Anime

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Why Is Anime So Popular in the West?

What do Western audiences (Canada and Europe as well as America) find so appealing in anime? Analyze and compare the more popular/recent series and see what conclusions you make with them.
An additional challenge would be to compare the anime are more popular in the West with the anime that are more popular in Japan. Or, if that is too difficult, then compare the genres that are more popular/well-known in the East and West.
e.g. Is My Hero Academia as big in Japan as it is in America? What about Death Note?
You can also research less mainstream anime that is big in either Japan or the West.

  • I generally agree with the comments made by M.L.Flood, but please be a little less ameri-centric. The 'West' consists of more countries than just America and Canada. – Amyus 2 months ago
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  • I like the topic so much and I think that approaching why certain anime are more popular in the West and why others are more popular in Japan would be interesting as well. There may be cultural and social reasons for it. Other than that, great topic! – MC07 2 months ago
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Are live action adaptations of anime destined to fail?

There’s been a bunch of new live-action anime movie adaptions in recent years, Death Note, Fullmetal Alchemist, Attack on Titan, ect. And they’re garbage. All of them.

Article would explore why its so difficult to make the jump to the third dimension. Some of these IP’s print money, why don’t they make good Blockbusters? Is is an East to West thing? Is it something intrinsic in jumping medium?

  • I would say an interesting exception would be the Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable live-action movie.Among Jojo fans it's actually widely considered quite fun and a unique take on the show. It is not a perfect 1:1 adaptation, but rather, that is what makes it more unique and interesting.it has a refreshingly dark/indie film aesthetic approach to the bright and cheery "Jojo" story that gives it a reason to exist as something uniquely artistic, rather than a cash-grab (*cough* AoT, FMA live action...)I believe a balance between being faithful to an original work while also pushing the boundaries and showing the series in a new light is what these live-action adaptations have to do to stand on their own merit. – Dimitri Adoniou 1 year ago
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  • I agree with Dimitri's note about fan reception--I think a live action adaptation really hasn't "made it" until it's been recognized by the fans as worth viewing. The live action Bleach film on Netflix had some positive feedback within the fan community, for example. It would be worth looking through forums or social media tags to find fans' reactions to these films and if there are any common misgivings/complaints about the live action films. A common one tends to be miscasting, like in the case of ScarJo and Ghost in the Shell. Lots to unpack here. Would love to read this! – Eden 1 year ago
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  • Most live actions always disappoint because the lack what makes the story and the characters in the first place – ummeraj 1 year ago
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  • Risk V Gains. Money.This is, generally speaking, the issue that befalls a lot of the adaptations. Risk V Gains usually sorted this kind of way: If the risk out-weighs the gains; it's deemed a failure. If the Gain outweighs the risk, it's deemed a success ( Until the box office )...There are other factors, but those factors usually revolve around *drum roll* money.I working on an article about this very thing and how, if movies do not make "Marvel" money, it's deemed a failure.– Braxton Gaither 1 year ago
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  • Live action anime adaptions share the same problems of adaptions in general, in which the filmmakers are taking the source material from a specific medium and transferring it to another. However, live action anime adaptions also come with the baggage of cultural differences. There's also of course the fact that animation can do things live action can't, so adapting it to live action can be extremely challenging, especially for more ambitious or less grounded anime such as Attack on Titan and pretty much any shonen anime.At the end of the day, I feel the key factors for such adaptions are to have the creatives behind it actually be fans of the source material and understand what would work in a cinematic, live action adaption and what wouldn't. These things are why the MCU has been so successful. Kevin Feige and the film mmakers he works with are superhero comic book fans but still know what to filter out or not when bringing the superhero stuff to the big screen. – ImperatorSage 11 months ago
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  • Live actions for some reason don't look as realistic as the anime. I suppose it is because of the bright and expressive costumes and make-up of actors, perhaps. At least for me, this feature creates a feeling of the unrealistic fairytale-like story. The same goes with movies that tried to adapt anime stories. – JustinaVonDanzig 10 months ago
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What is the most appealing thing about anime?

