Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Can someone out there explain to me why Animes are so popular, not only among children (which I would suspect would be the correct audience, if not the intended audience for these animations), but also among adults? I just don't get it, but then I guess I don't usually watch a lot of cartoons, and Animes to me seem to be little more than a poorly made cartoon. While some Animes have decent illustrations as in still shots, they are poorly animated and thereby do not live up to their own names: Animes (and one would hypothesize that the name is a play on the word 'animation'). They simply lack almost any animation. A cartoon character apparently standing there with its mouth moving hardly amounts to much of an animation, now does it. Yet, that scene is repeated over and over again in Animes - characters standing there with the main part of the so called action being their mouths moving one movement per three to ten words or so. As for the some of the subject matter, I find many of them I have quickly perused, for I must admit I have never watched more than a couple of minutes of one at most, to be quite disturbing. This is especially so since many of them are shown during prime time for children to be watching television, such as just after school in the afternoons. The sexually suggestive animations seem rather perverse. Can you think of any other reason that a so called artist,or cartoonist, would make an animated figure apparently look sexy or sexual? I sure cannot not think of even one idea, except of course that there is some sort of perversion involved.

It seems to me that many children, and even many adults (which I find hard to fathom) take great pleasure in watching these cartoons, and take greater pleasure in fantasizing that they themselves are Anime characters. It has come so far as to have 'Which Anime Are You' questionnaires on the Internet, wherein you answer several questions, and then are told which Anime character your persona matches best. When I think back to my younger years, I fondly remember animated series, and plain old cartoons, such as Popeye, Mighty Mouse, Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Colonel Bleep, all those Ben & Gerry cartoons, those two little Chipmunks (don't recall the name of that cartoon), and so on. cartoons that were meant to be just that - cartoons. They were meant to be funny, they were meant to amusing, they were meant to be colorful, they were meant to actually appear animated, they were aimed mostly at children, and they were meant to be seen as fantastic as in unreal. Then the cartoons became less animated, and they seemed to bottom out. Newer cartoons like Speed Racer, Gigantor came out but they were no longer funny but rather something toward which one would suspect the animator wanted children to emulate themselves (much like Animes in my estimation). Some years after that, cartoons seemed more geared toward adults with 'shows' like The Simspsons, Family Guy, and South Park. At least in the Simpsons there seemed to be some resurrection of funniness, that a child could enjoy, but some of the subject matter was way over the top for young children. Then in the most recent years, Animes seem to have become king, and they seem to be geared toward adult watchers, though I still cannot imagine how an adult who claims to have a working brain could routinely enjoy them - but then as they say there is no accounting for taste.

Just about every night, on several cable channels, there are Animes during hours in which only adults would normally be awake to watch television. They are action cartoons, one sin which good Animes versus bad Animes are prominently featured. There are also scantily clad Animes in many of them (as if you can clothe an animated figure but you know what I mean). There are also ones that have what is apparently supposed to amount to intelligent discussions with one another, even debates. Yet as I see them, they are all crap, and what I do not get is that adults flock to watch this stuff. Not only are adults drawn to the televisions to watch these animations as if mesmerized, but they also are drawn into emulating the animated characters. That not only bewilders me, but scares me. In all my life I never saw anyone emulate: Homer Simpson, Popeye, Krazy Kat, Pluto, Minnie Mouse, Road Runner - in fact these characters emulated humans! Now humans are emulating Animes. Yes indeed that is frightening, and incomprehensible in my limited reason capabilities. Yes folks I just don't get it, not one iota.

Oh well, I don't have to watch them; but yet it is certainly somewhat annoying when my cable channel lineup is inundated with these less than animated Animes. I wish someone who programs the night time lineup on television would gear things so that some truly adult level entertainment (and no I do not mean x-rated stuff, I can go to pay per view for that, or rent a video if I had the mind to) would be shown rather than this grammar school dropout drivel. I also wish that someone would make an intelligent attempt to explain to me why these shows are so popular. Hopefully you will be able to enlighten me, though I sincerely hope you will not change my mind about me wanting not to watch them!

All the best,
Glenn B