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Anime

An Extensive History of Anime 235

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the getting-at-the-roots dept.
Ninja Master Gara writes "While it is a bit dated, Right Stuf has a fascinating set of in depth history of anime in Japan and the west and follows the development of both cultures, including landmark series from the 60s, the 70s, the 80s and beyond, the origins of today's major anime release companies, and commentary on various aspects of the industry and culture. While it is labelled an 'Introduction to Anime', it serves as a much more interesting look back for long time anime fans. Right Stuf also has a great timeline of important releases."
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An Extensive History of Anime

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  • 2015: Hentai beamed straight into my mind :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15, 2003 @11:07PM (#5311844)
    1) Normal looking characters
    2) Slightly pumpkinish characters
    3) Quite pumpkinish characters
    4) Very pumpkinish characters
    5) Talking pumpkin heads
    • The link in this story isn't really much deeper than that. It kind of reminded me of Homer explaining the history of Rock to Bart.

      Grand Funk Railroad paved the way for Jefferson airplane, which cleared the way for Jefferson starship. The stage was now set for the Alan Parsons project, which I believe was some sort of hovercraft.

      As far as I could tell, the whole story was really a promotional tool to sell some of their back-catalog items. Shows you can catch on cable, like Cowboy Bebop or Sailor Moon, were given a passing mention, but OVA's which are neither older nor more important to anime history are mentioned as shows you absolutely must see, you culturally illiterate philistines!!! Oh, surprise surprise, the site where this story appears sells those very same videos.

      The "infomercial" started out as half-hour ads disguised as talk shows, but they are creeping into every part of society lately. Last night my local Public Television station showed a "documentary" about the history behind an expensive lodge in Glacier National Park, a grotesque and obvious pimping for a vacation destination. ABC did them one better two years ago, by airing a prime-time "special" during sweeps week, featuring Britney Spears at Disneyworld, which not only promoted the attractions at Disneyworld and the new Britney Spears album for an hour, but was also did pretty good in the ratings, helping ABC sell adds. (For those of you who don't know, ABC and Britney's record label are both owned by Disney, making this a massive cross-promotional tool.)

      I'm not calling for regulation or alarm or anything. I'm just saying that everybody needs to keep their radars up for this kind of shit a little more, because it's everywhere these days.

  • by Vidiot3k (612026)
    Isn't it just a cartoon? Ok, ok, it's not a 'toon in a traditional sense, but still...
    • "Isn't it just a cartoon? Ok, ok, it's not a 'toon in a traditional sense, but still..."

      Ugh. Let me ask you something, if anime is only a cartoon, why would it have such a following?

      Perhaps a refphrasing of your question is in order?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        uhhh...why wouldn't it?

        That is, is there something inherent about cartoons that precludes them having a massive following?

        Anyway, it beats watching little ball bearings bounce around behind a sheet of glass all day.
      • Slashdot has a huge following. So does NSync, B Spears, and Moby. That doesn't mean that they are GOOD. It means they have a huge following.
        • "Slashdot has a huge following. So does NSync, B Spears, and Moby. That doesn't mean that they are GOOD. It means they have a huge following."

          That'd be a good answer to my comment if I had said "anime is good".

          All I said was that he had plenty of evidence already that it wasn't 'just a cartooon'. That's why I suggested he rephrase his question, sounds more like a troll than a question.
      • I mean... For my part, I like anime, and I'm not a big fan of cartoons. But I know a lot of people who LOVE 'toons. So not only do I reject the notion that something that's popular must be good, but I don't think anime is really all that popular.
      • Let me ask you something, if anime is only a cartoon, why would it have such a following?
        Hey, Squarebob Spongepants is just a cartoon "and a LOUSY one at that, imho" and it has a strong following.
      • why would it have such a following?
        But then again, so did Spice Girls
        [Ducks and runs for cover]
    • "Isn't it just a cartoon? Ok, ok, it's not a 'toon in a traditional sense, but still..."

      In an attempt to be more helpful than in my last post, here's Dictionary.com's definition of the word 'anime':

      "A style of animation developed in Japan, characterized by stylized colorful art, futuristic settings, violence, and sex."

      Basically, it's a type of cartoon, so you're half right. As for it being 'just a cartoon', I'd disagree. Though I myself am not a huge anime fan, it's easy to see its appeal. It's a lot more dramatic. It's also a lot more adult-oriented and rather imaginitive.

