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  • Writer's pictureRKPROST

Japanese Anime in the United States

Between the 1950s and early 1970s, Australia was worried they would be “swamped by American media” which made me think of America possibly getting “swamped” by Japanese Anime. Australia was concerned they would lose touch with their roots and a creative industry because a large percentage of their entertainment at the time had American influence. The programs streamed were too similar of a product which someone from Australia could be capable of producing. Because of this, it threatened the Australian media outlet. Contrary to the negatives American cultural imperialism brought to Australia, the United States’ exposure to Japanese anime brings positive diversification to the country.

The amount of Japanese anime watched in the United States has grown. In addition to the social networking sites that connect fans across the globe, consumers have easy access to a plethora of anime via streaming services. Unlike Australia’s fear of losing their culture, fans from all over the country and the world unite at anime conventions and cosplay events which are prime examples showcasing America’s “melting pot” analogy. Due to anime’s increase in popularity, America has made some anime-influenced media such as Nickelodeon’s television show, Avatar: The Last Airbender. Watching anime allows audiences to experience authentic entertainment from Japan which raises questions regarding the application of United States censorship rules toward this original work.

Anime follows Japan’s censorship laws which may differ from what is deemed appropriate to show American audiences. This country has come to associate animation with children. Many children first encounter media by watching animated cartoons. Kids television programming and anime share common characteristics like vibrant colored artwork and disproportionate looking characters. Unlike most cartoons, anime has a complicated plotline and usually are violent. A child may stumble across an anime show thinking it is like the other shows they watch and accidentally subject themselves to cartoon violence. On one hand, it is not ideal for people to be exposed to graphic images early in life because it may disturb or corrupt them. On the other hand, the child may be able to distinguish the over exaggerated fight sequences as fiction compared to the more plausible live action violence present in other shows. Although anime influences the United States, its unique characteristics are dissimilar from that of American style cartoons and cannot overwhelm what is currently produced by American media creators.

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