So I was casually chilling with some youtube vids when I came across another advert, this one had me watching from beginning to end. I was initially captured by the unmistakable sound of Vocaloid music which suddenly started playing, then the anime music video that came along with it. At the top it said ‘6♥Princess by Takashi Murakami for Shu Uemura’ and at first I was like ‘Oooh! I like this!!!!!!’ then I was like ‘I don’t get what it’s advertising but I luuurve it!’ and then I was like ‘…what is it advertising though?’
Basically what I saw was an advertisement for a Shu Uemura range. The animation was by Takashi Muakami and the song was ‘Pink or Black’ by Hatsune Miku. They teamed up to produce this advert for the ‘6♥Princess’ range of Shu Uemura! And it’s awesome.
So it took me a bit of thinking and googling to figure this whole thing out because I initially thought the music was composed by Takashi Murakami and the song was called 6♥Princess. I had no idea what the relevance was to Shu Uemura but after a few minutes I’d got it down.
So for those who aren’t aware, Shu Uemura was a Japanese make-up artist and the founder of the Shu Uemura cosmetics line (obviously). Shu Uemura has released a new ‘range’ which is illustrating the ‘pink’ and ‘black’ sides of a girl (hence the pink or black song). So the innocent vs sexy sort of thing which I think is really cute!
Takashi Murakami is an artist, not a music composer as I assumed, so he provided the sweet animation and Hatsune Miku sings ‘Pink or Black’ – together they produced an advert for the new range. 6♥Princess is supposedly the name for the animation by Takashi Muakami – ‘Princess’ referring to the pink princess and the black princess of the two looks you can achieve from the makeup range.
I showed my sister this concept and she just thought it was so sweet, I personally really like it too! There’s more info about the range and the background behind it on the Shu Uemura website.
About the song itself, well, it’s on my iPod constantly! What I really like as well was the fact that it’s sung in English to appeal to a global market rather than simply just Japanese customers. It’s funny because I didn’t realize at first due to the cute Engrish but made the connection when I saw the subtitles. It kind of works as a cute singalong advert! In relation to the anime, it’s gorge. I love the constant comparisons between the pink and black princesses even when they’re dressed in simple school uniforms. It’s really easy to understand the concept behind the advert even if the English is a tad off, but I think it just prompts you to pay even more attention to the advert. If the English was perfect in writing and vocally we wouldn’t watch the video. I have to say I also love the use of the piano throughout especially at the beginning. (:
Well, I’m off to listen to it again! Oft and watch it, nyaha! Enjoy! I reaaaalllyyy want to try this makeup range now! ♥ (I’m going to type this heart all the time now baha!)
So today whilst chatting with my Japanese friend T I started questioning what anime actually is, what it’s defined as in both Japan and non-Japanese countries. He sent me a link to this Japanese show which, to me, was a cartoon, but to him, was anime. He said; ‘I like this anime hehe’ and I was like ‘Is it animeeeeeeee….?…Really. Is it?!’
This is the anime he sent me: Episode 2 The Monster-making Machine
Haha! What a nutjob but anyhoo! This anime, as he called it, doesn’t seem to be drawn in the traditional anime style. It seems to be drawn in the same way (what westerners call) cartoons are drawn.
^ what I call a cartoon character
^ what I call an anime character
The short answer is that anime and cartoons both mean exactly the same thing.
The long answer is that they are different depending on whether you’re Japanese or Western/non-Japanese.
Obviously I’m going to elaborate on the long answer because, well it’s the long answer so it makes sense hohoho. Short answer is done. BOOM. So long answer:
In the Western world cartoons have many different styles of being drawn but only Japanese cartoons have the distinctive features of ‘anime’. These are features such as the eyes, for example, which is one of the biggest give-aways. The general layout of the movements and the exclamation art that occurs when someone is maybe shouting/fighting or feeling a strong emotion. Anime has it own unique characteristics which, and along with the fact that it does not originate from the Western world but from Japan, is why it is referred to by another word other than ‘cartoon’. We know when something is a Western Cartoon and we know when something is a Japanese Cartoon. We simply use the term ‘anime’ to describe Japanese Cartoons. It’s literally just to distinguish between the two, it’s the same as if you’d say ‘Oh I was watching that German Cartoon the other night’ but instead of saying German you’ll have some word for it. If you say ‘oh I was watching that Japanese Cartoon the other night’ it’s the same as saying ‘oh I was watching that anime the other night’. We have a distinctive term for it so we use it.
Finally, ‘anime’ アニメ is literally just short for ‘animation’ which Japan refers to as any animation Western or Japanese or Korean or Chinese or any cartoon. Cartoons are anime in Japan, they’re the same thing, they’re animations therefore they are anime.
They have this shortened word which means exactly the same thing as cartoon does. To us all cartoons are cartoons, in Japan all animations are anime. There is only one thing that could possibly blow this whole explanation apart which is that in the Western world, yep, we do say cartoon for cartoons however, this seems to only apply to drawn cartoons. Things like Wallace&Gromit however are seen as animations. I’ve just tried to elaborate on this query but it’s made my brain go nuts trying to word it and I’m much too lazy to try and spend time doing so. Bum. OOOOOOOOH. I’ll leave you think on that but anyway sorry if I ruined this whole explanation for you with that HAHA! If you do have a definite answer or if you even just have a suggestion/idea please comment and let me know, I’d love to hear peeps’ thoughts!
P.S. I feel bad for starting this insane thinking cycle all over again, what does animation REALLY mean?!!! Let me put an end to the misery. Anime, for Westeners, is a Japanese Cartoon, any Japanese cartoon, and anime, for Japanese, is any animation at all. (: