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Main difference between anime and U.S. cartoons?

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leo86

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Sep 9, 2003, 10:03:37 PM9/9/03
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I'm going to be interviewed in three days by the Japanese press about
anime in America and one of the key questions that came up in the
pre-interview was the difference between American animation and
Japanese animation, particularly on TV. The interviewer seems to think
that "Sponge Bob Squarepants" is the big thing in animation in the
U.S. right now and anime is only a small part of the overall animation
market. In some broad sense that may be true, but I pointed out the
huge, unprecedented number of anime shows now on U.S. television on
several different channels. I also pointed out how such shows as
"Pokemon," "Dragon Ball Z," and "Yu-Gi-Oh" had much greater impact
among the young males making up the key cartoon audience, while shows
like "Sponge Bob" attracted older teens and family members who don't
normally watch cartoons.

At some point, I described American cartoons as "formulaic" so I was
then asked what kinds of formulas American animation followed. I then
realized I really don't know what American animation is like these
days, even though I've sampled a good number of the current shows. So
I scanned a handy copy of TV Guide and came up with "Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles" and described that show: heavy doses of comedy and
slang; use of Asian martial arts as an action gimmick, without any
insight into the origin, nature or spirtual aspects of those martial
arts; rounded, cartoonish characters; no serious elements; and stories
that finished in one episode rather than continuing. And then I saw in
TV Guide, "X-Men Evolution," which fits a certain TV cartoon superhero
mold, but may in fact be a little more sophisticated than that. I tend
to think all American action cartoons tend to look alike (the new
Superman, Batman, Justice League, Teen Titans cartoons, for instance),
while the new, minimalist stuff on Cartoon Network seems to be
developing a distinct, though still formulaic, look of its own
(although one that is distinctly ugly, at least to me). There are
always exceptions, I'm sure, but I don't see any American cartoons
standing out from the pack of the current crop. Am I missing
something? Or am I right, at least in a more general sense?

So, since I see so little American animation these days, can you guys
help me out here as I twist the question around and ask you what it is
about American animation that makes it so different from anime?

Thanks.

Joe Gottman

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Sep 9, 2003, 10:24:33 PM9/9/03
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"leo86" <le...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:ba221860.0309...@posting.google.com...

> So, since I see so little American animation these days, can you guys
> help me out here as I twist the question around and ask you what it is
> about American animation that makes it so different from anime?


One major difference is the plot structure. Many anime are structured
like serials, with long continuing storylines. Most American cartoon series
are composed of individual episodes with little, if any relation between
each other. The long storylines make it possible for anime cartoons to have
more complex plots, and actual character development. On the other hand, it
is easier for the casual viewer to start watching American cartoons after
missing several episodes, because he or she does not have to catch up on the
back story.

Joe Gottman


AstroNerdBoy

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Sep 9, 2003, 10:36:07 PM9/9/03
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"leo86" <le...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:ba221860.0309...@posting.google.com...

>


> So, since I see so little American animation these days, can you guys
> help me out here as I twist the question around and ask you what it is
> about American animation that makes it so different from anime?
>
> Thanks.

Current American cartoons are mostly dumbed down to the lowest common
denominator and geared primarily for kids. Anime tends to tell a story or
have a ecchi-filled fanservice-fest. There are exceptions of course, but
considering how good anime titles got brought over for American TV like
"Escaflowne", then butchered to death in a desperate attempt to domesticate
them, shows that American's still see animation as primarily a kids medium
and not a vehicle to tell good stories.

-Earl

--
Hild: What a bad time to die. What will you do without your weapon?

Rind: Weapon? You've misunderstood. That's not a weapon. That's safety
equipment. As long as I was using that, your safety was guaranteed.

from "Oh My Goddess" vol. 26 ch. 163


Derek Janssen

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Sep 9, 2003, 10:51:27 PM9/9/03
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leo86 wrote:

Pretty much--
Except you left out the part about how most American cartoons stagnated
themselves somewhere in the mid-90's, when everyone coming out of art
school tried to offer up their tribute on the John K. altar, by
concocting their OWN frathouse revenge-fantasies against what they
thought the cheesy 50's-60's toons of their syndicated-afternoon
childhood looked like:

Cult imitation begat cult imitation, John K.-clones stuck in the 60's
evolved into the Craig McCrackens and Genny Tartakovskys neurotically
stuck in the Hanna-Barbera 70's, and CN and Nicktoons now daily try to
out-kitsch each other with the exact same act, Spongebob included...
To the point that now the entire industry seems to have forgotten what
it was doing and tries to survive by feeding off its own rapidly
depleting cult-kitsch nostalgia--While most *real* cartoon fans are now
flocking to the mainstream anime DVD/CN-import boom in droves just to
get a fresh, original breath of toons with actual stories and artwork.

(So, might want to pass along that some of us're, uh...kind of
*embarrassed* that the Japanese think the Powerpuff Girls are genius,
and hint just exactly how well the Movie did with us shirois on its home
turf.)

Derek Janssen (oh, and tell Excel that we haven't called anime
"Japanimation" for at least eleven years now) :)
dja...@rcn.com

Chris Sobieniak

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Sep 9, 2003, 11:06:44 PM9/9/03
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On Tue, Sep 9, 2003, 8:36pm (EDT-2), sp...@astronerdboy.com
(AstroNerdBoy) wrote:
>Current American cartoons are mostly dumbed
>down to the lowest common denominator and
>geared primarily for kids.

Pretty much how I feel about it too!

>Anime tends to tell a story or have a ecchi-filled
>fanservice-fest. There are exceptions of course,
>but considering how good anime titles got brought
>over for American TV like "Escaflowne", then
>butchered to death in a desperate attempt to
>domesticate them, shows that American's still see
>animation as primarily a kids medium and not a
>vehicle to tell good stories.
>-Earl

A very sad tragedy for all of us to bare!

From the Master of Car-too-nal Knowledge...
Christopher M. Sobieniak

--"Fightin' the Frizzies since 1978"--

Chris Sobieniak

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Sep 9, 2003, 11:04:43 PM9/9/03
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On Tue, Sep 9, 2003, 7:03pm (EDT-3), le...@my-deja.com (leo86) wrote:
>At some point, I described American cartoons as
>"formulaic" so I was then asked what kinds of
>formulas American animation followed. I then
>realized I really don't know what American
>animation is like these days, even though I've
>sampled a good number of the current shows.

I'm the same way too. Nothing today interests me anymore on TV than
anime.

>So I scanned a handy copy of TV Guide and came
>up with "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and
>described that show: heavy doses of comedy and
>slang; use of Asian martial arts as an action
>gimmick, without any insight into the origin, nature
>or spirtual aspects of those martial arts; rounded,
>cartoonish characters; no serious elements; and
>stories that finished in one episode rather than
>continuing.

