Anime For (Almost) Everyone
August 30, 2010
I started an Anime Club at my branch, where they pay me to watch anime with some really cool kids once a month. I'm also on the Anime Review Committee, which allows me the opportunity to recommend and review new titles for MCPL. This is pretty much a dream come true, since I've been a big anime dork for years. Since I have a lot of people ask me, "What IS anime?", I thought I would put together a short tutorial.
Anime is a genre of media that originated in Japan. Some people call it "Japanimation", but word to the wise, real anime fans will laugh at you for calling it that. The first anime was created in 1917, but the first contemporary anime was created in 1952 with the manga series, Astroboy. Manga is basically Japanese comic books. They vary in several aspects to American comics, such as the size: manga tends to be shorter and fatter. Additionally, manga is usually collected in consecutive volumes, and printed in black and white. Many anime shows and movies are based on manga.
Anime and manga have exploded in the U.S. and other areas of the world in the last 10 years. The fan base has grown to include conventions, clubs, cosplay, and more. With increasing frequency, anime is shown on TV, in movie theaters, and on Netflix. For fans who just can't wait, there are sites that feature fan-subs (anime subtitled by fans) before the official version is released. Currently airing shows in Japan are now being featured (legally) on sites like Hulu.com and CrunchyRoll.com.
There are several differences between anime and American cartoons. First of all, anime is created for all age groups. Unlike American cartoons, which are primarily geared toward children, much of anime is created for an adult audience. The episodes are sequential, and follow a continuous storyline. The art and animation style tends to be more stylized, and is considered a viable art form. The genres of anime and manga are as varied as our books and movies. Some of the most popular categories are listed below with some examples you can check out at any MCPL branch.
Mystery: frequently involves detective work, or unraveling mysteries (Spiral)
The MCPL Anime Review Committee is working to provide more titles for you to check out. We would love feedback and suggestions.
Abbey L.Tags: teens, teen programs, manga, comic books