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Answerman - Did Westerners Always Call It Anime?


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Kikaioh



Joined: 01 Jun 2009
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Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:16 pm Reply with quote
Wow, this article actually brought back a distinct memory of renting an anime VHS from Blockbuster back in the 90's and being interested at the "Japanimation" terminology on the back. Great stuff.
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Vukir



Joined: 23 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:26 pm Reply with quote
Strange to read. For as long as I can remember is was 'Anime', and this goes back to watching Robotech on VHS tapes in the early 90's.

I have no actual evidence, but I remember waking up in the early morning on Sunday to watch whatever anime movie they were running on the Sci-Fi channel that day. Thought Sci-Fi already referred to it as that. Maybe my memory simply starts after the solidification of the term.
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:30 pm Reply with quote
Where did the word "Japanime" come from? I see it uttered occasionally (and is most famously used in The Simpsons episode "30 Minutes Over Tokyo) and most recently last month in that podcast feedback I mentioned somewhere else where the co-host had to explain that anime is "Japanime." (Link)

Was it some sort of mutation by onlookers who knew anime and "Japanimation" are the same thing, but they accidentally combined the terms and it spread?
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TheOtakuX



Joined: 16 Jan 2014
Posts: 252
Location: Wooster, Ohio
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:39 pm Reply with quote
leafy sea dragon wrote:
Where did the word "Japanime" come from? I see it uttered occasionally (and is most famously used in The Simpsons episode "30 Minutes Over Tokyo) and most recently last month in that podcast feedback I mentioned somewhere else where the co-host had to explain that anime is "Japanime." (Link)

Was it some sort of mutation by onlookers who knew anime and "Japanimation" are the same thing, but they accidentally combined the terms and it spread?


Actually, they said it in the episode "HOMЯ", which opened with them going to an animation festival.
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amagee



Joined: 08 Nov 2010
Posts: 333
Location: Orlando, FL
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:41 pm Reply with quote
Having gotten my start in the Toonami era, I never really heard anime referred to as "Japanimation" til very much later.

The two most recent times were pretty fun:

Our local NPR station called something "Japanimation" and I sent a nice email letting the reporter know the term was different. He responded positively and thanked me (he had been assigned the story and had just asked around the studio til he found someone with a unique word for Japanese animation).

The most recent time was a local runner of comic book conventions. He's a friend of a friend and he bragged about how he likes to call it "Japanimation" in order to denigrate it because he thinks it sounds better for being racist. Mind you, in nearly the same breath, he admitted that he has to cater to anime fans in order to keep the conventions he works in from collapsing financially because anime fans who got into comics and sci-fi stuff are almost exclusively the younger demographic at those shows.
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HdE



Joined: 17 Nov 2015
Posts: 47
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:44 pm Reply with quote
This was a really interesting read.

Personally, I've never understood the hang up over terminology. I mean, I title the features on my Youtube anime channel 'When Are You Gonna Stop Watching Those Cartoons?!' - it's only ever drawn one comment. (The title actually comes from something Crispin Freeman said in an interview once, but... eh. People either get it or they don't.)

To me, it's never been especially important WHAT we collectively call anime. It's the movies and shows themselves that have always been the center of my attention.

That said, I've never been fond of the term 'Japanimation'. It always seemed a bit too close to some of the derogatory terms my old school chums used to use for anime. Which, wouldn't you know it, HAD to focus on the fact that these things came from Japan.


Last edited by HdE on Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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HeeroTX



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
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Location: Austin, TX
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:48 pm Reply with quote
Pre-90s, I think it was all just "animation" (maybe some people now would look at that as the "golden age" for lack of silo-ing), but I may be off as I was not in the "scene" before the 90s.
Here's the break down of terms:
Anime - nerd cred, you're a member of the small niche that actually knows and appreciates the stuff. You're what people now would call a "true fan".
JapAnimation - friend/family of the above. You're aware that Akira and He-Man are not exactly the same thing, but you're not really versed in the specifics beyond anime "comes from Japan". May or may not actually care beyond whatever knowledge is imparted by the "fan".
Cartoons - philistine, "normie", you think Tom & Jerry and Legend of the Overfiend are synonymous and don't understand why anyone over the age of 10 would watch cartoons. You either need to be avoided like the plague or (if there's a CHANCE of you becoming a fan) you need to be vociferously and psychotically disabused of the notion that anime is even remotely comparable to "cartoons".
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AkiraKaneda



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:51 pm Reply with quote
In 1994, I did a final project for a college video editing class that I entitled "Japanimation," which was a presentation of clips from various shows and films with a brief intro to each one. At that point in time, "Japanimation" was absolutely the preferred term in the circles I knew. By 1997, though, when I started a website, "anime" had taken the lead and never looked back. So it was a relatively short time period for one term to disappear and another to take its place.
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Tempest_Wing



Joined: 07 Nov 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:00 pm Reply with quote
From what I can vaguely remember when I was a kid in the early 2000s, I remember the term Japanimation, but thought it was mostly done tongue in cheek. I didn't think it was a legitimate term for the type of animation.
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lheiskell
Industry Insider


Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 233
Location: Fort Worth, TX
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:05 pm Reply with quote
For reference, I've got some ad scans to share from my anime nostalgia site.