That's about right!

>while
>the new, minimalist stuff on Cartoon Network
>seems to be developing a distinct, though still
>formulaic, look of its own (although one that is
>distinctly ugly, at least to me).

I felt the same way too, why I probably stopped watching many of these
cartoons too easily.

>There are always exceptions, I'm sure, but I don't
>see any American cartoons standing out from the
>pack of the current crop. Am I missing something?
>Or am I right, at least in a more general sense?
>So, since I see so little American animation these
>days, can you guys help me out here as I twist the
>question around and ask you what it is about
>American animation that makes it so different from
>anime?
>Thanks

Well, there's many points, one I can name off is that of the way
American cartoons are too formulaic and structured in their premise so
that the shows don't have to be watched in any particular order or to
have any kind of storylines or situations that span over many episodes
as the way anime does (following a serial pattern in this case).

Travers Naran

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Sep 9, 2003, 11:44:21 PM9/9/03
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leo86 wrote:
> I'm going to be interviewed in three days by the Japanese press about
> anime in America and one of the key questions that came up in the

The basic genres I've seen are:
* For Kids and Parents
* Pre-schooler Cartoons
* Typical Action/Superhero
* Hanna Barbara Retro
* Gross and Tasteless
* College crowd (a.k.a. MTV cartoons)
* Teenage girls

As you can see, cartoons are mostly for kids in America still. There's
a few exceptions, like the "Gross and Tasteless" and some "Hanna Barbara
Retro", but generally, if it's animated, it's for a child under 12.

Kids and Parents
================
Ex: Dexter's Laboratory, Spongebob Squarepants, Ned's Newt

These are shows that kids and their parents can watch together. Adults
who generally don't like cartoons will also watch them to unwind from
work. They are generally harmless, inoffensive. The humor is pretty
lightweight so a child can understand, but sometimes has a reference
that only adults would appreciate.


Little Girls and Boys
======================
Ex: Maggie and the Ferocious Beast

For American parents upset with the violence and "garbage" private
broadcasters "force" on their kids. These shows are nearly totally
harmless. Think Hamtaro.


Hanna Barbara retro
====================
Ex: Powerpuff Girls, Johnny Bravo, Harvey Birdman, Seaquest 2011

These are shows for 20-30 year olds who have fond memories of growing up
on Hana-barbara cartoons. The Powerpuff Girls and Johnny Bravo are
usually safe for young kids, but Harvey Birdman and Seaquest definitely
aren't. The interesting thing is these shows are both nostalgic _and_
mocking towards the old Hana Barbara style of cartoons.


Gross and Tasteless
===================
Ex: Ren n Stimpy, Quads, The Ripping Friends, South Park

Lead by "Ren N Stimpy", these cartoons are basically sophomoric
gross-out humor taking to its extremes. Mostly intended for 20-30 year
olds, but younger kids enjoy the gross sophomoric humor.


College Age Cartoons
====================
Ex: Undergrads or anything from MTV

These are wacky comedy cartoons for the MTV crowd. Self-referential and
trying too hard to be hip and trendy.


Teenage Girls
=============
Ex: Totally Spies, Braceface, Sabrina: The Teenage Witch, Clone High

America's version of shoujou anime, but these shows are invariably
insipid and shallow compared to your typical Japanese shoujou. Strong
young female characters are the heroes of these cartoons, and usually
have no challenging content.

Typical Action/Superhero
========================
Ex: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Justice League, X-Men: Evolution

The superhero format has never left American comics or airwaves. Even
comics aimed for adults are usually some sort of superhero comic. This
format and formula has not changed a bit since the 1980s. But X-Men:
Evolution is showing signs of great promise.


Off on its own thing
====================
Ex: Samurai Jack

I don't know if this series is a work of art, or just a really boring
vanity project.


Bright spot: X-Men Evolution
=============================

Normally, the superhero format and formula are some superhero (sometimes
from a comic book) fights outlandish villains with melodramatic motives
in self-contained episodes that can be aired in any order. Hell, you
could even skip a season and never notice the difference.

X-Men Evolution seemed like it was going to be a cross between Superhero
formula and the Teenage Girl format, but this series is showing anime
like plotting. Characters are deeper and more interesting than you
usually expect from American animation, and the stories take place
across entire seasons with actual growth and change in the main characters.

Is XM:E an abbaration? I don't know, but it's certainly looks like a
ray of hope in an otherwise bleak and dull animation industry.


The Japanese Invasion IV
=========================
I believe there has been four invasions of Japanese animation, anime,
since the invention of the genre in the 50s.

Invasion I = Gigantor, Astro Boy and Speed Racer
Invasion II = Battle of the Planets, Starblazers (Space Battleship Yamato)
Invasion III = Robotech (a.k.a. Macross), Transformers[*]
Invasion IV = Pokemon, Yuh-gi-oh, Cardcaptor Sakura, Beyblade, etc.

[*] The animation was American, but the robots were definitely Japanese.

The first and second invasion were just to fill timeslots on independent
TV stations. The third and fourth invasions are most definitely market
driven. Supposedly, Robotech was brought over because Revel had
licensed the model kits and wanted kids to know what they were about.
The fourth invasion is mostly pure marketing.

But in each case, the invasions have left a mark on the audience. At
first, it was just accepting the drawing style, but eventually it seems
to have helped kids adapt to the idea of a long, on-going story line,
and more amazingly of all, American kids are watching shows that have
characters that clearly exist in a culture different than their own.
Nowadays, the kids know their favorite animations are from Japan, and it
doesn't bother them. The mantra in Hollywood and TV land used to be
"Americans kids can't identify with non-Americans". That mantra has
been disproven, and a new market has opened up. The mainstreaming of
anime is still at a very, very early stage, but it's happening.

Fox Saturday morning, still the most influential source of animation,
has shown several anime series (Escaflowne, Gundam), and they advertise
The Shaman King as Shonen Jump's The Shaman King. Cartoon Network's
Anime lineup is #1 with kids and #3 with adults for that timeslot.

Things are definitely changing, and it will be interesting to see how
the American animation industry adapts.

--
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Ronny Cook

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Sep 10, 2003, 3:57:04 AM9/10/03
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Two main things:
(1) In American animation, people don't get hurt, either emotionally
or physically. Yes, there is cartoon violence, but actually
showing major characters dying (or even being sad in a serious
way) is quite rare.
(2) As others have mentioned, American animation is far more episodic. That
is, actions do not have consequences. More or less the same characters
will appear in more or less the same form throughout the series.

As for being formulaic, I don't think American animation is any more
guilty of this than anime. Anybody who watches Sailor Moon, Zoids -
certainly any of the "creature combat" shows - can't miss the fact
that they tend to be formulaic. Where the difference lies here is
mainly in using different formulae...

