A lot of people in America think Japanese animation, known as anime, is just kids’ cartoons. Maybe in Japan, they view it the same way, but to many fans of anime in America, such as myself, believe differently. For every person who disparges anime and dismisses it, there are just as many who love it (sometimes labeled as otaku), giving rise to manga (“comic”/”graphic novel”) and anime DVD sales, anime conventions such as Washington state’s Sakura-Con and Atlanta, Georgia’s Momo Con and Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA).

Personally, I watch anime forseveral reasons:

 The music

  • opening and closing animation songs that rock, OST (original soundtrack) music that I’ve just got to have
  •  music associated with the feeling/mood, battles, and drama of the show
  • at least 30%-40% of the music in my iTunes library is anime-related

The story:

  • I’m always interested what story the mangaka (manga artist) or animators and writers are trying to portray
  • I prefer a unique blend of several or more of these elements: drama, romance, fighting, strong heroines (which is rare), magic, slice of life, magical girl, certain school life types, shinobi (ninja) themed, supernatural, vampire, yaoi (boys love), comedy, and even mobile suit stuff sometimes. Haven’t seen any good yuri….
  • I generally enjoy anime’s with strong stories and developed characters that the artists and animators have given a lot of care to.

The artwork:

  • I’m not going to lie, I have certain tastes in artwork and there are some that really turn me off. For example, I enjoy Miyazaki films but the way his characters are drawn isn’t my usual style.
  • I like beautiful and defined characters with some sharpness as necessary, in particular I enjoy many of the beautiful and strong men I see in yaoi, even more “delicate-looking” ones sometimes.
  • I love the eyes. Beautifully expressive eyes are often the mark of a good anime or manga.
  • I’m not an expert at drawing so I can’t really delve too much into the topic without giving examples. For those who are familiar with anime, maybe the list of anime I have seen will help with an understanding of the style I enjoy…?
  •  Sometimes, an artist’s style will grow on me though even if I’m not fond of it initially.

Like field of literature, there is just as much to love as criticize about anime and manga. This post is a precursor to my adding anime to my list of things to talk about.

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