What is Anime

The word "animation" is based on a contraction of anima "life" and motion "movement".

Anime may be linguistically the abbreviation of "animation". But around the world, anime is always associated with japanese cartoons.

The word "anime" is a japanese word. Clearing up a common misconception. Anime itself is plural. If you have three boxed sets you say you have a some Anime, not some animes.

For a while now, it seems to be that people are becoming more obsessed with saying "anime is different and not the same as cartoons". However, we only label it that way, but really, they're both they same exact thing aside from the language the word is spoken. "Anime" mean animation (ex. cartoons) in English and vice versa. When you say "anime", you could be referring to all form of animation, but noooo. You think the definition of the word derives from the language the word is spoken. Also, even by separating it as different from American animation, it's still wrong. Anime is not just a Japanese word meaning animation, but it's also a French word (but with an above the "e" that I cannot do on an Apple computer).

Well, a word is only useful if people agree on its definition. In Japan, "anime" refers to all animation - you'll find Disney stuff listed along side Studio Ghibli, etc. In English, the general consensus recognizes "anime" (animé, if you want the accent) as a subset of "animation" that refers specifically to those produced in Japan (since it's the word Japan uses for "animation"). Consensus also has expectations about what a "cartoon" is, and that it's different from "anime", though still "animation". Since the purpose of using words is so that people know what you're talking about (and can more easily categorize things), you might as well just use the words that most people already agree to. What's the point in using a different word if people will just say "you mean anime?" Just so you can be "technically right?" I don't really see the point.

Japanese people refer to all animation, regardless of the origin, as anime. "Anime" is just a shortened form of the English word "animation" for them, not a separate term. It's not derived from French, by the way.

Others refer to "anime" as specifically "Japanese form of animation". It has nothing to do with the Japanese word, and is now a separate English word with a different meaning.

This is quite common in linguistics. A popular foreign word enters another language with a meaning vastly different from the original. For example: German "Die Arbeit" means "work". It has entered Japanese language as "arubaito", or simply "baito", meaning "part-time work". But you wouldn't say that "baito" is any kind of a job, it is only used for a "part-time job". Same with"anime". In the English language, this neologism means specifically "Japanese animation", non-withstanding the original Japanese meaning of "any kind of animation".

Anime is a shortened for of animeshon(アニメション), which is derived from the english word animation, much the same way persocom is a shortened form of personal computer.

It's true the japanese usage of the word applies to all forms of animation, regardless of national origin. However, the word anime made it's way back across the pacific in a shortened form, and has changed to mean animation from japan. Thus, it is not incorrect to call animation from Japan anime in english. I would contend that the term anime has become an english word meaning animation from japan.

Anime is the acceptable definition for japanamation. While in actual textbook definition, it may be incorrect, it has gained a common definition on its own. Japanamation is just a lazy made up compound word. While it may sound "cool" it is not always relevant since not all anime is made in Japan. So this is just as irrelevant as calling cartoons like south park or family guy americanation. If you acknowledge animes use, you understand well how it is and will be used.

Language isn't static, it develops by use and it's always changing. Today's grammar rules are tomorrow's Shakespeare.

Grammar, dictionary meaning and mother-tongue be damned, words mean only what people use and understand them to mean.

If we were speaking Japanese, then yes anime = cartoon. But we're not... we're speaking english. Logically speaking, we didn't need to appropriate a foreign word to define something we already have a word for ("animation")... we didn't, however, have a word for Japanese animation in particular. So we've appropriated "anime" to mean "Japanese animation".

Granted, it doesn't mean the same thing in english as it does in Japanese... but neither does "wanpiisu" (dress) make any sense to English-speakers in spite of it's english origin.

Like it or not, english has misappropriated the word, for better or worse. Once it hits the dictionary, it's the point of no return.

"an·i·me ( P ) Pronunciation Key (n-m) n.
A style of animation developed in Japan, characterized by stylized colourful art, futuristic settings, violence, and sex"

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Yes, that definition is ridiculously short-sighted and stereotypical... but it's there ^^; The other dictionaries, if they see fit to include anime at all, have similar definitions.

Either way, it's splitting hairs over something that really doesn't make a lick of a difference. You know what they're talking about... and that, in itself, is proof that the word "anime", in its current english usage, communicates what it needs to.

And honestly, I'd rather have everyone calling it "anime" than "Jap-animation"... the inclusion of a racial slur (intentional or unintentional) makes quite a few people (including me) uncomfortable.

Almost everybody that's hung out on anime forums regularly for more than a month or two knows that. Its just a term that we've adopted to describe the unique style of animation and storytelling that's comes from that region, just like we adopted the term otaku and furry to refer specifically to its fans. Japanese people misuse our words all the time. Its not that big of a deal.

"Cartoon" originates from "car tune", as cartoons were first shown at drive-ins, where you had to tune into a certain radio station to get the audio. When cartoons first came out, they were meant to be watched by adults. Tom and Jerry for example, which exhibits extreme forms of violence.

Cartoon, slang that was taken up in the English dictionary to describe animated works. Anime is the same. Slang turns into the norm for the spoken language, as such:

Anime: The Japanese term for animated works.
Cartoon: The English term for animated works.

"Anim" is used for words such as: Animator, Animatronic, Animaniacs, Animatrix, Anime, Animorphs, Animism, Animated, Animal, Animate, Animato, Animant, Animable, Animalic, Animalian, Animalise, Animating, Animative, Animality...ect

Some of them try to associate with "animation" and some with "animal".

Japanimation? What about Americanimation? Usanimation? Sound dreadful if you ask me. Animation works in the west are evolving as they borrow elements/styles form all over the place, this includes Japan. Terms like Japanimation are very crude as they try to describe a group of styles that are fixed to certain geographical location. However nobody owns a style and they can be used by anyone all over the globe.

Take W.I.T.C.H. for example, it is called a cartoon because it is owned by Disney, yet the style in which it is made is very Japanese, 26 eps and all that. It is animated by SIP animations which is a French company. W.I.T.C.H (TV) is also based on an Italian comic/graphic novel. So is it an anime or a cartoon? Is it Frenchamation, Italiamation, Usamation?

They even had cartoons back in 1843.

Well, as a french who knows japanese, i think i have the right to give my opinion here. No, anime definitely doesn't come from "dessin animé", and that's why japanese would deny it. lol

Besides, "animé" only basically means nothing to "plain" french ears.

And by the way french are mistaken too and usually use the term "manga" when they mean "anime", which sounds too strange, as i said. But they use the word "cartoons" for american stuff like Bugs Bunny, until the 70's (where personnaly, i'd start to use the term "dessin animé américain" only... like "dessin animé japonais", more than "anime". Would you say "japanese cartoons"?)

Now, who are the most mistaken?

But in the end, the fact is whether it is in english, or french, "animation" is just too vague a word to be used as countlessly as in here, and the expressions Japanese animation, American animation, Korean animation, Russian animation, Italian animation, French animation, and else, are just too long to write or say. That's all.

You can't blame people for shortening and simplifying things. That's what humans and living languages are all about. Simplifying and/or making mistakes. In a hundred years no one will care, i bet you.

The use of the word "manga" for animation actually has some basis in history.

In the 50's and 60's, before Japanese animation was called "anime", it was mostly referred to as "manga-eiga", 漫画映画, (literally, "interesting pictures in motion"). This is where the foreign usage of the word comes from.

'Manga' has also been used incorrectly in the early days of the anime boom. Especially by the distributor 'Manga Entertainment'. They basically marketed anime as manga (or didn't bother to make the differences clear to the uninitiated) in the UK.

Many people, including me, when they initially got into anime though it was the same as manga; or at the very least the difference simply wasn't clear enough. This was in the pre-internet days, also known as the 'dark ages'...

What I find funny out of all of this, is that the point that we use the term anime as jargon, or slang, seems to be brushed under the rug. Don't look up the freakin def. Who cares what wiki says... its like looking up what da bomb means or fresh or especially a newer slang like hizzle. But ya this will never be solved guys, I have seen people get pissed off to no end when some called avatar anime... so fight on.

I've never heard animation in Japan referred to as "kaatuun" in casual speech... at least, outside of english class (though there is an annoying boyband by the name and they do have their own version of "Cartoon Network" ). Tom and Jerry's in the "Anime" section of the store and under "anime" on amazon.co.jp, rakuten, etc... Japanese friends reflect fondly on "Thundercats", Disney Features and "Bugs Bunny" as "anime"...

Honestly, the only time I've ever heard the word in casual speech or on television is in reference to "Cartoon Network". Give it a google: my yahoo Japan search on the word "カートゥーン" pulled up little more than Cartoon Network references.

So I think it's misleading to assume that the word "cartoon" in english is what most Japanese use to refer to animation in general (including what we think of as "anime")... it isn't.

An interesting definition:

カートゥーン(cartoon)は複数の芸術形式についての呼称であり、一つの語源から発展した複数の意味 を持っている。現代における狭義の用語カートゥーンは、アメリカやヨーロッパの一コマ漫画か、ユーモラスな 傾向を備えた子供向けのアニメーション作品を指し示す言葉である。
(from Japanese version of Wikipedia)

It seems the Japanese version of the word "cartoon" has the same "American" "European" glaze we apply, in reverse to the term "Anime"... it also seem to have the same "for children" implication.

The word anime in Japanese comes from animation in English.

But the English word animation is derived from Latin, animatus. And that word is also the basis for the French word.

So if you really want, you can say that anime is derived from Latin.

Why is it that every other thing for catagorizing is derived from Latin?

Because the Roman Empire was the basis of Western language - other than Anglo-Saxon based words such as ox (and oxen), most modern day English was assimilated from the French from the Norman Conquest of 1066. And French, as well as other similar languages, have their roots in Latin.

Upon the introduction of this clause to the aforementioned discussion, I hereby recommend to the community that we immediately move to have the word anime replaced to cartoons for the foreseeable future.

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