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Anime - Try it. You might like it.

January 23, 2007|by OLIVIA MONTGOMERY

Anime is more than girls in short skirts with big eyes.

To me, anime characters have a more believable three-dimensional look than traditional American cartoon characters. Compared to, say, the TV cartoon "Fairly Odd Parents," the characters in the anime show "Mai-Hime" are shown with more shading and depth.

Some of the most popular shows on TV - like "Cardcaptors," "Sailor Moon," "Naruto" and "Gundam" - are anime. Anime is very popular these days, but there are still a few people that mix anime up with cartoons.

It's true that many anime characters are actually girls in short skirts with big eyes. Many characters have huge eyes that take up most of their faces and have small pupils and white highlights floating in their eyes.

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But anime also has cool graphics, exciting stories and ordinary people who most of time get whisked into an extraordinary story - they're taken to some fantastic world or gain special powers, or do something cool.

Western-style illustrated stories are, in general, called cartoons. Japanese-style illustrated stories are manga; TV versions of manga are called anime. Half of anime were manga before they became shows. Comics are also like that. Manga, a kind of graphic novel, is like comics in that it tells a story with drawings; characters speak in speech bubbles.

Most manga are drawn in black-and-white. Some people say that people in manga have exaggerated emotions. I would agree in some cases. But so what? It fits the story.

Overall, I really like most anime. The only anime that I don't really like are the random, no-story-line kind of anime like "My Neighbor Totoro," a classic movie made in 1988.

When I watch anime, I look for things that I like, such as interesting stories and characters. But there are things I don't like, such as some characters' voice pitch. I can't watch anime that have people with really irritating voices. Nagging animals (like Luna from "Sailor Moon") and unrealistically evil people with twisted personalities also make me yell at the TV.

If you haven't seen at least one anime show, try it. You can find anime on YouTube.com, or watch "Toonami" on TV on Saturday evening, or borrow a friend's favorite anime DVD.

You most likely will enjoy it.




Olivia's top 10 anime



"Kiki's DeliveryService"

"Spirited Away"

"Whisper of the Heart"

"Tenchi the Movie 2: The Daughter of Darkness"

"Cardcaptors" movie No. 1

"Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind"

"Inuyasha theMovie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass"

"Inuyasha theMovie 4: Fire on the Mystic Island"

"Oh My Goddess," the movie version

"Sailor Moon R the Movie: The Promise of the Rose"

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