View Full Version : Why did a large number of 80's cartoons resemble anime ?

03-07-2013, 16:56
I'm looking through youtube at the moment and it seems like there's a general trend where the cartoons changed from 'funny talking animals' (in the 70's) and fantasy to sci fi and very anime esq animation. Is there any explanation to this ?

Lars Porsenna
03-07-2013, 17:52
I don't recall a lot of '80s cartoons looking like anime, though I definitely see the trend in more modern shows...


03-07-2013, 20:52
Which 80's cartoons were you thinking of? I know Dogtanion and Around the World in 80 days with Willy Fogg were Spanish/Japanese colaborations, and Mysterious Cities of Gold and Ulysses 31 were French/Japanese. Transformers was a US/Japanese cartoon, and I think Belle & Sebastian was just Japanese, but was picked up by several European countries and the US.
Overall I think it was because the 80's began the huge proliferation of anime in Japan, and the style and action of these "cartoons" eclipsed the classic Disney/Looney tunes (toons?) style of animation.

03-07-2013, 21:23
Shelfunit said pretty much what I came here to say. A lot of them didn't just resemble anime, they were anime.

And a lot of them shown in the US were also two or three different shows that were chopped together, had scripts written to make sense from the results and were then thrown on tv. The 80's were magical.

04-07-2013, 05:18
There are two things.

One, the Us outsourced animation to Japan. They had control of design and style, but the animation was still generally done with japanese quality. The US had a thing for realistic animation back then, see COPS, Bionic 6, even He-Man and Thundercats. Far more detailed than modern US animation.

I haven't really seen any US animations from that era that were as good as those produced in Japan.

For example, the entire Batman TAS was animated in Japan. Bruce Timm specified the design style (they asked all cells to be drawn onto BLACK paper, so it was all very dark), but the quality of animation was all Japanese. Bruce said that one of the animation studio heads actually hand air-brushed every single instance of Mr Freeze's frosted glass helmet in the Heart of Ice episode...

Two, many of the shows were actually anime, bought by US companies to synicate. Transformers was a weird one as it was a series of Japanese TOYS that Hasbro bought reproduction rights for, but then commissioned animation for it. Transformers was actually the toy equivalent of Harmony Gold's Robotech mashup, except the toy lines were churn and burn so didn't have the longevity of Macross and so very little of the legal problems Robotech has run into in the past.

I look back at the 80s and realise a large proportion of my childhood tv was japanese - voltron, battle of the planets (science ninja team Gatchaman), astroboy (atom), cities of gold, monkey magic (the englished dubbed japanese production of the classic chinese story), Ulysses 31, Belle and Sebastian, Robotech (Macross, Army of the Southern Cross, Genesis Climber Mospeada), Tranzor-Z (Mazinger Z) and so on.

It wasn't until the early to mid 90s when I started to see actual anime (often aired by Des Mangan on Australia's SBS channel as cult movies) that I realised how many shows were actually originally Japanese. Then Evangelion came out...


04-07-2013, 17:20
The 80's were magical.

Very tempted to sig that. They really were.

05-07-2013, 02:23
Please, feel free :cool: Just don't mention that the white fairy dust that fueled everything was actually imported from Colombia :shifty: