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Batman Gotham Knight is not anime. Please bracket it with "U.S".


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NearEasternerJ1



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:32 pm Reply with quote
Why does Batman Gotham Knight not have as U.S bracket after its title? It was produced, written and directed in the U.S. Sure, the animation production came from various anime studios, as well as the various segment directors, but to say Batman GK is anime is disingenuous. Batman GK is no more "anime" than the other DC DTVs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman:_Gotham_Knight

Also, why does Street Fighter and Mega Man have "US" brackets, despite the fact that actual production for both partly came from Japan? A bit of consistency would be nice. If you say Batman GK *is* anime, then you might as well say Ghost in the Shell SAC is an British/American cartoon. After all, 3 American*/British companies partly produced the show. You might as well say that the first movie is a British move. After all, Manga owns the copyrights and will forever own the copyrights to the movie.

*Bandai Entertainment was an *American* subsidiary of Bandai and therefore, was an American company.
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Mr Adventure



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:27 pm Reply with quote
Gotham Knights isn't 'anime' solely because it's media produced for a primarily English audiance first. It's the same reason Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within isn't 'anime'. Even though it's entire production was Japanese.

Same reason why all the English direct to DVD 'anime' movies aren't anime.
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dormcat
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:32 pm Reply with quote
NearEasternerJ1 wrote:
A bit of consistency would be nice.

I agree with you on this. However, if we are about to set up standards and rules, it's better to be cautious and thorough.

The animation staff (from directors to entry-level in-betweeners) should not be the deciding factor. After all there are anime directed by non-Japanese, not to mention numerous (if not all) recent titles have been subcontracted to Korean and Chinese animation studios.

Premiere dates (TV or movie) cannot be the deciding factor ALONE; there are many Hollywood movies premiered outside US days or even weeks prior to domestic theatrical releases. However, if a title has not been aired or released in Japan after couple of YEARS of US premiere then I'd say it's safe to call it an US cartoon animated by Japanese studios.

Personally I'd say the deciding factor should be the planning producer and/or the chair (person or company) of the production committee. However, few titles would have this information available to the general public. In that case the copyright notice line should provide indirect information.


A similar case (and dilemma) is The Animatrix: The omnibus is part of The Matrix franchise that owned by Warner Bros., while two of its eight mini-movies, Matriculated and The Final Flight of the Osiris, have virtually no Japanese staff involved. Shall we mark the entire omnibus as "US" or just the two out of eight? I prefer the former, but other opinions welcomed.


Mr Adventure wrote:
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Thanks for reminding; it's about time to reorganize the relationship tree of the franchise (the original game franchise has no direct continuities, let alone derived works on other media).
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Calathan
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:02 pm Reply with quote
Personally, I would say a work of animation is anime if the primary production studio is Japanese, and isn't anime if the primary production studio isn't Japanese. So for Batman: Gotham Knight, since the primary studios working on each segment are Japanese, I would consider it anime. For Street Fighter (U.S. TV), Wikipedia (citing imdb) says that it was primarily produced by a US company called InVision Entertainment, so I think that should be considered a U.S. production even if a lot of work was also done by Japanese studios. So I disagree with NearEasternerJ1 that those should be changed or that they are inconsistent.

I do also think dormcat's suggestion that if something isn't released in Japan (or not released there until years after it is released elsewhere), then it shouldn't be considered anime, is reasonable. However, it doesn't make sense to me to call something not anime just because a company outside Japan paid for it to be made. So I would say anything made primarily by a production company in Japan and released in Japan (reasonably soon after being made) should be considered anime, even if a non-Japanese company paid for it, or a non-Japanese person wrote the story. That basically seems to be how things are classified currently in the encyclopedia, so I'm generally against changing what is or isn't labeled as "U.S." right now.