Ghost In the Shell "The Japanimation Event of 1996"
http://animenostalgiabomb.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Ghost-In-The-Shell-Manga-VHS-Ad-Suncoast-Anime.jpg

Using Animé
http://animenostalgiabomb.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Lights-Camera-Anime-Action-Suncoast-Video-Anime-Ad.jpg

AOL Japanimation keyword and Japanimation Station that Justin referred to: http://animenostalgiabomb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Slayers-anime-VHS-Ad.jpg
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SpacemanHardy



Joined: 03 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:11 pm Reply with quote
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Anime World Order



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 386
Location: Florida
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:20 pm Reply with quote
The term "Japanimation" as a term used by fans in America is a good bit older than the days of Central Park Media's marketing back in the early 1990s: the term was used by ordinary fans throughout much of the 1980s (possibly also the 1970s), as the Star Blazers / Space Battleship Yamato fans in the US started to organize and identify. You can look through old fanzines as well as SF publications to see it in use.

That's actually easier to do nowadays, as people are scanning them for archival purposes. Here's an article from 1986's Starlog Issue 105 by C/FO co-founder Fred Patten, as an example.

Who actually coined the phrase when is of some contention. The most common answer I've been given is "Rob Fenelon did it" though when I interviewed Rob in 2008 (EDIT: I'm having periodic trouble with the blog hosting but the hosting for the show itself is solid; here is the direct download link if you got an error on the other one), he notes that while he was indeed someone who proposed the term, the organic conclusion of "it's from Japan and it's animation, so we can call it Japanimation" came about independently by several different people across the country at roughly the same time.

The term basically fell out of grace in favor of "anime" around the 1980s, when anti-Japanese sentiment was at a high and people would be inclined to use it as a pejorative slur by way of emphasis on the first syllable. (That I can't actually write the hyphenated form of the word on this forum without the phpBB word filter correcting it to "Japanese animation" is telling. Sure, it can be circumvented, but you get the idea.) But even as recently as the 2000s, I would hear the Japanese guests at conventions use the term "Japanimation" as they figured that's the term everyone in America knew.


Last edited by Anime World Order on Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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Flah



Joined: 18 May 2014
Posts: 25
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:25 pm Reply with quote
Man, I remember learning about and watching the Japanimations and aneems and magnas when I was younger. What a time that was to be alive.

Yes, that's really what I used to call them back in the day.
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Weazul-chan



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 617
Location: Michigan
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:26 pm Reply with quote
I've had some people who were from Japan and familiar with the history of anime inside Japan tell me back when they were still calling it manga-eiga instead of anime there it actually was reasonably common that they'd just call the animated stuff manga for short. so basically it isn't inaccurate to call it manga either, or at least it wasn't inaccurate at one point.

and no anime on TV in any form? really? stuff was getting on US television, just usually edited (StarBlazers, Robotech, Voltron) or stuff you couldn't easily tell was from Japan unless you already knew (The Little Prince, Noozles, Mysterious Cities of Gold). heck, pretty much all the way thru middle school I was catching stuff on TV that turned out to be Japanese animation that was either on its first run or in syndication and being reran periodically. by the point I hit high school stuff like Sailor Moon was being aired on TV already and SyFy (then Sci-Fi) had their late nigh anime block on Saturdays.
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akari_house



Joined: 12 Oct 2007
Posts: 12
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:29 pm Reply with quote
Japanimation definitely predates CPM's usage.

The term was used previously in the 1980s in early anime groups like the C/FO and even appeared in Animage magazine in reference to anime fandom abroad.

The term "Japanimation" continued to be used in Japan after falling out of favor in English, but to refer specifically to anime exported to the West. I've still seen it pop up in industry stuff from there time to time.

FWIW, I also had a small high school anime club in 1987 called "Japanime", although we came to quickly regret the name choice. Club activities--aside from showings--included making really, really primitive AMVs using two VHS recorders with an audio cassette machine patched in the middle (which we then showed at club day to promote the club) and writing synopses for our showings as nothing was available subtitled in those days. Very Happy

edit: ha, AWO's post went up while I was typing this up. Very Happy
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