Hear the word "anime," and perhaps a certain visual aesthetic pops into your head — notably, characters with large eyes. But what is anime? Well, you just landed right into a tangled question. The answer isn't as obvious as you'd think.
In a video on his YouTube channel, anime critic Geoff Theow delved into the difficulty of defining anime: "We don't have a solid, workable definition of what anime is. We have a lot of competing definitions, some of which are technical, like: 'Anime is a Japanese colloquialism which comes from shortening the word 'colloquialism,' whereas others, like the one used by the Reddit community, are unworkably broken." Reddit defines "anime" as "an animated series produced and aired in Japan, intended for a Japanese audience. Theow parses why that definition is flawed — beginning with the fact that Reddit's narrow definition excludes movies.
One good way to learn what anime is? Watch a lot of it. And there's no better go-to streaming site than Netflix, which houses a trove of anime series and movies, showcasing anime's range of aesthetic styles. These anime series and movies are boundlessly imaginative.