ART/PHOTO BY: Ishikawa Puro
This blog post was quickly made, so forgive my lack of details. It was sparked by some people calling a cartoon called RWBY an “Anime.”
Anime isn’t a style. Anime is animation produced in Japan. That has been the universally accepted definition among Anime fans since Anime reached the US Audience many years ago. Few Americans have tried to market their garbage as Anime, all have ultimately failed to convert most Anime fans.
If Anime is a style, then you’re pretty much saying a large chunk of what most Anime fans recognize as Anime actually isn’t Anime. Examples are Shin-chan, all of the ANIME produced by Hayao Miyazaki, Death Note, Aku no Hana, Appleseed, Nekojiru-sou, Dead Leaves, etc. Those Anime aren’t your typical stereotypical-looking Anime but they are still classified as Anime by every Anime fan and website. Actual Anime has a wide range of art styles and storylines, there is no one single art style when it comes to Anime. The stereotype of Anime is that Anime characters have big eyes, a big head, small mouth, and unique hair colors. A stereotype isn’t a definition and a stereotype of Anime doesn’t get to decide what is and isn’t Anime, so don’t act like because that’s just damn offensive.
You don’t get to draw big eyes, a big head, purple hair, small mouth and call your shit Anime because it’s not going to fly within a majority of the Anime fandom. There is more to Anime than the 50% of the art Anime creators use(big eyes, etc) and don’t you forget that. It’ll take more than 1 CARTOON called RWBY to change a definition fans have used for almost 3 decades.
No cartoon has succeeded in calling itself an Anime for too long. Totally Spies is a perfect example of a non-Japanese cartoon that attempted to mimic Anime’s stereotypical “art style.” It was eventuay licensed in Japan, aired on mother fucking NHK…and to this day, most Anime fans do not recognize it as an Anime. Same with Teen Titans, Avatar, Ben 10, Kappa Mikey(Nick marketed as an Anime, and failed to convince most Anime fans), Boondocks. and other anime-influenced cartoons. Even Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, a cartoon that was made in a US/Japan collaboration failed to reach “Anime” status to most Anime fans when all was said and done.
Now I don’t want him(the creator of RWBY) to take this the wrong way. This is personal. I want to be rude, I’m hoping to cause offence! What in the hell makes Monty Oum so sure his garbage will change the mind of a majority of Anime fans? His shit looks like a stereotypical Anime? So does dozens of other cartoons influenced by Anime around the world. It got licensed in Japan? Like several other anime-influenced cartoons, some of which were actually produced with the help of Japanese animators. It was streamed on Crunchyroll? I’m curious as to why they’d do that. There are bigger and better cartoons couldn’t find footing in the Anime fandom, so I severely doubt RWBY will and in 2-3 years time, it’ll be just as forgotten and ignored by Anime fans like every other cartoon that attempted to reach Anime fans. I hope he continues to produce entertaining cartoons but don’t you dare attempt to whore-out the word Anime for your own selfish gain.
I will acknowledge that there is no absolute “end all, be all” definition of Anime, but among most Anime fans, it is in fact primarily animation originating in Japan. It’s not a style originating in Japan. As one person said, “to summarize an entire country’s work into one specific style is ignorant.”
If you still aren’t convinced, ask yourself why the 3 biggest non-dedicated streaming Anime websites(Anime News Network, MyAnimeList, & Anime Planet) haven’t added Avatar, Kappa Mikey, Teen Titans, or RWBY to their database. Because they don’t classify them as Anime either. Monty Oum is in the wrong to call #RWBY Anime. I rest my case.