I'm also one of those who watches very little television... anime on
TV down here tends to be rare and depressingly dumbed-down when it
*does* appear. The amount of television I watch weekly could be
comfortably counted (in hours) on the fingers of one hand. Sometimes
on the fingers of one finger. :-)

...Ronny
--
Ronny Cook - gro.koocynnor@ynnor (read backwards) -- www.ronnycook.org
Yes, the domain is sad, but effective. :-)


Ethan Hammond

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Sep 10, 2003, 4:23:55 AM9/10/03
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"Derek Janssen" <dja...@rcn.com> wrote in message

>
> Derek Janssen (oh, and tell Excel that we haven't called anime
> "Japanimation" for at least eleven years now) :)

And I never did because the term brings me great chagrin.

--
All Purpose Cultural Randomness
http://www.angelfire.com/tx/apcr/index.html


Scott

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Sep 10, 2003, 5:36:31 AM9/10/03
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leo86 wrote:

> I'm going to be interviewed in three days by the Japanese press about
> anime in America and one of the key questions that came up in the
> pre-interview was the difference between American animation and
> Japanese animation, particularly on TV. The interviewer seems to think
> that "Sponge Bob Squarepants" is the big thing in animation in the
> U.S. right now and anime is only a small part of the overall animation
> market.

Anime is the animation market. All the revenue growth is anime. All
the merchandising is anime. Almost every new project is either anime or
heavily influenced by it. Anime is getting all of the press and shelf
space. Shows like Spongebob Squarepants are the exception, not the rule.

The market at this point is probably 20% Toonami, 30% Pixar, and 50%
Cartoon Network.


> At some point, I described American cartoons as "formulaic" so I was
> then asked what kinds of formulas American animation followed.

There is one formula: sour, ambivalent and thoroughly unpleasant
characters involved in a perpetual insult contest. Everything else is
anime.

> heavy doses of comedy and
> slang;

...usually at the expense of at least one character's dignity...

> use of Asian martial arts as an action gimmick, without any
> insight into the origin, nature or spirtual aspects of those martial
> arts; rounded, cartoonish characters; no serious elements; and stories
> that finished in one episode rather than continuing.

That about covers it. :)

> There are
> always exceptions, I'm sure, but I don't see any American cartoons
> standing out from the pack of the current crop.

The PowerPuff Girls is notable since it was adapted as a feature film
and had a very successful merchandising program. Spongebob Squarepants
remains quite successful. Most other non-anime shows are quite
unremarkable and very unoriginal.

> Am I missing
> something? Or am I right, at least in a more general sense?

You're right.

> So, since I see so little American animation these days, can you guys
> help me out here as I twist the question around and ask you what it is
> about American animation that makes it so different from anime?

The lack of real writing forms the basis for almost all complaints about
non-anime animated television and most of the movies. Very, very little
thought is given to exactly what a show is trying to say. Most creative
decisions are marketing-centered, which means the show serves as nothing
more than a half-hour commercial for a money-grab merchandising program
and ends up saying nothing after 26 episodes.

The reason anime is successful is because most anime series actually say
something, and that is because great care is taken in writing the
stories for anime.

Non-anime projects are also often done as cheaply as possible, with
absolutely no craftsmanship, artistic endeavor or lasting meaning
involved, so it won't become "too expensive" for the $100-million
production company.

There are several reasons for this, but the most obvious one is that it
is virtually impossible for a creative person to sell a creative idea to
a middle-management-operated bureaucracy.

At a basic level, bureaucracies are anti-creative constructs. They are
designed specifically to avoid risk and unpredictability, which are the
raw materials of creativity.

The person who developed the THREE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR Lilo and
Stitch, for example, spent TEN YEARS pitching the idea before it was
approved. Just as a point of reference, it took just over four years to
build the Superdome. Twelve publishers turned down Harry Potter. Three
attempts were made to cancel development on the Sims. 20th Century Fox
tried repeatedly to convince George Lucas there was no market for "space
movies." There are hundreds of examples of this.

Pixar, Cartoon Network and Dreamworks are the only companies doing any
really halfway original animation any more. Disney is busy re-releasing
Sleeping Beauty (after 44 years) and Snow White (after almost 70 years).
Oh, and let's not forget the brilliant "Cinderella II" which actually
tries to add a sequel to "happily ever after."

Meanwhile, there are dozens upon dozens of anime companies that are
producing one amazingly original series and OAV after another. The DVD
display at Suncoast compared to just 3 years ago is a wonder to behold.
Earlier this summer, the Incredible Hulk movie merchandise was pushed
to the *back of the store* in favor of Ruroni Kenshin and Magic Knight
Rayearth manga ***while Hulk was still in it's second week of release***

And of course, let's not forget that anime won the Academy Award this
year. That about says it all.

--
Scott

Pål Are Nordal

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Sep 10, 2003, 6:33:08 PM9/10/03
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leo86 wrote:

> So, since I see so little American animation these days, can you guys
> help me out here as I twist the question around and ask you what it is
> about American animation that makes it so different from anime?

Some thoughts in random order:

US animation doesn't have a tradition of producing (mostly) faithful
adaptations of most successful comics. I think this is a *very*
important difference between the US and Japanese animation market, and
very much overlooked when people compare them. The times this has
happened in the US (90s Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, Spawn) you generally
see less interference from the suits since they're already proven
properties, and they're more hesitant to "fix" it. Of course, given that
the US comics market is at an all time low thanks to collector madness
of the mid 90s, "successful comic" may be an oxymoron.

A lot of anime aimed at kids (particularly those not based on a
successful manga) can be far, far stupider, plotless and play it safer
then the average US cartoon. Heck, you even have examples like Beast
Wars, where the show was dumbed down, character deaths were sidestepped,
and one of the show's two tough females was changed into a man, all
because it was deemed inappropriate for the Toy companys intended target
audience.

Networks like to be able to run episodes in whatever order they want, so
tight continuity is discouraged. That's not to say that there haven't
been exceptions (Exo-Squad, Roughnecks, etc.). Those were mainly in
first run syndication though, which is a thing of the past at the moment.

On average, US cartoons have considerably larger budgets (more
consistent animation, higher frame rate, and the cast and crew generally
get paid more). When the budget shrinks, US shows go for poorer, but
consistent animation, rather then lots of slow pans, animation loops
etc. to save money for more important scenes.

Licensing and dubbing is a *lot* cheaper then doing an original show,
especially since the dubbing cast/crew isn't paid much in comparison to
those for original animation and don't get any residual payments for
reruns. This means dubbed anime can be successful with much lower
ratings then a comparable US production.

US shows are rarely intended to have limited runs. Unless it makes it to
50 or more episodes, it is usually a failure.

