The Instigator
MrSykoCat
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
The_Scapegoat_bleats
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

What is anime?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
The_Scapegoat_bleats
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 756 times Debate No: 47977
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

MrSykoCat

Pro

Anime should be based on it's commonly accepted art style. That is, what most people consider to be of the anime art style.
The_Scapegoat_bleats

Con

"Anime" is just a Japanese word for animation.
Hence all animation can be called "anime" and there are no stylistic boundaries.

"Origin of ANIME
Japanese, animation, short for animēshiyon,from English
First Known Use: 1988" http://www.merriam-webster.com...

The first Japanese animated feature was "Momotar!3;: Umi no Shinpei (桃太%070; 海{98;神兵?, lit. Momotarou: God Warriors of the Sea or Momotaro, Sacred Sailors[2])" http://en.wikipedia.org...
It was produced in 1944 and released in 1945, more than 40 years before the term "anime" was first used. This means it cannot have been an "anime" at the time, but it set a certain style that influenced later animated features. So, the style you are referring to predates the "anime".

There is a wide range of artistic styles covered under the term "anime" today. Surely, my opponent will accept that Studio Ghibli excels among the anime producing studios.
They produced feature films like "Spirited Away", but also "My Neighbours the Yamadas" ( http://en.wikipedia.org... ), which has a very unique, simplified style best likened to US cartoons trips like the peanuts.

So, it is obvious that there is absolutely no connection between the term "anime" and the artistic style in which the animation is presented. "Anime" is just an abbreviated anglicism for "animation" in the Japanese language. Limiting animation to a certain style would deprive Japan of its right to artistic liberty. This would be wrong.
Debate Round No. 1
MrSykoCat

Pro

I realize that in Japan, "Anime" can refer to anything animated. Family Guy, Bob's Burgers, Sponge Bob. To them, it doesn't matter. But I'm not talking about Japan's definition of anime. I'm talking about what the US/UK (usually otaku) population accepts as anime. By the way, I would like to recommend that you watch the YouTube video;
"Frost Bite: The Definition of anime" by GRArkada if you haven't already before you post your counter argument. Now, let's get on with it. You claim that "There is no connection between the term anime and the artistic art style in which it is presented". Again, in Japan that may be the case. But we are not (at least I assume) in Japan. My argument is based on the viewpoint that anime should be based on it's art style, not by it's origin (as some people may be opposed to). I realize that there is an inherent flaw with this, namely, where do you draw the line? GRArkada pointed this out in his video. Well... If you were to take an animation by, say, Disney, and put it up against an anime by Studio Bones (The people that brought us Soul Eater and Full Metal Alchemist) for example, you would see a very obvious difference. Not one that would be easily definable, but an obvious difference none the less. So, I put the line at where there is an obvious difference between the typical art style of western animation and what has come to been known in the west as "anime". Now, you may argue, for example, that RWBY, an anime style 3D animated series created by Monty Oum and Rooster Teeth may or may not be anime. Well... That is in the gray area for sure, and it is made in America, so that would have people that argue the definition by Japanese origin disappointed. And since you haven't argued that point yet, I think I'll wait to argue on that. You also said "Limiting animation to a certain style would deprive Japan of it's artistic liberty. This would be wrong." How? How would Japan be deprived of anything by us changing OUR definition? Japan can define anime however they please. How the US and UK defines animation shouldn't matter to Japan. This is our home territory. And in our argument on gay marriage, you said that choosing the happiness of one group over another is wrong. Is depriving the US and UK of the right to define certain words differently than they do the right thing to do? I don't think so, even if they originally came up with the word. Besides, would you naturally call Sponge Bob anime? P.S. Yes, I agree that Studio Ghibli is Excellent at what they do. Spirited Away was the first anime I ever watched growing up, followed (unfortunately due to how painful it is to watch) by Grave of the fireflies. Damn, that was depressing.
The_Scapegoat_bleats

Con

Sorry, but this is definitely going too far.
You can't just bring up an unclear resolution and then hold me responsible for it and CHANGE the resolution afterwards.

If you had wanted to discuss the UK and US definitions, you should have stated so in your initial post. I am neither British nor American. I would not have taken this debate had I known of your restriction, because that's really not my concern.

As your resolution stands, you have conceded that there is an instance where calling Japanese animation by another name than anime would be wrong: in Japan. Where the term originated.

It is outright silly to assume that there can be any justification of changing the meaning of an Anglicism in a foreign language. The term means "animation", abbreviated because of the Japanese syllable writing systems. Merriam-Webster's acknowledges this for the English language.
Now, if we apply this term to animation outside of its country of origin, what changes? Nothing.
If you use the German term "Gesundheit" - "Bless you" in British English, but frequently used in the USA - you can not simply define that it doesn't apply to any sneeze but only to those that sound "German". It's absurd.
If you want to use a Japanese word - which stems from an English word - instead of the original English word, that word does not change its meaning. The Japanese apply it to any form of animation. If you use the same word, you are referring to the same things. It's basic semantics.
"Anime" refers to all sorts of animation, regardless of style (your resolution) OR ORIGIN (which is an entirely new topic I'm not going to accept).

You concede: "I realize that there is an inherent flaw with this, namely, where do you draw the line?"
and present subjective impression as an answer: "Not one that would be easily definable, but an obvious difference none the less. So, I put the line at where there is an obvious difference between the typical art style of western animation and what has come to been known in the west as "anime""
Which means that we do not have an answer to agree upon, since I already stated that the style of "My neighbours the Yamadas" shows an OBVIOUS DIFFERENCE to the style you are referring to, and still it's called anime.
You do not present proof to the opposite, creating a false dichotomy between Disney animation (see "Atlantis" for an example how close Disney has gotten to some Japanese animation styles) and Japanese animation, disregarding the wide variety of styles within Japan.

"How? How would Japan be deprived of anything"
I repeat that your resolution did not contain any regional restriction.

Bringing up other debates is changing the topic. But let's look at this: "Is depriving the US and UK of the right to define certain words differently than they do the right thing to do?"
Words can be outfitted with several connotations. If you are arguing that for semantic reasons the UK and the US should be allowed to introduce additional meanings, they can do anything illogical with their language they want if it makes them happy.

But your resolution is about ANIME, not the people of the US and UK.
"Anime should be based on it's commonly accepted art style. That is, what most people consider to be of the anime art style."
So this is not about the question whether the English language should introduce another definition, it's about the anime itself. Does a film deserve to be called anime even if it is not drawn in a specific style?
I see no reason why not. And you have given no reason except for an artificial dichotomy between Disney and non-Disney that fails to cover the variety of styles in animation worldwide.
Even within "Disney-styled" animation, there is this wide variety. If you compare the early Mickey Mouse "symphonies" with Peter Pan and both with Mulan, and all of those with "The Little Mermaid" you will find obvious differences there, too. So should Mulan, which is clearly Disney-produced but stylistically close to the style you refer to (falsely) as "anime", be called an ANIME or a Disney-Animation?
Your proposed "line" is not existent, it's the product of sloppy research and blindness to the artistic variety in animation in general.

As for your question about Spongebob Squarepants: if I wanted to use a Japanese term to describe that show, I would most definitely call it an anime, just as I do not call "Spirited Away" an anime but rather an animated feature except when I'm talking with very young fans. But that is of no consequence, since you want the MAJORITY to decide on this. Unfortunately, you fail to provide any evidence that any majority anywhere in the world makes this distinction.
The only thing you did was concede that in Japan, "anime" is the term generally used for all animation.

In Japan, anime in all of its varieties is considered an art form (compare: http://www.nz.emb-japan.go.jp... ). Renaming it would be disrespectful to Japanese culture, jut as you can't just rename impressionism or expressionism to mean something else. It's the name given to "animation", and the only evidence you have offered to the contrary is a single opinion of one person on Youtube.

So my conclusion remains: "Anime" is the Japanese word for all animation. I see no reason why this meaning "should" be changed to only include a smaller part of all animation. No matter in what region.

There is no productive reason for the discernment anyway. So far you have not provided one positive effect of discriminating between anime and not-anime. The question whether something SHOULD be done involves some kind of reason, be it a moral, logical or otherwise profitable reason. So far, you have provided none.

You claim that how we call things inside closed groups is of none other's concern. I say that is totally wrong. If a group of people were to call you "the d*mb*ss" just between themselves, would that not concern you? Even if they only did so in Iceland? Would your dignity not be harmed by this?
Clipping a word inherent to Japanese culture to a reduced meaning would be an insult, and nobody's happiness may be valued higher or lower than that of anyone else, as you conceded. So, by reducing the meaning of "anime" you would do harm to the Japanese culture for the freedom to unnecessarily rename words.
I'm against it.





Debate Round No. 2
MrSykoCat

Pro

Okay, so for the most part your point is that I have very little to no evidence to go off of, and that I am unorganized (or at least I assume that you view my argument as such. It would make sense that you would). And yes, I acknowledge that I came into this debate unprepared to argue my points. I will research more before hand next time and also point out restrictions on debates. However, as I am new to debate in general, I would like you to acknowledge that new comers in general are not going to be experienced using this format and will sometimes forget to do certain important things before they go into a debate. Now, back to the argument. You said that "It is outright silly to assume there can be any justification of changing the meaning of an anglicism in a foreign language". The meaning of anime here in the west has become subjective, that's the problem we have here. And most people who watch anime here in the west would reject anime referring to all animated works. There are generally two kinds of people here In the west that describe anime: 1: The person that describes it as any animated work made in Japan, usually because of the appeal of simplicity. 2: The person that describes anime by it's art style (my position). For both definitions, there are flaws. The origin argument (the first one I mentioned) falls upon itself in many ways. This is partly why I recommended that you watch GRArkada's video on the definition of anime, as he explained better than I could the flaws of both sides. It's also where I learned the inherent problem with my point of view on the definition. Now, your arguing from the point that the term anime refers to all animated works, but again, people living in the west usually don't accept this definition. So, why don't we accept this definition? We don't accept it because there is an obvious diffrence between anime and western animation styles. There needed to be a clear cut diffrence between anime and western style animation. And since it was originally Japanese, we decided to call the art style that came from Japan "Anime".
This is why I'm arguing that in the west, people should describe anime based on it's art style, however hard that diffrence may be to describe. You have stated "You concede: "I realize there is an inherent flaw with this, namely, where do you draw the line" and present subjective impression as an answer". I had to. There was no easily definable diffrence between anime and western animation. I have stated something along the lines of "I draw the line where there is an obvious diffrence between the art styles". Your counter argument is that some animes that would not be considered anime it they fell under my definition wouldn't be. Well, I've never seen "My neighbours the Yamada's", so I'm not going to argue wether that is or isn't an anime. However, I'm sticking by my resolution that anime should be based on it's art style, and that anything that shows an obvious diffrence between what is known as western animation and anime should not be considered anime. Yet your argument that because my neighbours the yamadas is considered an anime in general, yet goes against my definition, that all animated works should be considered anime in the Japanese sense. No. Like I said, there needed to be a clear cut diffrence between anime and western animation, the two different explanations of which I've already presented. If you want to know more about them, then WATCH THAT VIDEO I SUGGESTED THAT YOU WATCH! He didn't take sides in what he said. He simply presented the flaws that all definitions have in the west. I am simply saying that of the three (Your stance, My stance and the Origin definition) mine makes the most sense IN THE WEST. And as for your counter argument on depriving the US and the UK of their right to define words however they please, I disagree with you. For one, you have stated "if you are arguing for semantic reasons that the UK and the US should be allowed to introduce additional meanings, they can do anything illogical with their language if it makes them happy". While that is true, I will state again that the meaning in the west is subjective. It needs a solid definition that the majority can agree with, which is not the viewpoint that you stand from.
You have also stated that "your supposed "line" is non existent, it's the product of sloppy research and blindness to the artistic variety of animation in general". I am NOT blind to the artistic variety in general. However, there are simply too many to even begin going over without getting completely off topic. I realize that some western animations are inspired by anime (Teen Titans for example) and that some animes are inspired by western animation (Panty and Stocking with Garter Belt for example), and can be very difficult to distinguish between under my logic, however, that does not justify simplifying all animation to the point that it can be considered anime. And I believe that there should be sub categories of animation style, due to the vast variety of animation styles. But again, I'm sticking to the resolution that anime in the west should be defined by it's art style. The reason for making a diffrent definition than Japan's, I would like to point out again, that anime needs a clear cut definition that differentiates from western animation. I'm not limiting it to one or a few art styles, I'm saying that certain art styles should fit under anime, and that certain art styles should fit under western animation depending on certain traits between the two. What are those traits might you ask? That still needs to be ironed out, big time. At this point they are unpresentable. And that's besides the point. Please post your counter arguments below. I'll be waiting in the mean time.
The_Scapegoat_bleats

Con

I do appreciate my opponent's assertion that he's learning from our debate. Nothing more is my intention in this.

As far as our debate goes, I would formally have to say that I consider it conceded, as my opponent states about his own resolution:

"I came into this debate unprepared to argue my points."
and
"2: The person that describes anime by it's art style (my position). For both definitions, there are flaws."

So, basically, we're discussing whether a flawed position should stand or not, when a definition of the term "anime" exists in Merriam-Webster's dictionary that is totally consistent with the Japanese use of the term and offers no reason for debate? I would say the answer is obvious.

However, as my opponent and I have agreed upon on a previous occasion, I will continue this debate for entertainment and pedagogic reasons: we both want fun, and we both want practice.

"The meaning of anime here in the west has become subjective, that's the problem we have here. And most people who watch anime here in the west would reject anime referring to all animated works."

I'm afraid I cannot confirm this from personal experience. In my milieu, my perspective is widely accepted. An outside source for this claim is needed but not presented.
I also do not see where that can pose a "problem" for my opponent, since he argues: "Japan can define anime however they please." Should then the same not apply to UK and US? What's the big deal to him? If we need a nation-wide definition, Merriam-Webster's already offers one. If we don't, then why are we discussing this? I see a contradiction in this.

I extend this to the entire description of alleged existing definitions of "anime". Without any source to back this up, all that remains are subjective definitions without any corroboration.

I still refute the proposition that there are consistent "obvious differences" between Japanese and "Western" animation. I have offered examples to that end, and extend those, especially since my opponent refuses to confront my counter-example of "My Neighbours the Yamadas".
I have, during my own research, not found a single source claiming that this Ghibli production is not an anime. All my opponent would have to do is show an exterior source that this film is not considered anime by someone except for himself.

As things are, we only have the assertion of my opponent that two definitions exist and one subjective account of which he bases his assumption, the Youtube video he keeps referring to. So I refute the entire argumentation of my opponent:
I do not believe that the conflict or "problem" exists in the first place. The example of "My Neighbours the Yamadas" shows that if at all, only the first "definition" is used by the vast majority of people in the US and UK. No English source calls the film anything but "anime", regardless of style.

"Like I said, there needed to be a clear cut difference between anime and western animation, the two different explanations of which I've already presented"

Still I see no sign of such "need" in the past. By what would such need be motivated? Who expresses this need except for my opponent and thy Youtube-filmmaker he bases his opinion on? I surely don't, I'm content with Merriam Webster's definition.

The one source my opponent presents points out flaws in both definitions. This takes us back to the point where my opponent concedes that his resolution is flawed to begin with, while the only reason he refuses the Merriam-Webster definition is this: "And most people who watch anime here in the west would reject anime referring to all animated works."
Most people who watch anime obviously - as I failed to find any source not calling the "Yamadas" an anime - also reject the definition proposed by my opponent. So if we extend his own argument, then by his own account his own definition is invalid.
Of course, this argument is the "argumentum ad numerum"-fallacy and is wrong to begin with - but still my opponent contradicts himself with this.

"I am simply saying that of the three (Your stance, My stance and the Origin definition) mine makes the most sense IN THE WEST."

As I pointed out, I disagree. My definition is the only one with a reliable outside source. It is not in conflict with either of the alleged conflicting parties, as it colligates both their positions: everybody is free to call any animation "anime", the literal sense of the word, especially since there is no evidence of any "need" for further differentiation.

"however, that does not justify simplifying all animation to the point that it can be considered anime"

Yet my opponent himself talks about "all animation", while my definition declares that both terms mean the same, as agreed upon by the dictionary. They are synonyms. By coining the phrase "all animation" my opponent goes against his own maxim of a "need" to classify it, further proving that this need does not exist.

"And I believe that there should be sub categories of animation style, due to the vast variety of animation styles."

But no attempts are made at this classification. My opponent has so far defined two categories: "anime" and "western animation", the latter which he would by his own admission use to describe Japanese animation not concurrent with the "anime style". Which means that an animated feature from Japan that looks like an American cartoon show would be considered "western animation" while being a product of a country that is considered as "far East". This seems unpractical and imperialistic.

My opponent finally concedes to the impractical nature of the details for his definition: "At this point they are unpresentable."

Well, then that settles the question of whether my opponent's definition should indeed be put to use:
No, as it's not even finished and "clear cut" as he himself demands.

Thanks for your time.











