I needed to write an article on something, I chose anime. I've pretty much finished it today and I'm going to write it out tomorrow.
Would any of you mind telling me what you think of my article? It's aimed at people who know near to nothing about anime, so it's perfect for most on here to judge!
[U What is Anime?
By ****** ******
Anime has always been misunderstood by most of those in Europe, the UK population in particular being unable to view it as anything more than kids stuff or, worse yet, an animated form of pornography. You have to keep your secret love for anime a secret if you don't want to be looked down upon. I'm hoping I can get the people who read this to understand anime better.
The main reason for this problem is the age group (pre-teen) anything animated is aimed at over here, but the respectability of anime has not been helped at all by a large amount of anime being licensed and released in "kidified" form in certain European countries, where material is removed and the English dub isn't true to the original script in order it more appealing to young children.
[U "Kidification" Example:
Naruto, an anime aimed at teenage boys in Japan, started airing over here fairly recently on Jetix, a Disney channel. Just about all fighting, sharp weapons and blood was cut from the show...quite a problem when Naruto is about ninja fighting to the death!
Anime has not always been thought of as simply childish in the UK, mainly thanks to the badly named Manga Entertainment, a UK anime distributor. in an attempt to completely change the image of "cartoons" people had (or rather, still have) in the UK, Manga Entertainment and other early distributors of anime decided the best way to go about solving this problem was by releasing the most sick and perverted anime they could get their hands on, with anime involving monsters raping women throughout such as 'Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend' leading the way, also adding lots of pointless swearing in order to get the rating up to 18+. With anime distributors making every effort to convince the UK public that anime was the sickest thing you could buy, and the press writing lengthy articles calling for it to be banned before it turned our children into murderers and rapists, the reputation of anime took some serious blows before Pokemon came about.
The start of anime becoming "big" around the globe was when the internet and fansubbing came about. Fansubs are quite simply anime episodes with subtitles added by fan groups - People upload anime episodes onto the internet after they air in Japan, fansub groups add subtitles to them and release them for download on their websites. This is a very common thing these days and allows people outside of Japan to watch and understand what the Japanese themselves have only seen on a TV a few days before.
[U Back to Front
To understand anime, it's important to first understand where most the worlds and stories shown in anime come from - Manga.
Manga is the equivalent of comic books. These books have black and white picture panels and speech bubbles on each page. Outside of the fact nearly all animes are adaptations of manga, the most interesting thing about manga is that you read them back to front.
The start of manga becoming as huge as it is today began during the WWII occupation and post-occupation years in Japan. Artistic expression took a huge jump and the now famous Astro Boy and Sazae-san (the anime is still going today, some 51 years after starting) mangas started up. Manga kept growing until it become what it is today; part of Japanese culture.
The authors of manga work freelance, sending there work in (most work weekly, with 20 pages drawn each week) to magazines who publish it together with other work done by freelance artists. If the series gets good reviews they continue, the chapters they send in eventually getting put together and sold in volumes. If the author is lucky, someone will contact them and attempt to buy the creative rights to turn his/her manga into an anime; license it.
On a sidenote, UK anime distributor Manga Entertainment caused great confusion by putting manga in their name, resulting in people mistakingly believing that anime is called manga. Manga Entertainment say the reason for them deciding to confuse everyone by changing their name from Link World was because people in the UK thought of anime as manga when they formed, so they thought it was a good plan to confuse the issue further. Excellent logic.
Now that manga is explained, there's an obvious question that needs answering - Just what the hell is anime?
Strangely enough, a good amount of the Japanese would not know what you meant by anime if you walked up and tried to start a conversation about anime with your understanding of what anime is. Disney has just as much right as Akira to be classed as anime to the Japanese, most of whom are blissfully unaware of how the people outside of Japan view Japanese animation.
The word anime is used by people outside of Japan to describe animation worked on by the Japanese. Exactly when people outside of Japan started referring to anime as anime is unclear, although it's highly probable that those distributing started using the term in order to make anime seem unique and gain more interest; a sales angle.
The easiest way to spot anime would be by looking at how the characters eyes are drawn since insanely huge eyes are a normal thing in the world of manga and anime.
The first proven anime is 'Mukuzo Imokawa the Doorman', a five minute short by Oten Shimokawa that was created in 1916 and screened in 1917.
There has been lots of argument about the date when the first ever animated material came about in Japan since 2005 when Noaki Matsumoto discovered a scrap of film, barely 3 seconds long, drawn straight onto a blank film, and possibly never screened. 1907 has been a date thrown about for this unnamed 3 second clip, but the reason for that date is most likely down to the Japanese wanting Japan to be able to claim to have created animation, or at least claim to have not stolen it from anyone else.
I'm sure you would find it rather unusual to sit down with your family and watch anime, wouldn't you? In Japan it's as normal as watching... I don't know, Eastenders with your other half or something. I was born in the wrong country!
Anime airs on just about every channel in Japan, mixed in with live-action programs. The "big" anime channels are TV Tokyo, Fuji TV and BSi.
Anime episodes last 24 minutes each, but we're talking more along the lines of 19-20 minutes with the exclusion of openings and endings (featuring new songs by popular Japanese music artists). Opening and endings last around 1.5 minutes each, openings usually staying the same for 26 episodes and endings for 13 episodes, although there's no rule saying they have to.
Similar to how openings and endings usually change after 26 and 13 episodes respectively, the majority of anime series end after 13 or 26 episodes, some ending quite near to those numbers and others simply going on endlessly.