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I have had a discussion similar to this topic with some of my peers and although I am no expert, I feel like there are a couple points that can be made for anime and cartoons in general having a place in the realm of fine art.
Anime is becoming an increasing influence to a lot of young people going into fine arts degrees everywhere--and it has been since the 80s--I mean, hell, anime is what got me into drawing too--but, a lot of them have idealized views on what they're going to do with this art form aka going to Japan to be a famous mangaka and eat pocky forever and forever. Everyone knows this is unrealistic--but, a lot of kids/young adults think this way and it is a huge hindrance to furthering their education in the arts.
I come from this background and a lot of my personal work is heavily influenced by cartoons and manga--but, I also kept my eyes and ears open to fine arts--drawing from life, design, color and composition. It has helped me and several of my peers immensely.
I equate the situation to the old masters we learn about in art history--Da Vinci in particular. He drew from life/nature--anything that caught his interest he invested time to investigate it. The same goes for many young artists today--we don't just have nature to draw from anymore--we have the internet, television, smart phones/tablets, you name it--we have access to all sorts of inspirations from around the world. We are no longer limited to just our surroundings--so, a lot of the time I disagree with people who say fine art comes from nature/feelings/natural things--in today's world it just doesn't work that way. Inspiration and observation can come from anything, anyone, at any time. Our options as artists are vast and I think that is truly a remarkable thing.
All this rambling set aside--I believe that anime/manga/cartoons do have a place in the fine art world--but, it really depends on what the message is be it political, metaphorical, or just the physical beauty of a piece. The artist has to back it up.
Murakami is a really hot topic for this since he is kind of the main guy that everyone thinks of when it comes to an anime style making a cross over to fine art. The message he puts out with his work concerning escapism is pretty interesting and it is a topic that you'll rarely hear being talked about over here anyway so it only makes since that his work has captured a lot of attention.
1.) What do you DISLIKE about anime art?
The term I like best for anime is that it is very "manufactured." A lot of the popular stuff is meant to be popular and appeal to a certain audience. I have seen a lot of really good anime, but its the crap stuff that is getting young people hooked on ideas that are horribly disproportionate to what can actually be done (Being an actual mangaka in Japan >.>). I have met several people in college that believe their horribly scribbled manga is going to be the next big hit and it is really difficult to understand why I am so different from someone that comes from similar influences as I have.
2.) Are there any GOOD anime-inspired artists (preferably illustrators) you'd like to recommend I use as examples?
Tsutomu Nihei, the artist for BLAME! I believe he was an architect before he decided to do manga. Example of his work: http://8th-circuit.com/sites/default/files/blame_5.jpg
Last edited by jeweledelephant; July 11th, 2012 at 04:11 PM. Reason: Spelling errors, derp
"In the age of the internet--ignorance is a choice."
Again, any ism is temporary (labels are given by critics and historians to define distinctive directions) but what makes one faddish?
Last edited by Elwell; July 12th, 2012 at 12:06 AM.
Bcarman - maybe faddish isn't the right word, but basically what I'm trying to get at is I see many artists using the conventions of graffiti art (or anime) without really giving a lot of thought as to why they are doing it. It was interesting at one point, but now it's a tired style in my opinion. Copying something for no other reason than 'lol it looks cool' can get old. Obviously isms come and go, but I feel like pop surrealism in its current form is way past its prime.
But hey - maybe I am just an art snob
Last edited by Kuroyue; July 12th, 2012 at 03:11 AM.
There's also cultural aspects as to why this word is not a good word to use - but hey people see a loose translation and think after watching anime that the Japanese language is actually spoken that way and thinks that's how Japanese is actually used!
So I don't know where you think it's "less offensive" because unkept social retard who might do things like to the point sexually molest younger kids (for example because they're obsessed with a certain hobby) or try to marry their fad is just being a geek. There are people in the states that are geeks...then there's what otaku actually are seen culturally.
Last edited by Arshes Nei; July 12th, 2012 at 06:53 AM.
There have to be about a hundred animes where a featured character is called an otaku by one of the other characters or by the creaters themselves, and the otakus are usually comic figures not dangerous axe murderers. So I'm guessing the word has two connotations even in Japan.
