AXN Asia Schedule
List of Animes Shown in the Philippines
What Is Anime?
What is Anime? I guess whether you're
an "otaku" or not, you're as curious as everybody else about the origin of
this word. Anime has evolved throughout the years of its existence,
until to that point that is no longer a jargon, but a part of the language
It's not that easy to define
Anime. Actually, it still is an ambiguous word; the type that has too
many interpretations which sometimes can be misleading.
For starters, Anime is the
short word Japanese Animation. Although anime can be any kind of
animation, whether from the North, East, West, or South, this word has
been referred specifically to that of animation from Japan.
Most Animes came from
"mangas" or Japanese comicbooks. Osamu Tezuka is considered the
present-day "god of manga".
Anime has always been
compared to "American Cartoons", since basically there is not much
difference on how both are produced. They were created from sketches, and
then later processed on computers, programmed for a couple of months
(sometimes even years) and released finally as animated shows. Although
this is the case, and there was even a claim that Japan "stole comics"
from America, there are features - character designs, the variety of
stories and level of viewer's maturity that are distinctly Japanese.
The borderline between Anime
and "American cartoons" is perhaps the level at which the "stories" are
developed. American cartoons are generally, for kids - whereas Anime
can target different ages - from children to adults. American Cartoons
usually respond to the values of children, but with the rampant exercise
of "freedom of expression" which brought out the unique talents of the
creators and/or Mangakas (Manga writers), Anime can be a lot of
things - about love, friendship, society, humanity, technology, realism,
betrayal, death, revenge, lust and even delicate and/or disturbing topics.
Another difference between
Anime and American Cartoons is how the author creates the main
character. Generally, the latter provides a hero that is trustworthy,
honest and loyal to his kind. But since Anime is a "hell lot of
things", the characters could come out in a different wrapping - weird,
psychotic, hypocrites, liars - all the "powerful emotional conflicts" that
ordinary people possess. This is probably the reason why viewers are still
attracted to such characters - because they "are real". But this was the
start of the rising claim that while American Cartoons provide wholesome
entertainment to its market, "Anime is all sex and violence" which
pollutes the minds of its viewers. This misinterpretation has been one of
the major reasons why anime is not accepted as an open genre, especially
Well...it's not for me to argue. I
think that although some animes have "violence," "struggles" and
"sufferings," I didn't see it that way. The characters still stood up
enduring all these - crawling their way to the top by themselves, prooving
their worth. Women who have been abused struggled to retain their dignity,
fought for survival. People have built another society to replace the lost
one. What I see are "real people" and I'm moved by their strength. I'm
encouraged by their efforts. This is the real world. This is HOW I SHOULD
LIVE. All of these are lessons in life, and I don't understand why some
people look the "other" way. American Cartoons do help children nourish
their values, but when someday they got knocked down, will their
imaginative heroes save them??
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History of Anime
In 1914, cartoonists were among
the first Japanese artists to experiment with animated motion pictures.
Japan's first worldwide success was Kitayama Seitaro's short film
Momotaro(1918). Although the Japanese animation industry continued to grow
slowly, its one, last prewar milestone was Chikara To Onna No Yononaka.
Appearing in 1932, the short film was the first animated "talkie" in
As unbelievable as it may seem, the success of both the
anime and manga industries in Japan rests firmly on the shoulders of one
man: Osamu Tezuka. Originally an aspiring animator, Tezuka became a
cartoonist after World War II. He was only 20 years old when his first
significant work, the novel-length Shintakarajima or "New Treasure
Island", appeared in 1947. In just a few years, he became Japan's most
popular manga artist, eventually earning the title "God of Manga."
For manga and anime fans, Tezuka's most obvious
contribution came in the design of his characters. The artist needed a
vast emotional template to tell his often complex stories. Seeking
inspiration, he returned to the prewar Disney cartoons that he loved as a
child. Just like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, Tezuka's animal and humans
characters sported round heads with huge, expressive eyes. Although these
features appeared simple and cartoonish, they actually allowed a character
to express a wide range of emotions, from adulation to seething hatred.
