartoons” on american tv at the time. Later the distinctions became less apparent. Thundercats is a good example of what I consider to be a cartoon that had some definite anime influence. And then there was Mighty Orbots which was a joint venture between the US & Japan, but only aired in the US. And Robotech which was a mash-up of three unrelated anime series

Edited by Ohiotaku
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@Ohiotaku I tend to move away from clear-cut definitions and more towards protoype-definitions (like, usually a chair has four legs but there are some that don't).
I'd also make a difference between what Westerners call anime and what Japanese do, because of what you mentioned that they use the word in a different way. In the Western sense I'd say there are some typical anime like DBZ or Kenshin, and the more non-typical it gets the fuzzier the border between what is still anime and what is something else. As for what makes a typical anime a typical one, I think your definition captures what most think.

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I have a definition of my own that is more what is not anime than what is....

 

For example, if the characters are yellow skinned or have 3 hair lines on their head to signify hair loss...think Simpsons and Futurama....that's a cartoon. If it comes from a company that historically makes cartoons...think Warner Bros or Looney Toons....that's a toon. If there's any chance I might see the character if I visted the toon world from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? today....that's a toon.

 

For me most anime will come from Japan (not all, seen some American and French stuff I consider anime), most will have drama and be character focused, and most will have a beach scene thrown in (not all but the sheer number of them is staggering lol). If it comes from Sentai, Funimation, Viz Media, or another major publisher of anime then I'd likely see it as anime. Then there are special cases which require a lot of consideration. Haven't had one of those in a while. Avatar was the last one. I think of Avatar as a toon, very polished, and kind of like a half sister to anime. I see it as a good introduction to anime for fans of cartoons so it's a good middle ground.

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Posted (edited)

The storytelling, the velocity of battles; maybe no war for anime that deals with romance; the escapism, the heroism, the clear character outline. The songs. The humor. Anime touches your heart, though others make it bleed. Anime is anime, its own genre, because it stands out and most are tasteful. It's full of wonder, venom, and adventurous types. Deep. Wonderful. Powerful, making believers out of the viewers. Fascinating. Dangerous. Beloved writing, speaking of the greats (hello, Osamu Tezuka!) who have paved the way. Anime is art and knows no boundaries. It is, needless to say, love in a bottle of lightning. It is soothing, scary, and rich in thought, mystery, and action. Many years down the line, more life lessons will be learned through it.

Blessings,

Som

Edited by Digimon_Sommelier

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