While everyone can agree that the animation style of FiM is different from any previous My Little Pony show, there one question that keeps coming up. Is it an anime?
In this post about iTunes apps, Vern Seward makes a case for one side:
Last week I wrote about three free first episodes of animated shows available on iTunes. I mentioned that My Little Pony seemed to be patterned after Japanese anime, and that the show wasn’t my cup of tea. Some of you suggested that I missed the mark on that show, that it contained wit that adult males would appreciate, and that the animation was top notch.
Well, I watched it again. My opinion hasn’t changed. My Little Pony is not for me.
The problem is that while My Little Pony is not anime, it’s close enough in style that it turns me off. In general, I’m not a fan of Asian anime. I can’t take the big shimmery eyes, the cutesy sidekicks, the exaggerated expressions, the randomly place poignant pauses, or the odd fascination with large breasted schoolgirls dressed in extremely short plaid skirts. I just can’t get into it, and I’ve tried.
If it isn’t anime, would you at least say it is anime-like in style? If you’re a fan of anime, would you say that you are more or less likely to like MLP: FiM?
If you take into account the definition that animes are Japanese shows it can’t be an anime. I watch Japanese shows for years and I can’t see any similarities regarding style and storyline. Of course cartoons worldwide have been influenced by Japanese animes hence the tendency towards big eyes but in my opinion that’s not enough to call it anime-like. No matter what you might call it, I love the new pony line and the show 😀
You’re awfully narrow-minded.
Just out of curiosity, who was this comment addressed to? If you have a strong argument for one way or the other, please share it! 🙂
Ironic, because cartoons have influenced and practically created anime.
“anime” is the japanese word for animation, cartoon. When anime is refered to in other places, the meaning changes to be “cartoon from japan.”
Are you people stupid?
Are you people rude? Goodness!
Hello. I’m ashamed of my fellow “bronies” (for the record, I’m a woman; I just think this term is hilarious) for their rudeness. I can’t apologize for them but I can at least give you a polite response.
I personally love the show, but I can understand why someone else doesn’t. I don’t think liking Japanese animation will have a big influence on whether you enjoy this show. In fact, did you know that anime was influenced by western animation?
For me, it’s just charming, and it’s a nice break from all the bloodshed and snark* of live action TV. It’s sweet. The characters compliment each other well. It has laugh-out-loud moments (YMMV). The periphery fanbase is acknowledged and welcomed. After the fourth or fifth episode I was sold. If you watched that much and still don’t like it, then you gave it a fair trial and, IMO, probably won’t get much out of it.
*MLP: FIM does have snark, but it’s toned down.
Woman can totally be bronies… It’s really more of a state of mind I think. 😉
Thank you for your comment!
I could write pages about why My little Pony is not an anime. The show lack many things anime usually have, but the main point is – as anyone just stated – its not from Japan. In Japan anime meaning all animated stuff, not just the “japanese cartoon”, but in other countrys the term is used special for those. It makes sense, since thyere no written rules what features a anime musst have besides beeing animated to be an anime. So just go with the term “anime” for “japanese animation”.
Besides, I like My little Pony, too. The Style have something unique, the animation is smooth and the characters are somehow nice and cute.
You should see the debate on whether it’s “furry” and whether the ponies are lesbians.
I’ve seen that debate! Furry lesbians are a topic for another day… J
(a) It’s definitely not anime, as it didn’t originate in Japan, which is the single defining genre characteristic of anime (not schoolgirls or boobs or being set in Japan or anything else that you may have read).
(b) It’s not really anything like anime, or at least it’s not like any anime that I’ve seen (and I’ve seen my fair share), other than the fact that it has an overarching dramatic plot that extends beyond the vapid “Let’s have a tea party” level of previous MLP cartoons. And I’ve always liked MLP, but even die-hard fans have to admit that the other generations’ cartoons have been pretty vacuous.
(c) Other cartoons have big eyes too. Americans did popularize animation featuring anthropomorphic animals with oversized eyes, back in the early twentieth century. Big eyes =/= inspired by anime.
(d) I would imagine that a fan of anime would be more likely than a non-fan to enjoy MLP:FiM for the sole reason that they are already used to enjoying animated television as adults, not due to similarities between anime and MLP.
(e) The fact that it’s being compared to anime says more about the sorry (but improving!) state of children’s entertainment TV, and television in general, than it does about MLP:FiM or anime.
Not according to the definition of the word “anime” as it’s used in western culture. Also Lauren Faust, who designed the ponies for the new series and produced the first season, doesn’t have a particularly “anime” influenced style. Her drawing have more in common with retro style 50s-70s style western “limited” animation (Flinstones, Jetsons, Yogi, etc.). The only real “anime” influence I can see would be the eyes, but the original ponies had large eyes as well, albeit not AS big.
“Cartoons” didn’t influence “anime”. Anime is just Japanese animation. It has nothing to do with style. It’s the same medium, and there are plenty of examples of “cartoony” anime or “anime-ish” cartoons. I really find this whole debate a bit shallow.