Tezuka founded the Osamu Tezuka Production Animation
Department or, as it was eventually called, Mushi Productions. His goal
was to produce animated theatrical features as well as episodic series for
the fledgling Japanese television industry. Mushi Production's premiere
series, Tetsuwan Atom (US: Astro Boy) missed out on being the first
domestically-produced animated televisions show by only a few months. That
honor fell to Otagi Manga Calendar or "Manga Stories Calendar," which
featured short, historical cartoons. But, in all its black-and-white
glory, Tetsuwan Atom was the first regular animated program to contain a
recurring cast performing in fictionalized stories. Based on Tezuka's
manga series of the same name, Tetsuwan Atom followed the amazing
adventures of a robot boy as he fights crime and protects his friends. The
show became so popular that it was even distributed worldwide.
Mobile Suite Gundam
As new and exciting as Japanese animated television
series seemed in the 1960's, you could not escape the fact that most
series were created strictly for chaldean. Notable exceptions did exist.
Jungle Taitei frequently ventured into complex, multi-part story-lines.
Another early show, 8-Man (US: 8th Man) featured a main character who was
murdered by criminals and resurrected as a robot. Mach Go Go Go (US: Speed
Racer) could be downright moody, at times, even with its goofy monkey
sidekick. By and large, though, animated television programs followed the
tried and true good guy vs. bad guy formula.
This all changed in the 1970's, as a new, more
sophisticated approach began to emerge in televised anime. Nowhere could
this better be seen than in a program created by the oddly named manga
artist Monkey Punch. Lupin Sansei featured a main character who was a
master thief. Inspired by 1920's satirical mysteries of French writer
Maurice Leblanc, the show was part comedy and part jet-setting adventure.
Packed with adult humor and slapstick violence, Lupin Sansei was aimed
squarely at an older audience. The program's infectious insanity went on
to spawn two sequel TV series and several feature films.
The "giant robot" show had been a mainstay of Japanese
animation ever since Shotaro Kaneda first called on Tetsujin 28 in 1966.
This science fiction sub-genre got a significant reinterpretation when
Mobile Suit Gundam premiered in 1979. Combining the epic story elements of
Yamato with the oversized, humanoid mecha of Tetsujin 28-go (US:
Gigantor), MS Gundam was an intelligent and exciting space opera. The
sprawling story-line detailed a future space war in which the opposing
forced ducked it out with mechanized battlesuits. Human pilots actually
"wore" the giant robots as a protective shell.
Urusei Yatsura by Rumiko Takahashi
As the 1980's began, television
and film producers scrambled to keep up with the increasing demand for
more sophisticated and exciting animated programming. The situation became
even more frantic as the home video market exploded onto the scene a few
year later. Now Japanese fans could actually buy copies of their favorite
animated TV shows and movies. Production companies even started to bypass
the traditional entertainment media and release original animated features
straight to video. In 1986, an adaptation of his fantasy series Dragon
Ball went on to become Japan's most popular animated TV show
Employing as deft a hand at light comedy and fantasy as
Toriyama, Rumiko Takahashi dominated television and video throughout the
'80's and '90's. First with the insane alien comedy Urusei Yatsura and
later with the gender-bending of Ranma 1/2, she enchanted audiences of all
ages. her other important series, Maison Ikkoku, playfully toyed with the
conventions of the romantic comedy genre.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from Takahashi was
Go Nagain, an artist with a reputation for creating "naughty" manga. Anime
adaptations of his work actually began in 1972 with the Devilman TV
series. Now that the direct-to-video market had been established, anime
created strictly for adults could bypass the usual restrictions imposed by
TV and film sensors. Strange and sexy programs like Nagai's Kekko Kamen,
which featured a naked super-heroine, could now be produced for home video
The first and best was artist/director Katsuhiro Otamo.
Not only was his groundbreaking 1988 anime film Akira a huge international
hit, it ushered in an entirely new style of anime. Popular titles like
Bubble Gum Crisis and A.D. Police were cut from the same fast-paced and
dangerous mold as Akira. In 1987, Otomo contributed two short segments to
the Neo-Tokyo and Robot Carnival animated anthologies.
