The Wonderful World of Japanese Pop Culture

Anime, the greatest misconception of all in Western society. Why is there such little appreciation of the masterpieces that are Japanese Animations? My soul dies whenever it’s referred to as a cartoon – lets not ignore the complete difference in art styles and the completely gruesome and the intricate storylines that are almost *flashback to Happy Tree Friends* nonexistant in the world of cartoons. Cartoons in itself is a whole other can of worms blog post!


This, my guys, is just the beginning of a whole lot of anime/manga/vocaloid related content. I wanted to set the scene with a little introductory post to anime before really diving in deep to the ocean that is Japanese Animation, and everything wonderful around it too!

So what’s the difference between a Japanese Animation and a Cartoon? Well..

To the uneducated eye, little difference may be seen, understandably so, especially with Totally Spies, who’s artist was inspired by Anime! Cartoon drawings are mostly out of proportion and don’t represent the human form, whereas Anime art styles are rather “to scale”, or more notably so, of the human body. To put it simply, Anime is a stylised take on the human body. But be warned! Art styles vary!

Not to mention the most adorable anime style, best represented by little Himouto Umaru-Chan. I used to be obsessed with this stuff. Chibi is just used in describing something that is short. Cute, right?

Anime VS Manga

Like all great movies are produced from even greater novels, so is the same within the Anime world. Manga is essentially the book of the Anime, however the book being more similar to that of a comic book. Pretty drawings accompanied with amazing narrative. Incredible, right? It’s the reading without all the words but all the same of the enjoyment. It’s lightweight reading that stimulates the mind enough like a novel, that I rarely get to the point where I’m tired from reading.

“Anime is for kids”

I started officially watching anime when I was 12, a child, and this statement was still used against me. Not only is it completely incorrect, it’s pretty disrespectful to the person/people you’re addressing, and the artists, animators, voice actors, developers – everybody who has had an input in the creation process. Yes, there’s anime created for children, but theres also cartoons out there made for adults, but nobody is bothered by that? Showing a child Attack on Titan holds the same amount of outrage as showing a child Family Guy, or South Park, catch my drift? Think of it this way, would you show The Walking Dead to your child? Probably not. It’s the same concept with anime, some things just aren’t appropriate. Except a child watching AOT gives them way more credibility.

Anime and Manga is so popular among fully developed adult minds, and is whole culture in Japan. Attack on Titan, mentioned previously, is by far one of my favourite anime, I can’t compare it with any TV show or movie I’ve seen – it’s incredible. The artwork is amazing, and the narrative is gripping. A writer and illustrator must have a true talent to create something so immersing, portraying a story with images. So give us credit, we’re appreciating the works of some crazy talented people. It also doesn’t have to be that complex, sometimes it’s just nice to detatch ourselves from the stresses of the real world from time to time, I mean, look at England, we’ve been in Brexit for three years now, you can’t blame us.

Vocaloid

Affiliated with Anime is another whole world that is Vocaloid. To be honest, you either love it or you hate it, and of course I love it. Vocaloid is basically, and incredibly simply,  computerised singing, which has then been given to a character created for that voice. As an example, one of the most popular Vocaloids is Hatsune Miku, she has big blue ponytails, and it would surprise me if you hadn’t seen her around somewhere. I’m only very briefly touching upon Vocaloid, they’re a whole other blog post in itself! To me, Vocaloid is fascinating and unique, it’s a whole other mainstream culture that Western society has little understanding and appreciation of, but we’ll get there! In the meantime check out these songs! Kagamine Rin – Meltdown, Miku, Luka and Kaito – Acute, Hatsune Miku – World is Mine, Gumi (English Voice Bank) – Echo.

Anime is an incredible, unique creation, as so are it’s related genres. Once you’re exposed to the world of Japanese Pop Culture, it’s quite difficult to pull yourself out.

Thanks for reading, there will be more blog posts like this every second Tuesday!

A, x

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