Debate Round No. 3
MrSykoCat

Pro

You know what? No. Just, no. It's become obvious to me I came into this debate unprepared to explain and defend my points. However I'm sticking by them, however stubborn that may seem to you. One major problem with this whole thing is that we both live in completely different countries, based on you saying "I am neither British nor American". So, we're arguing from completely different standpoints here. I just assumed that whoever argued me would be arguing from the united states's origin definition perspective of things. Hmm. I'll probably be starting this entire thing all over again if I ever get around to doing research on specific art types, classifying them as examples and just being better at debate. So, if your interested (even though you said you didn't really care about US/UK definitions), feel free to post down so next (and realize that the rules haven't been set for that yet, besides being about US and UK definitions, so you may change your mind once the rules are set for next time). If not, then well I'll make the next time I do this an open debate. Thanks for this one though, and I hope to debate you again. -MrSykoCat
The_Scapegoat_bleats

Con

I'm really sorry that I seem to have upset my opponent.

I think it's unreasonable to have local definitions in a time of globalization.
I think it's unreasonable to go against an established - and working - definition from Merriam-Webster's dictionary. Which is a pillar of the English language, both British and American, so the whole point about me being from another country is actually moot.

I oppose your "stubbornness" with the definition taken from your native tongue.
And I extend all arguments as presented above and allow the audience to decide on this now.

You still have not established any reason why this entire classification is necessary in the first place, and I'm really, honestly thrilled to read up on your ideas once you have those sorted out.
I'll not shy away from another debate about this topic if you will still have it (and me as opponent) then.


Again, no offense was meant, none was taken on my part.

Take your time, take care. If I'm still around by the time, I'd love to meet you on the battlefield of words again!
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
This debate is about the definition of "anime." The problem with pinning down the definition is that there are multiple definitions. I would distinguish what I'll call the "otaku definition" from the "dictionary definition." The otaku definition is what a dedicated fan of anime, Japanese or otherwise, identifies as anime and what casual viewers recognize as anime. Since there are many more casual viewers, that's what makes it into the dictionaries. That should be what's in the dictionaries, as words are defined by common usage. By analogy, consider the definition of the word "fruit." Scientifically, there is no question that tomatoes are berries, and therefore fruit. But in common language, tomatoes are not considered to be fruit, and long ago the Supreme Court ruled that a law applying to fruit did not apply to tomatoes -- never mind the science. I think both sides on this debate were basically arguing correctly.

I can tell you some of the things that distinguish otaku anime from other types of anime. One of the most striking is attention to rendering the season, the weather, and the time of day -- no matter what the story line. If a giant monster is attacking Tokyo or a young man is courting his girlfriend, it will likely be obvious what season it is and what of day. Wind blows the characters' hair and some days it rains. Cicadas mark summer, foliage autumn, snow winter, and cherry blossoms spring.

Allied with the attention to the environment, elaborate background art is common to otaku anime. Another characteristic are elaborate musical opening and closing sequences, often prepared by a separate production team. There are many common character tags: smart people wear glasses, old people are short and wrinkled in a certain way, and so forth. Anime has many common themes: a character is endlessly striving for improvement, a character is overcoming shyness.

Artistic style does not equate to drawing style. They define otaku anime.
Posted by MrSykoCat 2 years ago
MrSykoCat
By the way, on my final post I wasn't angry. I was just saying that I realized way too late that I came into this far too unprepared to uphold my argument.
Posted by The_Scapegoat_bleats 2 years ago
The_Scapegoat_bleats
No problem.
Posted by MrSykoCat 2 years ago
MrSykoCat
Yeah, that's okay. Sorry for not posting in my initial post that I meant US and UK definitions. I just assumed that anyone would think that I was talking about that for some reason after the post, and that was stupid. Again, sorry.
Posted by The_Scapegoat_bleats 2 years ago
The_Scapegoat_bleats
Dear MrSykoCat, no offense meant. I am aware you are a newcomer, which is why I'm trying to point you towards aspects you should improve upon.
I will present my rebuttal shortly. Alas, work calls right now. I'll be back.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 2 years ago
Krazzy_Player
MrSykoCatThe_Scapegoat_bleatsTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's formatting made it difficult to read due to the jumbling of words, S & G to Con for better formatting making easy to read. I'm not rating the other areas.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 2 years ago
Actionsspeak
MrSykoCatThe_Scapegoat_bleatsTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro based his argument on a local definition.