Equally as influential was the work of artist Masamune
Shirow. Through the adaptation of his original manga Appleseed and his own
direction of Black Magic M-66, he presented a future where the lines
between technology and humanity began to blur. Although Shirow's energetic
video series Dominion Tank Police can best be described as a
police-mecha-comedy, his recent masterpiece, the 1995 film Kokaku Kidoutai
(US: Ghost in the Shell), once again took on the man versus machine
interface.Not all new anime was as outlandish as Shirow's or Otomo's. In
fact, some of it was quite serious. Keiji Nakazawa wrote of his
experiences as a Hiroshima survivor in the heartrending manga saga
Barefoot Gen. With director Masaki Mari, Nakazawa adapted his novels into
a frank and powerful 1983 film. Exploring similar territory, Hotaru No
Haka (US: Grave of the Fireflies) followed the struggle of two orphans who
survived the fire-bombing of Tokyo. Few live action films have ever come
as close to capturing the true horrors of war as this animated film did.
Audiences were now becoming more receptive to animation
that wasn't strictly action or comedy oriented. In response, anime
producers turned to Japanese literature for inspiration. Based on the
classic novel by Murasaki Shikibu, Genji Monogatari (US: The Tale of
Genji) was a fascinating study in palace intrigue. A novel by 20th century
philosopher and children's writer Kenjii Miyazawa inspired the delightful
Ginga Tetsudo no Yoru (US: Night on the Galactic Railroad). The success of
such films showed that anime had finally broken free from the restraints
of its earlier "kids-only" label to enter the realm of high-brow
Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke)
Founded by Toshio Okada, Gainax
brought together a group of creators who were part of the first generation
raised on Japanese animation. Driven by their shared enthusiasm for the
medium, Gainax produced some of the most significant and popular works of
the '80's and 90's. The company's first video Otaku no Video held a mirror
up to the bizarre world of anime fandom. This lighthearted,
semi-autobiographical romp didn't even hint at the greatness that would
suddenly appear in the company's next release, the science fiction
masterpiece Oneamitsu No Tsubasa Oritsu Uchu Gun(US: The Wings of
Honneamise). The video series Top O Nerae! Gunbuster (US: Gunbuster) and
TV show No Umi No Nadia (US: Nadia the Secret of Blue Water) verified the
company's skill at presenting exciting adventures, both futuristic and
historical. Finally, Gainax established itself as the current leader of
episodic science-fiction by producing the beautifully-rendered TV show
Shin Seiki Evangelion (US: Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Studio Ghibli grew out of the association of two
long-time anime creators, Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki. Both worked on
various Toei TV and film projects during the 1960's. In 1971, the two men
served as directors on the original Lupin Sansei TV show and later
collaborated on the children's adventure series Mirai no Shonen Conan
(Eng. Trans.: Future Boy Conan). Miyazaki's first significant directing
job came with the 1978 theatrical release Cagliostro No Shiro (US: Castle
of Cagliostro). Once again delightfully portraying the antics of the Lupin
character, this successful feature was followed by a strip of landmark
films: Kaze no Tani No Nausicaa (Eng. Trans.: Nausicaa of the Valley of
the Wind), Tenku No Shiro Rapyuta (Eng. Trans.: Laputa: Castle in the
Sky), Tonari No Totoro (US: My Neighbor Totoro), Majo No Takkyubin (US:
Kiki's Delivery Service), Kurenai No Tuta/Porco Rosso (Eng. Trans.:
Crimson Pig), Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko (Eng. Trans.: Present-Day Great
Raccoon War Ponpoko), and Mononoke Hime (US: Princess Mononoke). Although
Takahata filled various behind-the-scenes roles in Miyazaki's projects,
from producer to musical director, he also displayed a considerable gift
for direction and screenwriting in his own right. As already mentioned, he
was the creative genius behind the gripping Hotaru no Haka. His moving
animated film Omoide Poro Poro (Eng. Trans.: Only Yesterday) was the
simple story of a woman coming to grips with the memories of her youth.
This ability to tell the small, human story against the backdrop of
greater events was a hallmark of Takahata and Miyazaki's considerable
talents. Coupled with flawless hand-drawn animation, it was a formula that
placed Studio Ghibli firmly at the top of the Japanese film industry.
In Japan, Gundam celebrates its 20th anniversary with a
whole new TV show, while Akira Toriyama's wacky Dr. Slump returns to the
small screen with a new series of his own. Osamu Tezuka's influence is
still being felt as two recent films based on his earlier manga works,
Black Jack and Jungle Taitei demonstrate. Meanwhile, older audiences have
been treated to the imaginative X:The Motion Picture and Katsuhiro Otomo's
anthology film Memories.
