The word "anime", contrary to popular belief, is not the Japanese word for animation. Though the word is used in Japan to describe animation, it is actually derived from a French word. Anime in the U.S. refers specifically to Japanese animation, which in and of itself is a unique style of storytelling and film making. In the United States, where animation and film are separated mediums, in Japan they are one in the same. The cinematography and further elements of professional film making are all used in the animated films that are created in Japan. Unlike the United States, which is due to the public perception that animation is for children (the reason for this is an essay in and of itself), anime in Japan is made for all types of audiences including children, adolescents, and adults. There are categories of anime and manga (Japanese comic) for girls, boys, young girls, young boys, adolescent boys, and adolescent girls, conservative adults, non-conservative adults and so on. The subjects of anime range from history (past and future), to fantasy, dramatic, science fiction, popular culture, cyber-reality, adult, action, romance, political, and more.
In other words, for every category that there is for live action films, there is one for anime.
One of the MAJOR differences between anime and U.S. animation is the quality of storytelling and level of understanding at which the story develops. Though things are changing in the U.S., the majority of animation is geared at young minds and actually are almost insulting to those young minds in the treatment of the story. Anime expands upon the regions once only explored by live action films, by incorporating heavy themes of drama, powerful emotional conflicts and character development and relationships. In certain types of anime people do die, and people do suffer from those losses. In certain types of anime there is great violence, rape, and brutality, corruption and realism. In certain types of anime...
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