Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Postby XStylus » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:08 am

Kionon wrote:...but I would rather remove previously included video game music videos than include sources like Avatar/Korra, the new Voltron, etc. I think you can make a stronger case for their exclusion than you can for the source inclusion that kireblue has discussed here.


I could make a case either way. It really comes down to what direction the powers-that-be of this site wish to go.

Again, I draw a comparison to SPJA. It used to be that their mission statement was pretty cut and dry in that they were about promoting Japanese Animation, with emphasis on the culture. Now they're all about anime as an art form now, with less emphasis on cultural purity of it. The fact that such a huge organization made such a shift is an interesting thing to note.

In any case, I think the admins of this site are torn, thus the point of this thread. They want to get the opinion of the community.

To that, I say that it should be open to anime as an art form, regardless of its lineage. But I think there should be a defined criteria. I can see there being too much temptation or pressure to opening the doors to a show that just happens to be popular among the same demographic as anime is (e.g. My Little Pony, Samurai Jack, etc) even though they are clearly not anime in any respect.
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Postby Kionon » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:58 am

We are indeed torn. I'm not an admin, but I am a mod, and we tend to have both private forum discussions as well as team meetings from time to time, so there has been private discussion of this. I'm one of those who felt it should be discussed, despite my own personal view against it. I believe pretty strongly in consensus and would follow a majority opinion, even if I disagreed with it. That's why I didn't want unilateral decision making, even though, as has been pointed out, ultimately, Phade has final say.

Of course, there's also the fact that I'm understandably biased as someone in Japan. It does not seem to me that most in Japan, while big fans of several international animated productions, see these works on kireblue's list as the equivalent of Japanese animation, part of the same cultural milieu, or part of the same "movement."

Even in Japan there is a distinction (although it isn't through vocabulary) between domestic and international animation/comics. In Japan there is recognition that Disney is Disney and it doesn't fall in the same category domestic productions. It's hard to explain, it's more felt or background than openly explained, but I feel the same distinction exists, just not linguistically. If you visit the Kyoto International Manga Museum, as an example, there is a space for non-Japanese comics, but it's generally relegated to a very small section of the museum, and it is discussed largely as either "influence on" or "influenced by," but isn't part of the main chronology of comics in Japan. Our definition of anime in English, ironically, represents a feeling about Japanese animation held in Japan that doesn't use the word anime.

This is where I think the video-blogger goes wrong. He, and perhaps SPJA given what you say, tries to divorce culture from that conceptualisation, whether we call it "anime" or not, and I think this separation is deeply flawed. But I'm on the inside of that culture, a culture I have spent my entire adult life assimilating to and functioning in. I may be unable to view it objectively.
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Postby StarTrinity009 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:11 am

Kionon wrote:I have always been of the opinion that the Org is at its worst when we try to be everything to everyone. I've brought it up in our admin/mod meetings, and brought it up previously to that. We need to figure out how to preserve our identity while at the same time recognising certain fundamental changes within the hobby. For myself, I believe it's just a fact that we have to accept that the Org will be far smaller, far more insular, and far less influential than it has been in years past. And that's okay.

I'm all for finding new ways to seek out those for whom our community is a good fit, but I'm not at all for changing fundamental aspects of who we are. I think a definition change in what counts as anime, while that may seem minor, is actually an underlying foundation of what sets us apart from other remix communities. Let's be the best us we can be, let's not try to be someone else.


This is essentially my opinion on the matter. Everything about this screams no for me. I think having the forum thread for non-Japanese anime videos to share was enough. There are always going to be exceptions and gray areas, and there are not enough examples in the grand scheme of things right now to warrant this. Wait 5 to 10 more years, then see, maybe. But I still think it's not the best idea for other reasons...

Non-Japanese anime videos should not be eased into the archives imo. Please do not alter this site's foundation and history in this way. Yes, a number of AMV editors have been a lot more vocal and active in editing with non-Japanese anime, but the site should still keep its focus. Make opportunities for those people to show off their work at more contests and in the forum thread, but don't archive it. Archiving should be specific to "anime" music videos as we have defined them through thousands of creations for several years. Yes, you could argue that the community is changing and that the definition needs to be revisited and such, but I really think it's too soon to tell. This kind of change needs to be sat on for some time.