There are much, much fewer new US cartoons produced each year. Starting
one up is much more of a big deal, so more people tend to get involved
to make sure it's done their way. A really sad example is the
Sony/Mainframe Heavy Gear series, where the writers started out planning
a faithful adaptation of the civil war storyline in the original RPG
with lots of political intrigue. The story got diluted, and diluted
throughout development, most notably by Bandai America who were supposed
to create toys for the show, and put a lot of restrictions on the
designs and nixed the idea of a story arc, eventually turning the show
into an endless series of repetitive gladiatorial mecha matches.

The market for serious late night animated shows isn't anywhere large
enough in the US to make continuous original productions attractive.
There have been a few attempts though, by MTV and HBO (Spawn), but no
big successes.

Aside from CGI and really low budget 2D (South Park, Adult Swim), the
actual animation is outsourced to countries with lower labor costs,
usually to Korea or Japan. Sometimes even to well known anime studios.

Japan has very, very limited live action production capacity in
comparison to North America. Shows that could only be pulled off as
animation in Japan, may end up getting done as live action in the US
instead.

Pål Are Nordal

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Sep 10, 2003, 7:07:16 PM9/10/03
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Travers Naran wrote:
>
> Hanna Barbara retro
> Gross and Tasteless

It should be noted that these are getting considerably better ratings on
Adult Swim then anime. Anime gets aired though because it's cheaper to
acquire.

> The superhero format has never left American comics or airwaves. Even
> comics aimed for adults are usually some sort of superhero comic.

In US comics, superheros sell. Just like giant robots in Japan. There is
a *lot* more to US comics, however nobody appears to be buying.

> This
> format and formula has not changed a bit since the 1980s.

I don't know. 90s Batman, Spawn, Spider-Man and Hulk were very different
shows. HBO's Spawn had sex and gross violence (animated by Madhouse,
Kawajiri would be proud). Hulk was outright gritty and depressive until
it got revamped for it's second season due to low ratings. I think Betty
Ross summed up the bitter spirit of the show in the season one finale
"Try as we may, perhaps it is beyond our control to ever alter the
course of our destiny. The winds of change simply blow past us...
Humbling us... Reminding us of how helpless we really are."

> Is XM:E an abbaration? I don't know, but it's certainly looks like a
> ray of hope in an otherwise bleak and dull animation industry.

It has Boyd Kirkland and Greg Johnson at the helm. Tehy rite godd!

> Invasion III = Robotech (a.k.a. Macross), Transformers[*]
>

> [*] The animation was American, but the robots were definitely Japanese.

The toys and animation was Japanese. The concept and writing was US.

Travers Naran

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Sep 10, 2003, 11:14:03 AM9/10/03
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Pål Are Nordal wrote:
> Travers Naran wrote:
>>
>> Hanna Barbara retro
>> Gross and Tasteless
>
> It should be noted that these are getting considerably better ratings on
> Adult Swim then anime. Anime gets aired though because it's cheaper to
> acquire.

Are they? Because it seems like I haven't heard of a new HB retro
cartoon in years, and the only new G&T series have been on Spike TV. If
they were successful, you'd usually expect a whole bunch of imitators
flooding the market.

>> The superhero format has never left American comics or airwaves. Even
>> comics aimed for adults are usually some sort of superhero comic.
>
> In US comics, superheros sell. Just like giant robots in Japan. There is
> a *lot* more to US comics, however nobody appears to be buying.

Well, the indies would complain they have solid sales, but from the last
charts I've seen, manga is dominating the graphic novels market. Did I
say dominating? I meant razing the other gfx novels into dust. Hell,
the last volume of Chobits actually showed up in someone's top 20
bestselling books list!

>> This format and formula has not changed a bit since the 1980s.
>
> I don't know. 90s Batman, Spawn, Spider-Man and Hulk were very different
> shows. HBO's Spawn had sex and gross violence (animated by Madhouse,
> Kawajiri would be proud). Hulk was outright gritty and depressive until
> it got revamped for it's second season due to low ratings. I think Betty
> Ross summed up the bitter spirit of the show in the season one finale
> "Try as we may, perhaps it is beyond our control to ever alter the
> course of our destiny. The winds of change simply blow past us...
> Humbling us... Reminding us of how helpless we really are."

But those are 4 examples out how many superhero animations we've had
during that same time? Spawn came and went, but hasn't really left an
impact on the industry. Can you point to 3 shows that are clearly
influenced by Spawn? Spider-Man just added a bit more of the comic book
arc, but generally kept to the old TV superhero formula. I don't recall
the 90s Hulk.

The 90s Batman did leave a demonstrable mark on the industry in Superman
and Justice League, as well as daring to suggest a superhero show can be
maturely written and kids will still watch.

>> Is XM:E an abbaration? I don't know, but it's certainly looks like a
>> ray of hope in an otherwise bleak and dull animation industry.
>
> It has Boyd Kirkland and Greg Johnson at the helm. Tehy rite godd!

'Dem and Paul Dini. Comic book geeks rite reel gooder!

>> Invasion III = Robotech (a.k.a. Macross), Transformers[*]
>>
>> [*] The animation was American, but the robots were definitely Japanese.
>
> The toys and animation was Japanese. The concept and writing was US.

It was? Are you sure it wasn't just farmed out to Japan and Korea (w/
keyframes and storyboards still done in America)? The reason I say that
is because most of the robot animations were God-awful!

Arnold Kim

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Sep 10, 2003, 11:18:44 AM9/10/03
to

"leo86" <le...@my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:ba221860.0309...@posting.google.com...

Nothing else to add here except that it's unfair that you're lumping Batman,
Superman, and Justice League as more or less "typical" action animation.
Those three, especially Batman, broke all the rules in terms of what can and
can't be shown in animated programming on television. Batman was the first
to show crime and violence in anything resembling a realistic light. It's
the only American animation that I've ever really seen incorporate elements
of film noir into its storytelling. And it's one of the few I've seen where
the characters aren't just two dimensional but are shown dealing with deep
emotional conflicts. Just because it's episodic doesn't mean it's not
capable of greatness. Most of Cowboy Bebop was episodic too.

Plus, Batman actually invented its own unique visual style (called "Dark
Deco) that really isn't like anything that came before it . The only
reasons why the three series look alike is because they're made by the same
people and take place in the same continuity.

Arnold Kim


Lawrence Lin

unread,
Sep 10, 2003, 12:55:27 PM9/10/03
to
On Wed, 10 Sep 2003, Scott wrote:

> decisions are marketing-centered, which means the show serves as nothing
> more than a half-hour commercial for a money-grab merchandising program
> and ends up saying nothing after 26 episodes.

And *Mon/latest-anime-toy-game-juggernaut is any different?

Anime is as capable (if not more) than US cartoons at pumping up bilge.

