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What is Anime? Nutrient loaded with that effervescent mongerlicious jammitude!

   The word "anime" (pronounced ahn-e-may) is synonymous with, and often used to describe the art of Japanese animation. Unbeknownst to the majority of people, anime has been around for decades. Only now at the turn of the millenium is anime gaining widespread acceptance throughout the world. Perhaps you've heard the word before, but didn't know what it was. If that's the case, read on!
   Anime is not synonymous with 'cartoon' despite the popular belief held by the uneducated masses. Anime is considered to be an art form by those who appreciate it, and is not specifically intended for children like American cartoons often are. A wide range of audiences are targetted with complicated, indepth, and emotional storylines. Voice actors (seiyuu) often are made into idols of popular culture, acting to a much higher level than those of your typical saturday morning cartoon.
   Often known for it's stunning artwork and innovative and unique style, anime can go above and beyond the best that Disney has to offer. Of course, given the volume of anime that is produced, there are many bad shows as well. If you've never seen any before, don't be discouraged if you don't enjoy your first experience. There are so many generes to explore, ranging from the typical boy's (shounen) mecha and sci-fi, to girl's (shoujo) comedy and romance.
   It may be hard at first to find a good selection of anime to view. Few and far between are stores that stock tapes, laserdiscs, and DVDs. Mail order and the Internet are fast growing areas in anime trade and commerce. Your local college probably has a club with a library for it's members. As this art form gains widespread popularity, it becomes more and more prevalent in our culture. Most large chain video rental outlets like Blockbuster carry a healthy selection of titles while smaller, independent stores have many more. Malls throughout the country carry a small selection of merchandise, but the Web is the place to shop.    Now that you're an expert on the subject... Let's move on to some interesting facts about anime, starting with fandom ! Anime fans often dub themselves as "otaku". The word has several meanings, but in this respect, it translates to 'fanboy'. In Japan, being an otaku is not a good thing. It's a word reserved for those obsessive fans who are scorned by others. Despite this negative connotation, you'll still see people proudly labelling themselves otaku. Not all anime fans follow this calling as if it were a religion, but there are those who eat, sleep, and breath the stuff. So powerful is the pull to see more and more that some people often give up sleep for days and spend all their money on laserdiscs. A friendly word of advice... Don't.
   A very small sub-culture of anime fans are the ones known as 'fansubbers'. This expensive and time-consuming pastime is the topic for much controversy between fans. Fansubbers are people who buy original anime, translate the Japanese into their own language, and use a computer to subtitle it. Fansub distributors then provide, for the price of the tapes and shipping, copies of the shows to fans. Some people argue the ethics of this and maintain that it hurts the anime industry in this country. Others say the fansubs are good in that they expose more people to anime who then go and make purchases to support the art. This seems to be the case, as more and more companies go commercial, putting an increasing number of titles on the shelves of your video stores. Did you know that Disney has bought the rights to several extremely good anime titles and will be releasing them on the big screen?

Anime Links. It's a cool picture so stop reading and go look at it!
The Anipike
The ultimate collection of anime links on the web. Looking for images, movies, music, or information on a specific series? This site has thousands of links, all alphabetized and searchable for your viewing convienence!
The Ultimate Animanga Archive
The largest collection of anime graphics on the web! Sorted alphabetically by series with writeups on many titles!
Japanese<->English Dictionary
Need help with your translations? This *fast* online dictionary translates between Japanese and English!
Contents of this Page Copyright 1999 by Matthew R. Demicco.
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