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Submitted on
August 2, 2008


224 (who?)
Long time no news post, however something has grabbed my attention as of late.

Something i believe is worth writing about. Someone boldly stated to me: 'Anime is not Art fool!' and i replied, slightly irritated, 'Anime is art! if its not, tell me what is!'

And then there was some heated debate which I won’t go into details with. But it did get me thinking:
a) Why don’t people consider anime art?
b) Can anime really be considered a legitimate art form?

SasoDei: Bwest Fweinds :3 by neapolean:thumb92217269::thumb83319701:

I guess to understand this we'll need a little context. Get out your history books kiddos!

When i think manga i think cartoons, however its origins go much further back then that (800 years!), and began as drawings in temples. The pictures can be considered forerunners of modern day manga because of their hard edged, often exaggerated contour. In the 1600's this new style of drawing began to be replicated on wooden blocks, and by the 1700's books began to be developed. It should be noted that these books and wooden drawings were aimed predominantly at an adult audience! Over the next century 'manga' books began to be developed and soon became a defined form of literature in Japan.

With the development of animation in America and Europe, Japan too, began to release their own films known as 'Anime'. In 1940 over 40% of the countries filmic output was anime, and although in the western world these 'cartoons' were adored by children, in Japan it was enjoyed by people of all ages.

And that marks the end of the contextual information paragraph/s. Now..

+Sakura+ by Bunny-chan15Air Gear: Kururu by ahnline:thumb21522189:

a) why don’t people consider anime art?
Now this is a tough question considering i cant speak for everyone in this world, (and there are alot of people, alot of opinionated people remember!), this is really my opinion, so in your replies (if i get any ha-ha) I challenge you to think about this, and answer it for yourself!

Personally I think its because people don’t understand what art is (but then again who does..). To call anime 'art' you have to understand what art is, and although you may just whip out your dictionary and look it up under 'A' its not that simple - art lacks a proper definition, and in the end it all relies on your context (the way you have been brought up) and personal opinion.

For example, a person who has been brought up watching anime will have a different opinion to someone who hasn’t. In my case, I’ve been educated in Art history to the point where i have a huge appreciation for art of any form.

So, the bottom line is, define art for yourself.
and see if anime falls into that category.
Because we cant even start to say what something is or isn’t, if we don’t understand what 'it' is first.

Commission - Mirazie's Mikael by TerrorEffectSmile like you mean it. by tankuriGaia Commish by Day-Li

b) Can anime really be considered a legitimate art form?
This is an age old question, and it’s almost like deja vu, because so many times in history we have challenged what art is. I find the best example to be the Abstract Expressionists. Could you call a canvas splattered with paint art? The past me is screaming 'Hell no!', and the present me is saying, 'Why yes you can'. The moment Jackson Pollock spontaneously splattered paint all over his canvas he was creating art. Abstract, expressionist art; art that was created from his inner feelings. Don’t we all feel that? Whenever we pick up our pen and draw, its like our feelings are the ink. Right?

Anime artists draw from their feelings like the abstract expressionists. We use hard edged contours and benday dots like the pop artists. Some of us work from every day experience adding our own flair like the Dadaists. Others focus on light and colour, like the Impressionists and Heidelberg artists.

The point is:

If you can call Jackson Pollocks 'Number 31' art.
.::Abstract FMA::. by warldx (abstract form)
If you can call Claude Monets 'White water lilies' art.
(focus on light)
If you can call Andy Warhols 'Campells soup' art.
(hard edged contour, Lichtensteins use of benday dots)
If you can call Marcel Duchamps 'Bicycle wheel' art.
:thumb63355526: (every day influence, for me that’s going to school)
If you can call Leonardo Da vinci's 'Mona Lisa' art.
:thumb93086197: (portrait, ambiguous expression)