--
http://www.noderunner.net/~llin/

Arthur Levesque

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Sep 10, 2003, 5:15:31 PM9/10/03
to
leo86>At some point, I described American cartoons as "formulaic" ...

And anime isn't? Anime just has different formulae.
--
/\ Arthur Levesque <fnord?> http://boog.org & http://DammitJa.net __
\B\ack King of the Potato People & shanana-Cobain <*> Urban Spaceman (oO)
\S\lash Screw the cheese-eating surrender monkeys! Sweet Transvestite /||\
\/ I was a lesbian before it was fashionable! My work here is done...

Adam Haun

unread,
Sep 10, 2003, 5:37:23 PM9/10/03
to
On 9 Sep 2003 19:03:37 -0700, le...@my-deja.com (leo86) wrote:

>So, since I see so little American animation these days, can you guys
>help me out here as I twist the question around and ask you what it is
>about American animation that makes it so different from anime?

After reading the other posts and giving this one some thought, I
think the only real difference is what doesn't get made. As others
have pointed out, anime can be just as mindless and formulaic as
American cartoons. The difference is that the stuff that *isn't*
mindless and formulaic doesn't get made at all here. We have no Lain,
Bebop, or Eva to redeem our animation. In terms of Sturgeon's Law, we
cull the good ten percent of the cartoons out, and leave the other
ninety percent in.

--
Adam Haun
ad...@infinity.idleplay.net
Ia! Ia! Rob Kelk fthagn!

Chris Sobieniak

unread,
Sep 10, 2003, 7:18:04 PM9/10/03
to
On Wed, Sep 10, 2003, 3:33pm (EDT-3), dr...@spamcop.net
(Pål Are Nordal) wrote:
>Some thoughts in random order:
>US animation doesn't have a tradition of producing
>(mostly) faithful adaptations of most successful
>comics. I think this is a *very* important difference
>between the US and Japanese animation market,
>and very much overlooked when people compare
>them. The times this has happened in the US (90s
>Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, Spawn) you generally
>see less interference from the suits since they're
>already proven properties, and they're more
>hesitant to "fix" it. Of course, given that the US
>comics market is at an all time low thanks to
>collector madness of the mid 90s, "successful
>comic" may be an oxymoron.

I blame it on that too, plus the way comics have allegated themselves
into these seedy comic shops and bookstores and outside the newsstands
of supermarkets and corner drug stores of yesteryear.

>A lot of anime aimed at kids (particularly those not
>based on a successful manga) can be far, far
>stupider, plotless and play it safer then the
>average US cartoon. Heck, you even have
>examples like Beast Wars, where the show was
>dumbed down, character deaths were sidestepped,
>and one of the show's two tough females was
>changed into a man, all because it was deemed
>inappropriate for the Toy companys intended target
>audience.

Though Beast Wars was produced by Mainframe in Canada, so it probably
wouldn't count as anime anyway.

>Networks like to be able to run episodes in
>whatever order they want, so tight continuity is
>discouraged. That's not to say that there haven't
>been exceptions (Exo-Squad, Roughnecks, etc.).
>Those were mainly in first run syndication though,
>which is a thing of the past at the moment.

Remember back when this was possible to watch cartoons on saturday
morning.

>On average, US cartoons have considerably larger
>budgets (more consistent animation, higher frame
>rate, and the cast and crew generally get paid
>more). When the budget shrinks, US shows go for
>poorer, but consistent animation, rather then lots
>of slow pans, animation loops etc. to save money
>for more important scenes.

And the eventual farming of said animation to Korea, Taiwan, and
mainland China to save extra moolah.

>Licensing and dubbing is a *lot* cheaper then
>doing an original show, especially since the
>dubbing cast/crew isn't paid much in comparison to
>those for original animation and don't get any
>residual payments for reruns. This means dubbed
>anime can be successful with much lower ratings
>then a comparable US production.

Too bad we don't follow a simular pattern that has been already
established in countries like France and Italy where anime
licensing/dubbing has been common for decades.

>US shows are rarely intended to have limited runs.
>Unless it makes it to 50 or more episodes, it is
>usually a failure.

Originally in the case of a daily syndicated package, the total would be
some 65 episodes. 13 episodes is a common number for a cartoon's season
run, though many times 52 episodes tend to be another common number,
depending on the popularity of the particular show and how many episodes
might be milked out of it.

>There are much, much fewer new US cartoons
>produced each year. Starting one up is much more
>of a big deal, so more people tend to get involved
>to make sure it's done their way. A really sad
>example is the Sony/Mainframe Heavy Gear
>series, where the writers started out planning a
>faithful adaptation of the civil war storyline in the
>original RPG with lots of political intrigue. The
>story got diluted, and diluted throughout
>development, most notably by Bandai America
>who were supposed to create toys for the show,
>and put a lot of restrictions on the designs and
>nixed the idea of a story arc, eventually turning the
>show into an endless series of repetitive
>gladiatorial mecha matches.

Sad indeed, I probably would've watched it.

>The market for serious late night animated shows
>isn't anywhere large enough in the US to make
>continuous original productions attractive. There
>have been a few attempts though, by MTV and
>HBO (Spawn), but no big successes.

Sad really (and I used to watch the animation on MTV back then).

>Aside from CGI and really low budget 2D (South
>Park, Adult Swim),

I still can't believe these shows are ever made. Looked too much like
the kind of BS budget vaules I expect from typical fan-made productions
(still "Sealab 2021" has some great laughs).

>the actual animation is
>outsourced to countries with lower labor costs,
>usually to Korea or Japan. Sometimes even to well
>known anime studios.

Used to remember back when I would spot "TMS" for animating a particular
cartoon, and I would love watching the episode because it felt a lot
better over anything else that was probably outsourced out to some
Philipino studio.

>Japan has very, very limited live action production
>capacity in comparison to North America.

Pretty much what makes it so unique!

>Shows that could only be pulled off as animation
>in Japan, may end up getting done as live action in
>the US instead.

Not that I hope for a live-action Cowboy Bebop anytime soon!

Derek J Decker

unread,
Sep 10, 2003, 7:52:52 PM9/10/03
to
In message <ba221860.0309...@posting.google.com> -
le...@my-deja.com (leo86)9 Sep 2003 19:03:37 -0700 writes:
:>
:>So, since I see so little American animation these days, can you guys

:>help me out here as I twist the question around and ask you what it is
:>about American animation that makes it so different from anime?
:>

American animation tends to be ordered up as a commodity - so many episodes,
like so many sacks of wheat. The result is that once the basic premise of
a series is set and we're introduced to the main characters, each episode
is completely stand-alone. This way they can be shown in any order.

There's no character development, no ongoing plot, no new characters that
appear in future episodes, or any feature that would make it awkward to
show a series out of order. I think this is a requirement from the networks,
to make their lives easier. If a story can't be wrapped up in a half-hour
slot, it's not told.

