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La Mangafique

13 Jul



Anime: The who, the what, and the where (and other nitty-gritty’s)



It’s out there and it’s coming to get you.
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So, sometime in the past 10 years or so, you must have noticed this craze going about infecting young and old people alike, called “Pokemon”, which seems to consist of absurd fantastic creatures, a parallel reality and the ability to capture said creatures and battle with them. (If you really still don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ve been living under a rock). Ever scratched your head and wondered just what it is and why people are crazy about it? Some if not all of those questions, can be answered if you delve into the world of anime.

Out of pets to collect? Start collecting these.
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Anime, is essentially defined as animation created specifically in Japan. Ask a fan and they’ll tell you there is a world of difference between the animation that pours out of Japan and that which is made in the rest of the world. So much so, that anime is now more than just a term to define a certain kind of animation. It is now a phenomemon, a movement, a cross culture ideology that has managed to cut across barriers of race and language to bring together followers from across the world. Cult much? Hell yes.

Though the origins of anime lie buried somewhere in the 1910’s , anime as we see it now didn’t hit the globe till the late 60’s. Osamu Tezuka, popularly known today as “The God of Manga”, adapted western techniques of animation and applied them to his own project, “Astro boy”, which took the world by storm and is still much loved today. Pokemon, Shin Chan, Sailor Moon and Gundam have become some of the biggest symbols of anime culture.

What came first, The transformers or Gundam?
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Anime in itself can be made from scratch or adapted from manga. Most anime is adapted from manga series, allowing a larger audience access to work that may only have been available in Japanese in the manga form. One of the biggest debates among fans of Japanese animation is that of the superiority of one form over the other. Manga fans claim that the anime destroys the authenticity of the storyline to make it more appealing to a mass audience, while anime fans argue that anime is easier to watch for those who don’t have the patience (and of course money!) to acquire and read manga.

Of all the features that draw the line between animation and Japanese animation, distinct characteristics include hair in the most impossible shades, disproportional bodies, eyes that would make your own bulge, out of the world scenario’s and a dollop of fantasy the size of the sun. So, if cute little girls with squeaky voices who save the world isn’t your cup of tea, you can always turn to anime with a slice-of-life scenario, or even some apocalyptic set-up, where contrary to expectations, the world DOES come to an end.

Eyeboggling!
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The image courtesy Akito Maru: http://akitomaru.deviantart.com/art/Anime-and-Manga-Eyestyles-65459083


Does anime have any after effects? Of course it does. In some cases symptoms of excitemet, exhilaration and ultimately addiction may be seen in some of the test subjects exposed to anime. Others may be found instantly allergic and essentially form a part of the anti band wagon. Though admittedly, the former outnumbers the latter by figures you couldn’t calculate if you were anything less than Einstein. Cosplay, figurines, and special edition collector’s items form the main chunk of anime spin off merchandise. Anime conventions worldwide becoming the gathering place for fans who want to invest in the same, alongside showing off one’s cosplaying skills.

So now you know what anime is. Just to summarise, in case it still went over everyone’s head:

  • Pokemon and Shin Chan are anime
  • Power Rangers is not an anime
  • Anything made outside Japan is NOT anime
  • Anime does not always make sense
  • Green/Red/orange/Purple haired people are normal in anime
  • Greeting other people in Japanese is not completely out of the place among anime fans.

And most importantly,

  • The phenomenon is here to stay, so go with the flow, or get swept away!
And in case you were wondering – this is just the beginning of La Mangafique! Pop by every Thursday for your weekly dose of anime news, reviews and madness!


Ja ne!

Calyptra Oujo Sama
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