Also, as a friend of mine pointed out on facebook: “People who claim it’s anime-like in style not only have the briefest of experiences with anime, but animation in general. People who say they tried but just can’t get into anime and list features of one or two genres also haven’t actually tried very hard, or have terrible sources.”
Also, Also, The new MLP is way too “Flash” animated. When Japanese animation houses animate digitally, they still try to imitate hand-drawn style traditional animation, which is a lot more expensive. The more “basic” flat shadeless animation used in MLP:FIM is very very distinct from that, as well as cheaper for Hasbro.
Apparently it’s still a hot button topic! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
But cartoons did influence anime. The style of Hannah Barberra and Disney cartoons were very popular with early Japanese animators and they took a lot of influence from them. Osamu Tezuka himself was a huge Donald Duck fan. It’s true that style has nothing at all to do with whether or not a cartoon is considered anime, though. Anime is just Japanese cartoons.
I feel the only relation between MLP and anime are the fans. So I sort of agree with the last statement. If you like a good anime, then there is a very very good chance that you’ll enjoy the show.
If Mr. Seward doesn’t like either, then that’s his business.
But anime and cartoons are the same thing. The ONLY difference is the nation of origin. The word “anime” is just short for “animation” which is exactly what cartoons are. They’re made through the same process and require the same kinds of artistic talents to produce. That is what I’m trying to say. A painting is a painting regardless of what country it’s made in. A cartoon is a cartoon regardless of what country it was made in.
Honestly, as a long time fan of animation, I find the continuing usage of the word “anime” is only hurting people creatively. It gives them this idea that Japanese cartoons are inherently different than those produced in other countries (whether they interpret that difference as “better” or “worse”) and because of that, if a western cartoon plays with any of the tropes that are common in Japanese animation, it’s labeled as “anime” even though it’s made in the west. A reversal of this happened when Gainex came out with “Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt” a year ago. Some people dismissed it because it looked like a “trashy American cartoon”.
Seriously, this madness has to stop, people. “Anime” doesn’t mean what we pretend it means. It just means “animation”, so by that definition you COULD say the new MLP is “anime”, but I fail to see the point. The show doesn’t even remind me of anime in the slightest unless you think “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” counts as anime too.
La respuesta es NO. Primero, autoría en EEUU; y segundo, los japoneses no son buenos para dibujar “Furry”, así pues el estilo de MLP-FIM no puede ser comparado al estilo japonés. Y si por allí un descuidado afirma que MLP-FIM es Anime solo por el estilo de los ojos le diré que está errado porque los ojos mostrados en los ponies y otras criaturas de la serie fueron creados por los estadounidenses hace 80 años atrás justamente para sus personajes Furry, y los japoneses copiaron los ojos para utilizarlos en personajes humanos -_-
Outside of Japan, the term anime means “animated show FROM Japan”.
In Japan, the term anime refers to any animated show no matter where it’s from.
So MLP: FiM is not an ‘anime’ from Japan, but if you lived there you’d call it anime. Hahaha. But yes, I’d say it has a bit of anime style in it (though not enough to be confused with one), and many bronies are also anime fans, including me and my friends.
Also as an anime fan, that person’s generalization kind of irritates me. Sure there are many anime that are how it was described but many others aren’t like that at all.
Sorry if I repeat some things the other commenters said, I just skimmed through the comments.
Gringos pelotudos, increible que no sepan que SU serie NO es Anime, es un Cartoon y de variante Furry, y si algún bestia afirma que es Anime por los ojos grandes recuérdenles que los japoneses copiaron los ojos de Cartoons Furry para ponerlos en sus personajes humanos.
I know all of anime fans (including myself) that love mlp. We went to a mlp convention and there were thousands of mlp and anime fans and anime items on sell. Even though mlp isn’t an anime it is very welcome in the anime community!!
I don’t think that my little ponies is japanese. Its a good show. I like it and I like anime. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it is really cutie type. But other then that I think it is marvelous and it’s one of the very few of American cartoons that I like.
I think mlp is for me.
well since i love japanese animation i got into it and not just that people who worked previously on shows i watched when i was younger or not (including inuyasha, ranma 1/2, and some of the cartoon cartoon shows that used to aired on cartoon network until the staff changed and stopped all of the cartoon cartoon shows) and still a fan of even though i haven’t really watch them recently
Omg for y’all who think my little pony is an anime… y’all stupid. Everyone be like “ anime is just a cartoon from Japan, what makes it any different if it’s cartoon from another state than japan”. LOL GUYS, GET THIS IN YOUR FREAKING MIND, anime is a CERTAIN ART STYLE. CERTAIN ART STYLE, CETAIN ART STYLE!!!! And I don’t see my little pony being that “ certain art style”. And as a I am a HUGE WEEABO/ HUGE ANIME FAN, I take so much offense that people say that My little pony is a anime. Anime is a CERTAIN ART STYLE that JAPAN CREATED!!!! No other country can make anime as good as Japan! Oh and by the way the old Japanese art was always anime, just these days it more updated, like inuyasha and naruto and than faaku and other anime’s it’s all updated and looking nicer