Anime vs. American Animation

Anime vs. American animation

that's how it starts, the fever, the rage that
that’s how it starts, the fever, the rage that
turns good men....cruel
turns good men….cruel

Ah…yes, the ultimate battle that has no resolution, much like those arguments like Marvel vs. DC or Superman vs. Hulk or Star Wars vs. Star Trek or 2D animation vs. 3D animation or blah…blah…blah. Time and time again communities that are restricted to one particular medium or one particular style of storytelling have endless fights that go on forever that seem to have no apt conclusion, sometimes these fights are fun like Superman vs. Hulk or Star Wars vs. Star Trek, but there are times when these fights just get messy, and while I generally don’t find myself affected by them personally, the one fight that always comes up that just get my head boiling with ‘f-bombs’, is this particular topic ‘which is better Anime or American animation?’

Now you may be thinking that I am one sided since I have reviewed quite a few anime on my profile earlier, but let me make one thing clear right now, I am not an exclusive fan to any particular form of entertainment, so naturally to a guy like me, whenever I go on reading youtube comments or discussions on reddit regarding this particular topic, I get pissed off, but I decided to give a more in depth double sided view, so that I can hear what you guys have to say and decided ultimately.

I think we can all agree that while American animation is great, particularly with fluid motion, near perfect lip sync and sometimes, just great fast paced animation (e.g. Tom and Jerry), the main turn off for many people is that in the west, animation is a medium that is mostly restricted to kids entertainment, and the ones aimed for adults is generally comedy (like family guy or south park), whereas anime does not treat animation like that. Anime has often come up with mature stuff with shows like Fate/Zero, Baccano and Cowboy Bebop, which is a great thing, myself being a fan of animation have always wanted animation to be treated that way.

Now here come the criticisms, particularly from the anime fandom which albeit small is incredibly offensive and just as strong, where they debunk American animation as though it is some low life art form that just claims its existence with the help of kids, by blaming shows like Adventure time for its admittedly weird character designs or South Park for dirty humour or the minions for their gibberish that comes out of their mouth, you see, this is where my head starts boiling, but I digress. The point is anime fans praise their art form as they see fit even if it means to disrespect another art form while doing so.

Earlier I mentioned that American animation is mostly aimed for kids, now let me rephrase that statement, over the past 10 years studio giants like Pixar, Dreamworks and Disney have shown and proven that animation is for families and both Pixar films and Dreamworks have shown in their recent efforts like Inside Out and How To Train Your Dragon 2 respectively can provide great storytelling that even adults like me can enjoy.

This movie was amazing
This movie was amazing

Which brings me to my next point, just because American animation has been made for families or kids and isn’t exclusive, why is that such a bad thing, the best movies are those that are accessible to everyone. The one thing that gripes me about anime even to this day is that it is incredibly exclusive, now let me explain, in anime there are different ‘genres’, I should say like slice-of-life, shounen (young kids saving the world type stuff), moe (weird high pitched girls garbage) etc. and sadly we don’t get that many cowboy bebops or baccanos because only these specific genres are made because they are successful in the anime community, that doesn’t allow for that many newcomers to be welcomed in the community, and good god I can go on about how awful and unwelcoming most of the anime fandom is.

Now, at this point it may be sounding like I am supporting American animation a lot and debunking anime as a low life art form, but I am doing anything but that. Anime, despite the fact that it can be incredibly exclusive, the one thing is that it is never apologetic and I like to see that as a good thing, movies like The Garden of Sinners or shows like Fate Zero never hold back on the content that is being shown and without a doubt, they go all the way with it and I love it for that, another thing anime has going for it is the designs, I always love anime designs, yes I love the hair, I love the cool looks, they just work, the art is brilliant, and like I said before, when anime wants to be good, they are really, really good. Some anime films made like Spirited Away (almost every Miyazaki film actually), Wolf Children, Millennium Actress (every Satoshi Kon film really), The disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya and Tokyo Godfathers are some of my favourite films of all time, series like Cowboy Bebop, Baccano, Fate Zero, The Garden Of Sinners, Trigun are some of the best things I have ever laid my eyes on.

please watch this show
please watch this show

But the same thing can be said for American animation, Batman the animated series just shows how mature and dark children storytelling can be, and that’s great, knowing how to integrate mature content and make it accessible to children is something American animation has done, not only with batman the animated series, but with shows like Avatar the last airbender (THAT IS NOT AN ANIME), Samurai Jack and Rebels or , Movies like Finding Nemo, Up, How to Train Your Dragon, Shrek, the old classic Disney films and the recent Pixar masterpiece Inside Out as well and countless more that I just can’t remember off the top of my head. You hate the designs on Adventure Time, that’s the most hysterical thing about it and it entertains me, you hate the designs of South Park, let me tell you right now, South Park is the funniest show I have ever seen period.

that's how it is
that’s how it is

See, the point of this article is that I want people to know and drill this point in their head that in order to praise a particular art form, please, don’t try to insult another art form in order to do so, it’s cowardly, stupid, unnecessary and just outrageous to others. Like I have said on my profile, I am not a fan of something that is exclusive, I am a fan of entertainment, I want to experience as much GOOD stuff as I can get my hands on, so when I listen to people moan about how their art form is soooo much better than mine or yours or the entire world, don’t do that, try and be a fan of as many thing you really like, because great stories are told everywhere. If you want to praise an art form, do it on their own merits, not by insulting what other people like, because guys, what’s wrong with being a little diverse?

Well guys, that’s about it, sorry for hiatus, just moved into college, but now i am all set and you’re probably going to see 4 more articles this week !!. But anyways, what do you guys have to say on this matter, do you think one is better than the other, or are you like me…


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