The Future of Animation
When one thinks about the cartoons of the past, like TigerSharks, ThunderCats, and G.I. Joe, one will remember the rich story lines, the wild character profiles, and the inspiring battle cries of "Yo Joe" and "Thunder, Thunder, ThunderCats, Ho!!" With technology changing every day, a new form of animation has arisen. This new form is called "Japanimation" or "Anime." It is slowly becoming a part of this culture just as much as hamburgers and pizza. It still has a long way to go, but it is slowly creeping into the American genre of animation.
As one writer has noted, "The word 'Anime,' contrary to popular belief, is not the Japanese word for animation. Though the word is used in Japan to describe animation, it is actually derived from a French word" (Barlow 1). Although film and animation in the U.S. are different, in Japan they are the same. Many Americans still have the belief that animation is strictly for kids, but in Japanese culture it is for boys, girls, men, and women. Animation in Japan does not just limit itself to Saturday Morning cartoons. In American animation, no one dies and no one gets hurt. The evil villain's plans are defeated, but the villain himself escapes to hatch a new villainy in the next episode. One great difference between Japanese and American TV series is that the Japanese TV series is designed to last only one or two seasons, 13 or 26 episodes, and then come to a climatic and definite ending. There are many available genres. "One of the MAJOR differences between Anime and U.S. animation is the quality of storytelling and level of understanding at which the story develops" (Barlow 1). Though things are changing in the U.S. regarding animation, the level at which animation is geared toward is still child-like. It is almost insulting to young minds. Anime expands the level of consciousness of the viewer. It makes one think about the outcomes and the foreshadowing of the story and it raises the level of imagination by producing nearly impossible feats of courage and technology. A lot of animation has made its way to the U.S. Some shows include Speed Racer, Astro Boy, Voltron, and Robotech. These shows were ones that hold watchers' attention for about 30 minutes each day.
"In many ways, Anime is also a state of mind; a state of understanding that many Americans have trouble getting to" (Barlow 1). Many Americans do not accept animation as a medium for storytelling and believe it is meant for children. This is why Anime has not hit as powerfully in the states as it has in Japan and other countries. This is why there is hardly any market base for it.
One reason why there is no market for it in the U.S. is that Anime is highly stereotypical. "The stereotype image of Japanese Anime and manga (Japanese comic books) has gotten worse lately" (Izawa 1). Non-watchers of Anime seem to think that it is all about "big eyes, big breasts, big hair, mechs (huge robots), and lots of...