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Anime: What’s The Draw For Western Viewers?

by Faith O'Neil

Ever since Akira screeched into cinema screens in the 1980’s and wowed an entire generation of action film lovers who craved an adult cartoon with the same intensity as something like Die Hard, anime has garnered more and more fans in the west. In Japan it is one of the most lucrative industries with scores of fans, conventions and hundreds of comics and cartoon shows to get sucked in to.

But what is the appeal of anime and why do people flock to it over more traditional western cartoons?

Appeal For All Ages

Perhaps it is that anime can appeal to all ages. Some cartoons have enormous fan-bases of both children and adults, and can tell a story which appeals on one level to a younger audience, but can also involve adult issues too. Films like Grave of the Fireflies, which discusses the nature of war and death, but which revolves around the friendship between two children is a great example.

Anime also tends, unlike western cartoon series, to tell complete stories. This can be much more satisfying for viewers who don’t want to just see the same stories being rehashed week after week.

The animation style also brings people into the fold. Hand drawn characters, luscious backgrounds, and stunning movements – all brought to life by real people, rather than computers. The hard work and dedication of the creative team is all up there on the screen for the viewer to see, and hasn’t just been fed into a machine and animated cheaply and poorly.

Anime also draws on a lot of mythology and folklore from Japanese culture, making it very popular in its home country. It is also increasingly popular in the western world with people who want to learn more about Japanese history and culture. Subtitles also allow westerners to learn a language as they watch.

Overall though, it’s about the sheer depth of creativity and ideas on display. Anime is a rich source of great concepts, and strong emotional messages that have inspired many to create. Maybe you are already a fan, and maybe you have something that you want to create. If you do, then instantprint’s Comic Comp is right up your alley. Whether you are just starting out with your artistic career, or whether you’ve established yourself, Instant Print’s competition is open to you, and all they ask, is that you inspire them.

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