      I'm surprised we don't have more serious cartoons over here. Anybody ever see the animated Spawn series on HBO? That was damn cool.
      • "A style of animation developed in Japan, characterized by stylized colorful art, futuristic settings, violence, and sex."

        Someone just watched Dirty Pair didn't they?
      • In an attempt to be more helpful than in my last post, here's Dictionary.com's definition of the word 'anime':

        "A style of animation developed in Japan, characterized by stylized colorful art, futuristic settings, violence, and sex."

        Man. That's got to be the stupidest, most ignorant "definition" of anything that I've read in a long time.

        Remind me never to use Dictionary.com for anything important.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The problem is, the term anime suffers the same fate that the term computer does.

      There's computers (think fruity toys, like iMacs), and then there's computers (Mmm. Big Iron)..

      To put it another way, there's, say, DragonBall Z, all those fruity shows about Super Power Magical Ultra Girl !! where the (insert eyeroll) 'heroine's' adventures consist of saving the world while deciding like, which guy to totally go out with!

      Yeah. Those are just cartoons. Hell, I'll do you one better - they don't qualify as cartoons, even, they're utter garbage.

      On the other hand you have, say, Evangelion.

      Watch Evangelion with subtitles on (They change dialogue far too greatly in the dubbed versions), and pay attention. It may be animated. It certainly isn't a 'cartoon'.

      Anyhoo, cartoons are, by definition, light and humorous and such. As it were, plenty of what people term 'anime' falls into that category.

      The 'good stuff' doesn't.
    • The difference is actually enormous. Cartoons are a genre. American animated features are another genre. Anime is a catch-all term for Japanese Animation, but in the end it's only a style of animation, and Animation is a medium.

      'toons are always the same slapstick comedy. Disney movies and their ilk are always the same too (in fact, it's pretty much always the same story, with the ame characters) - adventure, drama and comedy put together, aimed at kid but with enough for their parents to enjoy.

      There's a whole bunch of style in Anime. Drama, action, adventure, comedy, western, science-fiction, space opera - you name it, you can animate it instead of filming it live action. The difference between animation and live action is akin to the difference between black and white and color, or silent film and talkies.

      Japanese Anime are not the only worthy animated features, either - The Flight Of Dragons [amazon.com]

      is a cult classic. Le Roi et l'Oiseau [diplomatie.fr] is a wonderful work of art. The Japanese have the difference of churning up animation industrially, and most of it is drawn the same way (which is more of a turn-off than anything, to me anyway), and so for some that makes it a discernible genre. It's not. Even apparently similar Anime such as Sailor Moon and Fushigi Yuugi are world apart. You can't possibly compare anime on the ground that they're anime - you'd have an easier time comparing the Rurouni Kenshin OVA (Samurai X in the US I believe) to a live-action Samurai movie than to, say, Cowboy Bebop.

      So, please, don't lump Anime with cartoons. It's not even similar

    • I am not really into japanimation. The eyes are weird looking.
  • Good deals (Score:2, Informative)

    by XeresRazor (142207)
    This isn't nearly as interesting as some of the bargain's they've been running recently. One of their higher-ups is a regular visitor in the animeondvd.com chatroom and usually pops up with insane new bargains to drain all our wallets every week or two. They had an insanely good deal going on almost-used cd's awhile back, a pack of 6 soundtracks that simply had marred cases, nothing wrong with the discs themselves and they were selling them for next to nothing, they clear out lots of older shows too if you missed them the first time around. Always a good thing to check right stuf's bargain a couple times a week if you're an anime fan.
    • by Raul654 (453029) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @11:13PM (#5311884) Homepage
      WTF is an 'almost-used' CD? It's one of those boolean things, like being pregnant, or so I have always thought.
  • by ewhenn (647989)
    ... just pass me a box of crayons.
  • ..is "Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend." First tentacle rape IIRC. Right?
  • by Anonvmous Coward (589068) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @11:15PM (#5311895)
    ... can somebody let me know if it covers tentacle porn? I might brave the Slashdotting...
    • "Before I start reading.. ... can somebody let me know if it covers tentacle porn? I might brave the Slashdotting..."