Then an unconscious part of you is calling anime art!
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Yukitalia Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow. That was just... Wow. I love it.
Adamek1926 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
For me it's overused style, that everyone uses and don't have their own style. That is the stupidity of it. It looks cool yeah, that is true. But I think you should get something more ,,ORIGINAL".
QuietxBookworm Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013
It's not really the place of an amateur like me to say anything and it's not like I want to disrespect your opinion but I'd like to put forward a few points.
Manga isn't a specific style, it's more like a broad field that has a few fences but is separated into thousands of crops. Most girls (of course some girls don't) do like the "cute" style that has popped up with the big eyes but there's also sharper, more realistic manga and graceful, loose "sub-styles" as well. Unless someone purposefully tries to imitate the style of someone else, they will usually have a unique type of drawing that, even if it's just a tiny bit, is different from others.
What style you has doesn't matter, what you do with it does. Drawing portraits of people realistically is called art. It is also overused in most art classes up until high school. Drawing what you see in front of you, is that "original"? (No disrespect, I actually appreciate art like that, I'm just trying to use what could be said as an example.)
I'm currently running short on time so I'm just going to find simple sketches of figures to use as examples. This style is quite different [link] from [link]
I'm sorry for butting in and I know this comment was several months ago.
putt125 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Anime can be considered art, but people don't see anime as really like Picasso or Leonardo Da Vinci. (of course)
But anime is a quality of art but anime dosnt really have a definition of their own style compared to each other especially in most professional artists. The art among others end up looking the same.

Now their are some that create their own unique style with out the use of multiple things in the backround or multiple factions of color. And some anime artist just draw to draw while other artist have that backbone of inspiration and feeling, while anime artist draw random things and probly why they arnt taken seriously by the public besides other anime artist and people unknown to anime.

But I do digress, the point of view of this opinion is just a regular person. And the point of view of a professional anime artist, and a professional realism/cubism/whateveism. Are extremely diffrent.
CloudRider99 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012  Student General Artist
I find it funny that people say that manga isn't art, and yet something like De Stijl (or even an orange canvas, as in an Australian art museum) can count as art. So they're trying to tell us that an ORANGE CANVAS has more artistic quality than manga?
hermengarde Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2011  Student General Artist
I consider anime more like a vehicle than art by itself. To me, anime and manga were the tools I've learned over the years and that I now use to express myself. Because art to me is expression of the all or of the nothing inside the artist's mind, and whenever I create a character and draw him/her in a particular pose or situation, I am canalizing my mood to the paper or digital canvas. I could have learned realism, abstraccionism, photography, but I chose manga style for being so flexible and eye-catching.
Also, people who draw manga will consider it art because they know how much effort was put into it that some conservative critics will never be able to see through.
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
Kinggigasmon Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
If people can consider whatever Jackson Pollock makes art, then anime can be considered art, too.
Hallowed-Beauty Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2011
I thought the anime 'style' was created by one guy? So doesn't that mean that effectively all these people who draw anime are just copying a style? Isn't anime fan art copying a style? How is that art? Art should be original; it can be influenced by other artists, but outright copying it, such as the anime 'artists' do? That isn't art.
Monochrome-Colors Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Yes, the original idea was because of 1 person. But, many people have taken that and developed it into their own styles of drawing that particular form of art. Everybody adds their own flair onto their drawings.
madlink Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2011
why should someone be so nit-picky on anime being artistic/creative. being creative means your method of your tools (whatever that/those may be). i could care less if every anime/manga series is something completely new as long as i enjoy it.

the most important thing is that the consumer enjoys the product.

i've heard from someone that finds so much fanart and is disgusted when the artist claims that they're so great for what they do. to me, they're just like 5-year olds but with a fandom.

i enjoy the style of anime and manga. i don't plan on making a living on art, but that's mostly because i might just draw in the manga style. again, i don't take it THAT seriously, i just enjoy it.

remember, it's just entertainment. we lived without it and we can adjust to the lack of it.
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