If you're really interested in creating this kind of site with broader rules, or really just a music video remix site in general, make a new one and invite old and new editors to it. It would be a hell of a lot less controversial and would protect the org (and its history) from being shut down by powers who don't give a flying f**k. The org should stay the org. For better or worse. All we need to do is improve our current community quality (which we are already working on with AMV Monthly and the Documentary Project going on). Longstanding efforts like these will work as long as we're patient. Changing a site definition will only cause division in my opinion because too many people feel very strongly about it. It will hurt the progress we've already made and just send us back again.

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Postby ClaudiusValentine » Thu May 04, 2017 10:03 pm

i know i have been on this site for a few years {close to 5} and from what i could get the admins and moderators are very stubborn, they dont like non Japanese anime, hell they dont see it as anime at all, and you all dont want Phade to be in this convo, hes the original, he wrote the rules and i dout if he'll change them within this century, i had a convo with a mod a few years ago and he or she said something along the lines as,
if we allow non Japanese then were taken down the site. the admins and moderators are that stubborn because im with you all on the YES part

i always thought this site should be for ALL AMV'S non anime included but again the admins and mods are close to being A-HOLES IMO

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Postby Kionon » Fri May 05, 2017 3:48 am

ClaudiusValentine wrote:i know i have been on this site for a few years {close to 5} and from what i could get the admins and moderators are very stubborn, they dont like non Japanese anime, hell they dont see it as anime at all, and you all dont want Phade to be in this convo, hes the original, he wrote the rules and i dout if he'll change them within this century, i had a convo with a mod a few years ago and he or she said something along the lines as,
if we allow non Japanese then were taken down the site. the admins and moderators are that stubborn because im with you all on the YES part

i always thought this site should be for ALL AMV'S non anime included but again the admins and mods are close to being A-HOLES IMO


This is a very over-simplistic view of the variety of positions amongst Org staff. I think I happen to be one of the most conservative on that scale, and yes, I have very good reasons for believing we should stick to our current definition of "anime." I don't see it as "anime" in the sense that we mean it here, no. Even in Japan, while the word anime is more global, there is a clear understanding of distinction between what is Japanese and what is not which hews very closely to the Org's current definition. As for Phade, this entire site is legally owned by him. And there's absolutely no decision-making that is free from his potential involvement. He may choose to let the current staff do as we please on an issue or he may choose to directly intervene. I have seen both in my time here.

Considering that there are members of the staff who have commented here IN SUPPORT of opening up the definition, I think it's pretty unfair to call us assholes as a group. If you feel my conservative position really comes from some kind of personal animosity, then by all means, call me and me alone an asshole, even if I think that assessment too is unfair.
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Postby ClaudiusValentine » Fri May 05, 2017 5:46 am

Kionon wrote:
ClaudiusValentine wrote:i know i have been on this site for a few years {close to 5} and from what i could get the admins and moderators are very stubborn, they dont like non Japanese anime, hell they dont see it as anime at all, and you all dont want Phade to be in this convo, hes the original, he wrote the rules and i dout if he'll change them within this century, i had a convo with a mod a few years ago and he or she said something along the lines as,
if we allow non Japanese then were taken down the site. the admins and moderators are that stubborn because im with you all on the YES part

i always thought this site should be for ALL AMV'S non anime included but again the admins and mods are close to being A-HOLES IMO


This is a very over-simplistic view of the variety of positions amongst Org staff. I think I happen to be one of the most conservative on that scale, and yes, I have very good reasons for believing we should stick to our current definition of "anime." I don't see it as "anime" in the sense that we mean it here, no. Even in Japan, while the word anime is more global, there is a clear understanding of distinction between what is Japanese and what is not which hews very closely to the Org's current definition. As for Phade, this entire site is legally owned by him. And there's absolutely no decision-making that is free from his potential involvement. He may choose to let the current staff do as we please on an issue or he may choose to directly intervene. I have seen both in my time here.

