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“Anime is just for kids”, an idea shared by many people, unaware of how much anime has grown and expanded its reaches.The impact may have gone unnoticed, but anime has already made a big impact in the media the people in the United States enjoy. People may perceive a good movie as people being innovators when in retrospect, many of the directors are copying anime. The Disney classic, “The Lion King” copied an old Japanese animated television show from the 1960s called “Kimba the White Lion”, and just so happen to be about a young lion whose fathers died and that acts as a catalyst for the young lion to become king. There are also many other incidences of people copying anime like Steven Spielberg’s Avatar, that still tops the box office as the top-grossing film even to this day, that in many ways is eerily similar to that of Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke. Many viewers are blind of their ignorance.
There are a plethora of many other films that copied pre-existing animes and in the eye of the public have gone unnoticed. An article by Teppo Felin gives an insight into why this may be the case. This may be a sign of people just focusing on a singular task such as enjoying the movie, but look the slightest bit deeper and more into it, things may become apparent. “In short, the list of obvious things in the gorilla clip is extremely long”(Fulin). Films tend to be quite long and last for at least ninety minutes, and things may have been overlooked. They may not be the reason as “that humans are ‘blind to the obvious, and that we also are blind to our blindness’”. People don’t realize that such films anime and are oblivious to the idea that said film copied anything at all; being something completely original. “Good artists copy; great artists steal”(Picasso). Anime has in recent times become almost a social phenomenon, but for the longest time, it wasn’t always that way.
Samantha Nicole Inëz Chambers does a phenomenal job doing just that. Anime came to the states in the 60s in the form of old classics like Astro Boy and Kimba the white lion. For something as plain and simple as Astro boy sound, as well as the base material for the lion king, they were censored. “In order to show these titles on American children’s television, production companies would have to cut scenes deemed too violent, change the direct translations for redubbing, and even alter plot lines to make them more socially acceptable to Western audiences”(Chambers,95). Anime did the exact thing they were basically not to do, even touching subjects such as death can be deemed okay in children’s anime.Years following the western release, in Japan there were a series of killings by a man called the otaku killer a “man who violently murdered four young girls and was found to be in possession of hentai, thus casting the entire anime style in a negative light”(Chamber,95) People attributes the killers actions to said hentai, Iza Sharina Binti Sallehuddin would describe the violence anime is attributed to is due to the social learning theory; developed by a man names Bandura who set up an experiment where kids watch and than put in a room very similar to that of what they just watch. Kids who watch a man play gently with the doll generally played gently, but the kids who watch the man hit the doll, copied the man’s actions and did just that. Due to the hentai being violent, a grown man was influenced by actions seen in the hentai and thus abducted and killed four girls. On top of the killings, also at the time there “was an overzealous group called Action for Children’s Television, or ACT. This censorship not only included cartoon violence, but also material containing homoeroticism, gender ambiguity, or anything that suggested the main protagonist was not one hundred percent ‘good-guy material’”(Chambers,96). So not only did anime have a bad reputation but it was nearly impossible to find in the States. In 1980 the unspoken ban was lifted and anime grew. The introduction of more anime coming to the state caused an increase in fans. Anything released to the west was still very much so censored to make everything more child-friendly. Because of this, it led people to believe that anime was childish. There was as also a boom due to fansubbing and anime clubs. This meant that anime that was in Japanese could finally be understood by nearly anyone. This got rid of the middleman and anything they got was uncensored and pure to what it was. In a 2006 study, they found out that there were at least 200,000 people who fansubbed. Though it was it piracy and looked down upon by other, it helped the community grow. In a survey of 107 participants, they were asked how familiar with anime, with only 19. 4 percent said they said they were not familiar with the medium,whereas 40. 8 percent said they still watch it. In the same survey, they were also asked to check off if they watched any of the 58 shows listed, all of which either were anime or anime inspired that aired at one point in the United States.
The results showed that 85. 1 percent have seen at least one of the shows. This shows just how much anime has grown without us even realizing and just how much of a grasp it has on the media we watch. In a more recent study by Iza SHARINA Sallehuddin, they surveyed 135 kids who watched anime. Well aware that they may not be the best representation of the current anime community but since they are the most impressionable they are the best way of testing out something such as the social learning theory. They asked kids about how they felt about anime with the results overall being quite positive and over 40 percent of the kids saying that they are obsessed with anime. It’s almost ironic with all the censorship people do to protect children, and Americanizing things, only 14. 8% agreed they liked how anime showed characters doing things they liked themselves. Also with 75. 6 percent saying that anime has a lot of skills at fighting. Even with all that, the vast majority of the kids agreed that violence was bad and that they would not being aggressive doesn’t make you strong. They asked various other questions like whether they were to fight back and other things regarding violence and in the end they can to the conclusion that because of anime they were more likely to fight only if they were hit first. In the end, anime is just a medium enjoyed by many people. Though it been looked down upon as both childish and violent, it manages to grow. Even back in the 80s more than half of the television imported from Japan were anime related.
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