      Flamebait? Aww bummer. I was hoping somebody'd see the humor in my comment, not take it as a generalization about anime.
  • by sawilson (317999) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @11:19PM (#5311912) Homepage
    Cartoon network got me hooked on cowboy bebop.
    Everybody I know think's it's absolutely amazing
    and has gotten some, or at least stays up to watch
    the show. What some people don't get about anime
    is, it's a great way to put a great idea in front
    of people for a lot less money than making a live
    action dealio. You get that huge screen feel with
    paper and ink. I saw a copy of the non-import
    japanese version of the Cowboy Bebop movie go for
    500 bucks on eBay a while ago.
  • Be warned... (Score:3, Offtopic)

    by cyranoVR (518628) <cyranoVR@@@gmail...com> on Saturday February 15, 2003 @11:36PM (#5312005) Homepage Journal
    The linked article, while informative (I didn't know Nadia was so popular, for example), is really just an infomercial for Right Stuf (an anime distributor).

    So I'll offer a plug of my own. I like AnimeNation [animenation.com]...they have a great news section [animenation.net] and a Q&A column "Ask John [animenation.net]."
  • and didn't Old Yeller get shot and didn't that Old Lion die. I know its hip to be condecsending and insult Disney, but at least make sense when you do it.

    Regarding

    "This, as Uncle Walt had taught us, was a medium for children, and children could not be trusted with an advanced concept such as death."
  • While it is a bit dated,

    ...as if 99% of what is posted as 'news' here isnt...

  • the problem (Score:4, Interesting)

    by a8f11t18 (614700) on Saturday February 15, 2003 @11:51PM (#5312079)
    with anime is there's too much of it =) I mean,
    with 50++ NEW anime series a year, and a dozen new
    movies and OVAs, who can either afford the time or
    money to watch it all. Too bad, cause half of it is
    usually better than most stuff on (american) cable
    tv and hollywood.

    why anime is so good? Well, for me, half the fun is
    to admire the animation. Granted, anime is often
    choppy and no that full of motion, but even simple
    drawings can amaze me, in that I think it is fantastic
    that we humans can draw that well. Other thing is that
    if you watch something barely decent over a period of
    8-9 hours, you'll end up loving it whether it's mediocre
    or not, as it really grows on you in the end (also because
    in anime, there's usually a storyline). Actually, anime
    are often remarkable for their storyline, IMO, and that
    only seems logical. Let's face it, there's often very little
    ot none motion in a typical tv anime, so the only thing that's left is a good story and good characters. So I always like to say anime is a storytelling medium.

    Other aspects of anime I like is the cultural difference. Japan is far less americanized than most modern countries I know of, and has an unique mixture of old and new that makes it all that more interesting. I also like the language.. don't understand much =D, but the language often sounds sort of poetic to me. And that's not only something I'm imagining I think, as I already speak 3 different languages fluently (although they're all indo-european languages, so what would I know =D).
    • a8f11t18 writes:
      "I mean, with 50++ NEW anime series a year, and a dozen new movies and OVAs, who can either afford the time or money to watch it all."

      Do you have the same complaint about video games, television, movies or food, for that matter? What makes you think you must consume every last bit to enjoy a bite?
  • I help run a local Anime club and in the last few years I've noticed that a great deal of "fan-subbed" anime now appears online on P2P filesharing systems. Particularily Direct Connect. It's particularility good if you're the type that claims to have seen everything you can get locally. This type of anime is sub-titled by fans and released sometimes days after it's showing in Japan. I've watched whole series that didn't make it to the North American market for years. :)
    • That's not necessarily a good thing, since the only way most of these companies make any money in the first place is sales to fans.

      Fansubs are quite often becoming less helpful to anime companies and more a hindrance, as they DO tend to displace the legitimate releases.

      And don't forget that the Anime industry is much, much smaller than the US movie industry, so piracy is all the more damaging.
    • Re:Anime Online (Score:3, Informative)

      by Magila (138485)
      Another great source of new anime is via BitTorrent, AnimeSuki [animesuki.com] provides links to most new fansubs as they come out. Since a lot of fansub groups now distro with BitTorrent you can often get new releases within hour(s) of them hitting the net.
  • I'd like to see someone present the anime timeline along with a timeseries depicting the number of beatings administered by high-school bullies.
  • by a8f11t18 (614700) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @12:03AM (#5312137)
    for people wanting to check out anime:

    Movies:
    - jin roh (2000/2001-something)
    For anyone looking for something dark and moody. The drawing
    style is realistic (no oversized eyes/breasts here), and the animation quality is really brilliant (studio IG know their stuff). The storyline is a little hard to follow sometimes because of the many different factions involved each with their own motives, but in the end, it's all very poetic and well executed. Also watch out for the soundtrack, by Mizoguchi Hajime; especially the theme melody is one of the best I've ever heard in any movie.

