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Western animation vs anime

Last posted Apr 21, 2013 at 01:47AM EDT. Added Apr 11, 2013 at 08:09PM EDT
50 posts from 26 users

Before we even begin to argue, let’s look at what both have offered to us.


Apr 11, 2013 at 08:37PM EDT

Not necessarily saying you need to choose one over the other. I mean what do you like and dislike between the two of them, or choose one, whatever you want.

Apr 11, 2013 at 08:40PM EDT

The one biggest advantage western animation has over anime is that western animation can be done in literally any style the animators want to do. Sure, anime can have its differences in art style (depending on the studio creating it) but anime can’t hold a candle to western when it comes to variety.

Plenty of differences in the styles that the faces are drawn in. Some faces are simple dots and lines, while others have a little more detail. Each show has a different way that they draw the bodies and limbs of their characters, some have a stringy or lanky look to them, while some are drawn with a more filled out body and have more structure, while others are somewhere in between. It’s also very easy to read a character’s traits by looking at their design, and easy to differentiate between characters.

Most differences end at how the eyes and faces are drawn, as well as the difference in color scheme. As a veteran anime fan, the animation styles all look very different to me, but to the untrained eye they basically all look the same. Some animators draw their characters to look more lanky and thin while others make their characters look a little fuller, but the only obvious differences between these examples are the eye and head shapes. It is also harder to read a characters traits just based on character design alone, and instead animators rely on expression and body language to differentiate their characters. If you were to take the faces and hair away from these characters, you would have a much harder time figuring out who is who.

While western animation has the advantage of variety and easily readable character designs, many people still prefer anime because anime tends to have much more detail than western does. I suppose I could understand the reasoning, people won’t mind seeing a lot of the same thing as long as it’s pretty.

On the flip side, anime has a lot more places it can go in its story telling than western animation does. Of course, this isn’t always taken advantage of as seen by the constant flood of anime about schoolgirls, but I have seen plenty of anime take full advantage of what they can do with their stories. In the western world, animation very rarely reaches outside of the “for kids” box, and when it does reach into the adult world, it is almost always comedy. And so because of this we very rarely see a western animation made strictly for older audiences that tries to tell a deep and meaningful story. This is not so much the case in anime. In Japan, anime is also seen as a “just for kids” thing among the people that don’t watch it, but that doesn’t stop the studios from producing content about any story they want for any age group they want. I have seen an anime for just about every genre imaginable, spanning across every age group on the spectrum. We recently have seen western cartoons come up that appeal to all audiences, and try to tell their own stories their own way with fantastic results, but they don’t have nearly as much freedom with their writing as anime has had for years and years, and so that unfortunately is a drawback that western animation has.

Right now I have been watching much more western animation than I have anime, but I just can’t bring myself to pick one over the other. Both sides have such fantastic things to bring to the table and they’re both good for their own unique reasons.

Apr 11, 2013 at 09:09PM EDT

That was very well put.
I’ve always watched western animation, but up until recently, I’ve always dismissed anime. About a month ago, I started watching neon genesis and now I’m watching deathnote. All I can say is that I feel like an idiot for never giving it a chance.

Apr 11, 2013 at 09:13PM EDT

Anime is a totally different beast from western cartoons.

First of all, anime doesn’t have to get past the assumption that “this is for kids”. This allows for dramatic anime, action anime, psychological thriller anime, horror anime, pornographic anime, as well as kid friendly/cute animal anime.

If you are IN AMERICA, and you’re making a horror flick, you probably are going to do a live-action film instead of animating it. Because that will get the audience you want: not kids.

The fact that most western animation is “for kids” isn’t a bad thing. All of my favorite television, novels, and music is “for kids”, so it can still be absolutely fantastic.
A western genre that used to be “for kids” but has evolved to encompass nearly every type of story that anime does is the good ol’ American comic book.

So, if WATCHMEN, the motion picture, was made in Japan, it would have been anime. BUT in the USA, they made it live-action so that you would know THIS IS NOT FOR KIDS.

Apr 11, 2013 at 09:33PM EDT

@Serious business
“All of my favorite….music is “for kids”,”

What music is that? The wiggles?
Im serious by the way. What music do you listen to that’s for kids?