Now, this is Usenet. And on Usenet, when you make a blanket statement like
this, you're sure to be inundated with counter-examples - both of episodic
anime and of American shows with actual plot development. But you can
certainly
watch seasons of Sponge Bob, Dexter's Lab, Hey Arnold, Rugrats, PowerPuff
Girls, Ed Edd and Eddy, Scooby-Doo, Recess, Samurai Jack, Courage the
Cowardly Dog, Sitting Ducks (if that show is even watchable by humans),
Tom & Jerry, The Fairly Oddparents, Rocket Power, the Wild Thornberrys, or
CatDog in any order and not miss a thing. I know, because that's what
happens on the tube here with the kids.

Try watching Lain, Escaflowne, Inuyasha, or Evangelion with the shows out
of order sometime. I'd bet many of you reading this are wincing just
considering the idea. More episodic anime like, say, Cowboy Bebop could
survive having some eps switched around - but what would happen to Bebop if
it was shown in reverse order?

I'm fairly convinced that it's the ideas of ongoing story arcs, characters
who are interesting and develop over time as they react to their experiences,
and mysteries that get cleared up over the course of a series that make for
the largest differences between American animation and Japanese anime - more
so than any stylistic conventions (big eyes, sweat drops, etc) or cultural
differences (the First Kiss thing, etc) that might be there.

-Derek

--
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Derek J Decker de...@decker.net Decker Automation |
| |
| http://DeckerAutomation.myiglou.com |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Liam Slider

unread,
Sep 10, 2003, 9:06:46 PM9/10/03
to
leo86 wrote:
<snip>

It's simple. In Japan Anime is often considered a serious form of art
and entertainment. This developed mainly because they had no real
equilivant to Hollywood, nor the budgets for it. You could pull off
things in Anime that were simply impossible, or just financially
impossible in regular movies. Anime is targetted at a wide audience,
from kids stuff, to shows for adults.

In the USA cartoons are seen (and have almost always been seen) as
completely non-serious, mostly kids stuff, cheap garbage for the masses.
Certainly nothing to tell serious or involved stories with. Mostly
targets the kid market. Oh and of course, don't expect kids to be able
to enjoy long involved storylines anyway...

In short, in the US the media is run by idiots.

--
"It is really quite amazing by what margins competent but conservative
scientists and engineers can miss the mark, when they start with the
preconceived idea that what they are investigating is impossible. When
this happens, the most well-informed men become blinded by their
prejudices and are unable to see what lies directly ahead of them." -
Arthur C. Clarke, 1963

Liam Slider

unread,
Sep 10, 2003, 9:08:42 PM9/10/03
to

Note, this also explains Pokemon's audience... I've actually had people
tell me they liked that piece of crap exactly for the reason that
storylines don't matter, you can drop in at any place in the story. So
*some* anime falls into that trap too.

Liam Slider

unread,
Sep 10, 2003, 9:10:20 PM9/10/03
to
AstroNerdBoy wrote:
<snip>

> Anime tends to tell a story or
> have a ecchi-filled fanservice-fest.

Hey, that's not fair, some shows do both at the same time! Like Burn Up:
Excess! Serious story, but still 90% fanservice.

Chris Sobieniak

unread,
Sep 10, 2003, 11:01:30 PM9/10/03
to
On Wed, Sep 10, 2003, 8:06pm (EDT-1), li...@NOSPAM.liamslider.com
(Liam Slider) wrote:
>leo86 wrote:
><snip>
>It's simple. In Japan Anime is often considered a
>serious form of art and entertainment. This
>developed mainly because they had no real
>equilivant to Hollywood, nor the budgets for it.
>You could pull off things in Anime that were
>simply impossible, or just financially impossible in
>regular movies. Anime is targetted at a wide
>audience, from kids stuff, to shows for adults.

What made anime what it is. Hardly looked on as an odd form of
entertainment at all.

>    In the USA cartoons are seen (and have almost
>always been seen) as completely non-serious,
>mostly kids stuff, cheap garbage for the masses.
>Certainly nothing to tell serious or involved stories
>with. Mostly targets the kid market. Oh and of
>course, don't expect kids to be able to enjoy long
>involved storylines anyway...

Shame really (and I used to enjoy the few I used to see on Nick that did
that).

>In short, in the US the media is run by idiots.

Best explains the above!

Blade

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 1:05:27 AM9/11/03
to
arro...@violet.rahul.net (Ken Arromdee) wrote in
news:bjosvu$env$2...@blue.rahul.net:

> In article
> <12462-3F...@storefull-2175.public.lawson.webtv.net>, Chris


> Sobieniak <chrism...@webtv.net> wrote:
>>What made anime what it is. Hardly looked on as an odd form of
>>entertainment at all.
>

> I don't know about that. From what I hear, anime in Japan is like
> Star Wars over here. Everyone's seen some of it and knows what it
> is, but only kids and geeks are really fans of it. Your average
> Japanese person watches some anime like Sazae-san or Miyazaki
> movies, but doesn't consider himself a fan and doesn't watch anime
> in general.

That's actually a great comparison, Ken. The person writing the article
should use it.

Blade

DishRoom1

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 3:26:35 AM9/11/03
to
Chris Sobieniak wrote --

dr...@spamcop.net wrote --

>>Japan has very, very limited live action production
>>capacity in comparison to North America.
>
>Pretty much what makes it so unique!

I'm glad to learn about that. ^_^

>>Shows that could only be pulled off as animation
>>in Japan, may end up getting done as live action in
>>the US instead.
>
>Not that I hope for a live-action Cowboy Bebop anytime soon!
>

And besides we know all too well what happens when Hollywood turns *OUR*
cartoons into live-action... -_-

John Shughart

DishRoom1

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 3:42:16 AM9/11/03
to
dr...@spamcop.net wrote --

>Travers Naran wrote:
>>
>> Hanna Barbara retro
>> Gross and Tasteless
>
>It should be noted that these are getting considerably better ratings on
>Adult Swim then anime. Anime gets aired though because it's cheaper to
>acquire.

Still, I perfer my anime over those guys anytime. I don't enjoy Hanna-Barbera
and its imitators as I used to anymore, and I have a sensitive appatite
conservative tastes, hence I get weak-stomached and gravley ill to the bone
over the Gross and Tasteless genre.


>> The superhero format has never left American comics or airwaves. Even
>> comics aimed for adults are usually some sort of superhero comic.
>
>In US comics, superheros sell. Just like giant robots in Japan. There is
>a *lot* more to US comics, however nobody appears to be buying.

Nearly sadly true. Its unfair that, even with the Collectors Market Craze of
the 1990s long gone, the superheroes still dominate the comic book market with
*still* nothing of great depth or intellegence to say, while some better comics
like the those of furry (independent anthropomorphic-animal fantasy/cartooning)
comics get little attention.

