When it comes to movie and television entertainment there are two main categories everything falls into – live action and animated. Using real people, animals and objects, live action is probably the most watched and recognized when it comes to blockbuster movies and television series.
Think of the X-Men or The Avengers – both live action interpretations of comic book stories. On the other side we have animation. Naturally, most people think of cartoons when they hear the word ‘animation.’ Often incorrectly associated with children’s entertainment, animation can be either hand-drawn, as with the classic Looney Toon cartoons or computer generated as seen with the latest Pixar releases. Yet, even then it’s not straightforward given the various sub-genres of the animated world.
Perhaps one of the most popular animated genres is anime. Originating in Japan, the world was really introduced to the style thanks to the likes of Astro Boy. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, more followed and the fan base for this distinct type of animation grew. So what makes anime so different from ‘traditional’ Western cartoons? In a nutshell, anime not only has a distinct ‘look,’ but also makes us of significantly different camera techniques and story content. For this reason, anime is not like ‘regular’ cartoons and can even be quite strange to newcomers.