Last edited Apr 11, 2013 at 09:46PM EDT
Apr 11, 2013 at 09:45PM EDT

Dac wrote:

That was very well put.
I’ve always watched western animation, but up until recently, I’ve always dismissed anime. About a month ago, I started watching neon genesis and now I’m watching deathnote. All I can say is that I feel like an idiot for never giving it a chance.

Hey, it’s good to hear you’re giving anime a chance! If you ever want any suggestions, just shoot me a pm.

@Serious Business: The interesting thing about the mentality of “cartoons are for kids” is that the same mentality is just as common in Japan as it is in America. What’s interesting about this is that anime studios (and the manga published that most anime branches from) still make shows aimed at audiences other than kids. I think this at least partially has to do with the fact that even in its early days anime was generally aiming for older audiences as well as anime for kids, while in the western world characters like Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny were created and became icons of the animation field, basically cementing animation’s role as a medium for children’s content.

Last edited Apr 11, 2013 at 09:55PM EDT
Apr 11, 2013 at 09:55PM EDT

- Over the top hair styles
- More animations are aimed at a mature audience
- Willing to mention controversial topics which can either work in its favor or against it.
- Most productions are highly detailed.
- Anime concentrates mostly on life issues or things tied closer to human emotion.

Personal bias
I think that most animes tend to focus way to much on the story and drag out action sequences for far too long, over episodes even. I remembering watching Bleach and around the 3rd season the action was being watered down by useless story content which made the show feel repetitive and boring. I personally think the story line is the weakest aspect of animes as the more seasons were created. My only exception is Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z.

- Gestures are used more frequent to meet overall attitude of the characters.
- Most appeal to young audiences such as children there are some that are for older mature viewers, some for all.
- Most cartoon premises are fictional, partially based on reality.
- Has a wider range of art styles

Personal bias
I do prefer Western animation over anime because it is more dynamic story wise and the amount of variation in animation styles. I also do think that the age of political correctness has ruined a part of the charm of western animation by watering down its humor especially in recent memory. The relaxed nature of cartoons like the “The Looney Tunes Show” and the fast paced shows like “The Amazing World of Gumball” has taken a toll on the overall quality of animations recently. Also, many cartoons aimed for adults have watered down humor in the attempt to gain a larger viewership. There are still great shows still being produced such as “the Legend of Korra” and “Gravity Falls” so I will take quality over quantity any day.

They both have their strengths and weaknesses. Anime is not superior to western animation and vice-versa. I will however favor western animation because it has had a rich history of amazing cartoons that I have enjoyed that out-number the number of animes I have enjoyed. I tend to enjoy western animations because it is versatile. It can explore the human condition, break physics in humors ways and is more willing to deviate from our reality with non-human main characters.

Apr 11, 2013 at 10:05PM EDT

I think the concept that almost all western animation is “for kids” has much more to do with how people choose to view the individual.pieces. Many people would look at something like, say, Spongebob Squarepants, and go “oh, children watch that”. But why exactly does it have to be that way? How can one determine, with objective analysis, which films and programs “should” be watched only by individuals under a certain age? The answer, for 90% of the cases, is that you can’t. I still regularly go back to the example I gave not for the sake of nostalgia, but because I genuinely think it’s loaded with witty humor. I don’t get some sort of rash from it because I’m over twelve. And on the serious end of things, Batman: The Animated Series is some of the most intense fucking shit ever broadcast.
I’d also like to add that this same principle can be applied to anime as well. Digimon Tamers, anyone?

Apr 11, 2013 at 10:18PM EDT

Honestly, they both have their merits. I think it’s getting to the point where western audiences are demanding more cartoons, especially as adults compared to previous generations. I mean, look at how early adult swim is coming on anymore. Look at shows like Fututrama and Family Guy. Sure, comedic, but far more adult in their content.

Almost all of my friends like anime, and a good chunk of them aren’t really nerds or actually into anime, just into the plots more or less. Honestly, it’s something I think American animation needs to adress is plot structure, I usually prefer their artistic style more most of the time (dependent on a lot of stuff, but more or less American style I like better ascetically).

Apr 11, 2013 at 10:22PM EDT

Dac wrote:

That was very well put.
I’ve always watched western animation, but up until recently, I’ve always dismissed anime. About a month ago, I started watching neon genesis and now I’m watching deathnote. All I can say is that I feel like an idiot for never giving it a chance.

i recommend anything from Studio Ghibli. anything.