Considering that there are members of the staff who have commented here IN SUPPORT of opening up the definition, I think it's pretty unfair to call us assholes as a group. If you feel my conservative position really comes from some kind of personal animosity, then by all means, call me and me alone an asshole, even if I think that assessment too is unfair.


wait sorry my comment wasn't ment for u personally just my time on here with any mods havent been good a lot of people honestly take anime too seriously plus i read somewhere online from a few people that said when it comes down to it the meaning of the word anime is animation originating in Japan. plus the type of anime released every year recently is almost the same type of story i seen lots of fans complaining about it which is why they keep bringing up reasons for allowing western anime for different amv's cause honestly its getting boring making the same kind of videos each year

plus if western anime and non jap anime was allowed most the mods including u i think would walk away from the site,
if fans want it then it should be put into a vote not by the mods ill guarantee u it will be voted in like 60 of yes over something of 30 percent of no
if a mod asks the question should he or she allows western animes you'll get more yes then no's plus from what others are commenting that things are changing more western animes are beeing made and more japanese animation companies are working with Americans to make stuff like last air bender, teen titans, samurai jack, and from back in the day real ghostbusters {which was animated by the Japanese} plus marvel teamed up what three times bringing wolverine ironman and x men to anime so plainly things are changing slowly, it would be nice but i could care ether way ill still upload my anime videos lol

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Postby Kionon » Fri May 05, 2017 8:51 am

ClaudiusValentine wrote:wait sorry my comment wasn't ment for u personally just my time on here with any mods havent been good


Well, a number of admins and mods over the years have been people I consider friends. Not all are on staff now, but some are. There have also been admins and mods with which I have had disagreements. That happens when you're part of a community for closing in on two decades. That said, if you have specific criticisms, I think I can honestly speak for the current staff in saying we would love to hear specifics. We want to encourage feedback, and indeed, participation in the Org and the forums more generally.

a lot of people honestly take anime too seriously plus i read somewhere online from a few people that said when it comes down to it the meaning of the word anime is animation originating in Japan. plus the type of anime released every year recently is almost the same type of story i seen lots of fans complaining about it which is why they keep bringing up reasons for allowing western anime for different amv's cause honestly its getting boring making the same kind of videos each year


Under our current site definition, anime pretty much means produced by Japanese companies for a Japanese audience. Individual series may stretch this a bit (concurrent releases, Korean animation outsourcing yet still Japanese production and distribution, and so on). For me, personally, I have always understood our definition to have an inherent cultural component, as well. Just because something is made by a Japanese company, in Japan, if it isn't intended for domestic consumption I generally don't consider it anime. I tend to think most anime, even anime that takes place "elsewhere" often has an inherent Japanese cultural worldview. It's inescapable. I could see the difference as a teenager in the United States, but I could only point to it as "exotic" or "not what is here." Now, as an adult in Japan with a good chunk of my life having been lived here, it's much much easier for me to point out what is Japanese about "anime" according to the site definition, if presented with a given series, because I live in that culture, and generally accept its preconceptions and assumptions. Anime is no longer "exotic," it's "familiar," "comfortable," even "safe."

As for the "anime is all the same!" trope, I've heard that for many years now. I remember when Pioneer was kicking out seemingly a new harem anime every year, redoing Tenchi every other year, and so on. There's a wide variety of anime series out there, just like any other type of television. However, there are also many popular types of shows. Think about how in America the broadcast networks just keep coming out with the umpteenth police procedural, legal drama, or medical show. This is no different. Some of the tropes I even really enjoy, and I'm always on the look out for a new show that fits a laundry list of tropes I have a lot of fun with. As for "same kind of videos," I'll plead guilty there. My editing style has essentially not changed since I first started editing. My reason for editing, and thus my approach to editing, remains the same. Why? Because that's how I wish to express myself. But there are thousands maybe tens or hundreds of thousands of editors now in 2017. Some with very, very different styles. Including some I think are the AMV equivalent of Jackson Pollack paintings. I think there's plenty out there for everyone.

plus if western anime and non jap anime was allowed most the mods including u i think would walk away from the site,


I've been here since 2001, and I doubt I am going to go anywhere just because an alteration, if made by a majority and approved by the owner, was made. A word of advice, be careful about the use of "Jap," it's generally considered an ethnic slur.
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Postby ClaudiusValentine » Fri May 05, 2017 8:27 pm

Kionon wrote:
ClaudiusValentine wrote:wait sorry my comment wasn't ment for u personally just my time on here with any mods havent been good


Well, a number of admins and mods over the years have been people I consider friends. Not all are on staff now, but some are. There have also been admins and mods with which I have had disagreements. That happens when you're part of a community for closing in on two decades. That said, if you have specific criticisms, I think I can honestly speak for the current staff in saying we would love to hear specifics. We want to encourage feedback, and indeed, participation in the Org and the forums more generally.