    - sen to chihiro no kamikakushi / spirited away (2002/2003)
    watching this at a cinema is truly a fabulous experience as it's like being swept away by thousands and thousands of brilliantly drawn paintings.. the visual qualities, at a cinema, are extraordinarily beautiful. Hisaishi Jo provides a great score, as usual, and all in all this is another masterpiece from the legendary writer-director-drawer Miyazaki Hayao. Probably gonna win oscar, too.
    • Jin Roh was really stunning, such a dark and moody movie, such a good story. With Hoshi Ko Noe (Voices of a distant star), it is one of the two animations I really loved especially just for the sake of story. If you haven't seen this one, please do.
  • What's an OVA? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Sunday February 16, 2003 @12:06AM (#5312157) Homepage
    I'm sure I'll get moderated into oblivion for this, but I'm new to anime. So just what is OVA? It's mentioned tons of times in the linked article, and I assume it's a acronym, but what for? Is it like a made for TV movie? Or a miniseries? Or am I totally off base?
    • Re:What's an OVA? (Score:4, Informative)

      by moronga (323123) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @12:24AM (#5312228)
      So just what is OVA?

      Original Video Animation. This refers to an anime (usually a mini-series) that goes straight to video. There isn't the stigma attached to it as with American direct to video releases, and most of it is somewhere between theatrical releases and TV anime, as far as the animation is concerned.
    • Re:What's an OVA? (Score:3, Informative)

      by zabieru (622547)
      It's like the opposite of a made-for-TV. OVA/OAV=Original Video Animation or the other way 'round. Think of it like Highlander and Stargate and all those movies that got made into TV shows, only the other way around. The OVAs are often either better or possessed of higher production values, though this is merely a probability--there are many exceptions. In general, the difference between a movie and an OVA is that a)movies show in theaters, and b)OVAs tend to assume that you're at least slightly familiar with the TV series, while movies are often quite different.
    • Same question I had, and particularly relevant since the giant infomercial (giant in number of pages vs. page length (somewhere around 5 to 1), only) promised to explain the term, but never did. It was also massively uninformative, scant of details, explanations, and relevant background information. I don't know a lot about anime, and this mess of an article didn't do anything to help that.
  • that was a great show. aphrodite and her "breast rockets"... bobo-bot..
    • That title gets even better if you know that "bobo" is a euphemism for vagina in certain Japanese dialects.

      And if you're thinking about moderating me down, no, I'm not lying, joking or trolling.

    • that was a great show. aphrodite and her "breast rockets"... bobo-bot..

      Yes, actually. It aired on a local UHF station many years ago and I'm still a sucker for cheezy hero robot shows.

  • by MtViewGuy (197597) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @12:30AM (#5312250)
    After reading the article, I think we have to emphasize two important things that made anime much more popular in the 1990's.

    The first is the rapid acceptance of the DVD format. Unlike previous home video playback formats, DVD's allow you to have multiple-language soundtracks and multiple language caption/subtitling tracks on a single disc. In one fell swoop, the entire debate of subtitled versus dubbed anime has been rendered moot. :-)

    The second is the success of Bandai Entertainment in bringing over a good number of anime titles created by Bandai Visual and Sunrise (Bandai I believe owns Sunrise) to the US market. This really opened the floodgates for lots of anime titles to finally be sold in US-legal editions.

    • Bandai Visual of Japan simply hires Sunrise for a large percentage of their shows, especially the ones they're going to throw a large budget at.

      This is less common now that Bones, a studio made of the crew behind Escaflowne, Angelic Layer, and Cowboy Bebop (among other shows), has started to produce many of the more popular shows of the past couple years (RahXephon, Witch Hunter Robin, and now Wolf's Rain).
    • I remember Akira at the local video rental shop.. It was always out.. Then hits like Vampire Hunter D, Fist of the North Star, Appleseed, and a few others were added.. A few months later their Anime section was as large as the horror section. This was maybe 3-4 years before DVD first appeared. It was going around the schools and such, and I still have my huge VHS bootleg collection.