Apr 12, 2013 at 04:26AM EDT

Good anime :

Good western shows :

Last edited Apr 12, 2013 at 08:16AM EDT
Apr 12, 2013 at 08:13AM EDT

I think American shows have more variety in artistic style. But many people like the Japanese anime eyes so what can you say.

Apr 12, 2013 at 08:15AM EDT

Michael Holmes wrote:

I think American shows have more variety in artistic style. But many people like the Japanese anime eyes so what can you say.

Art direction is only one thing, though. I’m not saying art style isn’t important, but if you only like a show because of its art style, you should definitely not continue watching the show. The things that drive you to watch a show in the first place is the plot line (at least in my case it is, and I bet in some others cases on this thread as well). If you don’t have a good story line for the series, or episodes in the case of western animation, you won’t have an audience. Both western animation and anime have excellent plot lines, whether they do it in a series or just for one episode, but for anime, you have to watch the entire series from the beginning in order to get it. That’s why many people find anime much harder to follow than western animation, which usually have just episodes of different situations but the same characters. In general, anime focuses heavily on plots and the story they tell, and western animation focuses on centralizing around the main characters. Not to say they both don’t do it, but they each have their strong points in plotting.

I’m sorry if it’s too long to read, you guys. Just wanted to get a point across.

Apr 12, 2013 at 09:01AM EDT

All I do in life is watch cartoons and anime. And I’ve been staring at this thread trying to come up with a super cool rad response.
I got nothin’

I love both equally? I don’t care how different each is, all I care about is if it’s entertaining for me.
I mean, of course there will be some cartoons I really enjoy watching more than any anime. But I feel like the amount of what some people may consider “good” cartoons isn’t a lot. I could name off more than 20 anime that I’ve watched and enjoyed through the past few years, but when I think about cartoons I can only name a few that I enjoyed enough to stick with.
Does that make sense? I don’t really know what else to say about that.

Apr 12, 2013 at 11:03AM EDT

I prefer western animation over Anime, however I do like Dragon Ball Z and anything made by Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli

Last edited Apr 12, 2013 at 11:33AM EDT
Apr 12, 2013 at 11:31AM EDT

SubjectNumber32 wrote:

Good anime :

Good western shows :

I love venture bros and black dynamite. you know, adult western animation has really kicked it up into high gear lately.

Last edited Apr 12, 2013 at 12:33PM EDT
Apr 12, 2013 at 12:24PM EDT

Kinda mixed about this one. The overall quality of western animations today has suffered quite a bit, and whenever I see a cartoon that looks like it was animated with flash I just want to pull my eyes out and mail them to the company with a note saying “SEE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE!?!”

It doesn’t help that the majority of the humor has been watered down. It’s like cartoon writers today had to take an entirety different class between “Humorous Writing” and “Humors Writing for Kids”, the later being taught by a guy who hasn’t interacted with a kid in his entire life. “Be Hip, and not funny” seems to be the general goal of kids cartoons these days.

Anime on the other hand usually remains consistent in terms of quality, but oftentimes suffers from a few tropes that have made me want to pull my brain out as well. Intro Episodes always tend to throw too much at you, forgetting that the writers have the next 12 episodes to establish stuff (Fullmetal Alchemist is a particular offender of this, having a flashback sequence right after the intro episodes that explain everything several times better and more naturally than the intro episode). Quite a few anime (especially Action Anime) tend to have bad pacing as well, dragging out fight sequences with massive amounts of dailouge and charging up sequences. And I swear to god every time a Flashback Episode happens in the middle of an important fight I just want to unleash my Giant Monster Form and go after Tokyo. There is a general rule in Writing called “Show, Don’t Tell”. Anime is a regular offender of this, especially when the anime in question is trying to emulate the Manga too closely.

I admit, I can bash Anime probably a bit more than Western Cartoons as I have watched far more of the earlier. However, bottom line is “Both of them have their merits, but Anime have more quality animations created today, and Western have more quality animations being created 10 years ago and beyond.”

Last edited Apr 12, 2013 at 02:52PM EDT
Apr 12, 2013 at 02:50PM EDT

I prefer anime for its bizarre atmosphere and art style, but I don’t watch any at the moment.


Anyway, I have managed to sit through countless cartoons, and while I do like a good Freakazoid, or Animaniacs, in general I just hate a lot of modern cartoons. I don’t like their sometimes lazy art styles, or their senses of humor. I’m very picky.