International audiences are also enjoying a growing
influx of popular anime. Pokemon, Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball have
delighted children wherever they've been shown. Most significant is the
deal that Disney Studios and Studio Ghibli inked to bring all of
Miyazaki's filmed masterpieces to American audiences. Entertainment Weekly
picked the first release under this agreement, Kiki's Delivery Service, as
its 1998 Video of the Year. Mononoke Hime also appeared in theaters across
Shinguuji Sakura From Sakura Taisen
In anime, faces are very
streamlined, but are used to convey the wide range of human emotions. The
designs are so simplified that the smallest curve can change the entire
character's expression. Characters often have multiple styles of faces,
such as the normal face, the serious face, and the ultra cartoony or super
deformed face, all used for the same characters at various times depending
on what the situation calls for.
Most important are the big glossy eyes, said to be part
of the legacy of Disney, who had a big influence on pioneering Japanese
animators, but are also used because of the high level of emotion that
having large eyes affords.
Hair is another widely recognized feature of anime
characters. Not only do characters often have outrageously huge hair
styles, but anime hair comes in all various colors not naturally found on
people. Used primarily to help distinguish character from character, the
colors often times suggest something about personality traits. Hair is
usually given the 3 shade treatment of highlight, regular color, and
shadow and tends to be drawn very angularly.
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Commonly Used Anime/Manga Terms
I got this from the site:
BLACK MOON - Anime and Manga Glossary. The webmaster has
given the best definitions, so I think it's no longer necessary to alter
them. I couldn't have defined them better myself anywayz! ^_^
BGM - Short for "Background Music." This is the
music played in the background of an anime. Unlike music in most Western
animation, the BGM in anime can be very sophisticated and can stand alone
on it's artistic merits. Some of Japan's most talented composers,
performers, and singers have created music for anime. Anime shows can also
generate enormous numbers of soundtrack CDs, ranging in style from Pop,
Rock, and Classical, to experimental noise and traditional Japanese folk
music. Sailormoon alone generated some 28 music CDs.
BISHOUJO - The literal translation is Beautiful Girl. Example;
Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon... (Pretty Soldier Sailormoon).
BISHOUNEN - The literal translation is Beautiful
Boy. Bishounen are found in all types of manga and anime and can be quite
masculine, they are not necessarily "effeminate" Males but sometimes are.
Bishounen are the focus in shounenai or Boy's love manga... see the
definition of yaoi.
CGI - Refers to Computer Generated Illustration as used in manga or
anime. Macintosh Computers started an explosion in the use of Computer
assisted illustration in manga production, and today's manga make heavy
use of Computers... though the results still look hand crafted. Today's
anime makes wide use of Computer technology, even when it is not evident.
Miyazaki's Mononoke-hime (Princess Mononoke) used Computer technology
extensively for tracking motion, charting perspective, filling in color,
and generating some limited special effects. Other contemporary anime like
BLOOD: The Last Vampire rely heavily upon CGI but make no attempt to hide
the results. "BLOOD" is a brilliant example of the fusing of traditional
cel animation with the Digital Arts.
-CHAN - The honorific used when addressing or referring to Girls
and young Women. The word is not used between Adults unless there is a
great deal of familiarity and affection. This honorific is gender specific
and used only when referring to Females, as in "Rei-chan spoke with
CHARA - Japanese shorthand for the English word character. The word
refers to character designs in anime, manga, movies, or games. Entire
illustrated books are released for various anime series in which rough
Black & White Sketches and refined Drawings of anime characters are
compiled. Many anime Illustration books include a chara section.
DOUJINSHI - Doujinshi roughly translates into same stuff, different
people. These are unofficial, amateur produced manga based upon
successful, well established manga or anime series. Doujin range in
quality from crude Black & White pamphlets numbering a few pages, to
beautifully produced volumes that dazzle the eye. You'll find incredibly
talented Artists creating doujin, and many successful mangaka got their
start in doujin circles. Most doujinshi are parodies, or alternative takes
on established titles, with some doujin venturing into explicit Adult
themes. Large Japanese publishing houses generally look the other way and
ignore the small print runs of doujinshi publishers... which never amount
to more that a few thousand copies.
