“Aren’t you a little too old to be watching cartoons?”
Anime and its fans have a bad rep. For some reason, they’re stereotyped by non-anime lovers as being childish.
But the truth is that anime can be a serious business. If you ever find yourself being harassed for watching "kid's shows," here are some points you can use to set the naysayers straight.
In Japan, the term “anime” is actually a truncated form of “animeshon” (animation), which encompasses all forms of hand-drawn or computer animation. Nevertheless, worldwide, “anime” is used to describe a stylised form of animation popularised from Japan - typically with colourful graphics, vibrant characters and fantastic themes.
Anime can be classified into several categories. In fact, the most popular anime aren’t written for kids in mind. “Seinen” anime for instance are targeted at males aged 18-40, while the “Josei” type are written for females of that same age.
If you want anime specifically for young children, you may consider the “Komodo” genre, which is aimed at all young children. “Shonen” (typically action-packed or comedic) on the other hand are aimed at young/teen boys around the ages of 10-18, while “Shoujo” are anime for teenage girls.
Imagine a post-apocalyptic world where humanity must cower behind a series of three massive walls to protect themselves from monsters that have eaten the majority of the world's population.
That’s the tale of “Attack on Titan”, or “Shingeki No Kyojin”. When one of the walls is breached, everything goes to complete hell. Doesn’t sound very much like a kid’s show doesn’t it?
In fact, many of the more popular anime deal with adult themes and social issues. “Attack on Titan” for instance also touches on issues such as class separation, whereby the rich tend to be more protected than the less well-off.
Some series such as “Psycho-Pass” also bear strong semblance to Hollywood movies. “Psycho-Pass” is set in the near future, where authorities use a computer algorithm to measure a person's propensity to commit crime - similar to the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report.
It is no wonder that many anime (20th Century Boy, Death Note, Edge of Tomorrow) have been turned into life action movies by both Japanese producers and Hollywood.
Japanese anime has been around since 1917. Today, some of the most exalted anime writers have won global acclaim not just for their storytelling, but for their art.
In 2002, Spirited Away, a Studio Ghibli production directed by Hayao Miyazaki won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. In 2003, it also won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards.
Another Studio Ghibli film, “Grave of the Fireflies”, has also garnered critical acclaim worldwide as one of the best war movies ever made.
In the fine art world, Anime is also making waves. They have been displayed in museums and art exhibitions around the world - including the creation of an anime art museum thousands of miles away from Japan in the US.
The anime industry is so popular internationally that the market was worth approximately $2.74 billion in the U.S. alone in 2009.
What makes a story a story? There must be characters we can connect to or root for, an intriguing plot that will keep us in suspense, and eventually overarching themes that allow us to relate to the story.
Anime has that and more: In fact, the advantage of anime is that it does not have any physical limitations - there are no restrictions to what the animator can draw.
And hey, even CGI is considered a form of animation. The fact is that all anime were created by human beings. And in the end, the story, not the medium, is the most important factor.
For many adults, Anime is a great escape from the regular world. For 20 minutes or so per episode, one can be sucked away into a fantastical universe where anything can happen.
Shows like Puchimas! Petit Idolmaster for instance revolve around the daily lives of a group of individuals, but whose lives are suddenly changed when they meet miniaturised versions of themselves known as Puchidols.
Fans of vampire romance fantasy may also enjoy Diabolik Lovers, which tells the tale of a normal teenage girl who encounters six brother vampires.
With blindingly awesome artwork, intense story-telling and rich emotional development, what’s not to love about anime?
Catch these awesome anime series on ANIPLUS HD Ch 529 at these times:
Psycho Pass 2, Premieres 20 Oct, Every Mon, 11.25pm
Puchimas! Petit Idolmaster, Every Mon-Fri, 9pm
Diabolik Lovers, two-night special on 31 Oct & 1 Nov, Fri & Sat, 12am
Not subscribed to ANIPLUS HD? Visit starhub.com/aniplus for more info or tune in to Ch 529 and press the blue button on your remote to subscribe.
What other animes do you like? Let us know by discussing it below.
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