This ranting will probably offend a lot of people, not on any ethical, moral, or even in-any-way-practical grounds, but on a very petty level. Heck, the initial spiel occurred about a month ago now, and it really got under someone's skin. In that time, however, I've been able to make my argument even more air tight. So, thank you, guy-who-contridicted-me, you've worked to only make my case stronger. Hah!
Do you know what has really been getting on my nerves as of late? By which I mean the last few months/years ... People faking Anime, and poorly at that. At first, it just seemed like a minor nuissance, no real harm comes from a poorly talented teenage girl putting up her pencil doodles of the-same-stock-Sailor-Moon-looking-style-that-everyone-seems-to-use-on-Angelfire, but I've seen this grow madly out of control over time. It seems that near everyone nowadays draws with an Anime flare ("everyone" being "at the unprofessional level"), which is begining to bug me. Why? Unless its Anime fan art or you happen to be Asian or something, be original instead. Of course, as with all things, it only becomes a problem to me when I encounter it personally.
I had a job interview a while back (well, six, actually, that day sure was long), and, to take up space, I had the phrase "Casual Artist" listed as a personal strength, which, of course, is an utter lie, as it would be, if anything, a weakness since it cuts into my poorly managed time. Heh heh -_-' Anyhoo, when one of the interviewers noted that, he, like the others who did, asked what type of art I dabbled in. When I said "fantasy", his immediate response was "So, like Anime?" Granted, the guy was Asian, but it just ticked me off. Is it just to be expected nowadays?
And this isn't the first time this has happened to me. People seem to be very poor at relating. Any time anything Shadow Aura is seen, first thought in peoples mind: "So, it's like a Pokeee mon?" Yarg! They can't even get it said right! Someone actually once compared Nekro, a black haired, masked and skeletal armored sorceror, to Sephiroth! Now, really! Such enraging comparisons is actually one of the factors that drove me to create the Knamu race (it can't be called Animesque person if its not a person) and go crazy with the dot-eyes.
Right here, I'll just stop and make a confession. I did, for a brief period of time, draw in way that could be called Anime. This was about five years ago and when I was drawing characters from my fanatic fiction, Lost Soul. Being based on an Anime, I wanted the characters to try and match as well as possible. ... well, they never did, but a bit of the eye-and-hair seeped into my regular style. However, this "regular style" was mainly used on characters for a would-be RPG, which I was too stupid to correlate the relation of Anime to RPG character designs back then and already gave them the funky hair (it was a rule, I had to unless they weren't an RPG character). And even still, they weren't really "Anime eyes" or Anime anything, I just drew really, really, bad. I could never and probably still couldn't replicate them. They were just large eyes, and people, as priorly mentioned with their poor comparison skills (heck, even I gave an example how I did that, too), just can't tell the difference. However, all of this was but a minor hint in my crapful "art", which has been long since squashed out, and holds nowhere near the magnitude that afflicts the stuff I see now.
What was my original point? Oh, yeah, Anime faking. Now, about style. If you pick up a comic book, you can look in it and say, "Hey, I sure like this artist's work. He has a good style." You can distinguish it from other peoples if given told to match two of the artists works together out of three, the third being someone else. However, if you were to get your usual "Americanime" artist's work, and mix it up with some other Americanime artist's stuff, I'd be damned if you could tell who made what. It all looks the same. No matter how good, its like a carbon copy, completely uniform. It's like, "Wow, this isn't too bad. But, um, there's about two thousand other people who can make something exactly like this. Dot for dot." I will be the last person to say my artwork is good, but at least I can look at it and call it my own. How many of those Angelfire-flunkies can say that? "I draw Anime!" Yeah, well, I draw!" Beat that.
Consuming the non-professional level, while annoying, is not devestating. But what has come afoul recently? Television shows that pretend to be Anime... badly! Totally Spies, crap! It actually pains me to look at them. No kidding, my stomach knots. Ack! The Winx Club? Super crap! Is this even one anymore? Not like it matters, seeing how it will be joined with "W.I.T.C.H.", which looks to be the same exact thing... by which I mean, crap! Teen Titans? I like that show, half the time, but the other half is annoying crap! Now I know its suppose to be cartoony, and I don't mind that, but when you have sweat beads that stick out like soar thumbs and mouth spittle at the most unappropriate times, and super-deformed shapes that appear with no real purpose, it's just annoying pandering. Super Robot Monkey... I don't even know, but also crap! I've seen some episodes, and it really is a good show, as with Teen Titans. I just wish they didn't say, "Hey, let's make it animated like a low budget Anime, people will like that." ... No! People don't like that. They like high budget Animes, not choppy ones.