Anime tends to be less humorous and more “serious.” And when it does try to be funny, a lot of times it gets lost in translation, or it gets resorted to slap-stick. Oh well, I guess. A lot of the ideas presented in anime I really like, but you know what I think?

I think we should mix both. Mix Japanese ideas in with more European art styles and humor. Make “American Anime,” if you will. Not something like Avatar, which attempts to borrow the art style. I’m talking something like putting Popeye into Fist of the North Star… Only, not as awkward as that sounds.

I’ll just go with anime and say I enjoy good cartoons on the side.

Apr 12, 2013 at 04:24PM EDT

Crimson wrote about the stylistic differences between anime and western, and I’d like to expand on that briefly.

Some shows on either side take influence from the other. There are western shows that look like anime, and there are anime that look like western shows.

For an example of a western-style anime that’s not Cowboy Bebop (rimshot) we have Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt

Doesn’t have that standard anime look, does it? TV Tropes actually compares the style to Powerpuff Girls, a show that was influenced by Japanese culture. The show actually parodies their stylistic choice by going into a more traditional anime style for several scenes.

(Oh, and if you decide to watch, be aware that it’s very dirty.)

Now, there are many examples of cartoons that have been influenced by Anime (I named one above) and the first one that came to my mind was the truly great Avatar: the Last Airbender

Realistic forms, luscious background, deep, smoldering eyes – now that looks like Anime. Except it’s not. A:TLA and its spin-off The Legend of Korra are very anime-esque in their style, and are frequently mistaken for anime. Looking at the image above, I don’t think I have to tell you why.

That’s all I got.

Apr 12, 2013 at 04:25PM EDT

I’ll go with anime, due to it’s greater concentration of quality MANLY shows.

Last edited Apr 12, 2013 at 06:46PM EDT
Apr 12, 2013 at 06:44PM EDT

i can’t see how this is going to end well, anyways i like both but i really don’t watch as much anime as i used to

Last edited Apr 12, 2013 at 07:14PM EDT
Apr 12, 2013 at 07:13PM EDT

I came expecting a bombastic cock-fight but now I’m not sure what I wanted.

Apr 12, 2013 at 08:35PM EDT

I love animation from both camps. Both western and anime have great artistic styles in their own way. I don’t necessarily discern between the two when I am watching animation

I just think “is the story good?”. Where it came from, is not a factor

Apr 12, 2013 at 08:41PM EDT

Dr. Coolface wrote:

I’ll go with anime, due to it’s greater concentration of quality MANLY shows.

Are you saying that My Little Pony isn’t the MANLIEST shit ever!? I could have sworn it was….

In all seriousness though, anime does tend to toward the more mature audiences, but that doesn’t mean anyone can’t enjoy good animation. In fact, I constantly watch many shows from my childhood just to get that nostalgia of me watching it everyday and having a good time, like Animaniacs, Looney Tunes, CatDog… I could go on and on.

Apr 12, 2013 at 08:46PM EDT

@god of thunder

That would have made sense in the beginning of the thread, but it seems like the discussion has been nothing but civil.

Apr 12, 2013 at 08:54PM EDT

@tim the enchanter

The relaxed nature of cartoons like the “The Looney Tunes Show”…has taken a toll on the overall quality of animations recently.

I just read that. I really disagree with this. I think the new Looney tunes show is one of the better cartoons you can watch right now. It’s certainly better than any of the looney tunes recent shows and movies. I can understand someone not liking it, but saying its taken a toll on the quality of animation? I don’t think so. Even Doug Walker (aka nostalgia critic) defended it in his latest editorial saying that he finds it very funny, and if the nostalgia critic likes it, it must be good. As for how it’s animated, personally I like it quite a bit. It’s not amazing, but its good.

Last edited Apr 13, 2013 at 05:21PM EDT
Apr 13, 2013 at 05:14PM EDT

I will agree with Dac that the new Looney Toons is among one of the better recent incarnations of the Looney Toons brand and among one of the better cartoons you can watch today. I actually started watching the show after Nostalgia Critic’s editorial on it, and I’ve really enjoyed it so far. I don’t think the new show taking a “relaxed” nature by taking place in suburbia has taken all that much of a toll on the show itself, because the characters have stayed pretty loyal to their original selves (except for a few weird changes) and as such they react to relatively mundane situations just as ridiculously as they would 50 years ago. You may not like the tone of the new show, but I think it’s pretty far from ending quality animation as we know it. Also, the opening is pretty boss.

