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Why does Anime get no respect?

25 DEC

This was an interesting article so I had to share this.

SheaJ says: The main reason why anime gets downplayed so much over here in the states is due to the fact that the only thing most people can relate towards anime, are the Saturday morning cartoons. Which, to be brutally honest, is crap. Badly animated, stupid stories, and made for children with short attention spans. That is not to say that anime does not also have it's 'fluff' as well, shows aimed primarily at children. But this is the only thing that the majority of Americans think of, when you mention something like Anime. Call it a lack of good stories or a view of a medium that is meant only for the 'young' and lacking any serious attention given to it.

The majority of Americans don't want to think. That's not saying that they don't think, that's simply saying that the type of entertainment that they enjoy doesn't really make them think. At all. Contrast that with the numerous anime story lines that present the view with ambiguous moral choices, convoluted plot twists, and debates on various philosophies and you have shows that make you think. Now, what are the popular shows in America right now? Reality TV shows. CSI and all their derivatives. And a few comedies that have to knock you over the head with their 'jokes'. Not a lot of thinking going on there.

That doesn't mean that anime lacks the light-hearted stuff. Nor the fact that there are some truely stupid shows out there. It's just that anime, as a whole, gets approached much like any other sort of TV show that involves actors. Just that it is animated. There are a few things that slip out of America that aren't complete dross... much like Avatar: The Last Air Bender, or some of the older WB super hero shows like Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, and even Superman : The Animated Series. But those were deliberate efforts by the directors to not be spoon-fed standard American Animated crap. The majority simply cannot be bothered. It's just a show for kids to nag their parents to buy their latest action doll/toy/card or something to watch in between commercials. Not something taken seriously.

That is why anime fans in the US are hardly ever taken seriously. Because people over here won't bother to educate themselves from their pre-conceived notions of what constitutes animation. It's either Disney (for kids), Pixar (movies for kids with some adult references), or it's just childish rubbish. That is the only way they view animation.

Incidentally, the opinion that Americans don't want to think too much about story, is also what influences what gets imported over here. Notice how pretty much any brainless fighter will get a straight import, but any slice-of-life shows hardly ever get imported. Oh, if it's got violence and lots of blood, that will easily get imported but anything showing a nipple or any sort of 'adult' humour, will have to be toned down for the "prudes" here. It's annoying. It's maddening. But it's just one of those things that you simply have to deal with. Welcome to America.

Your best bet to get a hold of the latest stuff would be to find a good site that has fansubs and find stuff that you enjoy. That way you will be able to see all of the stuff that you like and if/when they release it over here, buy a copy so you let the suits know your preferences. Because buying patterns of the public shapes what they are willing to import. And if they don't see a market for it, it simply won't be imported over here.

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default avatar AngelAnne
Jan 26, 2010

Well, we don't have to insult one or the other cuz thier both great. We don't have to agrue about this because its pointless.If people like the American shows, that's ok. And if people like anime, that's ok too. But lets not insult because the networks work the best they can to entertain people just as Anime does.And those American shows are not stupid! If you think anime is great, let it be. But insulting others is just wrong. To tell you the truth, anime bothers me, it feels like it's sending a bad message to me.

AirCommodore avatar AirCommodore
Dec 25, 2009

Ugh, this is completely selling American media short. Sure a lot of the popular shows are meant as brainless entertainment, but most popular anime are just as stupid. It's completely misinformed to hail anime, as a medium, as more complex or philosophical or whatever than any other medium.

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