ED - Shorthand meaning the ending music that plays over the closing
credits of an anime. Successful anime shows will always have their OP
(opening music), and ED songs released on Compact Disk Soundtracks, with
some theme songs even being released as CD singles.
ECCHI - Ecchi is a mild term referring to someone or something of a
perverse sexual nature. It is also the Japanese pronunciation of the
English letter "H" (see HENTAI).
FANSUB - An unofficial video tape release of an anime that has been
subtitled into English by fans. While technically illegal because of
copyright issues, fansubbing has been one of the major vehicles for
getting translated shows into the hands of Western audiences. Hence,
fansub projects are looked upon favorably by veteran anime viewers,
provided the fansubbers make no profit off of their projects.
FANFIC - A work of fiction written by a fan and based on a popular
anime or manga title.
HENTAI - A Japanese slang word meaning perverted or perversion. In
the world of manga and anime, hentai refers to the Adult oriented titles
that present extreme, graphic sexual imagery. A common Western stereotype
concerning manga and anime is that these artforms are filled with graphic
sex. While such imagery exists (and has always existed in Japan), hentai
titles make up just a small niche market in Japan's massive manga and
anime output. Good examples of hentai anime would be La Blue Girl and
Urotsukidoji. (also see SHUNGA).
HENSHIN - To transform. Seen most often in Magical Girl manga and
anime like Card Captor Sakura, Sailormoon and Fancy La La. A henshin
sequence is when a normal character transforms into their magical alter
KAMI - The Shinto expression for Supreme Being (God), that can also
be used to describe lesser supernatural beings and spirits inhabiting the
KATANA - The beautiful slightly curved Sword called katana is said
by many to be the very soul of Japan, and the county's history and
folklore is replete with references to the blade.
KAWAII - The Japanese word for cute. Cuteness is a national
fixation in Japan and it is certainly one of the defining aesthetics of
manga and anime. Westerners who first encounter the cult of cute initially
go into shock... but believe me, it grows on you.
KODOMO - Kodomo means "child" and in Japan there are manga and
anime specifically created for children under 10 years of age. Doraemon
and Anpanman are two wildly popular kodomo titles. Doraemon is a
futuristic Robot Cat who is sent back in time (which would be our
present), in order to combat evil and save humanity. Anpanman is a
superhero sweet roll filled with bean jam who fights giant evil germs and
feeds the hungry by letting them eat his head. Yeah... you read that
-KUN - An honorific used for addressing or referring to Children
and teenagers, particularly males, or in an adult setting, used to address
MANGA - In 1814 the famous Japanese Artist Hokusai created a book
of Black & White sketches that he called manga (involuntary sketches). In
recent Japanese history the word has come to describe those small
illustrated books of Black & White Ink Drawings that tell a series of
stories. Graphic novel would be the closest translation for "manga" though
they are not at all like novels in the Western sense, nor are they
comparable to Western comic books. Manga cover a wide range of topics,
from fantasy & adventure, to sports & cooking.
MANGA-KA - Manga Artist. One who draws manga. The word is gender
neutral and can refer to a Male or Female Artist. In fact many of Japan's
most famous manga-ka are Women. Takeuchi Naoko (Sailormoon), Takahashi
Rumiko (Ranma 1/2), and Watase Yu (Fushigi Yuugi), to name but a few.
MAHOU - The Japanese word for magic. Also used in conjunction with
the word shoujo (Girl). Mahou shoujo literally means "magical girl" and is
used to describe shows like Sailormoon, Nurse Angel Ririka SOS, and Card
MASAKA - The Japanese expression for "It can't be!"
MECHA - A Japanese contraction of the English word mechanical.
Mecha (pronounced "meh-ka"), refers to anything of a mechanical nature...
Weapons, advanced Body Armor, Vehicles, and of course... Giant Robots. The
first mecha to ever appear in a Japanese production premiered in the 1957
live action Science Fiction film, The Mysterians ("Macross" fans take
note). The mecha, called Mogera was a colossal bird-like Robot that could
shoot death rays from it's eyes.
MINA - Meaning everyone. You can respectfully address an entire
room full of people by using the honorific mina-san, which is somewhat
like saying "Ladies and Gentlemen." However, the honorific is gender
neutral so it could be used when speaking to women, men, or mixed company.
NANI - The Japanese word for "what".