Apr 13, 2013 at 05:42PM EDT

@crimson locks

Oh, you just started watching it after his editorial. It’s nice to hear that the editorial is getting people to give it a chance. I read comments of the video and people were saying they would give it a chance based on the review also. That show really deserves more attention because it is just really funny. I love how the managed to make Lola one of my favorite looney tunes characters of all time.
Last edited Apr 13, 2013 at 11:17PM EDT
Apr 13, 2013 at 11:15PM EDT

We’ve only talked about cartoons on television, but what are you guys’ thoughts on animated movies?

I think between the anime and western, I prefer western animated movies. Yes, I know, anime has Miyazaki and the late Satoshi Kon, but outside of their works in film not many anime movies have been made that haven’t been connected to an anime series, and they end up just feeling like long episodes for the most part. Meanwhile, in the western world, we rarely see movies connected to an already existing cartoon series that get theatrical releases. Western animated movies are an entirely different world from western television cartoons, and there have been a lot of western animated movies recently that have caught my attention.

I bring this up because I just got back from watching The Croods, and that movie really blew me away with just how beautiful it was. It was not only beautiful, it was exciting, funny, and heartwarming, and basically everything I look for in an animated movie. It definitely had its flaws in writing, but I just can’t help but gush over this movie. It really cemented my belief that Dreamworks studios are a master of their craft. With this and plenty of other animated movies I have been watching over the past few months, I definitely think I prefer western animated movies over anime.

Apr 14, 2013 at 01:12AM EDT

Eastern European/Soviet animation kicks all of your asses.

Apr 15, 2013 at 09:27PM EDT

yo, this is my first time on this site, signed up just to reply to this thread, but anyways…

this may be a bit biased, but as an animation major, i lean more towards Western animation. this doesn’t mean that I don’t think that anime is good. far from it. i really really like anime. it’s just that i enjoy Western animation more.

as Crimson Locks said earlier, there are a lot of pros and cons to both Western animation and Anime. however, a lot of these are caused entirely by how both Western and Japanese markets work. and, as Fridge Logic said, the two animation forms borrow heavily from each other, which, in all honesty, is quite unavoidable especially since Astro Boy, the Manga That Is Father Of All Manga And Anime, was inspired in part because of the Donald Duck cartoons.

for sake of keeping this short, i’m going to ignore things like layer animation, holds, and looping.

I want to get into the more technical side of both forms, though. animation on the Western front started as early as the early as the late 1800’s due to the presence of “nickelodeons” that would typically be made of mirrors and several small images which the viewer would then peek through a hole in order to watch. the futurist art movement took an interest in this kind of presentation of an object through time and implemented it in many photographs and paintings. however, it wasn’t until the art form of film was made that the futurists really started to play around with the concept. at this time, film was seen as nothing more than a new form of art, and most certainly not a valid business. the first animation on film was done by drawing directly onto the film itself before putting it in the projector and was literally only in black and white, with no shades of gray.

as animation evolved in the Western front and we moved from drawing directly onto the film to drawing on paper and then piecing together several photographs, movement became smoother and more subtle. in Western animation, animation is usually shot on ones. to understand this, one second of animation is twenty-four frames. to animate on ones means that each frame of that second is drawn in, creating a smoother animation. a lot of early animation studios would animate on both ones and twos at the same time, with twos meaning that a new drawing is present only on every other frame. as technology made it easier and easier for studios to produce animation quicker, studios clinged to animating on ones. in Western animation studios, it is expected of nearly everyone in the studio to have experience with animation. in a Western animation studio you have your animation supervisors, the animators that are underneath them, the in-betweeners (who draw the movement from keyframe to keyframe), and cleanup animators (who do things such as inking and coloring the characters). the crew for CG animation is a bit different but still follows the same rules as 2D animation when it comes to shooting a scene. despite the amount of people who are involved with the animation process, or rather, because of it, Western animation studios can only produce so much at one time. animating in Western markets can be very expensive, which is why marketing is so important, leading to networks either focusing on animated properties that are part of a franchise or ones that can be used to sell other items such as toys, comic books, etc. similar holds true for animated feature films, which is why the animation industry nearly collapsed in the early 2000s.

