Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

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Kireblue
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Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Kireblue » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:03 pm

Hello everyone

For over 10 years now, the site has operated under a fairly clear cut definition of what qualifies as anime (Site Definition of Anime and AMV). And although this definition has served us well, it's always been a little restrictive, and occasionally caused us to exclude shows for the smallest of technicalities. Some of the most notable exclusions include "Avatar: The Last Airbender", "The Legend of Korra", and more recently "RWBY" and "Voltron: Defender of the Universe".

I've recently watched a video on youtube that does a very in-depth analysis of what defines anime, and for the most part, it's what inspired this post. I think that it's the closest representation of "what is anime" that I've ever heard, and it's truly worth watching from start to finish. If you absolutely don't have time to watch the 18 minute video, then it can be summarized as although Anime originated in Japan, it's no longer limited by geographical borders. It became a artistic movement that's now being embraced by the entire world, and there's an ever increasing sub-genre of "Non-Japanese" anime that deserve a place at the table in terms of anime discussion. The full video can be watched here:
So with this in mind, I'm posing the following questions.

1. Do you feel that the Org should broaden its definition of anime to encompass this "non-Japanese" anime?

2. If the site made a distinction between "Japanese Anime" and "Non-Japanese Anime", but still allowed both types of videos to be cataloged and uploaded, would you have any complaints?

3. If the Org went through with this, do you feel that AMV Contests should follow suite?

4. Do you feel that the decision as to what qualifies as "Non-Japanese Anime" can be left to the admins/ moderators? Or should there an additional influence from the userbase?



Off the top of my head, the list of shows that would probably comprise the "Non-Japanese Anime" list would be the following:
  1. Avatar: The Last Airbender
    The Legend of Korra
    RWBY
    Voltron: Defender of the Universe
    Teen Titans
    Steven Universe
    Megas XLR
    Samurai Jack
This would also open the door for discussion whether video games like Overwatch (cutscenes) and League of Legends (trailers) qualify as well.

So please, if you have even the slightest opinion on the matter, post it here so I can get a better understanding for what our community wants. At the end of the day, this site exists to serve the AMV community, and so we'd love all of you to join in the discussion about its direction.

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by hamstar138 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:28 pm

Honest I feel if you open it up to just a few collective shows it doesn't count as fair but you should open it up to all western shows then. There are a number of shows that were made with the contribution of Japanese anime studios (such as Toei working to draw for shows like Muppet Babies and such.) I realize the list is just shows off the top of your head, but i feel there isn't even a need to list shows, because once again if we open up to a few, we might as well open it up to all.

Then comes down to matters such as the example of WIthin Temptation, who don't want us to catalogue videos using their content.
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by PieandBeer » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:45 pm

1. Do you feel that the Org should broaden its definition of anime to encompass this "non-Japanese" anime?

Yes yes yes yes yes. The community and the nature of cartoons, Western or otherwise, has shifted. We are seeing more and more shows marketed towards a more mature audience in the West that making serious music videos possible. I'm a child compared to everyone here basically, but I recall a time on TV in the U.S. where the only cartoons for adults were shows like the Simpsons, South Park, and anime brought over from Japan. Not only has this changed, with serious works of art being enjoyed by kids and adults alike, but the global footprint of a single show isn't as easy to pin down as it had been in the past. Additionally, the general style of editing western animation amvs is so similar imo to japanese cartoon amvs. There's honestly more difference between convention contest amvs, "candy" amvs, and japanese MADs imo. Allowing western cartoon amvs to be posted here would not affect how videos are viewed, critiqued, and how tech specific discussions take place.

2. If the site made a distinction between "Japanese Anime" and "Non-Japanese Anime", but still allowed both types of videos to be cataloged and uploaded, would you have any complaints?

Honestly, I think the upload feature on this site is becoming a bit obsolete. Most people just upload to Youtube and leave a link for the full version because they either do not want to go through the upload process again or the file size is too big. People are watching amvs first on youtube, not discovering them on the org, and it's easier to just drop a link to like gdrive or another service than it is to make people sign up/log in to the org. I still think the catalog function is essential, in case of youtube making our lives hell, but really just to get links to other services.