a lot of people honestly take anime too seriously plus i read somewhere online from a few people that said when it comes down to it the meaning of the word anime is animation originating in Japan. plus the type of anime released every year recently is almost the same type of story i seen lots of fans complaining about it which is why they keep bringing up reasons for allowing western anime for different amv's cause honestly its getting boring making the same kind of videos each year


Under our current site definition, anime pretty much means produced by Japanese companies for a Japanese audience. Individual series may stretch this a bit (concurrent releases, Korean animation outsourcing yet still Japanese production and distribution, and so on). For me, personally, I have always understood our definition to have an inherent cultural component, as well. Just because something is made by a Japanese company, in Japan, if it isn't intended for domestic consumption I generally don't consider it anime. I tend to think most anime, even anime that takes place "elsewhere" often has an inherent Japanese cultural worldview. It's inescapable. I could see the difference as a teenager in the United States, but I could only point to it as "exotic" or "not what is here." Now, as an adult in Japan with a good chunk of my life having been lived here, it's much much easier for me to point out what is Japanese about "anime" according to the site definition, if presented with a given series, because I live in that culture, and generally accept its preconceptions and assumptions. Anime is no longer "exotic," it's "familiar," "comfortable," even "safe."

As for the "anime is all the same!" trope, I've heard that for many years now. I remember when Pioneer was kicking out seemingly a new harem anime every year, redoing Tenchi every other year, and so on. There's a wide variety of anime series out there, just like any other type of television. However, there are also many popular types of shows. Think about how in America the broadcast networks just keep coming out with the umpteenth police procedural, legal drama, or medical show. This is no different. Some of the tropes I even really enjoy, and I'm always on the look out for a new show that fits a laundry list of tropes I have a lot of fun with. As for "same kind of videos," I'll plead guilty there. My editing style has essentially not changed since I first started editing. My reason for editing, and thus my approach to editing, remains the same. Why? Because that's how I wish to express myself. But there are thousands maybe tens or hundreds of thousands of editors now in 2017. Some with very, very different styles. Including some I think are the AMV equivalent of Jackson Pollack paintings. I think there's plenty out there for everyone.

plus if western anime and non jap anime was allowed most the mods including u i think would walk away from the site,


I've been here since 2001, and I doubt I am going to go anywhere just because an alteration, if made by a majority and approved by the owner, was made. A word of advice, be careful about the use of "Jap," it's generally considered an ethnic slur.


i do apologize if i upset u with my comment like i said i havent had the greatest welcome with the mods, anyways as i read i realize {i think}
that your from japan so u would know the state of things with anime, when i say things its only from what i hear even i know im not 100% correct

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Postby Kionon » Fri May 05, 2017 8:36 pm

ClaudiusValentine wrote:i do apologize if i upset u with my comment like i said i havent had the greatest welcome with the mods, anyways as i read i realize {i think}
that your from japan so u would know the state of things with anime, when i say things its only from what i hear even i know im not 100% correct


You didn't upset me. Again, if you have had issues with the staff, your feedback would be appreciated. There might be good reasons for the decisions made, but then again, you might have some valid points. No way to know unless you try. I wasn't born in Japan, and I'm not a native Japanese speaker. Like most immigrants, I'm a mix of my country of origin and the country of my adoption. And nothing says the Org has to follow the level of cultural distinction in Japan in determining our site definition. I was merely observing that so far I believe we have.
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Postby Infinity Squared » Wed May 10, 2017 10:37 am

Is the Org really such an important database that a "non-Japanese anime" would be devalued if it was excluded from the catalogue?

I feel there's a lot of talk here that really leads to nowhere. I only still come here to see stuff with Japanese sources; remove that and I don't see why I shouldn't just go anywhere else.
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Postby CrazyDreamer » Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:58 am

Kionon wrote:This is where I think the video-blogger goes wrong. He, and perhaps SPJA given what you say, tries to divorce culture from that conceptualisation, whether we call it "anime" or not, and I think this separation is deeply flawed. But I'm on the inside of that culture, a culture I have spent my entire adult life assimilating to and functioning in. I may be unable to view it objectively.