the Japanese market, however, is VERY different and handles animation very differently. anime is typically animated on twos, every other frame. keyframes and in-betweens for an entire 13-episode season are usually drawn by a small amount of people. cleanup for anime is very different than that for Western animation. cleanup in Western animation is usually done by an animator due to the level of detail that is typically put in, especially when you remember how Western animation varies style-to-style depending on the cartoon itself. in anime, shooting a scene and cleaning it up can literally be done by anyone. the person doesn’t even have to be an artist. the animation crew gives detailed instructions as to where colors go on each frame. then, cleanup scans the drawings in instead of shooting it like in traditional Western animation. after scanning in each drawing, the pencil lines are then vectorized so that way the person doing cleanup can literally use a fill bucket tool in order to do the colors. this leads to several new properties being produced and released at once, increasing the level of competition between animators and animation studios. this also explains why very few studios take on more than two or three properties at once. it also means that because of the level of competition, not much time can be spent on character design, which is why studios tend to focus on making anime of existing manga instead of working on original properties.

i personally like Western animation more because of the stylization, but I will admit that Japan’s fast-paced animation industry allows it to do more interesting things with story. that’s more of a cultural thing, though…

ack! sorry that this came out so long! i just wanted to share something that most people probably don’t think about when it comes to comparing Western animation and anime..

Last edited Apr 17, 2013 at 08:23PM EDT
Apr 17, 2013 at 08:22PM EDT

@Young Dragoon

for sake of keeping this short

^That was a joke. I hope you stick around here for a while, because your post was actually excellent. I read the whole thing, it was full of interesting insight, and I think all of you in here should read it too.

And I’d just like to say that this is one of the first threads I’ve seen that I consistently enjoy viewing and keep coming back to with a smile on my face. So congrats for that.

Apr 17, 2013 at 09:02PM EDT

thanks, Fridge Logic!

there’s a lot more technical stuff that causes western animation and anime to be VERY different in art form. i guess i can pop in here from time to time for a brief (lol) animation lesson.

one difference between anime and western animation is, once again, due to anime being animated on twos and western animation typically being animated on ones. in animation, there are several techniques that are used in order to convey fast movement. the easiest one can be done on both ones and twos and it’s as easy as just place the in-betweens farther apart in spacing. however, the problem with this is that it can create a very choppy-looking animation. also, it tends to work better with ones than it does on twos, making it harder for anime to use this technique.

the two techniques that are used to fix this “choppy” animation actually came out of budget cuts. they are called “smears” and “multiples”. both smears and multiples create the illusion of an afterimage in animation, much like how fast objects appear to the human eye in real life. smears and multiples first came about in order to combat the low shutter speeds of cameras. after the problem was fixed, though, animators continued using them because the fast movement created by them helped to smooth out animation even more. because of how smooth animation looks when animated on ones, smears are more common in western animation, although multiples are used as well. smears can actually be so subtle, that they can be present in

example of smears:

multiples are more common in anime because animation done on twos tends to come out less smooth than animation done on ones, so smears are practically useless. multiples are done so often in anime, that it’s practically a staple of japanese animation.

example of multiples: (this is Know Your Meme, so why not use a meme example? take a look at the goggles)

this doesn’t mean that anime doesn’t use smears, though! it’s just not as common.

example of smears in anime:

example of multiples in western animation:

Apr 17, 2013 at 09:25PM EDT

As big fan of animation in general, I enjoy both western animation and anime pretty much equally. I do think western animation can be a bit more varied though, as there isn’t a particular style that is associated with western animation like there is with anime. However, I do feel that anime beats western animation in terms of more serious action shows aimed at adults and mature viewers. Western animation does have some very good comedy shows oriented to adults, such as The Boondocks, but is very lacking in the action department compared to anime.

Apr 17, 2013 at 09:42PM EDT

in the late 80’s and 90’s there was a larger market for action cartoons, mostly because of the influence the comic industry still had on the western market. during the 90’s action shows were more marketable, selling tons of toys and action figures. as i said before, marketability is incredibly important to the western animation market. either the show is profitable enough on the network itself, or it sells lots and lots of toys. action shows nowadays are practically a dying breed in western animation, with most shows of the genre only lasting on or two seasons

Apr 17, 2013 at 09:57PM EDT

Young Dragoon wrote:

in the late 80’s and 90’s there was a larger market for action cartoons, mostly because of the influence the comic industry still had on the western market. during the 90’s action shows were more marketable, selling tons of toys and action figures. as i said before, marketability is incredibly important to the western animation market. either the show is profitable enough on the network itself, or it sells lots and lots of toys. action shows nowadays are practically a dying breed in western animation, with most shows of the genre only lasting on or two seasons

Yeah, the importance of toys and marketability has really hurt action shows in western animation. Both Young Justice and the Green Lantern animated series were cancelled because they were not selling enough toys.

Apr 17, 2013 at 10:49PM EDT

the weird thing about that, though, is that Cartoon Network didn’t formally cancel the show, as in, announce it. networks typically have some sort of release statement on these kinds of things, usually accompanying the transcripts released announcing returning and new shows for the upcoming television season/year. so there may be a (incredibly slim) chance of both shows returning, especially since DC did have plans to expand the DC Nation lineup on Cartoon Network should the network allow it.

however, i wouldn’t hold my breath. Cartoon Network was pretty notorious for cancelling new shows shortly after the animation industry nearly “died” in the early 2000’s. and the weird thing is, was that only a few of these shows would be formally announced as cancelled. Robot Jones wasn’t formally announced as cancelled when it left, as was Mike Lou & Og and Evil Con Carne (which kinda received a formal announcement when Commander Skarr was added as a character to The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy). More recent examples include Robotomy (which i really liked. it was practically Superjail! for kids) and Problem Solverz (which i personally hated because the puppet-animation technique used for the show is terrible and is better executed in shows like Dan VS. and MLP:FiM and the art direction was TERRIBLE. the dude who created the show… his work is better suited for an art gallery, but not for television). Problem Solverz is partially part of the reason why i hold a little hope for new episodes returning because, again, it was not formally cancelled…. HOWEVER, an entire second season was already made, so it’d be REALLY WEIRD AND WASTEFUL for the show not to come back with new episodes.

Last edited Apr 17, 2013 at 11:09PM EDT
Apr 17, 2013 at 11:07PM EDT

It is quite strange. Another thing that has been bugging me is the amount of good super hero shows that have been cancelled prematurely. Spectacular Spiderman and Wolverine and the X-men come to mind. I was especially mad about wolverine because it ended on a cliffhanger with the reveal of Apocalypse.

Apr 17, 2013 at 11:19PM EDT

To wrap up the dying of action cartoons in the western world with a pretty little bow, Cartoon Network is coming out this month with their new Teen Titans spinoff series: Teen Titans Go. One would think that this would be an action series, but from the description I’ve read of the show, it seems to be aiming for a more slice-of-life vibe seeing as it’s going to focus on the titans when they are not out there fighting baddies. This seemed like a rather odd choice to me, until I realized that slice of life seems to be the king genre of western animation right now. This is not all too surprising to me seeing as shows like MLP:FiM are so popular right now.

Although, action cartoons aren’t quite dead just yet, seeing as shows like Legend of Korra and Adventure Time seem to be going strong right now as well. Hmm, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Apr 18, 2013 at 01:57AM EDT

i actually think that the rise of the “slice-of-life” type cartoons is a somewhat indirect result of the interconnectiveness that has happened as a result of the internet within the past ten years. people nowadays tend to care a lot about what other people are doing, as evidenced by social media sites like facebook and twitter. this has lead to a decrease in shows that deal with physical conflict as the main focus of action and towards shows that deal more with interpersonal relationships and exploration of the human psyche. this has even happened in live-action shows as well. if Breaking Bad were made in the 90’s, it’d be a much different and more violent show. some of the most popular shows on television right now are drama-orientated rather than action-orientated. so, naturally, our animated ventures would similarly follow suit. with stuff like MLP and Regular Show being more lighthearted in day-to-day wackiness and stuff like Legend of Korra and Young Justice where we have had several scenes in both shows focus more on character relationships to the point that action takes a backseat sometimes.

and i wouldn’t classify Adventure Time as an action cartoon. it is still mostly comedy, even in earlier seasons when the adventure aspect was more prominent in the show. if you notice, as the series grew, it started focusing more on the relationships between characters and their psychology. we’ve had episodes that paint Ice King as a sympathetic neutral nuisance rather than an evil baddy and others where Finn and Jake struggle with their own difficult internal conflicts. it’s a good, natural evolution for a show to take, but for Adventure Time, i think the change is more telling of how the entertainment industry has shifted its focus.

take a look at some of the other upcoming properties that are coming to Cartoon Network as well, not just Teen Titans Go. we’ve got Steven Universe, which is about an everyday kid who becomes a universal guardian and his daily struggles as a result of being the newest, youngest one, Uncle Grandpa, which is about a mythological figure who is the figurative uncle and grandpa of everyone in the world and his interactions with children, and Clarence, which is about a young boy with a large imagination trying to find the joy in life every day. not to mention the success that the new Looney Tunes show has had, which is more on the sitcom-y side of television.