NEWBIE - American slang for a person who has just discovered
something. In the context of anime and manga, a newbie is an enthusiastic
new fan that has viewed primarily American produced dubs of anime and seen
only English translated manga. A newbie's exposure to original Japanese
works has been minimal at best, with overall knowledge of manga and anime
OHAYOU - Good Morning. The polite form would be "ohayou gozimasu".
OP - The opening theme music to an anime that plays as the show
OTAKU - This word can have a very negative
meaning depending on the context in which it is used. In Japanese society
it's usage is widely understood to mean someone who is an anti-social
maniac. But in the International anime community the word has evolved into
a slang reference meaning obsessed fan. Serious devotees of anime and
manga call themselves otaku.
OVA - Anime that is released directly to video tape without having
been broadcast on television is referred to in Japan as an Original Video
Animation or OVA. Westerners will often transpose the letters to "OAV" but
the meaning remains the same.
POKEMON - An Alien life-form that invaded and conquered the Earth
in the late 20th Century. All seriousness aside, the word Pokemon is a
Japanese contraction of the English words pocket and monster... and no, it
is not pronounced "Pokey Man."
RONIN - Samurai were a class of military retainers to the rich and
powerful (samurai means "one who serves"), but when samurai lost their
benefactors they became ronin, or "masterless samurai." The manga and
anime series Rurouni Kenshin is based upon one such Lordless samurai.
SAKURA - Means Cherry or Cherry Blossom. The Cherry Tree and it's
blossom have a special place in the Japanese heart. As far back as the
10th century the blossom has been considered the national flower, and it
has been the subject of Poetry, Prose, and Paintings over the ages. From
the 10th century to the present day, hanami or "flower viewing" parties
have been held in March and April to celebrate the ephemeral beauty of the
delicate Pink flower. During hanami season, trees all over Japan go into
full bloom and clouds of Cherry blossoms can be seen carried on the gentle
winds. One of the most reoccurring visuals in all of anime is the sight of
Cherry blossoms gently floating to the ground, with flurries of the petals
surrounding on screen characters.
-SAMA - The very formal honorific used when talking to or about
someone who is much older and wiser. The honorific is gender neutral and
used when referring to Men or Women. Used primarily to show great respect
to an individual, as in "Miyazaki-sama is a distinguished Artist."
-SAN - The formal, polite honorific one uses when talking to or
about someone of equal social status. The honorific is gender neutral and
used when referring to Adult Men or Women, as in "Gendo-san and
Ritsuko-san both work with computers."
SEIYUU - A Professional Voice Actor or Actress. In Japan, animation
studios employ seiyuu to provide the many voices for characters. Some
seiyuu have become big Stars in their own right due to their voice acting
abilities. A talented seiyuu can take on a wide variety of roles, for
instance Ohtani Ikue does the voice of Pikachu from Pocket Monsters as
well as doing the voice of the Cat Girl named Meruru from Vision of
SEMPAI - An honorific used by a young person when talking to or
about a benefactor or senior in a social organization. The usage of this
honorific is encountered time and again in anime, mostly when Students are
talking to or about their Senior classmates, as in "Tamiya-sempai heads
the campus motorcycle club."
SEINEN - Seinen means "young Man." Manga and anime that
specifically targets young Adult Males around the ages of 18 to 25 are
seinen titles. The stories in seinen works appeal to University Students
and those in the working world. Typically the story lines deal with the
issues of Adulthood. The tough guy Secret Agent Golgo 13 is a good example
of a seinen title.
SENSEI - The formal, polite honorific used when addressing someone
who is an accomplished Professional. Doctors, Teachers, Professors,
Scientists, and other specialists are addressed in this way. Gifted
individuals in the Arts are also addressed in this manner, as in
"Akemi-sensei created the great series known as Patlabor."
SENSHI - The literal translation of this word is Soldier. When
dubbing into English the Japanese series Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon
(Pretty Soldier Sailormoon), American editors changed the word to mean
"Scout." There's quite a big difference between a Soldier and a Scout.
SHINTO - Japan's oldest and original religion is Shinto. In
Shintoism everything in the natural world possesses it's own spirit, or
kami. Shinto is based upon the worship of and coexistence with the natural
world. In the Tenchi Muyo series, Tenchi's Father, Masaki Yoshi, is a
Shinto Priest. A Shinto place of worship is always called a Shrine. A
Buddhist place of worship is always referred to as a Temple.
