Happy Monday BaddaBing BaddaBlog readers! I hope you had a fantastic weekend and are ready to kick this week’s ass. This is Manga (And Also Anime) Monday, the place where any and everything manga/anime related is discussed, dissected, and debated. Today we’re going to be examining what exactly makes a show an anime.
At times it can be difficult to determine the difference between an anime and an animated program. This is because the rules and constants of anime as a story telling medium has never really been established, like most forms of entertainment. A particular work is considered to be a drama because it follow the basic generalities that fit it into the category of drama. Likewise, you know a cartoon is a cartoon because it features characters and settings that are, at the least, marginally similar to all other cartoons. Anime starts to get a little tricky because location has become a factor in labeling the genre and anime has covered an incredibly wide range of subject matter and tones.
Anime is unique from a lot of other forms of popular entertainment because it is heavily associated with a particular region, namely Japan. As the vast majority of anime comes from Japan, the association with anime and it being from Japan has become so strong that many individuals believe that anime can only be anime if it is made in Japan and is made by Japanese people. Let me show you an example.
This is a trailer for the internet series “RWBY” (pronounced “ruby”). It is made by the incredibly popular online content creator Rooster Teeth. As demonstrated in the trailer, the series is very much an anime. It is stylized like an anime, takes place in a setting that is similar to many other anime, and uses tropes that are frequent in many anime works. However, because Rooster Teeth is based in Austin, Texas and because RWBY is created in America, it is hotly debated whether or not RWBY could be considered an anime.
The “Avatar” series is even more contested as it stylistically is even less closely related to anime, but still has a decidedly anime feel to it.
My personal opinion is that, yes, both of the above mentioned works are anime and that the place where a work is created should not impact what genre or formats a work is allowed to possess. The reason these arguments pop up in the first place is because anime occupies an unusual space between a genre and a medium. Anime is like a genre because a majority of the works have just enough in common, either in their style or in the way they present a story, to be considered a kind of television show or movie. It can also be considered a medium of entertainment because there has been enough difference in the kinds of stories told in an anime and such a wide range of subject matter covered that virtually any story could be told through an anime format, making it a medium.
The people who say that anime can only be anime if it is Japanese believe that anime is a genre and that a work being from Japan is a trait of that genre. I, and many others, believe that anime is a medium and theoretically any work from any place can be an anime so long as the creators choose to tell the story within the style and format of anime.
I know that this is a hard subject to digest and that this is only a brief summary of the complexities of the controversy, so I would very much like to get some feedback on it from you readers. Please let me know what you thought in the comments down below and, if you enjoyed the article, click the like button. As always, you can subscribe to BaddaBing BaddaBlog in the tab in the upper right corner via email. You can also stay up to date by liking the official BaddaBing BaddaBlog Facebook Page or by following me, @LucasDeRuyter, on Twitter. Also be sure to come back here on Wednesday for the latest installment of Pop Culture Wednesday. Have a great week everybody.