I'M TALKING IN CIRCLES but like, I think they shouldn't be an issue to totally opening up the org to them. These are videos that are already being made by editors here so it's not like we're gonna get an invasion of people we do not trust. Hell, I think it'll make this place more active (and distinguish us from AMVCentral ;) love you guys).

People have brought up potential issues with western companies killing us and salting our fields, but I think we're already fighting that battle with like music and sources that have been licensed to western companies. I do not think the effort being made to keep these videos out (and all the work goes into researching and verifying JAPANESE ANIME) is worth it yknow? The industry has changed, the fans have changed, availability of sources has changed, and most importantly the community has changed. I think it's time for the org to adapt.

3. If the Org went through with this, do you feel that AMV Contests should follow suite?


Yo AMV contests are already doing this. AWA, Momo, Expo are big ones on the top of my head that have relaxed their rules. Even though these are anime conventions, the overlap between western media fans is unmistakeable. You see so many people in cosplaying things like Voltron, League of Legends, and Avatar. I honestly do not think the audience gives a damn about which countries the videos they are seeing are from. The lines are becoming less defined as the years go on because the attendee base is increasingly being born into a world where Western animation and media is reaching the same audience as anime.

Granted, I think videos with like My Little Pony may be a little too off base for a lot of audience goers at an anime con but really that's for judges to decide knowing their convention and its attendees. It's sort of the same decision making between letting a well made vid with a relatively unknown source in over one they know the crowd will enjoy. It's a fuzzy distinction but I trust most judges to make the correct choice.

4. Do you feel that the decision as to what qualifies as "Non-Japanese Anime" can be left to the admins/ moderators? Or should there an additional influence from the userbase?


Userbase~! WE THE PEOPLE
I mean, you have tons of editors here making videos for both types of sources. If you need to cut out a specific subsection of western animation (which i really do not think is necessary), the editors here are the people who would have the best idea of what are viable sources because they watch and edit with them already.

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by MadMegatax » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:49 pm

I'm all for this! I think it would be awesome for the site to be more inclusive of other types of fan videos. From the perspective of someone who has spent more than half of my editing career (nearly nine years now) with non-anime sources, I didn't really have much interest in this site or other AMV communities because it was more geared exclusively towards Japanese animation. It was really only last year through several factors that I began hanging out with the AMV community more.

Anyway, the actual questions:

1. Do you feel that the Org should broaden its definition of anime to encompass this "non-Japanese" anime?
Yes!

2. If the site made a distinction between "Japanese Anime" and "Non-Japanese Anime", but still allowed both types of videos to be cataloged and uploaded, would you have any complaints?
No complaints!

3. If the Org went through with this, do you feel that AMV Contests should follow suite?
I think so! I kinda want to see a test run of this at some big convention where the audience votes, in order to gauge the audience reaction haha. If it's not successful, then the idea can be improved with audience feedback as necessary.

4. Do you feel that the decision as to what qualifies as "Non-Japanese Anime" can be left to the admins/ moderators? Or should there an additional influence from the userbase?
I guess this is where it gets murky. Some shows (A:TLA, Voltron) would probably pass no problem, but what about other media that's not edited with as much, or even non-traditional sources (is Homestuck an anime)? In general, I think the community would benefit more overall if it was more inclusive towards other sources.

But as we are discussing the defintiion of anime here, I don't think that the current site definition of Anime holds up all that well anyway, considering the existence of Thunderbolt Fantasy. It is made mainly with puppets and a little CGI (not enough that it should be considered CGI though), and was created and written by Gen Urobuchi and aired in Japan. I feel that this qualifies as anime. Perhaps the definition could be changed to accommodate the idea that people will continue to push the idea of animation and innovate new techniques that maybe no one has even thought of yet.

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by BasharOfTheAges » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:22 pm

RIP ORG. It was good while it lasted.
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Xophilarus » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:59 pm

BasharOfTheAges wrote:RIP ORG. It was good while it lasted.
If you have issues with the proposed changes, that's completely cool, but it may be nice to add to the conversation instead of just honestly throwing out an insult. Erik is suggesting something he believes will improve the site so I feel like adding to the discussion. This response just felt kind of rude >.<.


