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An Introduction to Anime Presented by Karen Stapleton English Consultant, AISNSW

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1 An Introduction to Anime Presented by Karen Stapleton English Consultant, AISNSW

2 What is anime?  Anime: (pronounced ah-nee-may) The term broadly refers to the shortened Japanese interpretation of the word Animation referring to animated moving-image films. More specifically Anime (which itself draws heavily on the Japanese printed comic tradition known as Manga) refers to a very specific style of Japanese cartoon-like animation. Anime emphasizes particular stylistic accents predominantly in relation to the depiction of human characters. Presented by Karen Stapleton, AISNSW

3 Anime  Has become THE major way in which non-Japanese are exposed to Japanese culture  “Otaku” = fan  anime films are NOT cartoons.  Appeal to a broad audience now – note range of anime film classifications: PG  R  Sophisticated and complex films Presented by Karen Stapleton, AISNSW

4 What’s great about anime  Intricate plots and storylines  Wide variety of topics, genres and styles  strong emotive appeal – meant to ‘fire up’ emotions, responses  importance of values in anime films eg sincerity, courage and perseverance.  Quality of Artwork – concentrate on detail (rather than fluidity of motion); cinematic effects in artwork.  Combines artistic expression and powerful entertainment Presented by Karen Stapleton, AISNSW

5 Formats of anime  TV episodes/ series  OAV or OVA  Original Animation Video: released as direct videos/DVDs for home rentals  Full length feature films  for cinema/theatre release Presented by Karen Stapleton, AISNSW

6 How Anime evolved: The early, pre-TV era:  Originally based on fairy tales (Japanese + Western)  Used same animation techniques as elsewhere in the world  1930s and during WW2  studios controlled and censored  only able to produce propaganda or militaristic pieces  Post war decade: industry in decline; lack of infrastructure/buildings etc  growth of manga industry (cheaper)  1950s – revival of Japanese movie industry; “studio system” Presented by Karen Stapleton, AISNSW

7 How Anime evolved s, a landmark decade for anime!  Alakazam the Great (1960) - based on Osamu Tezuki’s comic book adaptation of ancient Monkey King legend; movie used his plot and visual style.  Tezuki – most popular comic book artist (eg Astro Boy); regarded as having invented Japan’s modern ‘manga’ industry; pioneered many innovations in style and form and genre; incorporated many of the stylistic forms of film into his work  TV animation studio, Mushi Productions founded by Osamu Tezuki in First TV anime, Astro Boy, released (preceded by a live-action show in 1959) Presented by Karen Stapleton, AISNSW

8 How Anime evolved Tezuka’s influence:  Popularity of TV animation  Established the attitude that ‘cartooning’ was an acceptable form of storytelling for any age group  Created sophisticated adult animation in a range of genres  Pioneered artwork styles and techniques  Productions represented the links: Manga  live-action  TV  feature films Presented by Karen Stapleton, AISNSW

9 How anime evolved – 1970s  Flood of giant robot stories and toy-promotional features eg Tetsujin 28-GO TV series (in US “Gigantor”) – machine transformations; sci-fi genre  Appearance, costumes etc influenced by samurai and Japanese martial arts traditions and hand-to-hand combat  Great heroes and epic stories became prominent; more ‘theatrical releases’ based on Leiji Matsumoto’s manga tales of heroism, courage, humanity set against vast panorama of space and strange worlds  Space operas! Presented by Karen Stapleton, AISNSW

10 How anime evolved – 1980s  Cinema/theatre anime challenges dominance of TV anime  Development of anime storylines as well as expansion in genre and new ‘talents’  1983 – release of the first OVA, Dallos, directed by Mamoru Oshii – his rise to fame!  OVAs – led to new development in anime – the sexually explicit, erotic story (had long existed in manga).  Popularity of films by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata: success of anime film, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984) led to their establishment of Studio Ghibli  Akira – 1988; set in dystopian Tokyo in 2019; huge impact on American audiences Presented by Karen Stapleton, AISNSW

11 How anime evolved – 1990s  Rise in anime production companies & greater global distribution  As original viewers matured demanded more complex narratives and higher quality product  Development of OVA/TV/movie crossover series  Increased popularity of shojo anime (many based on CLAMP’s manga)  Greater use of computers in animation Presented by Karen Stapleton, AISNSW

12 TraditionalTop 5 Anime Studios & creators  Studio Ghibli - Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke)  Production IG – Mitsuhisa Ishikawa (Ghost in the Shell, Kill Bill anime sequence)  Gonzo - (Chrono Crusade, Last Exile, Hellsin, Final Fantasy)  Gainax – Hideaki Anno (Neon Genesis Evangelion)  Sunrise (Cowboy Bebop, Mobile Suit Gundam) - giant robots! Presented by Karen Stapleton, AISNSW

13 Key elements in anime  Manga is a major source for anime stories  Distinctive character and background aesthetics that visually set it apart from other forms of animation  Pacing and rhythm of the action; timing and editing  Framing; camera & other cinematic effects used in the animation  Visual structuring of the action/ detailed backgrounds  Use of music; music can play a major role in the plot Presented by Karen Stapleton, AISNSW

14 Key elements in anime  Anime filmed and then voices are added  Long narrative structures + twists and unpredictability of plot / endings / fate of characters etc.  Characters (chara) are complex and multidimensional; their feelings are important in anime and shape their actions  Inclusion of Japanese cultural details  Use of comedy Presented by Karen Stapleton, AISNSW

15 Main “chara” traits & visual conventions  Chara are usually of mixed ancestry/race – don’t look Japanese even if action is set in Japan  Hair – colour, shades, styles and movement.  Waists – often slim, small, tiny for females and males, although some variation for men.  Eyes – big, large, giant, non-Asian eyes are common  Female breasts = often large, pert, bouncy - “defy gravity”  Key thematic motifs = doll with a soul and/or cybernetic humans; giant robots Presented by Karen Stapleton, AISNSW


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