Archive for April, 2009

How To Draw Anime

by Taiku Kitamura

Anime is a short form for the word animation. It is a term commonly associated with Japanese animation art, either through manga or animated cartoons. The more popular form that it is normally used on is the latter.

It can be a difficult and tiring process when learning how to draw anime. Being passionate in the art form has to be integral in everything that is done with it. If there is no love for anime, one will be hard pressed for fresh ideas and often end up frustrated.

Secondly, being able to come up with characters or storylines requires imagination – lots of it. The artist will need to be creative and be able to think beyond what is seen as common or typical.

Many world renowned anime artists are also known to be talented in their area of expertise. Some might not necessarily have gone that far without having inborn talent. It does not mean that those without any would never make it, but those who do are likely to have a better chance of success.

Without talent, effort and hard work can make up for it to a large extent. It might require more time for a dedicated artist with less talent to reach his or her goals. Ultimately, it can be achieved with extra drive and determination.

There are technical methods that can be relied on to also further one’s ability to draw anime. These methods will be the extra tools to be laid over the foundations previously described. When everything comes together, it will provide any individual with a total package to become the anime artist that he or she desires to be.

One of these methods would be to keep an open mind and learn from other artists. Having and developing one’s own drawing style is necessary to have a unique voice in the industry. But to learn and somehow include other artists’ approaches would push one’s masterpieces to higher levels.

The final piece in the jigsaw would be to always try to evolve one’s art. Learning how to draw anime can be done initially from books and other’s material. But without continually striving to improve and push the boundaries, it will turn stale. Avoiding that would be a sign that one has become a true anime artist.

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How To Improve Anime Design Skills

by James Huke

An anime artist can make use of different styles and methods to design each series. While every individual has his or her own artistic preferences, it also shows that there is no fixed method to achieve this for any designer. It basically boils down to what works best for the anime designer.

Many anime series begin with the artists relying on the storyboard. This has the artist drawing out the main flow and plot before more meat is added further down the production process. Anime artists who use this method are usually structured in their ways.

There are also anime artists who do not work well with structure. Thus, they go with gut instinct and draw on the fly. They might have a rough idea of the storyline, but are open to changes at anytime, anywhere.

Some artists are also more reliant on their personalities, such as preferring to have multiple options before making decisions. These anime artists are not adverse to working with different scripts or drawing up multiple panels before choosing the best possible ones. It might be time consuming and chaotic, but they prosper in these situations.

Despite the difference in approach, all anime artists still have to keep in mind the final storylines to be delivered. This keeps them in focus and have to be abided in order to reduce waste of time and effort in not meeting production deadlines.

Artists must always try to improve themselves especially in a commercially heavy industry as anime. There is no question that being naturally talented would get an artist far, but nothing can substitute hard work and dedication. Most anime artists understand that and use it to become better illustrators.

An often used way to improve is to learn from others. Anime artists have a common bond and always like to draw inspiration from other artists whom they identify with. They might even take on new styles which help them express new ideas which they previously could not with present methods.

Moving away from your main art form is also advisable. Explore other modes such as writing or computer art which might also bring forth new progression. An artist can produce newer and more exciting anime with different experiences gained through life and work.

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5 Animes That Every Fan Enjoys

by Anna Tsuchiya

Anime is the short form for animation films or series. It is more commonly used for Japanese animation that has grown in following worldwide on a huge scale. Even though they are cartoons in essence, both children and adults have become passionate fans of the genre.

There is nothing childish about anime as there are series and movies that explore different categories. There are plots that are made especially for the younger generation to enjoy, while there are also many stories that have been created to explore more serious issues like life, romance and friendships.

The problem for anime fans is that there are just too many interesting series that deserve to be seen. Different individuals will have their own tastes, but there will be many unanimous selections that should be in the priority list for many fans.

1. Naruto – There are few anime fans who have never heard of Naruto. This anime series explores the adventures of a young man known as Naruto, who is a ninja. The plot is full of his trials and tribulations in becoming the best ninja in his hometown and features an assortment of interesting characters and stories.

2. Fist of the North Star – This anime touches on more serious plots and angles that originated from a world destroyed by humans’ involvement in nuclear wars. Some have complained about the level of violence featured, but it is hard to separate that from a future that is depicted to be dire and cold.

3. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann – Simon is the name of the lead character in this mecha anime that balances futuristic robots with characters that have realistic emotions. It is hard not to feel for Simon as he wrestles with his fear of the unknown in a bid to fulfill both his and his brother’s dreams.