I think you sell yourself short. It is quite commonly argued that subjective, personal experience of a culture is necessary to fully understand it. Those of us on the outside, who do not have the experience of being socialized into the culture through subtle and implicit cultural messaging, are unlikely to be able to identify certain aspects of what defines the culture.

And I do think that the definition of something as a cultural artifact specific to the time and place of its creation and the life of its creator is important. As someone with a literature degree married to someone with a fine arts degree, I can say that these would be incredibly important when attempting to define the nature and meaning of any other work of art, and anime is no different. As someone with a library science degree who works with metadata-heavy cataloging systems, I can say that it's a part of how professionals classify content. If you want to invent your own definition of anime that is divorced from that cultural touchstone, you can do it, but please understand that it's not how film theory works, how cataloging works—and make no mistake, the database is a catalog—or how almost any form of art interpretation works.

Is there international influence? Of course. But no matter how much someone like Tezuka was influenced by Disney, that doesn't make his films Disney films, and a film critic would spot the differences just as instantly as I can tell that Avatar is written and directed by Americans due to its early tonal similarities to animated children's TV shows of my childhood and its lack of tonal and structural similarities to anime I'm familiar with. Sure, I can also spot the influence, but that's like saying that I can spot the blues influence in Chuck Berry's rock-and-roll; it's clearly rock-and-roll and the influence doesn't change that.

Are there edge cases? Of course. People born in one country work in another. Companies in one country commission work from another. People collaborate on joint productions. And I'm generally in favor of admitting the edge cases because I'd rather be inclusive and assume good faith on the part of the AMV creators. But to be an edge case, you have to have a distinct cultural nexus between a major part of the actual creation of the work in question and Japan, whether that's having a Japanese co-writer or a Japanese production company or whatever. But when the nexus is mere inspiration, that's not anime. That's just something inspired by anime in the way that pop culture has been crossing borders for centuries, but despite centuries of cross-border pollination, we don't have a monoculture. Anime is animation from Japanese culture, and white guys born and living in America are not from Japanese culture, just inspired by a surface layer of it.

—————

And because the video annoyed me twelve ways from Sunday, let me address just a few of those points as a postscript:

I have many, many problems with the video's arguments, not the least of which appears to be that it initially defines "anime" to be what is meant by "anime I like" when spoken by people whose tastes are coextensive with what the video creator's intended definition is. Then, having defined the scope of what is "anime," he defines "anime" only by reference to that scope based on "common usage" rather than a "pedantic" dictionary definition. The fact that so many people disagree with that "common usage" definition that he feels compelled to make a video arguing with them rather undercuts the argument, since clearly the usage isn't actually as common as he'd like.

My point that "anime" is a product of Japanese culture is "defeated" in the video by asserting that I accept Chinese productions as anime, but the fact of the matter is that I don't and no better counterargument is ever presented than creating a strawman set of values for me. He points to recent internationalization of culture as creating an exception to the prior rules of cultural origin just moments after talking about how the anime of earlier eras was influenced by American cultural imports. I accept that that influence is there, but I disagree that it is sufficient just as I disagree with his assertion that The Godfather is somehow French New Wave due to perhaps a few minor influences from it; it is, in fact, American New Wave, which is a quite distinct thing . . . and please note the national cultural identifiers in the names of those movements.

His argument that is is, in fact, a movement is laughable, as any film critic worth their salt could point to multiple movements over the last 50 years in each genre; if anime can't be a genre because it contains distinct genres within it, how much less can it be a movement when shōjo contains a movement derived from the Year 24 Group that was overturned by a movement derived from the yaoi movement, the '80s had the "a war for the new generation" movement, super robots have had a whole slew of movements, including the post-Eva dark age of angst that was ended in part when second-generation Gainax (whose work is clearly distinct from first-generation Gainax) rebelled against it, and these movements aren't coextensive in time across genres? Of course, it helps that he's already defined anime to not include a variety of Japanese shows that would wreck his formal definition if he hadn't already excluded them by pre-defining anime as not being them. But then, this is a guy who refers to "the anime art style" as a hallmark of the "movement" literally 50 seconds after rejecting art-based standards for the definition of anime by pointing out how many different art styles there are, so consistency is perhaps asking too much.

That being said, his social argument has some merit, but the point of the database here is not to be a social forum for discussing cross-cultural influence and whether Goku could defeat Korra.

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Postby dreamawake » Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:40 am

this should def happen. goodstuff.
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