Anime as a genre and a community has far outclassed those of any other form of cartoon media. What is it about the Japanese shows, which vary through all sorts of story genres and artstyles, that come together to create such an appealing platform for all ages? Why is it as popular as it is?

  • I like the premise of this, but I'd point out that there are so many forms of Anime this may be a hard topic to tackle. Maybe try to pinpoint a particular genre or style of anime and look at it's popularity, versus anime as a whole. Yes they are all Japanese animation, but it's all so diverse it may not be possible to view it as a whole. – alexpaulsen 2 years ago
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  • I think one of the most appealing things about anime is how different and fresh it feels. I know a common argument most people will bring now is that the anime industry has been milked out and all the interesting essence to it died off in anime's golden age at the late 90s and the early 2000s, but anime still does one thing that most mainstream series or movie blockbusters fail to accomplish, it has the ability to make an audience feel and understand the emotions and feelings of a character and thus comprehend the amount of weight each one of their actions will bring not only to the furtherance of the plot but towards them, their relationships with the people around them. It allows us the viewers to not just view the story, but be a part of it. That's what makes anime so damn appealing and enjoying as an advocate anime fan. – Yao 2 years ago
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  • I say the most appealing thing about anime is its unlimited freedom in structure and depiction of the story. The animation is your choice, choose the storyboards, use your imagination to your fullest advantage! The next attraction would be an anime's narrative and symbolism as well as realism portrayed. – KojiroSasaki 2 months ago
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Japan through the lens of anime

Anime is mainstream, there is no question about that. Yet, why is there such a lack of intensity of discussion about Japanese movies that aren’t animated, with the exception of Akira Kurosawa’s films, especially Seven Samurai and Rashomon? Any thoughts on what is causing this? Feel free to add any information on Japanese cinema and animations’ reception internationally as well.

  • I'd remove the commentary, it removes some of the professionalism from your topic. Maybe phrase it more as why are more mainstream works the only ones we as American's value instead of here are these things, they're good but not good enough. Maybe move focus to why are these pieces mainstream, why have they gained this popularity, as opposed to these are popular do you agree. – alexpaulsen 2 years ago
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  • Based off what I've seen at the youtube channel censoredgaming the only reason western audience really follow anime now is due to the fact that it was easy to turn a profit off them. In the early nineties when networks had the Saturday morning cartoon blocks many channels would fill them with censored and poorly translated animes because they could pay the (at the time) rookie voice actors very little. So all they really had to do was pay for the licensing fees. This lead to a boom in the popularity of anime (which before that was more a subculture thing). I would say that is the main reason for the people not watching Japanese film. – Blackcat130 2 years ago
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  • I think another important aspect to add onto Blackcat130's critique) is whether or not this helped influence Japan being more recognized for its animated media? For instance, despite Japanese films being unpopular, you could look at Studio Ghibli and how internatinally renowed and respected the company is. – Mela 2 years ago
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  • I actually have an issue with designating anime as "mainstream." Certainly, some titles have wide reception (Pokemon, DBZ, Attack on Titan, etc.) but these (arguably) successful examples don't mean that the anime medium as a whole has become "mainstream." Anime is as much of a niche market today as it was during the boom in the 1990s. While it does enjoy increased consumption throughout the world and more appreciation even back at home in Japan, there is still a slight stigma towards those who enjoy anime, due to many reasons (pedophilia, violence, and occultism for example). So yes, anime may have a slightly more positive reception and appreciation among a wide audience but the designation of "mainstream" implies mass public approval, which the medium surely has not obtained. – Ma-kun 2 years ago
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What defines an anime to be Great?

Well, after witnessing the recent crunchyroll anime awards and laughing spectacularly how much loss potential that the award show was, I started questioning what makes a show great, let alone to be the best. Does it have to be a show that’s critically acclaimed by not only critiques but the general audience? A show with great animation, story and music, or something that is just dumb fun to watch and yet interesting not to get bored after a few episodes? I’m curious to hear your opinions on this topic.

  • One of the problems a topic such as this will inevitably face is the perennial 'Best versus Favourite' debate. All anime fans have their favourite films and/or series, so by its very nature favouritism is subjective and the same applies to what is 'great' or 'the best'. We can probably all name at least half a dozen websites and countless You Tube videos that list 'The Ten Greatest Anime Shows' or similar, but those are rarely, if at all, objective in their lists. Critics and critiques alike are no different - just take a look at the variance in reviews and critiques that appear on Rotten Tomatoes; what one critic will applaud another will pan and having a degree in 'Filmology' (sic) doesn't guarantee that critic has 'good taste'. Even popularity is no guarantee of quality so perhaps the only way to truly judge a show's worth is the test of time and how our opinions about it may (or may not) change over the intervening years. Do we perceive the show differently after 10 years have passed? Does it still seem fresh or even relevant or is it so hackneyed that we cringe at thinking how we once enjoyed it so much? That's just my two-penneth worth, but I'm sure others will have equally valid opinions; still, I'm going to add my approval and I'd be interested in others' comments. – Amyus 2 years ago
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Anime Tropes that Repel Viewers

A look at a few anime tropes that might make the genre inaccessible for newcomers and ones give the genre the reputation of being for teens and adolescents. Are there good examples of Anime that avoid these tropes, or anime that subvert the tropes?

  • Fantastic topic because I think it opens up discussion about what preconceptions about anime newcomers often find to be true through repetition of these tropes and how they are avoided. – AdilYoosuf 2 years ago
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  • I agree with AdilYoosuf, though I have to admit to having a bias in favour of anime as a storytelling medium. I've often found that when trying to explain the reasons why I enjoyed the Haruhi Suzumiya anime series and film (subtitled not dubbed) that as soon as I mention the words 'teenager' and 'school' the shutters descend. I think one of the problems is that westerners in particular tend to have grown up watching cartoons on TV so presume anime is no different and won't give it a chance. As for good examples that subvert, or even invert, tropes then I would have to suggest Satoshi Kon's excellent series 'Paranoia Agent' and Kyoto Animation's 'The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya' (to name but a few) as both subvert genres and tropes whilst demanding the viewer thinks for him/herself. Anyway, you have my approval for your suggested topic. – Amyus 2 years ago
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Reasons behind the success or failure of live-action remakes of popular anime

Recently several popular anime shows have been remade into live-action versions, e.g. Death Note (in several versions), Itazura-na-Kiss, Dragon Ball Z, etc… Many have been either unsuccessful and disappointing to fans (the example that comes to mind is the Avatar the Last Airbender!) or, more recently, have engaged in the unfortunate cultural appropriation of characters aka "whitewashing". What is behind the apparent difficulty of successfully remaking these fantastic stories into live-action form – is it the difference in mediums? Is it idiosyncratic to the directors/creators? Is it pure coincidence that no examples of a successful adaptation in popular cinema/television come to mind, or is this a systematic trend?

  • Using examples from my own memory, I feel it is both medium and a disconnect between directors and fan-base that can result in a failed remake. Often times, it is the animation style that aids in both delivery and overall success. Also, sometimes directors/creators can miscalculate what aspects of a show are responsible for its success. For example, a show that gains popularity for its wit and character development can be poorly mistranslated so that the action aspect of the show overpowers other components. – BreannaWaldrop 3 years ago
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How much can one learn about Japanese customs through Studio Ghibli's films?

Studio Ghibli’s films, even in their English dub, incorporate subtleties about Japanese customs. For example, When Marine was there presents a Japanese festival scene and Spirited away and Princess Mononoke both present ideas of gods and spirits. Even though all of Ghibli’s films are fiction, to what extent are true Japanese customs presented ?

