the Yale Anime Society
Defeating Frieza, Angels, Vampires, Demons and admiring Awesomeness since 1997.
Let's suppose you wandered into this website quite randomly. You ask yourself, "Why are grown adults watching this cartoon stuff, and what is it?
For you, we have an FAQ :)
What is anime?
Anime is the Japanese word for animation-- all sorts, from films to television series, commercial stuff for fun and serious expressions of art and thought. As in some parts of Europe, animation in Japan is not connotated as a children's media as the word "cartoon" is in the US, so the creators of "fine" anime (comparable to art films in the West) take their works very seriously, thus creating the surprisingly dark, serious, and powerful stories that Americans are belatedly falling in love with. Anime is also sometimes called Japanimation in the US (though this is dying out, happily), but the proper Japanese term of "anime" is becoming more popular, symbolizing a growing consciousness in the American consciousness of the artistic, non-cultish merit of these works.
I hear anime is violent and sexually explicit. Is this true?
Anime is a medium, not a genre. Anime, much like live-action movies here in the States, can be of many and any genre. Just because some movies are violent or sexually explicit doesn't mean all movies are violent and sexually explicit. The same applies to anime though, until about midway through the 1990's, most of the anime that made it to the US were the strange, the cultish, and the pornographic-- but that is but a tiny slice of all that anime is in Japan.
what's the deal with the big eyes?
Japanese animation style uses the motif of big eyes to represent youth in character designs. This is common in many anime characters, but there exists a large contigent of anime characters who do not have big eyes. (eg. Macross Plus, Ninja Scroll, etc) In fact, there are some popular anime character designs don't even have opened eyes at all (such as Yakumo from 3x3 Eyes or Chichiri from Fushigi Yuugi). Other character designs, like those by CLAMP, have incredibly huge eyes (anime aimed at girls have traditionally employed big eyes because they are more expressive and soft --appealing to the target adolescent girl readership). The trend was begun by Osamu Tezuka, the "Father of Anime," whose characters of the 1960's imitated the wide-eyed Western cartoon look and whose style propagated through subsequent anime.
do the characters in anime look white but speak Japanese?
This question often arises because of the brightly-colored hair of many anime characters. In fact, characters such as Sailor Moon, who are clearly blonde, are meant to be completely Japanese, and are understood to be as such by the readership. One of the practical reasons for this is that manga (Japanese comics), upon which most anime are based, are printed in black and white. Making some characters have light hair helps to differentiate them. There are other aesthetic reasons as well, but the variety of hair-color is meant to be taken with a pinch of salt. After all, if blonde anime characters are meant to be white, then what are the blue-haired characters supposed to be?
never watched anime before. Would I want to?
If you ever watched cartoons when you were little, it is likely that you've watched anime. Anime for kids from Japan flourished in American culture throughout the 70's (starting with Speed Racer and Astro Boy), and through the 80's with such familiar names as Voltron, Robotech, Ronin Warriors, Maya the Bee--even Inspector Gadget counts as anime! These days, of course, children's culture is saturated with anime such as Pokemon, Yu-gi-oh!, Sailor Moon, Digimon, and so on.
Guidelines for Submission
This website was created solely for instructional and communicational purposes by and for the Yale Anime Society. YAS does not claim any ownership to the images used within it and uses them only for instructional and illustration purposes.
Furthermore, all anime pictures on this website belong to their respective copyright owners.
Yale University does not necessarily share, approve, or condone the opinions expressed on this webpage.
This website was designed by Ferny Reyes and is currently being maintained by Jonathan Liang. Email me if you have any questions or concerns.