How Anime has Influenced the World

  • Japan is a country filled with a unique culture. Basically, what you find in Japan is something that you don’t find in other countries. Japan has made a lot of contributions to the world over the years. But one of their greatest contributions that is still iconic to this day is none other than what most people would refer to as anime. Anime has contributed so much that people all around the world who love anime, any genre of it, have the overpowering need to go and visit the country of its origin as well learn Japanese. But how has anime influenced the world since its conception?

    What exactly is anime?

    Anime is a term used to describe the style of Japanese animation; the term stems from the shortened Japanese romaji for “animation”. Anime is now, however, more commonly associated with animated television series or movies that originate from Japan and covers a wide range of topics and genre. In Japan, people of all ages, from all walks of life have watched anime and it has become part of their modern culture. Anime series are usually filled with interesting characters along with a captivating story that can make the viewer laugh or cry. In Western countries, anime is seen not only as a Japanese series of animation but it has also come to define art style that the Japanese use as well.

    How has anime influenced the world?

    Anime has become one of the best resources nowadays to tell stories in an animated form. Anime gained success in other countries when early series such as Dragonball, Astro Boy, and Slam Dunk aired. Some Westerners have taken a particular interest in Japanese culture and anime can be seen as an entry point. And because of this, Westerners have slowly become more interested in Japanese culture and even started learning Japanese. Which is why in 1984, the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) was created.

    The early 1990’s served as what was known to be an anime boom. Due to this, anime culture further evolved when anime conventions started taking place. Anime conventions are large gatherings that may take over a period of days, in order for fans of anime and manga to show their passion and dedication and have even incorporated industry talk panels and cosplay. The term “cosplay” is derived from the words “costume play”; which is when fans dress up as their favorite character from a series and impersonate that character. Cosplay is not restricted to anime but has also crossed over to Western characters from comics and cartoon series.

    Another popular aspect of anime is the art style. The style that stems from the anime genre is unique, characters generally sporting big eyes and unique hairstyles. Western countries have also developed series using that particular style. One of the more popular series which has adapted this art style is the “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, which has gained international success. A sequel was also made entitled “The Legend of Korra”.

    To the shores of Japan…

    One of the more popular examples of a Western-made series is RWBY. RWBY (pronounced as “ruby”) is a web series produced by Austin-based company, Rooster Teeth. The series was created by Monty Oum and tells the story of four girls attending a school in order for them to become huntresses and fight off the evil creatures known in their universe as the creatures of Grimm. RWBY has gained a large following in Japan and Warner Bros. Japan has decided to take it to Japan and dub it in Japanese as well as release it on Blu-Ray and DVD. This marks RWBY as the first American-made anime to be marketed to Japan.

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