Why Americans Can’t Make Anime (Or Can They?)

This rant contains spoilers! This rant may cause cancer in rats as known by the State of California.

Now, before anyone asks, I’m not talking about: “Blah blah freaking blah, Americans can’t make anime because they’re not Japanese!” Nope, I’m talking about the fact everything we’re obsessed with is not the focus of anime. For example:

  • Friendly robotic sidekicks (such as the Tachikoma from GITS)
  • Artifical Intelligence that can both sing and pilot experimental aircraft (such as Sharon from Macross Plus)
  • Breasts (such as… well, almost any anime out there)
  • Unrealistically large weapons that can destroy the planet (Gundam 0083, Eureka Seven, SDF Macross, etc)
  • Messed up concepts from religion taken out of context (Evangelion, and to a lesser degree Eureka Seven)
  • ‘Real’ giant robots (Gundam, Macross, Evangelion, Eureka Seven)
  • Urban combat (Gundam, Macross, Evangelion, Eureka Seven)
  • Shit blowing up (again, almost any anime out there)

Almost every single one of those example animes listed next to each obsessed over thing, each one of them have yet another concept that runs along side that, that Americans totally miss out on:

  • The Tachikoma are weapons of war, and they kill people
  • Sharon fell in love with the main character of Macross Plus and tried to kill everyone over it
  • Breasts are also useful for flotation devices in emergencies!
  • Almost everyone dies because of their use
  • The religion in Evangelion was there to hide the physiological babble behind
  • Those ‘real’ giant robots are also weapons of war, and kill people
  • During urban combat, innocent people die
  • More often than not, someone has died during shit blowing up

There are few cartoons (since we Americans can’t call ours anime) that actually touch on these subjects. The ones that do are quickly shut away as some ‘evil, Satan worshiping creation to corrupt children’, and get a big fat TV-MA or Rated R sticker stuck on it.

I mean, some people say America is desensitized to violence; no, I think America is too afraid to face it and to deal with it. What would happen if we showed children that their favorite cartoon character died painfully because of war or some other battle? They’d never happily march off to war. They’d never pick up a gun and shoot someone over a trivial matter. They’d think twice before ending someone’s life.

In essence, America can’t make anime not because we’re not Japanese, but because we refuse to tell good stories. The one thing missing from most Amercian cartoons is plot and character development; they miss out the most important part of writing a story: you cannot keep your characters safe, bad things always have to happen to them.

Written by
Open Source software architect and technologist. He's just this guy, you know? Follow him him on Google+.
Published in
Transmissions from the Little Blue Marble

Published January 19th, 2007


62 Responses

Maybe, if we can make our comics based on anime, that wouldn’t be a problem now would it. I want to become an anime animator or maybe an manga artist. I’m trying to come up with a good idea to come up with the storyline, plot, characters, setting, conflict and solutions during my brainstorming to my own anime series. I’m Canadian, and I love anime because Naruto introduce me to anime. Thanks to that series, I know what anime’s art style and storyline have to be gripping and cool actions to happen rapidly. As an self-proclaimed manga artist, I wanted to try my best to come up with a very good anime series that not only the people will enjoy but I’m having a fun time writing for everyone.

I’d have to say Korea does a few things better than Japan story wise.

Americans can’t manga it’s not possible because manga means Japanese comic,even is you to japan it’s the same thing.

wrong, You say genes, I say Bull, also no Good story’s buddy, let me tell you somthing, I’ve got story’s that would make japan Crwall to it’s knees, Buddy I promise, in My nation, you will get the most,Offial looking anime in yo life, it will look just like it came from Japan. buddy try me.

Hmm I guess technically you’re right. :DD Then I’ll just move to Japan and make it..

Sukippo Zukashi

If us American’s try to make a manga will they count it as a *swallows a baby barf* C-Comic….. 🙁

I have an anime/manga idea I’m working on that I’m hoping will have a good enough storyline I’m a pretty sadistic when it comes to my characters anyway so I definitely don’t try to make sure they stay safe I have plenty of things happening to them so I’m hoping maybe if I start off as a manga and people start reading it and like it it will get popular enough to get an anime made for it. After I take plenty of drawing lessons first of course.

HOORAY FOR TURTLES (the immortal bastards)!!!

did you know its possible that turtles could be immortal. i mean ive never seen a dead turtle have you, i see their shells but never a body i think they go through some kind of transformation and leave their shells behind, think about walking turtles, PRETTY AWESOME!!

but seriously vote for kira he owns

but seriously if you can draw really good anime and you have a decent story go for it no matter where youre from. prove em wrong

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