My friend Curt invited me to a local anime convention this weekend. Anime (pronounced ani-may) is a specific type of animation that comes from Japan, and sometimes is even referred to as Japanime. This style of animation has found quite a following in America over the last few decades to the point that many American animators have begun to imitate it.
I grew up with several cartoon series that have their roots in Japan such as Voltron, Tranzor-Z, and yes, even the popular Transformers were originally from Japan. I had no clue what the origins of the cartoons were at the time, but what ten year old boy could resist super-detailed animation, big robots, and big storylines.
Sure, the storylines seem rather simplistic when I go back and watch them now, but anime has grown up just as all of us kids did. You see, in Japan, animation is a mainstream form of entertainment, with storylines for kids, teenagers, and adults. Some are very kid-friendly, and some deal with more adult themes such as sci-fi, and horror. Some are even more akin to soap operas. As we, the children of the 80's grew up, the distributors began putting out these more grown-up-minded series and they quickly caught on. Today these distributors showcase the latest series to arrive in America at anime conventions to show us what's on the horizon.
Going to this convention was a real treat. I got to see many people pay tribute to their favorite shows and characters. The lengths these fans take to duplicate the appearance of their favorite characters are amazing. Check out the photo attached to this entry. It's a picture of a fan dressed up as Speed Racer, yet another classic anime character.