SHRINE - In Shinto, the natural world is sacred, and in the ancient
past some of the first places of worship were large trees or boulders.
Shimenawa, or "sacred ropes" made of paper and rice straw are still placed
on or around areas designated as sacred (In Miyazaki's My Friend Totoro a
shimenawa can be seen around the tree Totoro sleeps in). Shimenawa can
always be seen draped above the entrance to a Shrine (a Shinto place of
worship is referred to as a Shrine, whereas a Buddhist place of worship is
a Temple). Today many anime enthusiasts refer to Web sites constructed in
honor of specific anime characters as "shrines."
SHOUJO - The Japanese word for Girl. Shoujo also defines the manga
and anime titles that are specifically created for young Girls. These
works often have very complex stories and character interaction. Romantic
and plot driven shoujo works like Onii-sama e, Marmalade Boy, and Fushigi
Yuugi have also attracted large numbers of Male fans.
SHOUNEN - The Japanese word for Boy. Shounen also defines the manga
and anime titles that are specifically created for young Boys. These works
are often filled with lots of action, fantasy adventure, and Giant Robots.
SUPER DEFORMED - A style of drawing extremely common in anime and
manga that has absolutely no equivalency in the West. Normally
proportioned characters are shrunk and distorted in the super deformed
style. Bodies become very small and heads become disproportionately large.
Often times characters in a particular scene will be drawn in both normal
and super deformed styles. Usually when a character is drawn in this way
it denotes an extreme mood change, anger, sillyness, or exasperation.
Characters are also drawn in super deformed style just because it makes
them look so cute... and in Japan, cuteness is everything! Model Figures,
Dolls, Keychains, and various toys will also present characters in the
super deformed style.
SWEAT DROP - This is a signature visual stylization used in manga
and anime. Whenever a character is feeling embarrassed, perplexed,
self-conscious, or just plain stupid... a large tear drop shape will
appear near their face or head. Sometimes this "sweat drop" is small and
barely noticeable and other times it can nearly cover an entire face. This
visual clue denotes to the viewer that the character is feeling out of
TANKOUBON - A book format in which manga are compiled after having
had successful serialized runs in magazines. Tankoubon means separate
volume and these softcover books contain around five to eleven story
TEZUKA OSAMU - Tezuka is one of those Giants in the world of Art
that everyone should know about. He is considered the modern Father of
manga and anime and is so revered in Japan that a museum has even been
built to house all of his creations. In 1963 Tezuka created his Tetsuwan
Atomu (literally, "Atom with iron arms"), which later that same year
premiered on U.S. television as Astro Boy. Tezuka created the very first
full color animation, a television series called Jungle Taitei (Jungle
Emperor). Years later, when Disney Studios released it's "Lion King"
animated movie, the people of Japan were absolutely stunned and furious
that it was nothing more than a replica of Tezuka's Jungle Emperor story.
Disney's Lion King story was almost an exact copy of Tezuka's. The
glorious new animated feature film, METROPOLIS is based upon a famous
manga series by Tezuka.
TOMODACHI - Friend.
UKIYO-E - This school of Art developed in the late 1670's and went
on to become one of Japan's most well known artistic styles. Ukiyo-e means
"floating world pictures" and it's aesthetics are concerned with the
transient, fleeting aspects of life. Ukiyo-e woodblock prints became very
fashionable in the Europe of the late 1800's, and eventually directly
influenced the Impressionist painters. If you study ukiyo-e you'll see
it's sensibilities resonating in today's anime.
UFO CATCHER - A coin operated mechanical game machine found in
arcades. The machine's "joy stick" control is used to skillfully direct a
mechanical hook in capturing the small Plush Dolls held in the machine's
large see through bin. The Plush Dolls (called "UFO Catcher Dolls"), are
super deformed versions of anime characters. These Dolls have become very
popular collectables in the West because of their rarity and hyper
YAOI - Also known as shounenai or Boy's love. Yaoi manga features
romantic love between Male characters. These homo-erotic titles which can
sometimes be quite explicit are enjoyed by a great number of Women in
Japan, in fact, there are many more Female readers of yaoi manga than
there are Male readers. There is no equivalent to shounenai in the world
of Western comic books.
YUME - The Japanese word for dream.
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