      However, DVD did make it MUCH more accessable. I own them all on DVD now, and there is just so much. The medium is a godsend for stuff like this. But to be fair, it was very very popular on VHS long before DVD was even out.

    • ADV [advfilms.com] Films and Pioneer Animation [pioneeranimation.com] have huge chunks of the new anime coming to the states also. I think ADV alone has something like 300 discs planned for release this year alone.
  • by Enonu (129798) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @12:34AM (#5312272)
    Let me update this history of anime to talk a bit about some of the new trends in anime.

    Forget about seeing nudity any more except for a few exceptions. The Japanese are getting closer and closer everyday to adopting the Puritain view on nudity, i.e. that it's bad and abnormal. However, fan service (underware shots, provocative poses) is still rampant, especially in anime targeted toward women (trying to get male viewers).

    Along with the new censoring of nudity, there comes the censoring of violence. I recently watched a series called Noir, a action-spy type series, where people shot guns and got shot, but there was no blood. Anything "gruesome" was off camera and or only shown in the shadows. This make the anime feel very fake. However, the censoring of violence isn't as bad yet as it is for nudity. There are some great exceptions out there, like Cowboy Bebop, Naruto, and Hellsing.

    One bad trend, particularily irritating to me, is the overuse of the cliché dweeb who can't handle women, yet is surrounded by them. He'll bleed from the nose, can't say anything with confudence, be in constant fear of reprisal, and perhaps in the end, if he's lucky, get a solitary kiss. This is Japan's version of the hopless moron who's married to a hot wife on US's sitcom TV. They all need to die.

    However, all is not bad in anime land. When Slam Dunk came out back in the day, it started what I call the sports anime craze. Now there's anime about soccer (Whisle), boxing (Hajime no Ippo), tennis (The Prince of Tennis), and even the board game Go (Hikaru no Go). This type of anime is great for buidling up suspense, and it'll get you addicted like a crack addict. The art of creating cliff-hangers that make you foam at the mouth has been perfected by the Japanese.

    Finally, the other great trend I'm noticing is anime adapted from literature rather from manga. Two anime of this type that I can think off the top of my head are Juuni Kokki and Crest of the Stars. You won't find any other anime that can compete with the plot and character development. Let's hope Japanese anime studios don't adopt Hollywoods attitudes towards book to movie production.
    • If I might ask, where do you base your belief that the Japanese are adopting a more "puritanical" view of nudity?

      While many shows do not feature nudity, taking a "puritanical" bent would not allow fanservice shows like Mouse or Lime-iro Senkitan to be made (rampant fanservice and lightly ecchi humor abound). Stranger yet, Lime-iro Senkitan is a non-H anime based of an H-game that was released in december. So if the anime isn't enough for your *ahem* perverted mind, you can go grab the game (and the show is strangely funny).

      And what you describe (tenchi-complex) is a definite cliché, but it's one that's been shown to work well. Of course, you can always ignore them and enjoy shows like "Someday's Dreamers" and "Juuni Kokki" with the rest of us!

      And to make me happy, Media Blasters licensed Juuni Kokki recently so we'll be able to get it on DVD soon enough.
    • by AdamHaun (43173) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @01:46AM (#5312527) Journal
      What are you smoking? The whole point of Noir was that it was supposed to be a more artistic portrayel of violence. There was no gore because the creators chose to make it that way, not because of some sort of arbitrary restriction.
    • by Sangui5 (12317) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @01:52AM (#5312563)

      Along with the new censoring of nudity, there comes the censoring of violence. I recently watched a series called Noir, a action-spy type series, where people shot guns and got shot, but there was no blood. Anything "gruesome" was off camera and or only shown in the shadows. This make the anime feel very fake.

      The lack of blood in Noir doesn't seem to me to be a censorship issue, but one of artistic decision. This has been talked about somewhat extensively on some of the Noir forums. I can't find a link to the whole discussion, but I did found a quote from it: "...that wonderful unique trademark of Noir: only the those who have humanity bleed. No one else."

