Anime is a part of Japanese culture. Today, anime genre became quite popular over the world. This research paper reveals the main characteristics of this genre. It also provides the vivid explanation of the features of this genre like sound, picture and plot. The paper shows how anime is divided within the genre and provides the arguments why this genre is considered as negative moment in the film industry culture.
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The development of the film manufacture all over the world made this kind of the industry one of the most favorable types of the entertainment for population. There are many genres in the film industry that are used in the film studios of all countries. However, there are genres that represent the film development of one country. One of such genres is anime that represent the Japanese culture. Anime is Japanese cartoon that is designed in the computer animation. In contrast to other cartoons of other countries, anime is produced not mostly for children, but also for teen and adult audience. It is one of the factors that make the anime wide popular over the world. Anime is different by the characteristic manner of drawing characters and backgrounds. It is published in the form of television series and films that are distributed on video media or intended for cinema. Plots can describe a lot of characters, a variety of different places and eras, genres and styles. The sources for the story anime series are likely to be Japanese comics or computer games (Cavallaro, 2010, p. 8). The graphic style and other features of the original are usually preserved during the film adaptation. The other sources like, for example, classic literature are used very rare. There is also an anime with a completely original storyline. Anime has created a new direction in the cartoon production and made this genre with its pictures, plot, music sound and other features one of the preferable genres far beyond Japan.
The history of anime begins in 20th century, when Japanese filmmakers started the first experiments with animation technique that was invented in the West. The founder of the tradition of modern anime was Osamu Tezuka, often called the "king of the anime". He laid down the foundations of what later was transformed into modern anime series (O’Connell, 1999). For example, Tezuka borrowed from Disney and developed a style of big eyes of characters to express emotions. “In the 1960’s Osamu Tezuka was taking animation techniques from the Disney studio, simplifying them and adapting them to work in the Japanese production environment” (iMinds, 2). Under his leadership, there were first products that can be attributed to the early anime. For almost a century of anime, there was a long way from the first experiments in animation films that was made by Tezuka to the current enormous popularity around the world. Over the years, anime stories, originally designed for children, became more complex and represents the stories with the serious issues.
Today, anime is quite popular among children and adults. There are anime series that designed for younger audience over the age of fourteen. These series have found the fans among adults, in rare cases up to old age. The Japanese word “anime” that mean animation, dates back to the English word “animation” (Tobin, 2004, p. 10). Anime is a multiple term that is used to anime all over the world. Japanese anime is different from the anime of other countries. First of all, it represents a growing vicious cultural layer, which includes many unique storylines and ideological symbols, templates, patterns and types. The simplest examples could be specific characters in the anime genres that live by their own laws, or who is often reflected in the elements of Japanese anime culture. Anime stands out among other cartoons by its demand in the Japanese society. This presents a certain percentage of the overall thrust of the works on more adult audience, resulting in a greater emphasis on the philosophical and ideological component, the predominance of the "adult" in the subject of motivation, and, in including less taboo topics of sex and violence in the culture on the whole (Webb, 2006). Most of the anime is created with the expectation of a specific, sometimes very narrow target audience. The criteria for the division may be divided by the gender, age or personality type of the viewer. The chosen type of the audience sets the general direction of the future work affecting its plot, ideas, and even the manner of image. Child anime makes up most of the entire animation products that is produced in Japan, but outside the country is more popular the "adult" anime.
People who are unfamiliar with anime very often indicate among features of the anime visual characteristics the unnaturally big eyes of characters. In fact, the existing style originated under the strong influence of western traditions of animation. Anime characters stand out against the background is not so much for the size of the eye, but most likely the attention that given to eye details in relation to the rest of the face (Hu, 2010, p. 28). The nose and mouth are usually portrayed by several wavy lines, except for the moments when the character says. However, there are products that use "realistic" figure. The nose, mouth and cheeks well with other facial features are portrayed and shaded with greater accuracy. The example could be the anime film Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade.
Very often we can say a lot about the character in general just looking in the eyes. They tend to reflect the age and openness of the character. Positive, fun and friendly main characters are often depicted with large, bright and full of life eyes. Closed, dark and negative characters have narrowed eyes, sometimes with a semi shaded fringe that lies over the forehead and slightly cover one eye. Often, the eyes are drawn like in some bird of prey or snake. If a character suddenly deprived will or even soul, his eyes lose their luster and become lifeless. Children's eyes are usually portrayed very large; the old people have the small eyes, with a small pupil. Glasses are an additional means of expression, as an essential attribute of scholars (Hu, 2010, p. 29).