4. Toradora – Female anime fans and the more sensitive male demographic will enjoy this anime series that will live long as a favorite with the teenage crowd. Toradora has a young couple who become best friends on their crushes for the opposite individual’s best buddies. However, Ryuji and Taiga develop their relationship to hint of more in the future. There are many light moments coupled with touching scenes that highlight budding love.

5. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya – No top anime list can be complete without including this wildly imaginative anime series. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya has a hardcore following that continues to grow till this day. The series rests on a fantasy premise but is wholly realistic, while exploring the deepest emotions and thoughts that exist in many of us.

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The Benefits Of Using Anime Subtitles

by Brian Case

Demand for anime has been rising for some time as the genre finds itself in increasing favor by people around the world. This has resulted in more anime being produced to appease and attract more fans. With wild success comes some nice problems, although these must still be handled well.

The main issue now for anime series which originate from Japan is the pace at which the production companies are able to meet demand from international fans. Most of these fans do not understand the Japanese language. As a result, to cater to viewers, the anime series have to be translated or dubbed in English or a language that has an audience.

Translating to English is not the Japanese’s best attribute. They face problems in doing so at a rate fast enough for international customers. Their priority is also on the local market. An alternative is to give licensing rights to the translation to other production companies in the United States who then do their job in subtitling or dubbing.

Doing so results in three different ways the anime series are packaged for international audiences. The first is to provide subtitles with the video. The second is to dub the series in English or some other language in demand. And the third is a combined package of the two.

There are fans who prefer one of the two or have no preferences over the issue. Yet, there are many reasons as to why having anime series subtitled for international audiences could be a better way to market and sell them to a wider consumer base.

Japanese is not an easy language to learn nor understand, thus international anime fans are not well acquainted with it. But the genre comes from Japan, so the more natural presentation would be for them to be in the local language itself. This also helps fuels fans’ interest in the language and subtitles would not hinder that.

Anime fans might also be students of the language. Thus, they would prefer having subtitles that can either help or avoid being impaired by the lack of Japanese audio. They can improve their listening skills while using the subtitles as a learning guide in understanding.

Thus, with subtitles, anime can become a powerful medium for the purpose of spreading Japan’s culture and language. English-dubbed anime will always have its place, but they face limitations in conveying the truest emotions in anime. The former can only be more fun for both fans, hobbyists and language enthusiasts.

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5 Top Animes That Are A Must Watch

by Anna Tsuchiya

There are few who are unaware that anime is another name for cartoons, specifically those that originated from Japan. There are literally millions of fans all over the world who are passionate about anime series. These fans are made up of both children and adults since their interests in different niches are well serviced.

Anime series are not just the property of children, with many of them containing touching on themes that go beyond those that concern kids. Adults will find series that actually look in detail at issues of a social and cultural nature. There are also thought provoking animes that children will not understand.

The downside for fans is that there are too many anime series to choose from. In order to help those with less time to spare, here are five series that are a must-watch for any self-respecting anime and manga lover.

1. Naruto – This famous anime series has fans from every country that has access to Japanese cartoons. Not only is Naruto serialized on film, but it first grew from a wildly popular cartoon strip that continues till this day. The young ninja Naruto welcomes viewers to his endless adventures that are part fun and part madness.

2. Fist of the North Star – This is a classic anime adapted from a famous manga series. The plot tells of a devastated Earth in the future by nuclear war, and how the survivors have to overcome rampant unrest and barbaric tribes to become the best in the land.

3. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann – Simon is the name of the lead character in this mecha anime that balances futuristic robots with characters that have realistic emotions. It is hard not to feel for Simon as he wrestles with his fear of the unknown in a bid to fulfill both his and his brother’s dreams.

4. Toradora – Ryuji and Taiga are two contrasting but equally lovable characters in this romantic anime series. One is a kind and thoughtful gentleman while the other is a hot-headed but sensitive lady. They both help each other in vying for the targets of their affections, but inevitably end up growing to like each other in a way. Toradora is a anime that has all the right elements of romance, comedy and classic Japanese cuteness rolled into one.

5. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya – This series could perhaps be hailed as one of Japan’s most popular anime ever. The character Haruhi Suzumiya has now seeped into the consciousness of fans and the public in general. With a quirky plot that has the protagonist owning a fantastic power that shapes reality, the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is an unadulterated success.

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Anime Girls – Thong Song AMV

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