      The vast majority of the deaths are the bad guys. The handful of innocents (the less-guilty if you prefer) who die do bleed. Most notably the Bouquet family in the repeated flashbacks, but in the instances when Kirika or Mireille are injured they *do* bleed. Not excessively; getting nicked with a knife/bullet isn't a very bloody thing, and even a fatal knife/bullet wound doesn't bleed all that much, much less a non-fatal hit.

    • I disagree with your comments on nudity but yes that panty stuff is really annoying. Check out the recent series Raimuriro Senkitan for some overuse that messes up an otherwise OK series. I didn't care for the pantsu kudasai episode of Chobits either although it made for some funny !triggers on irc for a while.

      The good thing about anime is that although there is alot of formula stuff there is still more originality and ability to experiment than on American TV. One recent example would be Saikano (aka She, the ultimate weapon, aka Saishuheike Kanojo), about the end of the human race amoung other things. And consider Arjuna, something that pro-environmentalist would never be allowed on American TV.
    • by truenoir (604083) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @02:14AM (#5312642)
      Blood, um, hello? Blood all over in Inuyasha, Kenshin, Wolf's Rain, even Spirited Away. Witch Hunter Robin's got people getting incinerated (occasionally). Just watched an episode of GiTS: Stand Alone Complex where people were getting their skin peeled off...it was cut away from, but jeez, like I'd want to see it (the end result was shown briefly). This is also the show that showed a guy's foot getting shot through on the first episode. Noir had probably 20+ people killed in the average episode that had Soldats in it...how bloodthirsty are you ;) Violence and gore isn't needed for good storytelling. Neither are boobs. I for one think that conservatively dressed characters are a plus (Witch Hunter Robin) compared to wondering how the heck an outfit is practical (Victoria on Hellsing...I mean, a combat miniskirt>!?!). Perhaps casual nudity is being considered now that anime is a little more international. For instance, Ranma1/2 might be a Cartoon Network candidate if not for the occasional (non-sexually depicted) breasts... Harem shows were a thing for a while, the U.S. is just starting to get maid shows in bulk. I'm not too into giant robots either...so the current trend's not your thing, well there's plenty more to watch. Watch what you like. You do have a point in that anime isn't all about nudity and violence, probably less than Hollywood is in general...but watch some old stuff too, it's not new characteristic.
    • The Japanese are getting closer and closer everyday to adopting the Puritain view on nudity, i.e. that it's bad and abnormal.

      Actually, they're probably just getting closer to the AMERICAN view of nudity--that it's crude and not "artistic." Heck, they might just be getting back to their own view of nudity--that it's not something that people do. (Honestly, last I heard Jappanese culture--as opposed to art--wasn't any more immodest than the American culture that set up their current government.)

      And anyway, it is hard to be artistic when your work can be used as porn.
  • by Andorion (526481) on Sunday February 16, 2003 @12:45AM (#5312314)
    Here's Strongbad's [homestarrunner.com] take on Japanese Cartoons =)

    ~Berj
  • My views on anime (Score:2, Redundant)

    by messiertom (590151)

    Japanese cartoon [homestarrunner.com]

    'Nuff said.

  • The last question it asks is "so is it all over?"
    And the answer it fails to provide is that that's
    a definitive no, because it doesn't cover the last
    decade! History has already shown it is far from
    over.. anime survived the bad bad economy, and
    is more popular than EVER.

    Remember the timeline the article provides is
    BEFORE the time of cowboy bebop (one of the
    most popular anime series in the west ever). It's
    before the time of record-breaking princess mononoke
    (extreme commercial success).. and it's before the
    time of spirited away (even more extreme commercial
    success, and quite possible this year's winner for
    the best animation oscar, which again would provide
    the japanese anime industry another boost).

    I just noticed all this when I finally read the
    darn thing =p It mentions the impact of movies
    such as naushika and akira.. well, it is far from
    over, as princess mononoke and spirited away have
    shown (bigger succeses than naushika and akira
    even!!).

    Oh yeah.. one of the last things it mentions is
    that there is some good stuff on the horizon,
    like escaflowne.. and indeed, escaflowne turned
    out to turn out pretty big as well, although
    cowboy bebop took the throne later on. Both
    escaflowne and cowboy bebop also produced two
    good movies.. and there were other good movies
    as well, including but not limited to jin roh
    and metropolis.