Anime is already a plural -it's short for "animation"
The other problem is anime is not really a good representation of what is Japan, anymore than Hollywood/movies is a good representation of what actually happens in the US. It is a form of entertainment and often uses language that is inappropriate to use in front of another Japanese person. That's why I said using Japanese words that you hear off your favorite anime is not exactly the best idea.
It would be like thinking "shorty/ho/bitch" is an appropriate word to use around women in the US because you enjoy Rap and think it's an accurate representation of how people talk in the US.
Last edited by Arshes Nei; July 12th, 2012 at 10:20 AM.
The ax-murderer comment was a throwback to Psychotime's link, I was in no way being literal with that. Maybe I should add more winky emotes or something.
The point was that they were made by japanese people for the consumption of a japanese audience and if they are fine with otaku being represented as comedic and slightly pitiable geeky fanboys/girls for the most part it's clear the word itself has two connotations, one being the way JesseM used it and the other being something more socially deviant and offensive. Just like the words shorty/bitch/ho in English.
So yes someone could potentially make an astounding faux pax using the word otaku in general conversation over in Japan if you're not aware of the nuance, but I see what's so terribly wrong with JesseM's use of the word here in this forum topic?
As I said "Any fan of Japanese culture would know better than to use the word otaku" - considering Jess is trying to make a case for Fine Art for anime...yeah.
Second poster came in "Well it is less offensive in Japan"
I explained why it is MORE offensive in Japan. So there you go.
Sexual harassment is also played for comedy in a lot of Japanese anime too, what's your point? So now TV used it, it's ok?
It's just I know lots of self-professed superfans of Japanese culture who use the word. It just seems like another 'real <somethings> don't...' discussion.
And no, that wasn't my point... but if you want to go down that route sexual harrassment is played a lot in our own television programs for comedic effect too. We also like to portray rape and killings in a rather gratuitous light, which is fine because most people know the difference between fiction on tv and when things shouldn't be taken too seriously or too literally. And thank gawd for that, or we'd all be in trouble.
I know fans like to use borrowed words because it makes them feel ...well cool and knowledgeable. They know more words than probably the average fan interested in the genre. I certainly do know words and things most people who couldn't be bothered past Pokemon or Yugi-Oh or a few popular shows would care about.
However, it's less of a "real fans don't" but you're trying to say you're really serious about making this paper - came over to CA for more info - and really it does kinda show how much you don't know. It's a paper on its place in fine art and that does show some cultural impact. It's impact on US culture is one thing...but doing this paper is kind of good about understanding the flip side of it as well.
Hell my user name is after a character in anime/manga...there's still things going on in Japanese anime I don't always understand because of the culture.
As for Japan's reaction about using this word we borrowed...company wise they're thinking about money. Once their economy tanked, anime and manga was actually their biggest good. Why bother if you need the money.
It was also interesting as a side note how if you go to a Japanese board, you better speak Japanese (and be aware of how you use it too) - here, if you speak another language - we're more...understanding (not to say it's perfect but..). You speak English on a Japanese board...*hmmm looks away makes a few faces...*
But if you want some more interesting anecdotes about usage - as stated it's pretty much for an obsessed fan. When my ex and I went out to the mall there was that cute little Train ride thing. He whispered over to me "look at the train otaku" it was a little boy who was dressed in a engineer's outfit who was ready to take his ride. Utterly adorable. However, I know he wouldn't have come up to his parents (specially if they were Japanese) and called their kid an otaku.
But really manga most of all covers a LOT of stuff. Not just the "hey this was made into a cartoon" because they pretty much cover every demographic out there. Salary men, cooks, sports etc...
I'm sure that most people are more into the other kind of stuff like fantasy, robots etc... and probably haven't seen any of the other genres out there too much. They probably won't cover it either - but the "cool shit we know and imported over here"
I guess it's kinda like, I wouldn't have found some interesting art where people were putting together products like food (and not still life) but my teacher talking about airbrushing techniques and said "I used sand to give texture to things like ice cream" then your eyes open and you go back to products where people illustrated food instead of photos and admire techniques. Heck sometimes you didn't even realize they weren't photos
So I dunno, I'd like to see something more covered than "man I saw these cool shows, time for a topic"
Isn't a paper about doing research and actually finding out more about a thing rather than trying to prove your own point, anyway?
