BAD REVIEW: The Typology of Anime

What makes a good beginners anime, or an anime for someone unfamiliar with the medium

The thing about anime is that it is varied in its genres and types. When someone says, they like anime it actually does not tell you a lot about their taste. In the art style of anime, there are as many different genres as there is in any other medium, like films and literature.

But even between these genres, there can be a verity of similarities and tropes that anime fans will be familiar with. These tropes and art styles can vary across types which can be appealing to some fans and repulsive to others. For example, someone can enjoy a science fiction anime like Ghost in the Shell for its police drama style of storytelling but not like Serial Experiments Lain for its abstract presentation of ideas. Likewise, someone can enjoy the supernatural mysticism in Mushishi but be turned away from Bakemonogatari for its sexualized imagery and nonlinear form of storytelling. The point is that without the differences in genres there is a spectrum in the types of anime in which styles of anime is present. In this post, I hope to explain this spectrum of anime typography and how you can use it to determine which shows to recommend based on a person’s taste.

THE SPECTRUM

So without further ado here is a chart that I made with some of my favorite anime series and where they fall in the typography of anime.

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The spectrum not only applies to the way the story is written but how the story is presented.

Classical to Postmodern

Classical – these are stories that deal with an apparent good fighting an evident evil, there relatively straightforward in there storytelling and there is not a lot of need to decipher what is happening.

Modern –  stories which are more ambiguous with its morality, they tend to be identified by the presence of antiheroes and a less straightforward narrative. For example, Star Wars would be a classical storyline whereas Goodfellas is modern.

Postmodern – stories that are reflective on the very genres and mediums they are a part of. They are usually identified by deep philosophical themes and motifs as well as abstract presentations of its ideas.

General to ANIME

So this scale focuses on how accessible the show is to audiences. This has the number of references of Japanize culture, and how abstract animation style is.

General – the show is targeted to a global audience; there are not a lot of references to Japanize culture, anime tropes, or fanservice. These are shows that you would feel comfortable showing to anybody

Experienced – shows are to people who are more experienced with the genre they include a mild amount of sexual images, general references to Japanize cultures and a mostly typical anime style.  These are shows for people who are interested in or familiar with anime.

ANIME – these shows are for capital F fans. They are heavy on sexualized images and references to Japanize culture and anime in general. These are shows that you would not want your parents to catch you watching.

So if your friend wanted to be recommended an anime then I would recommend sticking to around the general to the experienced range as well as the classic to modern

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So for some of my favorites, a new viewer to anime should start with.

Little Witch Academia (Netflix)

Fate/Zero (Netflix)

One Punch Man (Netflix)

March Comes in Like A Lion (Crunchyroll)

Toradora (Hulu, Crunchyroll)

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood (Netflix)

One Punch Man (Netflix, Hulu)

Cowboy Bebop Dub (Hulu)

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4 thoughts on “BAD REVIEW: The Typology of Anime

  1. That’s… an interesting way to categorise anime.
    I’ve never really looked at anime that way and just gone with whatever’s popular and completed. I suppose for people who’ve never watched anime before it may be a shock to watch ANIME anime.

    Liked by 1 person

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