    Furthermore, there are still lots of good series
    coming out. Studio bones is worth a mentioning..
    both witch hunter robin and wolfs rain might
    turn out to be big hits (and rahxephon is doing
    well). There's a really good new ghost in the shell
    series running, done by IG. And a year ago we had
    the brilliantly funny azumanga daioh, also sure to
    be a huge hit. Actually, there seems to be at least
    a dozen great new series each year, and that trend
    is not failing any time soon I reckon.. (no I'm not
    going to bother to mention all of them.. I'm looking
    at lists of what has been out each of the previous
    years, and there are LOTS of goodies to pick out).

    so for anyone seriously thinking anime is dead..
    far from it =) It's bigger than in a long time,
    and even my sister and my neighbour has seen an anime
    now!!!! (that warrants many exclamation marks=D)

    of course, there are problems on the horizon as well..
    like people downloading way too much licensed anime
    from the net.
  • I was selected by Netflix to participate in a customer focus group. I'm going to their Los Gatos offices on monday. In return I'm getting two months of free service. Hopefully I'll be able to suggest some improvements in their service to anime fans, and I'll ask to speak with someone in management if I can't fit it into the format of the meeting.

    An obvious suggestion is that there are big gaps in their offerings to anime fans. They don't carry series like Crest of the Stars and FLCL or oldies like Otaku no Video. (I go to Nikaku Animart, the anime rental place in the San Jose Japantown neighborhood for stuff like that.)

    Another obvious suggestion is that they aren't following new releases closely enough. Stuff like Banner of the Stars, Chobits, .hack, etc doesn't show up in their search, even though obscure art films about eskimos and show up months in advance of release.

    I might be dreaming on this one but I'm going to try to discuss the lag time between releases in Japan and releases in the US with them. It seems silly to me that the Cowboy Bebop movie (movie not the series) was out in Japan several years ago but only recently came to the US. My suggestion is going to be that they deal directly with the Japanese companies themselves and not wait for the US distributors to license and dub the titles. AFAIK the majority of fans don't need the dubbing anyway and prefer subtitles. I'm wondering if they'd be interested in hearing that many Americans (yeah europeans, asians, and middle easterners too) are watching series like Chobits, Wolfs Rain, etc within days or weeks of airing in Japan, and with subtitles too. I may bring my chinese Hoshi no Koe dvd in as a prop. I don't think that one is out in the US yet, it wasn't last fall when I bought it. It looks to me like there is a tremendous demand for recent anime here that isn't being *commercially* fullfilled. =:)
    I hope they don't laugh too hard when I suggest they do something about it.

    Anyway, anybody have any other suggestions for Netflix on how to improve services to anime fans ?
    Series you'd like to see, etc ?
    • I might be dreaming on this one but I'm going to try to discuss the lag time between releases in Japan and releases in the US with them. It seems silly to me that the Cowboy Bebop movie (movie not the series) was out in Japan several years ago but only recently came to the US. My suggestion is going to be that they deal directly with the Japanese companies themselves and not wait for the US distributors to license and dub the titles. AFAIK the majority of fans don't need the dubbing anyway and prefer subtitles. I'm wondering if they'd be interested in hearing that many Americans (yeah europeans, asians, and middle easterners too) are watching series like Chobits, Wolfs Rain, etc within days or weeks of airing in Japan, and with subtitles too. I may bring my chinese Hoshi no Koe dvd in as a prop. I don't think that one is out in the US yet, it wasn't last fall when I bought it. It looks to me like there is a tremendous demand for recent anime here that isn't being *commercially* fullfilled. =:)
      I hope they don't laugh too hard when I suggest they do something about it.


      This is an unavoidable problem due to licensing agreements, production time tables, and market forces.

      The Bebop movie quite possibly could have been over here a while ago, but fierce bidding likely held it up and in the end, Sony (who helped fund part of it) got it. Then it had to be translated, dubbed, and now it will be released in theaters.

      Another problem with what you state is that yes, in fact, the FAR MAJORITY of anime fans in the US (whose market may be larger than that of Japan's in a few years) do watch and want stuff DUBBED. Therefore it is infeasable for Netflix to bypass the US companies, since they'd lose out on rentals to the majority of their audience with the lack of a dub.

      The only reason many people are watching stuff like Chobits and Wolf's Rain so quickly is because fansubbers obey no laws and do what is essentially an illegal act (Copyright Violation) in the translation and distribution. The japanese companies simply chose not to prosecute (the US companies however, will).