It seems like a much more sensible title would be, "can anime be cathegorized as fine art?" Then you could break it down into, "what is fine art?", "what is anime?" and "which similarities/differences are there?"
this article. But anyway, I am willing to relinquish this point on account of my being at least partly wrong and this being off-topic in the first place.
Edit: Oh, by the way, the article I linked is an interview/discussion with Murakami Takashi and Okada Toshio, which may or may not be of interest to OP.
Edit2: I just found out that the "A Nightmare Is A Dream Come True: Anime Expressionist Paintings" Exhibition is curated by Murakami Takashi. Also, JNTHED, the artist I mentioned, works in Murakami's studio! That is pretty cool.
Last edited by Kuroyue; July 13th, 2012 at 04:52 PM.
Tobba - I don't know where I implied that I think anime is fine art.. that's NOT my point and I'm NOT trying to prove that. And the questions you listed pretty much have been what most of this discussion was... until it derailed into the justness of mixing foreign slang into your English conversations.
In the world of western fine art: Little to None. Even teacher in visual art school advise student to steer away from manga-anime art style, unless they really stand out and not some carbon copy fanart.Anime's place in the world of fine art
It's like how Asian men prefer asian woman. If you grew up with manga and anime, that will be your standard for what is beauty and what is not. If you grew up with western comic and cartoon, the standard change.
I can assure you that no two manga artists have the same style of drawing. No one predetermine what style anime and manga art must be.1.) What do you DISLIKE about anime art?
(the problem of 9 faces, too fanservicey/robot-filled, too many crap copiers who inhibit their own development by obeying a predetermined style, and/orrr..?)
and fanservice and robot: You are getting on the content, not anime and manga as a art medium.
Most anime are made by a few big name studio in the industry, it's their regconized style. So the problem of the same face, cliche, simple character, etc. It's all coming down to these studio. If a studio do only Gundam, they only do Gundam, if a studio do smut romance comedy with moe girl, they do just that in their operation life span.
Manga is another diffirent story all together. Every manga has diffirent art style.
When a manga is adapted into anime, studio take over the art, so what is signature in the manga maybe lost in the process.
you can search for youtube on this one, and compare it with the original manga. This is my latest watch so i'll see if i can remember any other example.
Plus manga and anime is a business, it's cost-effective. A artist can draw really beautiful but if he cant do it intime of deadline, he's pretty much shoot himself in the foot. Manga is balanced between drawing and telling the story.
Here is where i have problem with most people with diffirent viewpoint on Anime-manga.2.) Are there any GOOD anime-inspired artists (preferably illustrators) you'd like to recommend I use as examples?
(I've got a pretty good selection already, but am always looking for more. Fyi, they don't have to be Japanese.)
Some only look at A-M from the 90s.
Nowaday the line is blurred
take this one for example
some more Japanese fine art
You can see that they are A-M influenced, but it's already bordering on fine art.
Soejima Shigenori (persona)
Yoji Shinkawa (metal gear solid)
George Kamitani (Odin sphere and Masamura the Demon blade) ( the latter has beautiful Japanese watercolor style)
You should get their artbook, not the game itself.
Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari: really polish HD art.
Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt: for a shock treatment on Japanese Anime.
Sorry OP for putting in so much here, but i think if you were to do a presentation on A-M art, you better blow the audience away and change their perspective about A-M influenced art.
Last edited by Marverick; July 14th, 2012 at 01:46 AM.
It's CA.org. Topics get derailed on here all the time.
Frankly most topics that span several pages almost always get derailed into subtopics and discussions.
To be honest I find those artists much more generic than a lot of manga-drawings from the ninenties. And it's not bordering on being fine art just because it's semi-realistic. Semi-real and colorful manga inspired art seem to be the norm on DA in general. Not saying some of those artists aren't good. But a lot of it's so samey that I get bored really quickly looking at it.You can see that they are A-M influenced, but it's already bordering on fine art.