Even actual Animes seem to be hitting the crapper. I mean, once shows began to be pushed for being an Anime, a whole tide of sucky ones just came. I mean, did they just run out of good ones to ship over, or are they just saving the good stuff for video? Transformers: Good. Guyver: Awesome. Record of Lodoss War: Too awesome. Akira, Ninja Scroll, Samurai Showdown, Street Fighter, Fatal Fury, Those Who Hunt Elves, and all that lot: Also likie! Cowboy Bebop: Good. Trigun: Uh, had some weak episode, but I liked it. Blue Gender: So, you had this super sweet plot that is horribly stretched out and then splurged out in the last two or three episodes? Lame... Witch Hunter Robin: What the crap? You have magical powers! Get out of the coffee shop and kick some supernatural ass! Rave Master: DBZ stories move faster than this garbage!
Okay, so this is a poor sampling, I know, but I'm cheap and don't buy/rent much of anything. However, my brother was able to warn me about a lot of bad ones. See, this was a while ago, and, back then, an Anime had to be good to get shipped over here, at least it seemed that way, so the ultra-bad junk wasn't heard of. It was all mainly the sci-fi and fantasy, the only kind I really care about. Teenage dork with lady troubles? I live that, why would I want to see it? Their outcome is always better than mine, anyways. Anyhoo, he had some stories of some pretty bad ones, but that was still a lesser half of all animes he had seen.
Now, when I say, "Only really those of Asian decent should draw Animesque," this is in no way to be taken as a sort of racist statment. Its entirely cultural absorption. When you grow up, you take in all the surroundings of your enviroment, it is how you learn and adapt. When learning to draw, you are influenced by those things around you. In Japan, all cartoons are Anime, because its an animation... from Japan. And so forth. They are entirely immersed in it. In America, there is not a full-out immersion, although one does not seem that far away.
Now time for some Q & A (note: this is actually from someone else, the guy who helped fuel the fire he was staked to)-
Q: "Why not just tell people that if they're not greek, the can't sculpt!"
A: Hm, no question mark, but it's still presented like a question. The did revolutionalize sculpting, but they did so with realism. People sculted before the Greeks, they were just really good at it and at making their pieces look real. Real is not a style, it is mimicking reality. Anything learned from them was improvements on technique and method, not style, for, back then, people only really tried to get the most realism out of an artform as possible. Before the dawn of the photograph, people only tried to make things as real to life as possible. This was the only way to preserve someone's image and thus was strived to be perfect. Once cameras came out, getting a portrait painted became near inferior, and thus artist had to take their form in a different direction, spawning the styles of artists, a step towards individualism.
Q: "The greeks revoultionized sculpting, while they weren't the first to sculpt. The japanese revolutionized cartoons, though they were not the first to draw cartoons."
A: Now, the Greeks revolutionalized sculpting because they made it look exactly like life, capturing individual hairs and such. The Japanese did revolutionalize animation, yes, but I'm more referring to ripping off the appearance. The actual animating process, yes, they did a lot of neat things with that, as they did with action sequences and so on. But my rant was on the look and the look alone, that nautiously repeated eye and head shaping that is reminiscent of Sailor Moon, sweat drops appearing at times that just seem forced for sake of being "more anime like", and the same with those annoying mouth-spittle marks. That was the particular style and things I was knocking on people copying. There are several variations within anime, and I'm just bleedin' sick of seeing the same crappy style reused and reused. I mean, it would be no different than everyone drawing like Sam Keith. I'm pretty sure that'd get old fast, which is what my view is on the prior horribly repeated style. In addition to that, as far as corporations doing it, it's pandering. It's saying, "hey, let's do a bad job at ripping this off so some idiots will say 'Is Totally Spies an anime or a good imitation' when it's neither." It's empty, it's hollow, it's lame.
Comparing the style of Anime to Greek sculpting techniques is a far shot from sensical. You can argue the fact that something looks more real to life than another, but you cannot say whether one style is better than another. It's a cultural flair and should stay that way. Saying its okay to "fake Anime" is like saying its okay to fake a British accent. This is a good one, read well >:D
If you feel that to the most people Anime is just the superior art form, then it goes without saying that the British accent is the superior speech form. I mean, who doens't find it charming. Yes, in fact, let us all strain ourselves to fight our very nature and speak like the British. We can use the sayings, the slang, the whole bloody lot. Wouldn't everyone be better that way?
Oh, that's right, people who fake accents are considered pathetic losers. Gee, I sure don't
see how this relates to this arguement in anyway, do you?
I mean, accents are just a natural part of our cultural identity that we aborb and are taught since birth and ... oh, that's how. Right.
Great thing is, I know I'm not the only who feels this way. There's a lot of other people who say along with me, "Yeah, it's really getting old. Enough already." Something's not cool just because it's anime, it just happens that some cool things are anime. I use to think that 90% of all television programming was utter crap and that only 50% of all anime was utter crap. Thankfully, ever since the "geek to chic" trend change in anime started making more known, I've learned that the far east programming is really no different than anywhere else. Most of it still is crap; however, the few gems just seem to gleam a little brighter.
So, what's the point of all this ranting? ... nothing, that junk just ticks me off.
Aaand, I've probably just ticked off anyone who may read this. The word "may" being noted strongly, as I doubt anyone will.