John Shughart

Blade

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 3:46:06 AM9/11/03
to
dish...@aol.com (DishRoom1) wrote in
news:20030911034216...@mb-m13.aol.com:
> dr...@spamcop.net wrote --

>>> The superhero format has never left American comics or airwaves.
>>> Even comics aimed for adults are usually some sort of superhero
>>> comic.
>>In US comics, superheros sell. Just like giant robots in Japan.
>>There is a *lot* more to US comics, however nobody appears to be
>>buying.
> Nearly sadly true. Its unfair that, even with the Collectors Market
> Craze of the 1990s long gone, the superheroes still dominate the
> comic book market with *still* nothing of great depth or
> intellegence to say, while some better comics like the those of
> furry (independent anthropomorphic-animal fantasy/cartooning) comics
> get little attention.

Nothing of great depth or intelligence to say? Boy, hie thee to a comic
shop and purchase a copy of Watchmen. There has still never been a manga
that matches it.

Blade

DishRoom1

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 3:47:49 AM9/11/03
to
Travers naran wrote --

>Pål Are Nordal wrote:
>> Travers Naran wrote:
>>>
>>> Hanna Barbara retro
>>> Gross and Tasteless
>>
>> It should be noted that these are getting considerably better ratings on
>> Adult Swim then anime. Anime gets aired though because it's cheaper to
>> acquire.
>
>Are they? Because it seems like I haven't heard of a new HB retro
>cartoon in years, and the only new G&T series have been on Spike TV. If
>they were successful, you'd usually expect a whole bunch of imitators
>flooding the market.

I am thankful that the G&T genre didn't spawn many imatators.


>
>>> The superhero format has never left American comics or airwaves. Even
>>> comics aimed for adults are usually some sort of superhero comic.
>>
>> In US comics, superheros sell. Just like giant robots in Japan. There is
>> a *lot* more to US comics, however nobody appears to be buying.
>
>Well, the indies would complain they have solid sales, but from the last
>charts I've seen, manga is dominating the graphic novels market. Did I
>say dominating? I meant razing the other gfx novels into dust. Hell,
>the last volume of Chobits actually showed up in someone's top 20
>bestselling books list!

That's good for them. ^_^

John Shughart

DishRoom1

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 4:05:16 AM9/11/03
to
Lawrence Lin wrote --

>Scott wrote:
>
>> decisions are marketing-centered, which means the show serves as nothing
>> more than a half-hour commercial for a money-grab merchandising program
>> and ends up saying nothing after 26 episodes.
>
>And *Mon/latest-anime-toy-game-juggernaut is any different?
>
>Anime is as capable (if not more) than US cartoons at pumping up bilge.

What about "Digimon"? Even though the show is based on a Tomagotchi-inspired
collectors-card game series, it folows the anime aesthetic rules of story arcs,
deep and everchanging character development, intellegent storytelling. Once
they had a season titled: "Digimon:Tamers" that was the most high-shining
example of this.

John Shughart

Chris Kern

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 7:50:51 AM9/11/03
to
On Wed, 10 Sep 2003 20:06:46 -0500, Liam Slider
<li...@NOSPAM.liamslider.com> posted the following:

>It's simple. In Japan Anime is often considered a serious form of art
>and entertainment. This developed mainly because they had no real
>equilivant to Hollywood, nor the budgets for it. You could pull off
>things in Anime that were simply impossible, or just financially
>impossible in regular movies. Anime is targetted at a wide audience,
>from kids stuff, to shows for adults.

This is almost complete nonsense. Anime is the same as cartoons in
America. It's all for kids except for a very few pieces. Anime is
not considered a "serious" hobby or a serious form of art any more
than cartoons are in the US.

If you go up to a random Japanese person and say you are a fan of
anime, that says "geek". It's the same as saying you're a fan of
cartoons in the US. Anyone high school age or older shouldn't be
watching anime.

(None of this applies to manga, however, which *is* sometimes
considered a "serious" form of art and entertainment, thought not
really -- you wouldn't find businessmen discussing manga by the
watercooler, even if they read some on the train to work that
morning.)

-Chris

Chris Kern

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 7:51:35 AM9/11/03
to
On Thu, 11 Sep 2003 07:46:06 GMT, Blade <kumo...@hotmail.com> posted
the following:

>Nothing of great depth or intelligence to say? Boy, hie thee to a comic
>shop and purchase a copy of Watchmen. There has still never been a manga
>that matches it.

Perhaps you mean "there has still never been a manga published in
English that matches it"?

-Chris

Travers Naran

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 11:14:09 AM9/11/03
to
Blade wrote:

> Nothing of great depth or intelligence to say? Boy, hie thee to a comic
> shop and purchase a copy of Watchmen. There has still never been a manga
> that matches it.

Watchmen is the only thing of note in the last 20 years. Everything
else of "depth" in superhero comics has been a pale imitation of it.

And I say 20 years, because from what I've been reading, Squadron
Supreme was the only thing that rivaled it.

But then again, I'd compare some of the independent comics up against
the best of Japanese manga.

Liam Slider

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 1:00:28 PM9/11/03
to

Damn straight, and damn good villains to boot. The major villains almost
never died due to their own incompetance. The last season was a joke I
hear...

Liam Slider

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 1:05:12 PM9/11/03
to

Explain anime like Noir then. It's definately not kids stuff. And not
"geek stuff" either. Hell explain a lot of the other *serious* anime
that's clearly not kids stuff. And why would they consider manga to be
good entertainment, and not anime. Especially when anime often is based
on manga? Your argument makes no sense.

Chris Sobieniak

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 1:33:29 PM9/11/03
to
Thu, Sep 11, 2003, 7:26am (EDT+4), dish...@aol.com (DishRoom1) wrote:
>Chris Sobieniak wrote --
>>dr...@spamcop.net wrote --
>>>Japan has very, very limited live action
>>>production capacity in comparison to North
>>>America.
>>Pretty much what makes it so unique!
>I'm glad to learn about that. ^_^

Glad you see my point! You don't have to have a big budget to put
together something that creativity knows no limits.

>>>Shows that could only be pulled off as
>>>animation in Japan, may end up getting done as
>>>live action in the US instead.
>>Not that I hope for a live-action Cowboy Bebop
>>anytime soon!
>And besides we know all too well what happens
>when Hollywood turns *OUR* cartoons into
>live-action... -_-
>John Shughart

Still waiting to see how Evangelion will turn out once that's done.