Well, they weren't the questions you listed. And to me the op reads as if you're saying manga/anime should really be treated as fine art (in your opinion) and then you ask about what's good and what's bad about anime art. Neither of which is very objective.Tobba - I don't know where I implied that I think anime is fine art.. that's NOT my point and I'm NOT trying to prove that. And the questions you listed pretty much have been what most of this discussion was... until it derailed into the justness of mixing foreign slang into your English conversations.
this is just like the time when i got into an arguement about whether Video game is art.
ya, just like every other artist that do just about everything art related.To be honest I find those artists much more generic than a lot of manga-drawings from the ninenties. And it's not bordering on being fine art just because it's semi-realistic. Semi-real and colorful manga inspired art seem to be the norm on DA in general. Not saying some of those artists aren't good. But a lot of it's so samey that I get bored really quickly looking at it.
really, who dont use human anatomy in their art, who dont draw perspective, who dont use line and color. To say they are generic it's like saying all asian looks alike.
you clearly disregard everything they do: their coloring, their concept, their texture, their etc
So this is what: They post their work on DA so they are not real artist now ? Anime-manga is popular therefore their art sucks now ?
I dont just post whatever i can find on the "all time favorite category", out of 3 links on DA: 1 of them got her artwork feature as a ImagineFX cover, 1 is a lead designer for a anime base on his original character.
i dont understand what you are suggesting: They are good, but they are also boring because you only look at the thumbnail and go "meh..." ?
Last edited by Marverick; July 14th, 2012 at 01:36 PM.
I believe the first DA artist you posted had been talked about in some debates about "same face" syndrome.
The second has some questionable anatomy issues.
http://redjuice999.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d1x148f - beautiful colors...but man...wtf arms. They're twigs. Also I am tired of women standing in utterly silly poses for the sake of design.
http://redjuice999.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d3hf4vn ....how do these legs work? Though again, I like the design.
http://redjuice999.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d3gffxj ok, it's an anime girl on top of a photo/3D environment and not well placed. This is such an irritating peeve of mine. At least make the elements work together!
Now the third gallery is basically the stuff people are complaining about in the "Bad concept art" thread. It's all young women doing kinda sexy things as objects. It's a bit frustrating.
Don't get me wrong as I said earlier there's some technical aspects of the art you linked that I can appreciate as a fellow artist. There's some good parts in design. But it is all the same in a sense...just like a lot of Fantasy and other Art follow the same problems.
Even saying that, what makes it into "fine art" these days baffles me as well.
Some of these illustrations hold well, others...don't.
Last edited by Arshes Nei; July 14th, 2012 at 05:09 PM.
It's interesting when people bring up realism as an issue because the anime style artists I've seen exhibited at the Tate and Baltic were bordering on as close to lack of realism as you could get. Lack of realism isn't exactly a problem for contemporary fine art, as I've heard many an illustrator and concept artist lament :p
Anime presented in the right format has already been accepted into the fine art sphere, but it's as of yet unknown how far it's influence goes. Judging from my time at art college where almost everyone had anime references pinned in their studios (and one person a full on Akira shrine) it extends quite far, but not necessarily in a way that's readily visible. Which is a shame really
I think people confuse believability with realism, people confuse "photographic" with "realism". But anyways.
I also agree that there can be anime and manga presented in the fine arts - I just didn't feel the above were good examples. Miyazaki would be a good example, Kenji's spring http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_and_Chaos would seem more arthouse and fine arts. Buichi Terasawa not sure if he's fine arts, but he was definitely interesting and had made interesting Sci Fi. Hajime Sorayama is an illustrator and has done art for anime/manga characters - notably Cutey Honey...
If you look at artworks from CLAMP they had quite a bit of influence from Alphonse Mucha in Appa's (Mokona) work.
There have been debates with illustrators and fine arts in the past as well...so *shrugs*
But like I said a lot don't go past the shows they see on TV and what's imported to really research it.
Mmmhmm I know you weren't the one to bring it up Arshes, just felt like adding for Tobba.
I don't think I ever said fine art had to be realistic?
I just don't see what it is you want to prove/find out? Fine art is just a term slapped onto art made for certain purposes. Like Bill Carman said, why do you want to force a square peg down a circular hole?
I know there are fine artists who work in an animé style, as proven by the very first response in this thread. But as far as I understand it, that's not the issue here.
Check out Robot Carnival, along with Angel's Egg and this list here.
You may want to check out Mamoru Oshii
(wikipedia), the director of
(wikipedia), director of Paprika.
One issue here is that it is very difficult to make experimental long-form anime.
Because you have to pay a lot of people a lot of money to spend a lot of time drawing it.
That means having to deal with a studio for funding and so on, and to some extent a subset of the public's tastes.
This is not an issue with film live actors for experimental film, or shorter form experimental anime.
Market forces have changed anime a lot, recently, btw: