In the past few years, there has been a surge in Japanese-made Anime being translated and released in the United States. This is mainly due to two reasons.
First, US Anime fans are becoming more interested in finding quality content that isn’t available in their local language.
And second, there’s an increasing demand for high-quality Japanese animation overall.
Continue reading to know more about the subject.
What is anime?
Anime is a Japanese animation counterculture that produces or is influenced by it. It is the Japanese word for cartoon or animation, and it encompasses all cartoons from throughout the world.
Dramatic closeups and zooms, extravagant lighting, and vibrant colors all contribute to the emotional atmosphere of the anime. Aside from its distinctive visual style, anime has captivated audiences with its complex characters and captivating plotlines.
History of Anime In The United States
The origins of anime in the United States may be traced back to 1961 when Magic Boy and The Tale of the White Serpent became the region’s first and second documented releases of Japanese animation.
Anime has since found popularity in the region, with Astro Boy frequently cited as the first anime to enjoy extensive transmission, particularly in the United States.
Furthermore, the rise in popularity of anime in the United States throughout the 1990s, known colloquially as the “anime boom,” is attributed to much of anime’s ongoing relevance in popular culture outside of Japan. While pirates and fansubbers used to distribute anime illegally via bootleg releases, especially in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Is there any American-made Anime?
Due to its immense popularity, many American production houses are creating Japanese-inspired Anime that are to some extent faithful to the source material while also incorporating modern animation techniques.
American-made Anime is a hybrid of western and eastern animation. It has elements of both styles, but a bit more towards Anime.
Watch the video below to know the difference between western and eastern animation.
What are some Animes that are made in America?
There are several American-made Anime series. These Anime are created by American studios and feature characters with American names and settings.
Some popular titles include:
|Show name||Genre||No. of seasons|
|Avatar: The Last Air Bender||Action-adventure, Fantasy; Comedy Drama, Coming of age||3|
|Boondocks Boondocks||Sitcom, Dark comedy, Satire, Action fiction||4|
|The Dragon Prince||Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Comedy Drama||3|
|Blue vs Red||Military science fiction||1|
|Castlevania||Horror, Dark Fantasy, Action, Horror Fiction||4|
|Young Justice||Superhero, Action, Adventure, Science fantasy, Teen drama||4|
|Vixen||Superhero, Action, Adventure, Science fantasy, Teen drama||2|
|Teen Titans||Superhero, Adventure, Adventure fiction, Teen sitcom, Comedy drama.||5|
|The Legend of Korra||Action-adventure, Fantasy; Comedy Drama, Coming of age||4|
|Voltron: The legendary defender||Action, Adventure, Science fantasy, Mecha, Comedy-drama||8|
|The breadwinner||War, Drama||Film duration: 1 hr 34 mins|
Voltron: The Legendary Defender
Inspired by the Mech Anime genre, Voltron is an old-school American Anime released in the 80s. It was the western take on Mech Animes like Evangelion and Gundam.
The main difference between Voltron and other Mech Anime is that all 5 characters from the Anime pilot have different parts of one robot.
After the original version, many other series were made. The recent one is Voltron: The Legendary Defender, which has received a lot of positive feedback from critics.
Red VS. Blue
Red vs Blue is set in the year 2552, a bloody civil war time zone where two armies are engaged in fierce battle across the galaxy.
The brilliant thing about Red vs. Blue is that it builds up those emotional moments—there are roughly four funeral scenes in the first four seasons—and then ignores them entirely.
When the characters are still alive, they will still talk negatively about one another in front of the other characters’ corpses.
This series is much better than the typical American cartoons you watch on TV with some nice comedy.
This is a Netflix adaptation of Konami’s video game Castlevania III: Dracula. Set in medieval Europe with some inspiration from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The visuals and the storyline is for an older audience and has some pieces of the Anime source material.
The dark fantasy begins with Lisa Tepes, the wife of Dracula burned alive for witchcraft by the people of Wallachia. This enrages Dracula and he unleashes an army of vampires to avenge the death of his beloved wife.
It is upon the shoulders of Trevor Belmont to save Eastern Europe and stop Dracula from enslaving humanity.
The original Teen Titans series was fantastic— you can thank Anime for it. Huge eyes and mouths accentuate the characters’ facial emotions in this series.
The hair was also more colored and fashioned differently than in the comics. Raven’s black hair became purple, Jinx and Kole’s hair went pink, while Robin, Beast Boy, and Kid Flash received spiky hairstyles.
Teen Titans had such a large fan following that a new show, Teen Titans Go!, was produced to fill the need left by its brilliant predecessor.
This is a heart-touching story of Parvana who has to earn for her family after her father is caught in a brawl. The story is set in 2001, in Afghanistan where the Taliban’s atrocities are on the rise.
Amid this chaos, there is some hope. Will Parwana get away from this Plight? The breadwinner’s well-crafted plot will hit you differently plus the superb animation.
Although some parts are emotionally overwhelming for the audience, It is a must-watch!
Vixen is another DC animation on this list.
It is about a superhero who can mimic every animal in the world and fight against evil.
Vixen has a top-notch animation plus the voice actors make it another binge-worthy series.
Mari witnessed her parents’ murders as a youngster as a result of the greed and corruption that she battles against. Later, Mari learned that she could adopt the characteristics of any animal on Earth thanks to the enigmatic Tantu Totem, the potent necklace she received from her parents.
She had the ability to breathe underwater like a fish, fly like a hawk, and even fortify her skin to a rhinoceros-like level of protection. Mari takes on the alias Vixen in an effort to defend and shield all innocents, including people and animals.
The Dragon Prince
This list would be incomplete without The Dragon Prince. It has to be one of the top fantasy Anime made in America with exceptional action sequences and storytelling.
The plot follows 3 half brothers and an assassin who embark on a journey to restore harmony and peace to their county Xadia.
Everyone can relate to The Dragon Prince in some way. It’s sophisticated enough for adults to enjoy it while remaining approachable and highly kid-friendly.
Young Justice is the ever-famous superhero franchise. Previously there were only Robin, Superboy, and Impulse in this series but now it also revolves around the other teen superheroes.
For Cartoon Network, Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman created the superhero animated television program, Young Justice.
The plot revolves around the current world as well as how young heroes deal with their personal lives and talents. Will they be able to establish themselves as legitimate Justice League members?
Boondocks is an American adult comedy sitcom based on the same-named comic strip.
Sometimes it takes a lot more to get past cultural differences. Riley and Huey are the primary characters in the series.
The narrative begins when they relocate from South Chicago to the Boondocks and experience an immediate culture mismatch.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
My personal favorite on this list is Avatar: The Last Air Bender. This fantasy animated series set an example for the right tropes, like magic and redemption arcs.
Avatar touches the Anime art style most beautifully and takes its inspiration from the shonen Anime genre.
The plot is set in a world where people can manipulate Water, Earth, Air, and Fire. The story follows Aang a 12-year-old avatar and the only person who can control all four elements together. Aang and his friends broach a journey to save their world and fight evil.
The Legend Of Korra
This series is known for discussing political and social issues which are not so common in American animations.
It is a sequel to Avatar the last air bender and set in the same universe as Aang. The Legend of Korra portrays the Eastern and Southeast Asian cultures respectfully.
Is RWBY considered Anime?
Since it has an official Japanese version with Anime voice actors, the answer is both yes and no.
Additionally promoted as an Anime by Japanese marketers, and is available for purchase in Japanese animation stores.
But since Anime is strictly associated with Japanese animations some otakus may not agree with me.
It is one of the most popular animated shows on Netflix right now due to its blend of action and comedy. What makes it unique is that it has adopted the style and structure of Anime and some of its storytelling conventions.
It’s a web series that takes the story structure and pacing of Japanese animation, but it also has its own Manga spinoff.
In some ways, you might think that if it were true that Rooster Teeth was making an Anime series about girls in combat school (a common trope in Japanese media), then fans would be excited about the idea of such an Anime being made by Americans.
The show is set in the fictional world of Remnant, where humans and Faunus coexist with each other. The girls attend a school for training warriors known as Hunters and Huntresses.
Their goal is to take down the evil forces of Grimm who threaten humanity’s existence.
The story follows a group of four young girls attending a school for training warriors known as Hunters and Huntresses. Their names are:
- Ruby Rose
- Weiss Schnee
- Blake Belladonna
- Yang Xiao Long
The show follows their adventures as they fight against various villains who want to take over or destroy Remnant.
The storyline is pretty much like any other Anime show you’ve ever seen before, there are monsters called Grimm that try to kill everyone, magic powers called Dust (which can be used to fight these monsters), and cute girls doing cute things while fighting against evil people who want them dead…and so on!
- Anime made in America is a growing trend and there are a few American-made anime series that are well-loved by Anime fans.
- While RWBY is not typically considered Anime, it is produced by an American company and has a large following in the United States.
- Whether you’re a fan of American-made Anime or not, the trend is definitely growing!