“Anime” is the word for animation in Japanese, but on this side of the Pacific, it has come to define only the animation that comes directly from Japan. Of course, origin isn’t the only defining quality of anime: There’s a lot of stylistic choices, visual effects, and traditions that all animes share. There’s no denying that Western art and literature has had a huge influence on both the content and style of Japanese animation, but what about the reverse? As Western artists create more and more anime-inspired fare, does this mean that anime fans in the U.S. should expand their definition of what constitutes anime, just like fans of “gun-fu” and wuxia? What a loaded question! In this video, we examine how some of the cultural dialogue between East and West is expressed through the animated arts, from cartoons based on Western literary figures to movies made by Westerners that look, sound, and feel a whole lot like their Japanese counterparts. Enjoy!
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