What is Anime??
Anime is Japanese animation. Anime is characterized by a very distinctive drawing style; characters are often drawn with elfish features, large eyes, and in anime...any hair color is completely normal ^_^; Anime can take many forms. It can be designed as a series, for television airing, it could be a movie or series of movies, and there are OAVs, which are comprised of one or more shows on a VHS/LD/DVD that are released directly to video sale. Anime isn't just more cartoons....in Japan the viewing audience is much larger than the cartoon viewing audience in the West. In addition, there are not such harsh censorship guidelines in Japan...so it is not uncommon to see violence, nudity, or hear strong language used. In addition, while kids might enjoy the slapstick, martial arts fights, and huge mecha common in anime, there are also more mature themes in anime as well; such as war, corruption, disasters, etc.... then there is the 'strictly adult' anime...hentai...which is quite graphic.
For more on terms used here...refer to the Common Terms page
Have I Ever Seen Any Anime??
Chances are, the answer to that question is yes! Depending on your age group...you may have seen a good deal of it! ^_^ If you were watchin' TV in the 60's chances are you probably saw Astro Boy, 8th Man, Gigantor, Kimba the White Lion, and/or Speed Racer (Go, Go...Go Speed Racer ^_~ ) Watched animated shows in the 70's? Then you might remember Battle of the Planets and Star Blazers. And then in the 80's: Superbook, Thunderbirds 2086, Robotech, Voltron, Macron, to name a few...and by the 90's anime had proven it was here to stay....with shows such as Ronin Warriors, Dragonball, Sailor Moon, & Samurai Pizza Cats. And if you're still watching today (which you should be!!! ^_~) you can catch titles such as Cowboy Bebop, Dragonball Z, Yu Gi Oh, Gundam Wing, and a bunch more!!
Where Can I Get Anime For Myself??
That's an easy one! ^_^ There are alot of ways and places to get anime these days, now that larger companies realized there is big money in selling the goodness that comes West from the Land of the Rising Sun (that's Japan, in case ya didn't know ^_~;;) You can buy anime and manga online from numerous online stores, you can find manga and usually some anime at most comic book stores, and you can even get anime goodness at the mall!! (Provided your mall has a Suncoast/Media Play, etc. ^_^
What to look for: This is coming from an avid supporter of anime in its original 'pure' form...Get the uncut versions with the Japanese dialogue! Most of the DVD's are now bilingual so you can have Japanese w/ English subtitles or English dialogue. The reason behind getting the uncut versions? Well, the edited versions are what they show on say...Cartoon Network..and sometimes they just cut out stuff needlessly...or they edit out a bit of the blood or what have you....as for the dialogue; as with any dubbing...the words don't exactly fit the lip movements...(that really bothers some ppl *shrug*) but more importantly...some of the translating companies take major liberties with the dialogue and really alter the original message (Dragonball Z is a classic example of this *shudder* )
Now, if you aren't too sure about the whole uncut thing or whatnot... rent some and compare and decide for yourself....or just buy the editted versions... It is my firm belief that some anime is better than no anime at all!!! ^_^*