      As well, your chinese Hoshi no Koe is likely a bootleg, which was made with no compensation to the creator. Considering the guy worked on his own (that is, by himself for two years on a blue Apple G3 Tower) for the better part of two years to animate the entire damn thing, that's an insult. And ADV recently picked it up for a US release this year.

      Make no mistake, releases of shows are coming sooner after their Japanese release these days than they were before, and there is a LOT more out there. They have to be careful though, the market is not gigantic like that of Hollywood's and it could easily be flooded.
    • Stop bitching about new releases not arriving immediately in the US. Your anime is priced much *lower* than the original in Japan - even though most US releases require dub/sub, new packaging, etc.

      For example, Ghost in the Shell (the movie, not the new series) still costs 7800 yen here in Japan - while Right Stuf has the same thing for $US25! Evangelion, too - not only is it dub/subbed, but some of the animation was redone to use English instead of Japanese, and yet the DVD box costs less than one-third of the Japanese original (which you can't even buy any more).
  • They do jump over the important stuff to mention their favorites, don't they?

    1990s: A whole lotta nothing going on. Uh huh. The obviously slept through 1992 [tcp.com].

    Could buy and sell Evangelion six times before corn flakes. It also deserves mention in the U.S. licensing portion of the article, since it was one of three shows that formed the basis for the current [icv2.com]
    success of anime in general.

    Oh, and it did about ten figures in merchandising too.
    • Quit whining, fanboy/girl. Regardless of whether or not you think Sailor Moon or some other wanky anime is worthy of mention, they obviously didn't. Fucking cope.

      Who cares if it did ten figures in merchandising? I'm sure My Little Pony did great back in the 80's, but how many people would honestly consider that to be innovative, influential, interesting, or historically worth noting? Answer? Nobody except for a select few who obviously missed the whole goddamned point.
      • Who cares if it did ten figures in merchandising?

        LOL

        I'm sure My Little Pony did great back in the 80's, but how many people would honestly consider that to be innovative, influential, interesting, or historically worth noting?

        Does My Little Pony have 100 million fans worldwide? Are there 400,000 My Little Pony web pages? Was My Little Pony ever #1 on Amazon.com?

        No.

        That's the point.
        • My Little Pony was off the air before the Internet really took off and everyone and their grandma had it. I'd hardly say it's an equal comparison if we're comparing direct figures like number of websites.

          That said, i'm sure that My Little Pony had quite a large following back in it's day, though i'd bet that most people don't give a crap anymore. I'd expect the same to happen to something like Sailor Moon.

          Don't mistake sales figures for quality, innovation, or historical impact. People will buy anything if they're exposed to it long enough.

          Christ, people even bought the Pet Rock and the Chia Pet.
  • I can forsee anime coverage only getting better here in the US from this day forward. Seriously, look at what the kids are watching today-- Pokemon, Digimon, Sakura Card Captors, Gundam, Yu-Gi-Oh and Dragonball Z. These kids are growing up with anime and like some cartoons stayed with us, their increased exposure to it is going to stay with them. They are going to demand more of it and the market will adjust to meet that demand (hopeflly). With that adjustment, you should see more and more stuff ported over here with (hopefully) less and less editing and hire budgets. It's like gaming. these cultures are slowly imbedding themselves into society and (hopefully) it won't be long before they are acceptable mainstram phenomenoms...
  • his epic series about a little white lion with black ears ... a series which shares many elements with a Disney film from a few years ago. The lion in the US version of the series was called Kimba ... although his original name was Simba.

    The Tezuka estate should retroactively sue Disney. I'm sure there's room in the DMCA to fit something like that . . .

  • I find the topic of the history of anime to be fascinating, and I want to learn more about it. Can anyone recommend a book that might cover this topic?

  • by nomadic (141991)
    While it is a bit dated

    What's slightly dated stuff doing making slashdot's main page?! I'm outraged; it's supposed to be VERY dated before you people post it!
  • This article, despite bearing the date 'Feb 16, 2003,' is apparently old news. It mentions an "up and coming" series Vision of Escaflowne and how Disney may soon distribute Kiki's Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro. Er... these things happened years ago.

    It's still a good history, don't get me wrong. But it's probably about three years out of date.

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