Top 10 Misunderstandings in Anime

It’s impossible to truly tell what’s going on in someone else’s mind. No matter how well you think you know someone, you’re bound to misunderstand them at some point. And just like reality, anime has its fair share of misunderstandings between characters. But while your slip-ups in real life may just cause a small argument or a missed appointment, improper communication in anime has been known to destroy friendships, ruin complex political strategies, and even bring about the end of the world.

Japan's View of America in Banana Fish

Summer 2018’s Banana Fish is a down-and-dirty gangster anime, based on the 1985 manga of the same name. It’s set in the underground gang world of New York City and follows the exploits of young punk Ash Lynx as seen through the eyes of Eiji, a Japanese rookie journalist who falls into his messy life.

It’s pretty rare for an anime to show a complex view of America, rather than just having one or two stereotypical foreigners show up as background characters. But here, they’re the main characters, with their own struggles and relationships and goals. So let’s take this opportunity to explore how Banana Fish portrays Americans from a Japanese point of view.

Adapting Old Manga for the Present Day

Stories can be timeless, but unfortunately, the worlds in which they take place are not. Technology moves forward, clothing styles change, and culture shifts over the years. So, when adapting a manga from decades ago, studios need to think carefully about what they need to change to make it appeal to its new modern audience.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at several anime adaptations of manga from the ‘70s through the ‘90s. What was updated for modern times? What stayed the same? And how successful was it overall? Join us as we investigate how to adapt old manga for the present day!

The Music of Devilman: Crybaby (Mary Lee Loves Devilman: Part 8)

The music style of an anime can be one of the most important factors in how enjoyable, impactful, and memorable a show is for its viewers. We all remember Cowboy Bebop and Hellsing’s use of jazz, how JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure integrated classic rock into every aspect of its world, and Initial D’s hilarious obsession with eurobeat that essentially turned the entire show into a meme. Expertly crafted soundtracks like the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood OST are wonderful, but it’s even more impressive when bold music choices like these (which wouldn’t have been anyone’s first thought when scoring these shows) pay off in spectacular ways.

Masaaki Yuasa and the Animation of Devilman: Crybaby (Mary Lee Loves Devilman: Part 7)

When anime fans make fun of bad animation, they tend to point out frames where characters are drawn “off model” – meaning that they’re way off from the model sheets that dictate what each character should look like. It’s important for artists to stick to these guidelines so the show can keep a clean and consistent look. But what if the director doesn’t want the animation to look clean and consistent? What happens when the art style takes a turn... for the surreal?

Ryan Zanfei from Tasty Peach Studios (Matsuricon 2018)

If you’ve ever been to the dealer’s room at an American anime convention, you’ve likely perused the pretty pastel products of Tasty Peach Studios. Their boutique-style booth sells unbearably cute plushies, wigs, enamel pins, and other merchandise based on designs by artist and company founder Ryan Zanfei. Her creations often take the form of adorable animals with food motifs, such as mochi kittens called Meowchi, narwhals topped with ice cream called Nomwhals, and a trio of cake-themed foxes. She’s also well-known for utilizing modern crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Patreon to fund some of her projects.