Chris Sobieniak

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 12:50:18 PM9/11/03
to
On Thu, Sep 11, 2003, 7:42am (EDT+4), dish...@aol.com (DishRoom1)
wrote:
>dr...@spamcop.net wrote --
>>It should be noted that these are getting
>>considerably better ratings on Adult Swim then
>>anime. Anime gets aired though because it's
>>cheaper to acquire.
>Still, I perfer my anime over those guys anytime. I
>don't enjoy Hanna-Barbera and its imitators as I
>used to anymore, and I have a sensitive appatite
>conservative tastes, hence I get weak-stomached
>and gravley ill to the bone over the Gross and
>Tasteless genre.

I know how you feel. I can get sick of it too after a while.

>>In US comics, superheros sell. Just like giant
>>robots in Japan. There is a *lot* more to US
>>comics, however nobody appears to be buying.
>Nearly sadly true. Its unfair that, even with the
>Collectors Market Craze of the 1990s long gone,
>the superheroes still dominate the comic book
>market with *still* nothing of great depth or
>intellegence to say, while some better comics like
>the those of furry (independent
>anthropomorphic-animal fantasy/cartooning)
>comics get little attention.
>John Shughart

Too bad it never turned in favor of the indie furry titles and what-not.

Michael Lo

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 5:03:16 PM9/11/03
to
Blade <kumo...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<Xns93F3B15B5...@66.185.95.104>...


You mean Chris

Michael Lo

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 5:15:00 PM9/11/03
to
Liam Slider <li...@NOSPAM.liamslider.com> wrote in message news:<bjq9t5$m9p2g$1...@ID-169482.news.uni-berlin.de>...

Sometimes I wonder if making animated series in Japan is something like
a "make work" project. With Noir, the producers were trying to win a
following in a small market (Noir was on at 1:15 in the morning and I
remember correctly wasn't it only on a channel with a limited audience).
Reading the producer's notes on the DVDs it seems that they were fresh
off a project and had to come up with a new project which is what led to
Noir. While ostensibly aimed at a male audience, the producers wanted
to be go for a more inclusive market which is why there was only a smidge
of fan service and the characters were all designed by women artists
(none of the 4 are double-F cup and running around in g-strings). However
if things didn't work out alright with Noir, no one's complaining-the makers
knew that they had a limited audience at best and it seems they were
mostly hoping to get some acclaim for their project (Didn't Bee-Train just
mostly do video-game portovers before Noir?).

Chris Mattern

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Sep 11, 2003, 5:52:04 PM9/11/03
to
"Travers Naran" <tna...@direct.ca> wrote in message news:5j08b.120829$ho5.1...@news2.telusplanet.net...

> Blade wrote:
>
> > Nothing of great depth or intelligence to say? Boy, hie thee to a comic
> > shop and purchase a copy of Watchmen. There has still never been a manga
> > that matches it.
>
> Watchmen is the only thing of note in the last 20 years. Everything
> else of "depth" in superhero comics has been a pale imitation of it.
>
> And I say 20 years, because from what I've been reading, Squadron
> Supreme was the only thing that rivaled it.
>
Have you read "V for Vendetta"? Although I suppose it's arguable as to
whether that's a superhero comic.

Chris Mattern


Arnold Kim

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Sep 11, 2003, 5:56:33 PM9/11/03
to

"Liam Slider" <li...@NOSPAM.liamslider.com> wrote in message
news:bjq9t5$m9p2g$1...@ID-169482.news.uni-berlin.de...

Anime in Japan is much like the US comic book industry in that both are
largely considered to be for geeks or children, though there may be great
adult oriented works in both. Anime has Noir and works by directors like
Mamoru Oshii, US comics have Watchmen and Neil Gaiman.

> And why would they consider manga to be
> good entertainment, and not anime. Especially when anime often is based
> on manga? Your argument makes no sense.

Because the manga that adults read is very rarely turned into anime.

Arnold Kim


Blade

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Sep 11, 2003, 6:49:05 PM9/11/03
to
Chris Kern <chris...@yahoo.com> wrote in
news:kdo0mv457mufncjt1...@4ax.com:

No. Unless there's some amazing gem I've never read, seen, heard
anything about, or had described to me.

Blade

Blade

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Sep 11, 2003, 6:54:26 PM9/11/03
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Travers Naran <tna...@direct.ca> wrote in
news:5j08b.120829$ho5.1...@news2.telusplanet.net:

> Blade wrote:
>
>> Nothing of great depth or intelligence to say? Boy, hie thee to a
>> comic shop and purchase a copy of Watchmen. There has still never
>> been a manga that matches it.
>
> Watchmen is the only thing of note in the last 20 years. Everything
> else of "depth" in superhero comics has been a pale imitation of it.

There's also Kingdom Come. And a few other things of quality and
interest, if not at the same level. Starlin's stuff, for instance. Also
Joe Kelly's run on Deadpool, which rivals Excel Saga for off-the-wall
humour and insane amounts of references, as well as just being a good
continuing story.



> And I say 20 years, because from what I've been reading, Squadron
> Supreme was the only thing that rivaled it.

Eh. I liked SS for what it was, but I wouldn't put it up against
Watchmen. Less well-thought-out, and too much of an agenda for my
tastes. Still very much above the grade, though.



> But then again, I'd compare some of the independent comics up
> against the best of Japanese manga.

Yes, so would I. Blue Monday and Gold Digger spring to mind rather
quickly.

Blade

Rose Prescott

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Sep 11, 2003, 8:14:20 PM9/11/03
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In article <K8adnXXqOoE...@comcast.com>, "Chris Mattern"
<matt...@comcast.net> writes:

>> Watchmen is the only thing of note in the last 20 years. Everything
>> else of "depth" in superhero comics has been a pale imitation of it.
>>
>> And I say 20 years, because from what I've been reading, Squadron
>> Supreme was the only thing that rivaled it.
>>
>Have you read "V for Vendetta"? Although I suppose it's arguable as to
>whether that's a superhero comic.

Same question for Sandman, though the early issues started out from a superhero
springboard.

Rose
Diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

DishRoom1

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Sep 11, 2003, 8:29:27 PM9/11/03
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Arnold Kim wrote --

Liam Slider

Chris Kern wrote --

I'm courious as to where or what is giving you the idea that the Japanese give
anime/magna the same sort of sneering as our culture does with cartoons. You
still haven't explained that if what you state is true, then how is it the
anime/magna we've see, even some of the children's shows like "Digimon: Tamers"
or a family movie like "Spirited Away", is far more trailblazing than American
cartoons, even Disney's.

John Shughart

leo86

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Sep 11, 2003, 8:33:50 PM9/11/03
to
Thank you all very much for your thoughtful and intelligent responses.

It was a big help to me.

This was for a TV documentary. The crew only just finished and left my
office, so I'll give you all a complete report when I know what the
finished product looks like. In fact, I selected some of the responses
from the group here and showed them to the producer. So now, they
might want to interview some of YOU! Are you ready for your 15
minutes? :)

DishRoom1

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Sep 11, 2003, 8:40:14 PM9/11/03