Just what IS Anime? (incl. recommendations for newbies)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Barry_B_B, Jul 31, 2001.

  1. Barry_B_B

    Barry_B_B Second Unit

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    Still pretty new to this, so I'd appreciate any responses. My questions:
    * I've heard of Anime, Manga, Hentai. What makes them different, and are there sub-classes?
    * History of the art
    * What studios/directors/writers comprise the "major players", past and present?
    This should get me started. Realize this might get a bit lengthy, so web-links most welcome. Thanks!
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    * I've heard of Anime, Manga, Hentai. What makes them different, and are there sub-classes?
    In Japanese, anime just means "animation". In English, the term specifically applies to animation produced by and for the Japanese home market. Manga are Japanese comic books, and Hentai literally means perverted, aka porn. There are hentai manga and anime of course
    * History of the art
    Umm, way too long to list here, try my column-http://www.dvdangle.com/articles/otaku_no_dvd/062100.html
    * What studios/directors/writers comprise the "major players", past and present?
    Creators- Leiji Matsumoto, Shoji Kawamori, Haruhiko Mikimoto, Mamoru Oshii, Katsuhiro Otomo, Toshio Okada, Hideaki Anno to name a few
    Studios- Sunrise, Production IG, Gainax, Tatsunoko etc
    ------------------
    Jeff Kleist
    Otaku No DVD columnist/Review Team Member
    http://www.DVDAngle.com
     
  3. Barry_B_B

    Barry_B_B Second Unit

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    Thanks for the answers, Jeff. I like the web site, plenty of reading for me to do now.
     
  4. James Nguyen

    James Nguyen Second Unit

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    Barry,
    you're about to embark on a long journey. [​IMG] Those who hear the calling of the masses of anime out there often get caught up in a seemingly endless cycle of purchases. There's always a new series or OVA (basically a made for video short, not made for TV, not made for theatrical release) to collect.
    With more and more releases coming to DVD now, my spending is increasing at an alarming rate. [​IMG] Ah well, I guess I wouldn't have it any other way.
    Perhaps if you'd mention any of your favorite films (animated or not) or genres of story, forum members could suggest some good series to begin with?
     
  5. Ken Stuart

    Ken Stuart Second Unit

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    Quote:



    Perhaps if you'd mention any of your favorite films (animated or not) or genres of story, forum members could suggest some good series to begin with?





    Well, I'd like to do so.

    Favorite non-kiddy animation:

    - Akira
    - Titan A.E.
    - Reboot
    - War Planets, aka Shadow Raiders
    - Aeon Flux

    Favorite non-animated films:

    - Zardoz
    - Lathe of Heaven
    - 2001
    - Star Wars 1,4,5,6
    - Blade Runner
    - The Matrix
    - The Fifth Element
    - Forbidden Planet
    - Heart of Glass
    - The Philadelphia Story

    And I have seen Princess Mononoke and Kiki's Delivery Service, and mildly liked both.
     
  6. Dave Falasco

    Dave Falasco Screenwriter

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    Well, at some point this is bound to turn into an Anime recommendation thread like the monster one that's already in progress, but at the risk of starting that trend, I would like to recommend just one anime to you, Ken. I see from your favorites list that you seem to like futuristic sci-fi (Blade Runner, Matrix, Fifth Element, etc). I would HIGHLY recommend you check out Ghost in the Shell. It often gets mentioned as one of the most popular anime movies, and I believe for good reason. The animation is breathtaking, but more than that I found the story to be mesmerizing. It is thought-provoking in the way that theMatrix is, except that instead of challenging perceptions about reality, it asks questions about the nature of identity.
    But that's a pretty dry way to describe a fantastic movie. See it for the action sequences--the fights, the car chases, the shoot-outs... See it for the incredible animation. See it for the haunting music. See it for the philosophical questions it poses. Hell, see it for the brief nudity--but just see it!
    Not everyone loves it, but it was the one that got me started in the genre. My favorite movie list bears a striking resemblance to yours, so I think there's a good chance you'll enjoy this one immensely.
    Good luck and happy viewing!
    Regards,
    Dave
     
  7. Brian Lawrence

    Brian Lawrence Producer

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    Real Name:
    Brian
     
  8. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    The term was taken from French, hence the use of katakana. The Japanese like to shorthand things, which unfortunately confuses the hell out of a lot of us [​IMG] Stuff like PlayStay for Playstation.
    Jeff Kleist
     
  9. James Nguyen

    James Nguyen Second Unit

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  10. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

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    Jeff- You mean it's not "Pa-ray-stay-shi-on? [​IMG]
    ------------------
    - Brian
    My DVD Collection
     
