Saturday, December 10, 2005

Deliver Us from Anime

I hate Japanese animation.

I hate the oversized eyes, the stilted movement, the lame plots, and the sheer hokiness of it all. They just can’t hold a candle to the masterful animation of Disney (e.g., Snow White or Pinocchio), Warner Brothers (Bugs Bunny) or Hanna-Barbera (Tom and Jerry) in their heydays. WD, WB, and HB’s genius is also evident in their ability to take mundane, ordinary situations and turn them into truly funny comic shorts, not unlike Laurel and Hardy. Modern cartoons, on the other hand, overdose on speed in their frenetic attempt to compensate for a lousy story. (Many of the contemporary cartoons on Cartoon Network suffer from this shortcoming as well – among other things.)

I remember when Speed Racer came to America in the ‘70’s – I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now. But it’s got at least one thing going for it – it’s not as stupid or irritating as Pokemon, Sailor Moon, and lesser imitators of Japanese anime. (Plus, Speed Racer’s theme song is decidedly way more cool than anything these other guys could ever think of.)

This summer, my daughter was initiated into the cartoon world of Pokemon, unfortunately. Her cousin visited us for the summer, and he is an anime fan. He discovered which channel broadcast Pokemon, and then through him my daughter got hooked.

Since the cousin has gone home, I haven’t turned on Pokemon for her – I haven’t bothered to tell her when it’s on, and I’m hoping that it will fade from her memory, like a bad dream. So far, so good.

All I have to do now is get rid of the Yu-Gi-Oh! book that was in a garage-sale grab bag…

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