Great, American Anime?

I’m looking for some cool, AMERICAN anime shows. Something along the lines of Cowboy Bebop or Trigun. Something that isn’t half childish with its storyline or its characters’ abilities.

Any suggestions?

Batman the Animated Series was pretty good. Don’t confuse that with “The Batman” cartoon that’s currently being aired.


What do you mean by American anime? Any American animated series, or just those that attempt to imitate anime?

Gargoyles was pretty good.

Well, “Duckman” was pretty childish but defiantely not for a child.

Ooh, I was thinking about the original “Jonny Quest” which almost fits the bill, prime-time action/drama, but that reminded me of “The Venture Brothers.”

The closest I can think of to “American anime” is Megas XLR, and that’s more of a tongue-in-cheek parody of Japanese anime, although it does stand up very well in it’s own right.

There’s also Samurai Jack - one of the greatest cartoons of all time - which while superficially very un-anime in style, has some strong anime elements, especially in the action sequences (I watched the original Ninja Scroll movie a few month ago and I was fascinated by how similar Gennady Tarkovsky’s work was in framing and style of movement).

I second this. The storylines are pretty good, especially if you like Shakespeare or Celtic mythology or fantasy. It sometimes lapses into melodrama, but if you like anime, that may not be an issue. I second Samurai Jack, as well.

I don’t know if anyone will count this as anime, but I watch the X-Men animated series with equal enjoyment to Gargoyles. I am convinced that Gambit is the reason I adore Cajun accents.

I think before you can attempt to answer this question you have to settle on a definition of terms. What is anime?

Is it a genre? This seems unlikely as there are thousands of films that are all titled anime but have very little to do with each other in regards to either, visual or story style but are all generally considered to be “anime.”

Is it a visual style? Big eyes and purple hair?
This too can be discounted by the numerous visual styles that show up in films all dubbed to be “anime.”

Next, is it simply a term for animated movies originating in Japan. I suppose if you wished you could even extend this definition to “animated movies originating in asia.”

If this is the case then the question is meaningless as by definition, there can be no American anime.

Finally, am I putting too much importants on your choice writing ‘anime’ rather then animation? Were you simply asking, what are the great American animated films/series?

If it’s the latter, I recommend The Tick. The animation isn’t spectacular but the story is inspired, mad, and genius. Also, I rather suspect Disney could warrent numerious nominations.
In conclusion, once again, what do you mean by anime?

This was what I was thinking: Anime = Any animated movie originating in Asia, usually with the big eyes and neon coloured hair, and often with giant robots and lasers and so on.

I’d consider “American Anime” to be an oxymoron, myself, FWIW.

It’s not considered cool to mention it, but if we’re talking about animated movies, then Disney has to be mentioned. Some of their output is crap, of course, but much of it is great on all levels, and better animated than a lot of anime. I wouldn’t put it ahead of Studio Ghibli, but things like Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Little Mermaid, Fantasia, Fantasia 2000, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dumbo, Beauty and the Beast, Cincerella, Hercules and Mulan are all great films.

Personally, I prefer the X-Men: Evolution animated series. YMMV.

To re-iterate, what exactly are you asking? Anime is pretty much by definiton (on this side of the ocean, anyways), any cartoon from Japan, rendering the question a bit silly. So do you mean, anime inspired American animation, or just any good cartoon show? If it’s the latter, I’d suggest anything by Dreamworks (Prince of Egypt and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmeron come to mind. They’ve also released some real anime, although it’s subtitled only). If it’s the former…uh, good luck finding something that isn’t childish.

Personally, I find the term ‘American Anime’ to be ridiculous. Even those shows which emulate Japanese animation are still in their own way distinctly American.


I’ve read that the Exosquad series was specifically made to match up to anime; unfortunately I only caught the tail end, but what I saw was good.

Exo Squad was a great show, what I consider to be at the peak of American saturday-morning animation. Marsellas was just freaking awesome. “I am very sorry, it would seem that I am… all thumbs.”

Other good examples of this style of show would include BattleTech and Wing Commander: Academy. WCA was by far the best of the three (though it helped that they had professional actors such as Mark Hamil, Malcolm McDowell, and Tom Wilson to portray many of the characters). BattleTech (based in the MechWarrior universe) could be cheesy at times, and had some horrible voice acting but did have the rather cool 3D CGI “Enhanced Imaging” for the battle scenes. :smiley:

I’d pretty much expand that to all of the DC cartoons by that studio. Superman, Justice League, Teen Titans, Justice League (Unlimited or not), Batman Beyond were all pretty good.

The 1982 movie Flight of Dragons was pretty kick ass if you ask me.

I agree. I think for being a Saturday morning cartoon (whereas Batman was a afternoon show going for a bit older audience) the 90s X-men cartoon stands up pretty well. I think they did an excellent job of redoing classic X-men tales with the current team.
Combining Bishop’s origin and Days of Future Past was pretty neat. As well as finding a way to work in the Age of Apocalypse BEAST into an episode.
It was also the original “blink and you’ll miss it” cameo show. People think JLA was impressive, just about every episode of X-men had dozens of cameos. Some episodes we’d rewatch in slowmo to see everyone.

For some reason though the backgrounds were all dirty looking, like they had four coats of black wash over them.

Totally with you on finding the term ‘American Anime’ to be ridiculous. Totally *not *with you on any recommendation for Spirit. It’s not as utterly nausea-inducing as Balto II: Wolf Quest, but it’s far from being good (in my opinion). Obviously, you like it, but I didn’t.

Most “American” animation is done overseas these days. If you want good animation done right here in the USA, you’re talking Pixar. They’ve done one or two films you may have heard of. :slight_smile:

In terms of pure animation quality, classic Disney blows all anime out of the water. Nothing Ghibli has ever done comes anywhere close to the artistic virtuosity of a Pinocchio, a 101 Dalmations, or a Lady and the Tramp.

True, more recent Disney movies aren’t nearly as well-drawn. The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin are particularly weak, despite their popularity. But even a relatively minor Disney movie like The Emperor’s New Groove has more subtle facial animation than anything Ghibli has ever delivered. (And I’m a big fan of Ghibli.)

What really sets the Ghibli movies apart is their storytelling. Miyazaki in particular has a way of infusing his movies with a sense of magic, wonder, and charm that Walt Disney with his straightforward midwesterner’s approach to narrative never achieved.

Antarctic Press has 2 or 3 DVDs of Fred Perry’s Gold Digger: The Time Raft.

Perry is doing the animation himself.

And Gold Digger is referred to as Amerimanga, so these can be American Anime.