  • Maybe expand a little more on what would be the main argument in the article? Will it only focus on Japanese culture or Eastern culture (then what is Eastern culture?), etc. – L.J. 3 years ago
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  • To extend Birdienumnum17's commentary, perhaps you can selectively focus on a specific aspect of Japanese custom and culture that anime insightfully represents. For instance, select relevant animes that lend some perspective about the concept of friendship in Japanese culture. – minylee 3 years ago
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  • Also, how are these Japanese customs being represented, are they being distorted, exaggerated, etc.? And what does this say about the orientation and commentary that Studio Ghibli is trying to relate through these films, if any? – Jonathan Judd 3 years ago
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WW2 as a subject of inquiry in Japanese animation?

I’d like to hear someone explore the fan interest in World War II, but rather how it crosses over into Japanese animation and graphic novels. I have noticed that there has been a growing presence of WW2-inspired anime and manga such as Kantai Collection and Girls und Panzer. I think it would be worth discussing the Japanese view towards their own role in WW2 and how this view has led to a different handling of the subject in Japan. In many anime and manga, one can see that there is a hesitation to portray Axis-aligned countries strictly as villains. Often times, I have seen Axis-countries being portrayed from a neutral position like in Girls und Panzer and Axis Powers Hetalia, or WW2-esque settings being entirely re-written and replaced by alternate settings like in Strike Witches or Sora no Woto.

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    Is Anime Becoming More About the 'Fan Service' than the Story and Artwork?

    Now a days the new anime that come out either depict two of the following: 1) Action w/ a romantic interest who barely has any clothes on or 2) A romantic interest who’s over-sexualized. Most of the time it’s a combination of both.

    The question now becomes, does the over service of ‘fan service’ take away from the anime itself (artwork, story line, and character development)? Or does it bring to the table something that we have yet to notice? (This I doubt, but just to cover the basis and everyone’s views).

    Examples of these would be: Free!, Food Wars, Keijo!, and Okusama ga Seitokaichou! !.

    • I think the question you need to address here is the time frame. Anime is becoming more fan-service oriented compared to... when? Fanservice has been a massive presence in anime, especially that oriented towards the Otaku crowd, for well over two decades now. Even widely regarded and relatively ancient anime series like Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995) included lots of tongue-in-cheek fanservice, even advising fans to come back next episode for "more fanservice!~~" I think a great watch for researching this piece would be the 1991 anime mockumentary "Otaku no Video," which takes a comedic look at the original generation of anime nerds... as well as the origins of fanservice. You could possibly contrast the contemporary shows you mentioned with older material: Did older series have as much fan service? Did they integrate it better? What makes it seem like fanservice is always increasing in anime? Are the *premises* for these shows getting more fanservicey? (I do have to say, I couldn't imagine Keijo! coming out 10 years ago, ahhahah~) – PeterThelonious 3 years ago
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    • Fanservice has always been present like PeterThelonious said. I don't think fanservice takes away from the plot as long as it's not the central focus. There's plenty of anime that incorporates fanservice but also has good storylines. Another example would be Code Geass – seouljustice 3 years ago
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    • While an interesting topic for discussion consider looking at it from a cultural perspective. Japan does not have she same Judaeo-Christian outlook on the human body especially breasts as can be seen in many of their gag gifts, video games, and Anime itself. They merely see the human body as that, the human body that's nothing to be ashamed of. So maybe try looking at this from a different cultural perspective and see if that helps or not. Hope the advice helps! – GingerSavvy 3 years ago
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    • While an interesting topic for discussion consider looking at it from a cultural perspective. Japan does not have she same Judaeo-Christian outlook on the human body especially breasts as can be seen in many of their gag gifts, video games, and Anime itself. They merely see the human body as that, the human body that's nothing to be ashamed of. So maybe try looking at this from a different cultural perspective and see if that helps or not. Hope the advice helps! - GingerSavvy – GingerSavvy 3 years ago
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