Before I state my opinion on if they are, I want to discuss anime first.
What is anime?
Some define it is Japanese Animation. And I think there is merit to this viewpoint. Japan is definitely the origin point of Anime, I don’t think many, if anyone, would argue that.
But what about Korean Anime, or Chinese anime?
These two groups have been largely accepted as also being anime. So I thinkk, if we’re going to declare animation based out of Japan as anime, then we can conclude that it being Japanese isn’t the definition of animation. But if it isn’t restricted to Japan, should it be restricted to just Asia then? If so, why? What does being from a specific region have to do with the quality, style, and appeal of a show? And if we do region lock it, do we region lock it by place of development, or nationality of designers, or ethnicity of designers?
So, I ask again, what is anime?
Is it more adult themed animation? If so, that would include things such as The Simpsons, Futurama, and Family Guy. And think we can all agree that none of those are anime.
Is it having higher animation quality? It’s true Japan, and Asia in general, have been decades ahead of the western cultures for a long time. Even comparing modern shows, such as Castlevania, to Japanese animation shows this. And I’m not knockiing Castlevania, just saying the movements in the show aren’t as good as modern anime. And if we go back to the early 90’s and 80’s, the distinction between quality was even more clear. So is it quality of animation? If it is, then what about shows like Shen Chan? While that show makes me laugh so hard that I become threatened with peeing myself, the animation isn’t the best. And it definitely is Anime.
With that said, I think we can clearly remove quality of animation, and more adult themes as qualifiers of anime. So what does make a show anime?
I think it’s none of these factors. I think it’s something that is harder to describe. It’s a jen ne sais quoi. It’s almost a feeling. Which I think takes us over to the realm of subjection. Maybe what is and what is not anime, is a purely subjective matter. To be fair, art is almost pure subjection, and both animation and writing are artforms.
Maybe we’ll never really have a solid definition of anime. It could even end up an out dated term, much like the way I think the word race will eventually be. Someday all animation may be referred to as anime, or maybe even as something else all together. Who knows?
Back to the original topic. Is Rooster Teeth Anime? I think some of their work is, and some of their work is’t. It really is a case by case thing. I definitely consider RWBY and Gen:Lock Anime, but not so much Red vs Blue.
If you have an opinion of not just what anime is, but if some, or all, of Rooster Teeth is Anime, I would love to hear about it.