Hair in anime is usually made up of locks. Hairstyles characters can be very different, sometimes with unusual shapes and colors. Hair and clothing items of the characters are often subject to the wind or inertia and that causing them to move out of synchronously with the movements of the character. Hair is of various colors that were originally personalized with the characters, making them significantly different. Today, the images of the characters worked out to the smallest details of the face and manners, multicolored hair is not necessary, but rather is a tradition. Also, the color of hair often reflects the character. For example, red hair is a characteristic indicator of temper. Blonde hair also indicates the foreign origin of the hero, as the majority of Japanese people have a dark hair (Hu, 2010, p. 32).
Emotion in anime is one of the significant moments. In addition to the traditional displays of affection of the anime character like changing facial expressions or tone of his voice, there are used a number of other techniques. Emotions can be displayed underlined, unrealistic and exaggerated. The characters speak with their eyes closed or take a picturesque demonic appearance when showing anger. In comedic situations, in order to show a sense of lightness, pictograms are used, such as a picture, "sweat" or "swollen vein" that arise over the head of the hero, or in a frame above it (Hu, 2010, p. 34). It is possible for the characters to quickly change their mood from happiness to anger and from the anger to happiness.
As in any other form of cinema, a variety of subjects in anime is limited only by the imagination screenwriter. There is anime that tells about parallel realities and space; anime that describes the historical event or even anime that recreates the daily life the main characters in the usual Tokyo. However, the variety of genres imposes the various prints of the anime scenes, and often determines the overall style of building or milestones of the storyline series (Cavallaro, 2010, p. 54). For example, in the “shounen-adventure” during the series the main character collects a team of supporters and learns a new ways of fighting. Along with this, he gets over the small problems in order to win the superior enemy forces. After this, the serial usually ends or the hero indicates a stronger and more dangerous enemy. The example could be the American animated series “Jackie Chan Adventure”. Most of the anime series has the pronounced emotional and ideological overtones and is not just for entertainment. Director with the help of the images creates the appropriate emotional background to convey their thoughts. Popular ideas are: the idea of resistance and unwillingness to give up in front of the arbitrarily powerful people or circumstances, the idea of self-determination and choice of life (Napier, 2001, p. 21). In the more serious serials, there are risen the questions such as the meaning of life, morality, loneliness and division of people and religion.
In order to give the emotional tones, mood and control the viewer, anime widely uses music and sound elements. Audio CDs with music after the show are being issued separately, and often can compete in popularity with an album of singers. Therefore, the famous and talented singers, bands and composers perform songs and make music for anime. In anime, there is more frequently used themed compositions in order to set the tone for the scene. Opening and closing songs are usually performed by well-known pop stars and music groups and are an integral part of the anime series. The opening composition creates the right mood in the viewer to see the series and restore in the memory the general attitude. The closing song can emphasize the key points of the anime, his ideas in general, and usually much calmer than the opening (Manion, 2006, p. 9). Both songs are very important features of the anime: the first introduces the viewer with the series, and the second sums up the series.
Anime also is divided by genres. He main rules for division are as follows: the target audience, narrative style, entourage and technology, purpose and nature of the relationship of characters, availability and details of sex scenes. Anime, like other video products is aimed for a particular method of distribution. These methods include the show on television, in cinemas, the sale of video media, Internet application. The chosen method affects the work as essentially different and production processes, budgets and the viewing conditions. The most popular format for the anime is TV series. TV series consist of a number of short series that intended to be shown on television at regular interval. One of the famous TV series is “Pokemon” that still translated in many countries around the world (Tobin, 2004, p. 5). Anime in the format of film is intended to be shown in the theaters. Typically, the feature-length films have higher quality compared with other formats anime and a higher cost of production accordingly.
Despite the rising popularity of anime outside of Japan, there is also growing the number of opponents of this genre. In the opinion of many people, the most serious criticism causes the excessive amount of violence and eroticism in the anime and inappropriate behavior of people who are fond of watching and collecting anime. In European countries and the U.S. Japanese cartoon products are going through the pre-assessment in order to identify the age audience, and sometimes in order to reduce the minimum age. “In anime, most titles are officially unrated, but many anime companies provide ratings in line with U.S. TV ratings” (Brenner, 21). For this purpose, the publisher of the work cut too explicit or violent footage. Also part of the audience did not like the anime graphics solution like the notorious "big eyes" or voice characters, because of the unusual for a European sounding words and expressions of emotion in Japanese. However, the most part of this criticism also valid with respect to any branch of modern mass culture such as games, music, modern TV shows and movies.
Hence, the creation and development of the anime in Japanese culture brought this genre to the other countries. Today, many studio companies are working on the movies and cartoons in the anime genre. The special features in the style of picture, specific sound and various themes in plot made the anime genre equal to other genres of film entertainment. Anime is considered as the original Japanese phenomenon in the Asia culture, but it quickly became wide popular in the rest of the world. It could be considered as the international treasure in the film industry.