  11. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    Hmm...I'm only 15, so I don't exactly have a lot of experience in anime, and haven't been watching it for too long. I suggest you take it easy and slowly get into it.
    Watch Cartoon Network's Toonami. I know its bad anime, but at least you get used to it. This will also make everything else you ever see seem better.
    Get into some movies. If you get into movies, you will see some higher class anime and will get used to common ideas, themes, and complexities. Also, this will save you money versus buying DVD after DVD for a whole series. I reccommend Ghost in the Shell and Akira. I haven't seen to much anime films, but those two are universally accepted as being excellent, or at least very good for many reasons. I have heard good things about Ninja Scroll and Vampire Hunter D.
    Get into some series'. This is the tricky part. Some people like short ones, some like funny ones, some like dark ones, and some like bad ones. Find out what you like based on the movies and approach similar series'. I reccommend Serial Experiments: Lain (which is on 4 DVDs, 13 episodes) and Neon Genesis Evangelion (which is on 8 DVDs, 26 episodes, plus two movies coming out in January). I love Evangelion so much that you wouldn't believe it. I strongly reccommend it, and 90% of the people I know who have seen it (fully or a lot of it) agree that it is excellent and one of the BEST anime TV shows ever made. If you watch it, I reccommend the subtitles then the Japanese dubs. You can understand the storyline either way, but the Japanese is closer to the emotional state of the characters. Be warned that Evangelion starts as a typical mecha combat series and turns into a DEEP emotional rollercoaster. I think its worth it, and have all 8 DVDs.
    Look around on the internet and see what people reccommend. If you watch any TV anime, keep in mind that it is edited for america. Outlaw Star was pretty good when I watched it with subtitles, but the cut out episode and the removal of the "f" word in every episode made it stink. Also try renting part of a series first, and purchase when you're done.
     
  12. Kong Chang

    Kong Chang Screenwriter

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    I seriously disagree where the Japanese word "anime" comes from. The French would like for us to believe the word stems from their own word "animer" (Trans: to liven) (pronounced as AH-NEE-MAY), or "animé", which is the adjective form of "animer". However the French word for "animation" is also "animation" but pronounced as AH-NEE-MAH-SHONE.
    In actuality, the word "anime" in katakana form comes from the English word, "animation", which in katakana romanization is spelled as "A NI ME SHO N"...and the Japanese love to shorten foreign words down, so the long word dropped down to "anime" for short. Remember, Japanese animation was influenced by DISNEY animation, which is why the first animation character designer (god I forgot his name) based a lot of his character designs on the BIG-EYES that made Disney characters so unique (as can be seen in "Jungle Emperor" (aka Kimba the White Lion), "Astroboy" and others of his early works). Since Disney was the first to pioneer animation, the Japanese adopted the word from the American English and then later dropped the "tion" sound to form the current modern word of "anime".
    [Edited last by Kong Chang on August 01, 2001 at 03:53 AM]
     
  13. Kong Chang

    Kong Chang Screenwriter

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    Oh, and it's PU RE SU TE ƒvƒŒƒXƒe (pronouncd poo-ray-soo-tay) for Playstation (full katakana is PUREISUTE-SHON ... ƒvƒŒƒCƒXƒe[ƒVƒ‡ƒ“)
    K.C.
    [Edited last by Kong Chang on August 01, 2001 at 01:27 PM]
     
  14. Chris Beveridge

    Chris Beveridge Second Unit

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    Here's another anime primer that's available on my site.
    ------------------
    Chris Beveridge
    Webmaster, www.animeondvd.com
    Animation and stories for those who like to think outside of the Disney box
     
  15. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    That would be Osamu Tezuka who created Jungle Taitei, Astroboy and a million other things, his museum is incredible, beautiful pieces, and the stained glass is amazing!
     
  16. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Want a life? Want a car? Want a House?
    Then stay away from anime. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Zardoz Online | Burt Lancaster is The Swimmer | dOc
     
  17. Chris Beveridge

    Chris Beveridge Second Unit

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    heh heh, Jeff has certainly fallen to the dark side. Honestly, I feel sorry for people getting into DVD now. There's so much released, and if you want a lot of it, it's overwhelming, both for regular shows and for anime. I'm really glad I got in on the ground floor and have been able to keep up with it.
    ------------------
    Chris Beveridge
    Webmaster, www.animeondvd.com
    Animation and stories for those who like to think outside of the Disney box
     
  18. Ken Stuart

    Ken Stuart Second Unit

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    quote: Well, at some point this is bound to turn into an Anime recommendation thread like the monster one that's already in progress[/quote]
    As I mentioned elsewhere, the monster thread is no longer an Anime recommendation thread for newbies, it has become simply an Anime Chat Site for otakus.
    We need two threads, a newbie thread and an advanced thread. If an admin/moderator can change the name of the 21 page thread to "Anime Discussion", then we can keep this one on general topics and newbie recommendations.
    PS I did see Ghost in the Shell, it was good, but not great - perhaps it needed to be a half hour longer. I'm glad I forgot to mention that I had seen it, since your description will be valuable for others.
    I'm trying to rent:
    - Ninja Scroll (long waiting list for this one)
    - Grave of the Fireflies
    - Perfect Blue
    - Samurai X - Vol. 1
    - Gasaraki - Vol. 1
    and I have the first volume of Ranma 1/2 on its way to me.
    Any comments on these and similar might be generally valuable.
    PS I found on Chris' site:
     
  19. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I second the recommendation for Evangelion- I haven't even gotten that far into it, and I'm completely hooked (I own over 80 DVDs of anime, and that's my current favorite).
    A film I just recently saw which also blew me away is Perfect Blue- not SF though, more of a Hitchcockian psychological thriller. One of those films that demonstrates how animation can be far superior to a lot of its live-action counterparts. [​IMG]
     
  20. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    For those looking for Ninja Scroll: Heavy on cool action, rather light on story. Fun, but don't kill yourself trying to find it, you might be disappointed.
     

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