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Painting is the preferred artistic expression in Japan, practiced by amateurs and professionals alike. Until modern times, the Japanese wrote with a brush rather than a pen, and their familiarity with brush techniques has made them particularly sensitive to the values and aesthetics of painting. With the rise of popular culture in the Edo period, a style of woodblock prints called ukiyo-e became a major art form and its techniques were fine tuned to produce colorful prints of everything from daily news to schoolbooks. The Japanese, in this period, found sculpture a much less sympathetic medium for artistic expression; most Japanese sculpture is associated with religion, and the medium's use declined with the lessening importance of traditional Buddhism.
"I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse."
There are others in that timeframe, of course, but these are significant releases, all prior to Spike's Astro Boy in 1963. In addition, beyond Disney, Warners Brothers Studios released a massive amount of shorts featuring Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd and the rest of the Looney Tunes, though even Bugs wasn't above a bit of "highbrow entertainment":
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) Pinocchio (1940) Fantasia (1940) Dumbo (1941) Bambi (1942) Cinderella (1950) Alice in Wonderland (1951) Peter Pan (1953) Lady and the Tramp (1955) Sleeping Beauty (1959) One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
Notice that almost all of the animation is simplistic and crude -- repetitive drawings, or a static drawing with only the character's mouth moving. This is not an art form, such as that developed by the American animation studios, but rather a simplistic rendering. And it is not merely indicative of the one series -- it is endemic in Japanese animation, a point that my esteemed opponent will find difficult to refute.
Adults may cringe at the preachy heavy-handedness and the extremely limited motion animation that sets the art form back a couple of generations.
-Michael Rechtshaffed, Hollywood Reporter (Source)
"One ship, one crew, one destiny" indeed. If you had to sum anime up into two words, it would undoubtedly be "Cowboy Bebop." It's a 26 episode series that redefines what animation is and what it can do. The character development is beyond comparison and the voice acting is unforgettable. If you see only one anime in your life, make it this one. I can't sum it up and give it the credit it deserves, but what I can say, is that it is the most compelling story to be turned into an anime that will have you laughing, and the more sensitive may even cry, but you will get goosebumps. All I can say is, don't forget to watch this before you die, it is worth it and then some.
This $20 million animated adventure/fantasy quickly became the highest grossing Japanese film in Japanese film history (making $150 million in Japan during its first seven months). Set in the 14th century, the ecology-themed epic was directed by Hayao Miyazaki whose previous films were acquired by Disney for U.S. distribution plus other territories. Princess Mononoke depicts a mystical battle between Animal Gods of the forest and humans during Japan's Muromachi Period. Young A#aka receives a
In the year 2029, the world has become interconnected by a vast electronic network that permeates every aspect of life. That same network also becomes a battlefield for Tokyo's Section Nine security force, which has been charged with apprehending the master hacker known only as the Puppet Master. Spearheading the investigation is Major Motoko Kusanagi, who -- like many in her department -- is a cyborg officer, far more powerful than her human appearance would suggest.
A new king reigns supreme throughout Midland, but he achieved his power through heinous means. His men terrorize the town, and nothing stands in their way -- until the arrival of the mysterious Black Swordsman. Meanwhile, a young fighter named Guts meets up with the charismatic Captain Griffith and his band of mercenaries. Their combined strength means interesting things for Midland...
This was a fun debate that I thought could have gone on for much longer and still been entertaining. Videos on both sides were fantastic.
Spike opens with the argument that Japanese animation is a development of artistic necessity and not economic motives. I give a minor critique here for not trying to drive this point home through the final post, although it certainly could have been contested.
On the other hand, adjensen opened by laying the foundation for an argument focused on the accomplishments of Disney. An argument that carries throughout the debate.
Adjensen may have missed an opportunity in the second round when Spike claims Japan produced a wider range of genre. Adjensen could have mentioned a few of the TV series such as the Simpsons or Family Guy as a counter for Spike's claim that Disney is a one trick pony. I give adjensen much credit, though, for showing the success of Disney/Pixar that started in the 90's and continues.
Spike's final post showed that Japanese animation is fully capable of advanced animation beyond the anime style.
In the end, there is one argument here that is undeniable and has no counter from the other side: the incredible success of Disney/Pixar at the box office. Adjensen was able to convince me that America wins the animation debate, based on a consistent line of quantitative accomplishment based argument.
Congratulations to adjensen on the win, and to both for a fun read.