Anyways, about the content changes. I fall under the camp where I believe if you want to extend it to some western animations, you should do it to all of them. I understand how you want to use a different definition, but I feel like it is still too lose to really feel fair for a lot of people, especially since countries now just borrow so much from each other in terms how animation. So I basically believe it should be open to either all animations or just keep it as is. I do believe it would be amazing to incorporate non-anime animations because the editing of the two is still really similar and it allows editors to feel like they can branch out more. I know some have expressed concerns over copyright, but honestly I feel like it is already more "risky" with the Japanese companies since fair use doesn't exist there as well as record labels since a lot of them are big punks about their music. I also do believe the idea of making a distinction between the two is really good as well so if someone just wants to watch anime AMVs, it is easy for them to still find them without having to go through a lot of other animations.
As far as AMV contests go, I feel like it should be up the contest coordinator and the con coordinator, and I think it would be a nice thing, but I also don't think they should really be pushed to do that either since I know some have concerns that it would upset their audiences.

Either way, I'm really happy this conversation is happening, even if the org decides to not go this route because I think there's a lot of opportunities here to help make it more active by incorporating a wider variety of sources so it is glad to see the idea explored ^^.

I'm sorry I didnt separate my points with the questions, I just thought I'd probably start repeating myself xD.

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Tigrin » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:18 pm

I make non-anime AMVs, so of course I'm interested in broadening the definition of what an AMV is. How broad the definition is I guess is not my call though. Like if we limit it to things that are "anime" in their art style, it would open the doors to stuff like Voltron or Avatar, but limit sources that are definitely Japanese but really unusual in art style (like arguably Panty and Stocking has more in common with American cartoon shows like the Powerpuff Girls than anime, but no one's going to argue it's not anime). So if the art style is not a limiter then it's basically any animation, from anywhere, and it loses any of the original association with Japan. I think it's fine to start off with a small list, but probably just be aware that eventually the arguments will probably lead to allowing anything animated in.

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Mol » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:57 pm

As far as i have edited only once with non-anime. Adding other sources would be cool. But i guess if there are borders ,then what will be those borders?
One could think that lots of stuff in japan is outsourced in other countries so accepting from those imo is a fine start, and stuff in anime spirit in general imo is ok. But would it affect org community activity if that's the goal? I guess there is no telling until it's actually allows stuff : d.
Still better than that MMO.
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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by Pathos Prime » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:04 pm

AMV League has defined "AMV" as Animated Music Video since its inception. We've always kind of felt that it was a bit on the silly side to say that Japan was the only country capable of making quality animation.

Perhaps this paradigm change will encourage more editors to submit to AMV League events. :)

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Re: Potential Change to the Site Definition of Anime

Post by FoxJones » Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:12 am

kireblue wrote:
1. Do you feel that the Org should broaden its definition of anime to encompass this "non-Japanese" anime?
2. If the site made a distinction between "Japanese Anime" and "Non-Japanese Anime", but still allowed both types of videos to be cataloged and uploaded, would you have any complaints?
Purist me from some 10 years ago would have said "Absolutely not, this is heresy"
Today's me (Who is a huge RWBY fan) is quite ok with this. Like it is implied here, the geographical borders have started to lose their meaning, when discussion goes to what is anime and what is not.
I think this path still needs to be tread carefully and in small strides, but if there's a clear distinction between these and it is clearly shown, I wouldn't have complaints. This way viewers can easily ignore the sources they find uninteresting.
kireblue wrote: 3. If the Org went through with this, do you feel that AMV Contests should follow suite?
No comments. Doesn't effect me either way.
kireblue wrote:4. Do you feel that the decision as to what qualifies as "Non-Japanese Anime" can be left to the admins/ moderators? Or should there an additional influence from the userbase?
Now this is the hard part. No matter how you approach this there will always be disagreements. If the decision is on a too tight leash, some people will see selection is made by arbitary choices of a small elititst circle. If you on the other hand go too freely, it will explode very soon and loose its' original meaning, as every what-the-f***-are-you-people-thinging cartoon gets approved.
Perhaps a system similar to Steam's greenlight, where the community votes yes or no, and when a certain percentage of approval is met, it will be added to list of approved non-japanese anime?
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