Apr 18, 2013 at 06:28PM EDT

Young dragoon , I think you’ve nailed it.

Anime vs. Western animation.
They’re two different genres in the art of animation. But let’s ignore boundaries for a sec. Anime, In its deepest origins, is inspired by manga, inspired by comic books from the 40s, right. And lots of newer shows from the west, like AT, Gravity Falls, Avatar, and Symbionic Titan (am I the only one who remembers that show? And it’s wicked cliffhanger finale?) are indirectly inspired by eastern anime and animation as a whole.
So in conclusion, you could say that they’re like yin and yang: like a weird balance.
Neither can live while the other dies.

Apr 18, 2013 at 06:41PM EDT

oh, one thing i forgot to mention when it comes to animating on twos and animating on ones.

i did mention that animating on ones tends to make animation looks smoother, but animating on twos makes animation look faster. i just turned in an assignment that is animated on ones AND twos. once i am able to access the school computers again, i’ll post it up on my blog and then here, so you all can compare them.

Apr 18, 2013 at 06:57PM EDT

here is the animation in question that i wanted to show you all. this was the most recent assignment in my principles of 2D animation class. we had to animated a beanbag actor. most of the animation is animated on twos. however, towards the middle, when the beanbag turns to look to its side, that is animated on ones. the difference is subtle, but it’s there.

Apr 19, 2013 at 11:59AM EDT

For styles, both have different ones, but the way anime animates nearly never changes. Anyone ever heard of these animes below? Copy paste them in Google.

Magical Hat
Crayon Shin-chan
GeGeGe no Kitaro
Obake no Q-tarou
Fushigi na Koara Burinkī
Koala Boy Kokki
Shimajiro: Toilet Training
Mokku Woody the Oak Tree
The Adventures of Hutch the Honeybee
Mitsubachi Māya no Bouken
Ninja Hattori-kun
Kiteretsu Daihyakka
Sakura Momoko animes (most notably Chibi Maruko-chan)
Spoon Oba-san
Mitsubachi Māya no Bouken
Mori no Youki na Kobitotachi: Berufi to Rirubitto
Hoshi no Ōjisama Puchi Puransu
Taimu Kyoushitsu: Tondera Hausu no Daibouken
Hakushon Daimaou

I think every one of these are marketed towards the younger audience.

Apr 19, 2013 at 03:13PM EDT

((((((uuuuuuh…. the videos are overlapping my text i am so sorry)))))

you bring up an interesting point about how the way anime animates rarely changes, parrothead. the standard that early traditionally animated anime has been made has not been altered much in the past forty years. it has even slinked into how Japan handles other forms of animation, including CG animation and stop-motion. Japanese animation is rarely as experimental as Western animation.

experimental animation in western animation is still a really huge thing. early stop-motion is one of the earliest examples of experimental animation after an industry for it was established. experimental animation in the western sense does a lot of really cool things, a lot of which blur the line between stop motion animation and actual live-action film.

for example, the Oscar-nominated animated short, Fresh Guacamole:

however, experimental animation was never limited to just stop-motion.

this example uses photography and shadow puppetry alongside the animation, keeping the actual animation very subtle:

a lot of psychedelic animation can be seen as experimental as well:

David O’Reilly, most recognizable for his Adventure Time episode and Octocat Adventures does a lot of experimentation with CG animation, breaking model several times. the technique of breaking model in CG animation would later be used by other animators in order to mimic the effects of smears and multiples. Hotel Transylvania has a lot of model breakage in it in order to give it an even cartoony-er look.

here’s David O’Reilly’s experimental film RGB XYZ, which remains as one of my favorite works of his:




Last edited Apr 21, 2013 at 01:59AM EDT
Apr 21, 2013 at 01:47AM EDT

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