For the first half of the debate both sides consistently recognized Disney as an American animation company without acknowledging the fact that Disney was only a part of American animation culture.
This worked against Adjensen, however he did very well in acknowledging other companies in his second post, working greatly in his favor as it showed how animation branched off from the traditional Disney method.
Adjensen also acknowledges American animation being a more economically successful medium to use.
Spike brings up in his first post that Japanese anime was built largely around a method which was a necessity due to little resource, post war. This leads me to assume economic success is not what Spike is measuring what the better medium is on, however it hasn't been made clear.
Japanese anime, not being financially driven would mean a more entertaining show was on the agenda of the production companies.
Adjensen had me convinced until it appeared to me that he contradicted himself. One of his statements involving the crudeness and simplicity around Japanese animation, showed that he was judging the medium on its presentation. In his video about multi-plane cameras and Spike's video about Disney methods in an interview in 1990 also showed that Disney had rather crude and simplistic methods of production. As adjensen points out the success of the the Disney classics, he indicates that Simplicity is not necessarily an indication of a good medium.
Adjensen also only uses one example of Japanese anime to prove his point of crudeness, forgetting to mention DragonBallZ was very popular and financially successful, in which he measured the success of American animation. This is shown in his statement about Pixar films and their generated revenue.
The final two post made by each candidates are interesting and both being primarily based on examples of Japanese animation examples.
After reading the debate a few times over I am able to reach a verdict.
Both sides have presented a very strong argument.
I however believe adjensen needed to have more information about the American animation culture rather than looking at the flaws of Japanese animation, although many of his points were correct, valid and persuasive.
Spike also mentioned a lot about the flaws of American animation rather than looking at Japanese animation, however I believe he focused more on pointing out his sides pros rather than the other sides cons and made many valid points surrounding he aspects of Japanese animation.
To conclude I am in favor of Spike Spiegle's argument.
First off I would like to say this debate was much more interesting than what I was expecting. When I read the title, I will be honest and say I groaned a bit and was expecting this to be a very difficult read and I was expecting to have to force myself to remain interested and read every single word. To be my surprise, this was not the case at all. I found this debate to be rather informative and fun. So for that reason alone I want to congratulate both participants on a job well done.
I felt that Spike really placed all his eggs into one basket by attempting to narrow his whole argument down to one simple question. "The origins of American animation; necessity or economic? ". Even by answering this question, it does nothing to prove which form of anime is the best or why it is the best. As an example, lets take an invention we are all familiar with- the hot water heater. That is not an invention created out of necessity. It was created for monetary gain and convenience. Yet it is still a wonderful invention that is enjoyed by billions of people and I do not think anyone would want to go back to the old days of heating water with fire.
Adjensen however did a fantastic job of giving us a history lesson on animation. I found his post to be very informative, interesting, and he did an amazing job of showing the differences between Japanese Animation vs American animation and pointing out exactly what separates the two.
Round 1: Adjensen
I feel like Spike missed an opportunity to counter points made by Adjensen. He gives us a whole list of various genres of Japanese animation, but fails to address the point of quality that was the heart of adjensen's rebuttal in round 1. Obviously when it comes to genres Japanese animation covers so many various areas- but by ignoring the issue of quality, he did nothing to prove Japanese animation is better than American animation and the videos posted really seemed rather cherry picked.
Adjensen again gives us a great history lesson (again), and even showed us how animation began to play a part in live acting movies as well, building off his previous points of quality. Very well done.
Round 2: Adjensen.
Again it seemed that Spike ignored the issue of quality which is at the heart of Adjensen's argument and even by posting some of his favorites, he actually proved Adjensen's whole point from Round 1 when he said, "Notice that almost all of the animation is simplistic and crude -- repetitive drawings, or a static drawing with only the character's mouth moving. This is not an art form, such as that developed by the American animation studios, but rather a simplistic rendering. And it is not merely indicative of the one series -- it is endemic in Japanese animation, a point that my esteemed opponent will find difficult to refute. "
So as I watched the videos Spike posted, what I saw was exactly what Adjensen said it would be. Simplistic and crude. Fixed characters with only a moving mouth.
Adjensen really finished strong in his final post. Again pointing out and highlighting the real differences between Japanese Animation and American animation and even brings up the more controversial areas of Japanese animation that is often overlooked in such a discussion. Again focusing on quality and how that quality translated into success, which is a point that Spike failed to address entirely and even inadvertently highlighted himself to start round 3.
Round 3 and winner: Adjensen.