?Chinese Cartoons VS Japanese Animations Since Hang Zhou held the first International animation exhibition of China in 2004, and set the target to make Hang Zhou an International animation city, the development of Chinese cartoons has been put under public attention. Recent years has seen rapid improvement in Chinese comics and cartoons. While compared with Japan, the well-recognized kingdom of comics and animations, Chinese cartoons seem to have a long way to go. In fact, Chinese animation has quite a brilliant start. In 1941, China produced the first animated feature in Asia- “Princess Tie Shan”.
The Japanese animation originator Osamu Tezuka, whose masterpiece? Astroboy? has been well-known among several generations all over the world, once said that he began to take on the work as a cartoonist under the impact of the classical Chinese cartoon ? Monkey King?. However, Chinese animation gradually lost its competitiveness to the dynamistic animations from Japan and America in 1980s. Without exception, the core of an industry is its conception. To animation industry, how it locates itself in the market matters a lot. Since 1980s, Japan has established the target position of animation as a fashion for people in a range of ages.
Thanks to the TV rating system in Japan, animations catering to different ages and interests can be well managed. Keeping up with the fashion tides, various animations and comics are springing up to attract audiences and comic readers. In contrast, Chinese animation industry aims for little children alone. As a result, there is a general idea among Chinese people that animations and comics are only for low-age children. Thus Chinese animation is confined as an enjoyable way of education and instruction. Due to different conceptions, animations in the two countries turn out to be quite different both in content and form.
Focusing on the hot issues and typical phenomenon of the times, Japanese animations show a real social state, express people’s mentality and attitudes towards history, humanity, culture, politics, economy and every other corner of life. Most Japanese animations provide a unique and delicate angle to view the world and an interpretation of far-reaching significance about society. Smart Japanese animation producers, who have a sharp sense of people’s interests and concerns, express these thoughts in a fashionable way while these cartoons themselves are creating fashion.
Hi-tech is often used in the making process, and the eye-catching characters of distinctive personalities win the hearts of audiences. By comparison, stories in Chinese cartoons appear to be monotonous and hackneyed. In order to make the cartoons easier for children to understand, themes of cartoons only involve simple social relationship and life in a narrow circle. Rigid characters, slow plots, and preaching to a fault make Chinese cartoons unpopular among teenagers. In a more improved market economic system, animation industry in Japan develops in a more positive way than in China.
Animation companies of different scales are engaged in an intense competition. They are eagerly pursuing advanced technology and creative employers, broadening their markets and making super stars to gain a high reputation. Numerous gifted cartoonists, script writers, comic editors, singers and casts have become household names. Cultures extended from animations such as maid culture and OTAKU culture become the dominant taste of cities like Akihabara. Animation peripheral products, things that characters used or wore in animations, and dolls of characters included, are bestsellers.
Such thrilling situation of animation can never be imagined in China. Too much rules prevent animations from being conceived and interpreted freely. Plenty of skillful workers poured into Japan to realize their animation dream by working for Japanese companies. If the fundamental problems in the development of Chinese cartoons are not settled, whatever efforts the general office of broadcasting and television make to protect Chinese animations, it can never stop an increasing number of people from being fans of Japanese animations while giving up our own.