However, one case I do think is inconsistent and should be changed is Iron Man: Rise of Technovore (OAV) and Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher (U.S. movie). They were both produced by the same studio with a similar art style, and the events of Iron Man: Rise of Technovore are referenced in Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher, making them in the same continuity. The only real difference is that Iron Man: Rise of Technovore was released in the US one week before it was released in Japan, while Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher was released in the US several months before it was released in Japan. I don't think that is a substantive enough difference to call one a Japanese production and the other a U.S. production. I think both should be labeled as anime. (Dormcat, if I remember correctly, I brought that up in another forum thread, and at the time it wasn't clear if Avengers Confidential was getting a Japanese release, but it did indeed get a Japanese release as listed here).
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dormcat
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:48 pm Reply with quote
Calathan wrote:
Personally, I would say a work of animation is anime if the primary production studio is Japanese, and isn't anime if the primary production studio isn't Japanese.

I think we have to define the word "production" here: fundraising or animating?

My red line: Any rule applies to an American project animated by Japanese studios has to be equally applied to a Japanese project animated by Korean / Chinese studios.
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:11 pm Reply with quote
I gather that it is not a matter of if a show will appear in the Encyclopedia but rather how it will be labeled. Am I correct?

If that is the case, I think that as a matter of logic, anything based on a US franchise would require special scrutiny. What I would look at is which company initiated the project, who paid for it and where the primary audience lies. If for instance, the works listed by Calathan above were commissioned by Marvel, the studio was paid by Marvel and the initial audience was the US than it is not anime. It doesn't matter who wrote it or animated it. On the other hand, if a Japanese studio paid license fees to DC or Marvel for an established franchise, used the characters by permission and issued it in Japan with US sale being an afterthought it would be anime.

A good example of the latter would be the Witchblade anime. This is a lesser known but existing franchise of Top Cow, a US comic book company. The Japanese studio used only the concept and not the characters from the original. It was made with Top Cow's permission but was issued initially in Japan and as far as I can tell had to be licensed for a US release. The same thing with the manga which other then the concept was unrelated to either the anime series or the US comic. While it was pushed by Top Cow the official publisher was Bandai.

If you use this criteria, that is who commissioned it, who paid for it and where the intended audience is, the fact that an anime was animated in Korea wouldn't matter.
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Mr Adventure



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:25 pm Reply with quote
Again, my personal critieria is 'what country was the production intended for first?' You can't go by animation studio, or Avatar, Korra, or The Simpson's would be 'anime'. You can't go by who pays for it, because the way anime is typically funded is by a collection of region and international media companies.

Calathan wrote:

However, one case I do think is inconsistent and should be changed is Iron Man: Rise of Technovore (OAV) and Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher (U.S. movie). They were both produced by the same studio with a similar art style, and the events of Iron Man: Rise of Technovore are referenced in Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher, making them in the same continuity. The only real difference is that Iron Man: Rise of Technovore was released in the US one week before it was released in Japan, while Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher was released in the US several months before it was released in Japan. I don't think that is a substantive enough difference to call one a Japanese production and the other a U.S. production. I think both should be labeled as anime. (Dormcat, if I remember correctly, I brought that up in another forum thread, and at the time it wasn't clear if Avengers Confidential was getting a Japanese release, but it did indeed get a Japanese release as listed here).


The Iron Man and Avengers direct to DVD movies are good examples. Both were intended for English audiences first. And therefor are not anime.

Something like that Wolverine anime, or Marvel: Disc Wars are anime because they were intended for Japan audiences first.

Witchblade is another good example of this. Licensed American property, intended for Japan regions first. Latter Licensed back to North America. Therefore, Anime.

Course then you have something like the new Lupin the Third anime that's getting first run in ITALY of all places. Does kind of complicate matters a tiny bit.
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Dessa



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:27 pm Reply with quote
I think that the good ol' "anime is animation done by Japan, for Japan" is a good basis to start with for where to place these joint projects.

Question 1: Is the target audience Japanese?
Question 2: Is the project also targeted to US audiences?
Question 3: Is the US an equal target audience, or a secondary audience?
Question 4: Is it directly related to an anime title?

In the case of Witchblade, the answer to question 1 is that yes, it's targeted to the Japanese. So we move to question 2. No, Witchblade wasn't really targeted at a US audience. So we can stop and say that it's anime.

For the Marvel/DC titles mentioned in this thread, the answer to question 1 is debatable, but the answer to question 2 is most definitely that they're also targeted to US audiences. So we move on to question 3, in which I'd say that the US would be an equal target audience, not secondary. So I'd say that it's sufficiently proven that it's not made "by/for" Japan, it's just as much made for the US, so it's not anime (but related).

To bring in another in a similar title, the Marvel anime series (Iron Man, Blade, Wolverine, X-Men). These ones were targeted to Japan, and while they later aired in the US, the US was definitely a secondary market. Those I'd say definitely are anime.

And finally, I'll bring up Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. It was targeted both at Japan and the US, and fairly evenly (it was also released in the US first). But it's also related to another anime title, so it's anime. Big O season 2 would be in the same situation.
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Calathan
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:13 pm Reply with quote
dormcat wrote:
I think we have to define the word "production" here: fundraising or animating?

My red line: Any rule applies to an American project animated by Japanese studios has to be equally applied to a Japanese project animated by Korean / Chinese studios.


I meant animation production, not fundraising. I've noticed that there is an ANN lexicon entry for anime which says in part "On Anime News Network, we define anime based on the origin of the animation. If it is primarily produced in Japan, it is anime." That is almost exactly what I was trying to say (even though I didn't realize the lexicon entry was there until now).

I also agree about applying the same rules to Japanese projects animated in Korea or China. If the primary animation studio is in Japan, I don't think it matters if they farm out a lot of tasks to Korea or China, I would still call it anime. If a Japanese company paid a Korean or Chinese company to entirely animate a series, I wouldn't call that anime even if the finished work intended primarily for Japan.

Mr Adventure wrote:
The Iron Man and Avengers direct to DVD movies are good examples. Both were intended for English audiences first. And therefor are not anime.


I just don't agree with that. I would say that since they are made in Japan by an anime studio, they are anime, regardless of who the main market for the work was. I might think differently if they were only intended for the US and then someone just came along a decided to license them for Japan later, but in this case I really don't think that is what happened. In the case of those movies, I'm confident that a Japanese release was always intended, even if they expected them to sell more copies in the US.

Also, I'm not even sure that Iron Man: Rise of Technovore was intended for US audiences first. As I mentioned in my previous post, it got a near simultaneous release in Japan (1 week after the US release), so it might have been intended for both equally.

Dessa wrote:

Question 1: Is the target audience Japanese?
Question 2: Is the project also targeted to US audiences?
Question 3: Is the US an equal target audience, or a secondary audience?
Question 4: Is it directly related to an anime title?


I don't exactly agree with these criteria. However, if we were to go with those criteria, I think Question 3 should be if the US (or any country other than Japan) is a greater target audience than Japan. If something is animated in Japan and intended equally for Japanese and US audiences, I think almost anyone would say it is anime. For example, I would say The Mysterious Cities of Gold is anime even though it was intended all along to be shown in both Japan and France. It is things animated in Japan but intended primarily for audiences elsewhere that I think are more debatable.
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dormcat
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:54 pm Reply with quote
Calathan wrote:
I meant animation production, not fundraising. I've noticed that there is an ANN lexicon entry for anime which says in part "On Anime News Network, we define anime based on the origin of the animation. If it is primarily produced in Japan, it is anime." That is almost exactly what I was trying to say (even though I didn't realize the lexicon entry was there until now).

Unfortunately the lexicon entry didn't define "produced in Japan" very clearly.

Let's take the blockbuster movie Life of Pi as an example: adapted from a novel written by Yann Martel, a Québécois born in Spain, about the story of an Indian boy (hence most main casts are Indian), directed by Ang Lee (born in Taiwan) and filmed most scenes in a huge wave-generating pool built at now-abandoned Taichung Shui-nan Airport. Yet the movie is still regarded as "American" because it's produced (financially) and distributed by Fox.
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NearEasternerJ1



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 5:39 am Reply with quote
My definition of "anime" is quite clear. Anything primarily produced, written, directed and conceived in Japan. Big O II, despite the American influences in the script and the production, it is still anime, because the bulk of the production and conception was done in Japan. There are co-productions like Mega Man with Japanese production and executive-production, as well as animation, but the writing and direction is American. It is more "American" but can be seen as anime, IMHO.

We then have Witchblade, which is anime, as it was produced and written in Japan, as well as directed in Japan, but had some US funding. Most of the MADHOUSE Marvel shows were anime. Aside from funding, nothing is American, really. Ditto with Disk Wars.

Batman Gotham Knight was produced, written, conceived and directed in America, by Americans. It was recorded IN English first, but has anime mouth flaps, since it is anime-INFLUENCED. It is no less American than any other DTV.

I must also stress that in many anime, who is in charge of the animation production means squat. Unless you're Production IG, Ghibli, Sunrise, Kyoto Animation or TMS, animation studios do not form part of the production committee. Hell, even IG wasn't listed as part of the "Production" in the 1995 GITS movie. It was merely listed as the "Production Studio" and "Animation Production" studio. IG's work on Batman GK was comparable to their work on the first GITS. A Manga Entertainment/Kodansha/Bandai Visual film (as per copyright) with Production IG at the helm of the animation.
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Calathan
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:00 pm Reply with quote
NearEasternerJ1, I would still say that who is doing the animation is what matters. It just seems nonsensical to me to say that the same animation studio working in Japan is making anime when a Japanese company paid for the work and a Japanese person wrote the script, but isn't making anime when a non-Japanese company paid for it and a non-Japanese person wrote the script. It is the same people doing the animation, so why should they be considered any different? Sure, one could be considered a joint US/Japanese work while the other could be considered only Japanese, but I would still say that joint US/Japanese work is anime since it is animated by an anime studio in Japan (primarily . . . obviously they farm work out to other places, but as I said before, I think the primary animation studio is what matters).

I would call an "anime-influenced" work one where the main animation studio isn't Japanese, but is trying to emulate a Japanese anime style. I don't think it is reasonable to call a work animated in Japan by an anime studio "anime-influenced".
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 2:10 pm Reply with quote
I think you are missing the point here. No one directly answered my initial question, but as far as I can tell, no one is trying to ban anything made in Japan from the Encyclopedia or to declare it "not anime". All that is at issue is how something is listed in the Encyclopedia. Am I correct??

As far as I'm concerned if a show is made from a US franchise, with US money, and intended for primary release in the US, that is a significant fact about the show. It needs to be acknowledged some where on the main page. Perhaps just a short line saying "Joint US/Japanese production, or Joint French/Japanese production as appropriate. If someone cares and knows the specifics of who did what and to whom can be provided as a trivia note.

By the same logic, an anime about a US franchise that was licensed by the Japanese production committee for release in Japan probably needs that acknowledged to prevent confusion. Especially is it is something like a well know super hero.

If something is from Japanese material and is intended for the Japanese market but a portion of the work is done elsewhere, that can be handled in the credits, to the extent it is known.

You don't have to say "this is not anime". All you have to do is state the presence of international issues if they exist.
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dormcat
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:42 pm Reply with quote
Alan45 wrote:
I think you are missing the point here. No one directly answered my initial question, but as far as I can tell, no one is trying to ban anything made in Japan from the Encyclopedia or to declare it "not anime". All that is at issue is how something is listed in the Encyclopedia. Am I correct??

Correct.
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Dan42
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:48 pm Reply with quote
Alan45 wrote:
no one is trying to ban anything made in Japan from the Encyclopedia or to declare it "not anime". All that is at issue is how something is listed in the Encyclopedia.

Yes, we're not banning or deleting the title, BUT... we if mark something as a "U.S. movie", it won't show up in the alphabetical listing (because U.S. movies are not the primary focus of the Encyclopedia). So we are in a sense judging if it qualifies as "anime".

This one is a bit tricky because it's not simply "by Japanese for Japanese".

A lot of criteria have been proposed in this thread to decide what makes something anime:
financed/owned by Japanese no
targetted to Japanese no
written by Japanese no
primary animation studio in Japan yes
character/mecha design by Japanese yes
storyboarded/directed by Japanese yes
animated by Japanese yes
released in Japan first no
dubbed in Japanese first no


IMHO the key point is creative control. Who took the creative decisions. Yes, it was financed and written by Americans, but it was designed, storyboarded, directed and animated by Japanese. It seems to me that the Japanese staff had full creative control. So it's a co-production, not just a case of off-shoring. And we don't mark co-productions with a special "U.S." identifier, although it would certainly make sense to mention something about it in the page.
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