Anime Hospital

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bz panel 07-27-13bz strip 07-27-13Today’s Bizarro is brought to you by Eyes of the Beholder.

This is a simple pun with a fun visual but I’d like to go on record as saying I’m no fan of anime. If you’re not familiar with the genre, it is pronounced “an’-i-may,” and although it is the Japanese word for “animation,” it has come to represent a style of cartoons and animation that grew popular in Japan throughout the latter half of the 20th century and has spread throughout the world as a type of comic art. The characters, for the most part, all look about like the ones in this cartoon, regardless of the artist who drew them. In principle, I’m not keen on any form of art that requires the artist to follow strict guidelines and such seems to be the case with anime; if the girls don’t look like 8-year-olds dressed up like whores with huge, fried-egg eyes, it isn’t anime. To be honest, the genre reeks of pedophelia. But that’s not what this cartoon is about.

If you’re a fan of anime, I hope you take no offense to my opinions; it’s a matter of personal preferences. I admit that I know very little about the projects created within this genre because I’ve disliked the look of it so much that I’ve not acquainted myself with many examples. It is worth noting, I think, that anime characters are recognized chiefly by their gigantic, round eyes, which few Japanese possess. That’s not surprising––we often idolize what we don’t have.

If you’re a fan of pedophilia, I have no apologies.

CLASSICS CORNER: Lately, I’ve been finding “classic” Bizarro cartoons that have something to do with the theme of the current one I’m posting but I don’t have any others about anime. So here’s one about art. If you don’t get this gag, it’s likely because you don’t know who Claes Oldenburg is. Google him now and be amused by his art.bz 02-18-06 oldenburg urinal

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67 thoughts on “Anime Hospital

  1. Dang! I got the pun right away looking at the reverse letters on the door. But it took me a while to notice the shadow on the wall.

  2. That’s always been my feelings about anime too. It homogenizes something that has a lot of potential for personalization. It’s like if every single-panel cartoonist decided to draw like Jim Unger. It’s a great style, but think of all the other great styles we’d have missed out on. I do, however, prefer Unger’s lumpy old people to the creepy big-eyed anime people.

    Also, is “Claus” a typo?

  3. I’ve been enjoying reading your comments alongside the comic strip. This one particularly amused me. I’m an art teacher and I’ve many students interested in anime. I believe you hit on the perfect explanation of anime when you described it as “8-year-olds dressed up like whores with huge, fried-egg eyes”. Made my day.

  4. Usually I find your stuff brilliant and hilarious, but this seems easy and kind of beneath you. Also, your views are antiquated and uninformed.

      • +1 to Misty. I’m disappointed that you’ve dismissed an entire genre that includes some excellent and meaningful content in such a crass and blunt manner. You have a right to your opinion but I find it hard to see how it has any value when you have so utterly failed to inform yourself about the subject of your disdain. Admitting that you know very little about any subject does not give you a free pass to make demonstrably wrong generalizations about it, then go on to accuse an entire subculture of being pedophiles.

        This kind of broad strokes bigotry makes me sick. You, who has posted more than once defending your own style, should know better.

        • You’re taking this WAY too seriously. I only said I hate the way it looks and that the female characters border on pedophilia. Both statements are clearly true. That doesn’t make fans of the genre pedophiles, nor does it mean the genre is worthless in its entirety.

          • See that’s the thing, the second part of that statement is a demonstrably false generalization, on which you seem to be basing your entire opinion.

            While you didn’t directly say that you thought fans of the genre were peadophiles, the inference was pretty damn strong and I don’t believe for a moment that it wasn’t intentional. You don’t throw that kind of language around unless you’re trying to say something. The responses here that support your opinion and your oo-ra replies make it pretty clear that you got through to your intended audience. Congrats.

            This is an issue that is very personal to me, (and not because I’m an “anime fan”, I’m actually not) and to many other people. I think maybe you’re not taking it seriously enough. Take a moment to think about how your statements would look from the perspective of someone who’s been affected by peadophilia (or god forbid, a victim of) and also considers themselves a fan of anime and how they would feel about you drawing parallels between those two things.

            You chose your words poorly and you publicly stated a strong, yet uninformed opinion without considering it’s impact. To come back at people who call you out on that with what equates to “lighten up” isn’t good enough.

        • Mecx, you are the one who is making inferences… in this reply and the one that follows.

          If anyone is choosing his words poorly, that would be you… possibly because, as you say, “This is an issue that is very personal to me.”

        • Wow. This Anime things has really sparked a fire under some people’s butts.

          1. Relax; this is just one man’s opinion, if it effects you that greatly you can either

          a) ignore it or

          b) not read this website again.

          2. Get off your high horse about how anime is drawn. That’s all it is; drawings, not reality, drawings, pixels on a monitor, script on a website, numbers (specifically 0’s and 1’s).

          3. Pedophiles: the only person who is talking about pedophiles is Macx

  5. Interestingly you got the name on your classic cartoon wrong (“Claus” instead of “Claes”).

    A guy I know, who draws mangas (mangas are the comics; animes are the movies. Both feature those creepy characters) tried to explain the fascination of them to me — and I failed miserably to get it. I’ve been seeing German teenagers reading them now — German editions. Following the tradition, those comic books, even here, are printed conversely — you have to read them from back to front. However, I don’t feel like reading them at all, especially now that I find myself fully agreeing with you that they reek of pedophilia. I will actually confront that fan/drawing artist with my enhanced look at the genre — and hopefully I won’t find myself sitting next to such manga/anime characters when the blood runs from my broken nose, dripping on the floor of our hospital.

      • A typo usually is not a big deal; that none out of the freaking amount of people who took a look at your cartoon in 2006 had not given feedback about it, now, that’s the interesting part! (If that was the case … )

        The “Claus”/”Claes” thing doesn’t seem all too important (probably not even to the artist himself). However, alone the mistakes that were made translating the Bible (to name one of the most prominent examples) have shaped peoples thinking to quite an extend.

        Oh, how many wrong conclusions (many times based upon other wrong conclusions) history has seen — and yet will see … And we’re all so very liable to errors!

        • I’ve had the same copy editor since 2002. Before that I had one for five years, the one before that lasted 10 years. They work for the syndication company and I’ve been with three syndicates since 1985.

  6. Thank you! I can’t stand anime!

    All the characters look identical, with the exception of their hair.

    … And you’re right about the perverted side of that industry, as well. I was browsing some drawing books the other day and came across some books on drawing “manga” (comic book version of anime), and the cover art on almost all of them consisted of “up skirt” perspectives of disturbingly young looking girls.

    At least with American comics all the ridiculously proportioned and scantily clad women look over 18.

    • It’s also a fact that Japanese porn is pretty disturbing. The females are regularly dressed as children and they make a whining, childish noise through the entire process. They never seem to be enjoying sex, it always seems forced on them. Yech. (Not that I’m an expert on porn, but I’ve seen enough to know what I find disgusting.) :o)

    • It was was a typo on my part but I fixed it. Strange that my editor missed that back in ’06. Not like her at all.

  7. So, she’s a whore because she’s showing her bra? You can have whatever opinion you want about anime, but keep your double standards to yourself.

    However, good job on the comic! Found it humorous.

    • I know lots of young women dress this way now but there is no denying that most anime females are dressed the way most women have dressed since the beginning of time when attempting to sell their bodies to strangers. I’m not making a judgement on prostitutes or against the legalization of prostitution, by the way. What consenting adults want to do with their bodies is no business of mine. It’s just an observation that dressing children this way is disturbing.

    • Thanks, Chris. As I tried to make clear in my post, I don’t know what the stories are like. They might be wonderful, but I can’t get past the look of them to find out. :o)

  8. I think you need to revaluate your opinions on anime. Not to offend, but you were extremely narrowsighted in your critique of the genre. Older works don’t follow those standards, just the 2008 and onwards mainstream popular anime does that.

    Saying the genre is recognized by girls who look like “8-year-olds dressed up like whores with huge, fried-egg eyes” is the same as saying all Amercian animaton is distinguished by overly muscular in tight suits. Look up works such as Kozure Ookami and I’m sure you’ll see reason.

    • I’m sure you’re right. I admitted that I don’t know the genre well, I’m just commenting on the vast majority of stuff seen these days, and am only commenting on the character art. I know nothing of the history or the stories behind the genre.

  9. The shadow on the wall is a touch of your genius. You put so much detail and thought into your strips. In this instance, the strip version is better because we get to see a third “creature.”

    I can’t stand them either – like Precious Moments kids half grown up and on drugs. And to be clear, I can’t stand Precious Moments either. Drugs may be okay. I like how they all have casts because they are bordering on anorexia skinny and the calcium has leached from their bones.

    • Thanks for your kind words. I should mention that my weekday comics are colored by Wayno, a talented cartoonist in his own right. (I still color all of my large, Sunday cartoons.) I trained him to color the way I want and have done similar effects before, but this one is his. :o)

  10. Love your work Dan! And I agree most anime is pretty bad stuff. Don’t throw out the Miyazaki with the bathwater though. His movies (My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, etc.) are great art but are also japanese cartoons. I love the Oldenburg reference and the unstated “Fountain” (R. Mutt) reference. Double art pun, well done!

  11. Sometimes I worry people who think anime is like that have only seen specific genres, like people who think anime is nothing but hentai have only seen hentai when looking for porn.

      • The magical girl genre is marketed towards girls. I suggest watching something like Cowboy Bebop. Great action, great jazz, great plot, nothing magical or girly, and BANG. Probably the reason why it did better in America than in native Japan.

  12. Jumping in where angels fear to tread: There are actually a lot of art styles in Japanese comics, but it’s the decision of American marketers to translate/import those stories that most closely resemble the style you lampoon here. Sadly, attention will always be drawn to the most outrageous examples. “Eight-year-olds with huge, fried-egg like eyes” is a valid description of the American-promoted norm, but I can easily find many less publicized or posted depictions that disprove the ‘dressed up like whores’ bit (without denying the existence of such).

    I DO recognize that your panel is not commenting on any of this, and I commend your skill at depicting this style well. I just want to acknowledge that the worst offenders are simply that, and not the norm for manga overall.

    • Thanks for your reasonable and informative comment, Neil. I’m sure you’re entirely correct and you seem to understand what so many commentators here do not: I was talking about my own uneducated view of the genre based on the examples I see most often from my own personal bubble. The stuff I’m talking about may well be genius, but from an artistic standpoint, it’s ugly. My opinion only. Thanks for understanding. :o)

  13. I completely agree with you. I love Anime too. Anime wasn’t always like this. Aeon Flux is done by a Japanese man and it looks nothing like the generic one’s. Also Akira is a pretty good movie. Love your Comics by the way. Your opinion is pretty dead on. I used to watch this Anime thing that was on a local cable access channel. Come to find out the guy that did the program got arrested to child Porn. I used to stay up late when I was about 10 just to watch these. I’m 28 now.

  14. Though I found the strip enjoyable (they always are :P), I think your views seem restrictive to me. There are no strict guidelines as you say, and art style ranges from vibrant colourful scenes ( such as those from kyousogiga, see http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ma2aehsaxh1rrpeyuo1_500.jpg ) to… rotoscoping ( though not seen as a particularly good example it does demonstrate range, see from Aku no Hana (“Flower of Evil”) http://i.imgur.com/RXlAiyy.png ). It’s a really mixed bucket, and as such I wouldn’t discount the whole thing. It’s similar to saying “I don’t like cartoons”, except that animation is a much broader group; the art style and content of cartoons is much wider than say Ben 10. Most anime (that isn’t like Pretty Cure, etc, aimed at kids) airs later than midnight, so naturally it is typically aimed at adults. This ultimately means it’s typically a less restricted medium than western cartoons are.

    Unfortunately, fairly uninteresting animated material with questionable sexual content has somehow gained ‘mainstream’ popularity in western audiences in the past. Despite that, some shows, such as ‘Puella Magi Madoka Magica’ (魔法少女まどか☆マギカ) have also gained fairly mainstream popularity, which do not carry that kind of objectionable content.

    A few shows which I would recommend to get an idea of what animated material from Japan is similar to nowadays would be probably be ‘Nichijou’/’My Everyday Life’ (日常), ‘Steins;Gate’ and ‘Eden of the East’ (東のエデン), the latter two having excellent English dubs if you wish to pursue them.

    Naturally, some issues you have with the genre appear to be due to a cultural misunderstanding. There is a lot more value placed on ‘cute’ things in Japan than in the USA. If you become a part of that culture (someone who greatly values ‘cute’ attributes), then naturally the statements relating to that which you said seem absurd.

    So, all in all, unless you actually dislike anything that is moving but isn’t real (which I think is probably unlikely given you’re a cartoonist), I wouldn’t discount anime as a whole. The things you’re talking about _do_ exist in some animations, but, they are the minority.

    Just as there are many western animations that are enjoyable to watch for adults (if you think Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, Cleveland, etc. to begin with and also depending on taste, stuff like Fairly OddParents, and The Big Knights), so too are there many Japanese animations that explore and utilise ideas in very interesting ways. I recommend giving those three I mentioned earlier a shot if you’re willing (or at least a few episodes to see what you think).

    Though I don’t live in Region 1 / A, if you do, as far as I know, you can watch some of the shows (legally) from Funimation’s website,

    Dub – Eden of the East – Episode 1 – http://www.funimation.com/eden-of-the-east/episode/i-picked-up-a-prince/dub

    Dub – Steins;Gate – Episode 1 – http://www.funimation.com/steins-gate/episode/turning-point/dub

    (I don’t think Nichijou is currently released in America, I’m not sure, but, if you’re into Comedy, it’s worth a watch).

  15. Bonjour, bonsoir,

    Today’s comment is brought to you by “Don’t say complete BS when you do not know a topic” hahaha ^__^

    First, sorry for the different crimes I’m about to commit against your english-american language, I’m a French reader…

    I’m not especially a fan of japanimation, I’m just very interested (and passionate) in everything that has drawings and tells a story (that doesn’t mean I like everything, in fact I’m really picky).

    Anime is the abbreviated pronunciation of “animēshon” which is the exact transcription for “animation”, it comes from “dessin animé” (animated drawing), one pronunces it “animé” as in French, not animay. The word “anime” only refers to animated series, OAV (original video animation) and movies, at the exception of “animekomikkusu” (anime comics) which are animated series turned into books (I don’t like it very much because it’s a lazy way to make money in my humble opinion). The first japanime dates to 1917 and is very, very,… far from your description. Nowadays, the word “manga” describes the books, Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) is the one who invented the term “manga”. The translation of manga could be “unfinished drawing”, “grotesque drawing” or “clumsy drawing”, the first manga dates to Nara period in 710, at this period it was called “emakimono”. Then, Chōjū-giga (Animal-person caricatures, the first date to the 12th century) and the Art of japanese prints (Ukiyo-e) continue to make the “genre” evolve across the centuries to become the modern manga “we” know. In fact, “manga” is a general term. In reality, there is a large variety of “manga” and all have a specific name, for example “Kodomo” are made for small children, “Shōnen” for teenage boys, “Shōjo” for teenage girls, “Jidaimono ” for History lovers, “Gekiga” are very realistic manga for adults,… “Hentai” is the word referring to heterosexual pornographic manga, for gay people it’s named “Bara”, you can also find the “Lemon” and “Lime” terms when these hentai and bara are made by non-professional. What approaches the most your work is called “Yonkoma”, most of the time it’s a four cell gag comic strip which follows the “Kishōtenketsu” structure : Ki is the first pannel, it sets the basis of the story, Shō for the development, Ten for the climax, Ketsu for the conclusion.

    Before the 1945-1952 American Occupation of Japan and the post-occupation period, you couldn’t find “huge, fried-egg eyes” in manga and anime. Indeed, the first to use these large eyes is Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989)(the creator of “Kimba the white lion”, stolen and plagiarized by Disney as “The lion king”), he said he was inspired by the exaggerated features of American cartoon characters such as Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse and Bambi, because he thought these huge eyes can express a large range of emotions. (He was also an immense fan of Superman). These eyes become a stylictic template particularly for “Kodomo” and “Shōjo” mangaka (the mangaka are the guys or the girls who draw manga), not for all of them… which means in general : if you read a manga with big eyes everywhere, you’re reading a manga made for small children or teenage girls… The real characteristics of manga : caricature, movement, architecture, cinematographic mise en scène, different lines thicknesses.

    What you wrote about anime and manga is an insult not to the fans, but to the artists who gave birth to one of the first comic strip tradition in the world. What you wrote is as stupid as to sum up the American comics as bodybuilders with small penis in tights too tight or drawings poorly done without movement, or to summarize the Franco-Belgian bande-déssinée to ligne claire, big noses and vulgarity : that’s complete BS and a proof of ignorance on these subjects.

    Fortunately in all this, the pun made ​​me smile ^__^

    Despite your lack of knowledge about animayyyy hahaha, je vous souhaite une lumineuse journée, Piraro-san.

  16. I was surprised you hadn’t made other jokes about anime in the past. Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars, Sailor Venus, and Sailor Mercury ganging up to kick Sailor Pluto out of the group would have been obviously up your alley.

  17. Awesome comic strip, as always.

    Even as an anime fan I can’t blame you for judging it that way, as your description matches 90% of the anime series pretty well.

    If you are curious about it but can’t get past the generic anime looks, give Naoki Urasawa’s “Monster” a try, it has more western-like aesthetics and a story worth following even for someone who dislikes anime.

  18. I’m guessing that on some days (like yesterday and today), you spend more time explaining and/or defending your work than you spent developing and completing the work, yes?

    Isn’t that draining (no septic humor intended)?

    Lou Stoole Septic

    Brownsville, TX

  19. Bang on, on the Anime description. You’ve seen one Anime cartoon, you’ve seen them all.

    Makes you want to devour Looney Tunes.

  20. To give some insight into the art style a good deal of anime and manga have, you should know its origin. The first manga, and the comic which gave inspiration for the ‘genre’ (not really the best word for it, more on that later) was a comic by the name of “Astroboy” by Azuma Tezuka. The style he chose was based of a cartoon he saw from the West by the name of “Steamboat Willie”, the very animation which introduced Walt Disney’s posterboy Mikey Mouse. The large eyes and other exaggerated facial features were perfect for the medium he was using, as it allowed him to maximize the amount of expression he could pack into his characters faces with out the needed for dramatic close ups every time his characters felt an emotion.

    Fast forwarding several decades, the manga art style diverged into numerous subcatagories. I won’t get into too much detail on the various styles, but far, FAR more than just one. Amongst those styles is the style which you refer to, which is typically considered by us Westerners as the stand style since that is most of what we see. The reason for that is that we in the West generally think of cartoons as being strictly for children, and as such companies prefer to market to young boys in the age ranges of 10-18. These are the same age range as the shonen genre of manga and anime, shonen literally meaning ‘for boys’.

    The entire genre, from art to writing and characterization are designed to appeal primarily to young boys: the guys are ‘cool’, the girls are ‘cute’, and the stories are ‘epic’. Honestly, this is a major simplification on my part, because even within the shonen genre, the types of stories being told can be different. Look up “One Piece”, “Yotsubato!”, and “Great Teacher Onizuka” for just taste of the variety present in this one facet of manga and anime: One is about a group of teenage good-pirates who sail around fighting bad-pirates; another is about a 5 year-old-girl and about how amazing and new everything is as seen through her eyes, and finally; the third is about a twenty-something loser who decides on a whim to become a highschool teacher.

    Each one sports a unique art style that only shares the most superficial of similarities. If you can’t see them, consider this: I can’t really tell the difference between your comic’s art style, that of Farside, Marmaduke, or Family Circus. Off the top of your head, you can probably name no less than a dozen differences between your comic and all of them that seem glaring and obvious, but that’s only because you care enough to look.

    Furthermore, outside of that specific category, you have a large variety of comics and shows. Two shows that I always recommend to neophytes are “Cowboy Bebop” and “Paranoia Agent”. If you are interested in seeing what else the medium has to offer, I would suggest checking both of those out.

  21. Ah~ I am one day late…

    Dear Mr Piraro, which 3 anime characters were you basing?

    I think anime looks like that (ie all the same) because the Japanese likes “standardization” too much (from their much attributed 5s)? I imagine Mr Piraro having 500 Mr Waynos all learning to colour like Mr Piraro preferred.

    I wonder how the 3 characters would like in your style Mr Piraro – these current 3 doesn’t look too comfortable (it must be the hospital air :D

    Cheerio~

  22. Dan, are all your drawings done the old-fashioned way, with pen and ink on paper? Or do you use a tablet? The detail and expressions are magnificent.

    • Thanks for your kind words. From 1985 to 2012, all of them were done with ink on bristol board, using a small brush. Since 2012, I’ve been doing them entirely on computer with a Wacom Cintiq screen.

  23. Not much to ad, but I must state that, though I hail you for leaving no subject untouched, I am a little disappointed by your generalization of a complete genre. Both Manga and Anime is so much more … just look at some of the most popular, at least here in Denmark, represented by Studio Gibli (the stuff of Miyazaki and Takahata; take a look at the movie Only Yesterday and you’ll know that the japanese do take the media to places and tell stories the american animation-studios never would dare to go); and almost every manga by Jiro Taniguchi is a deep meditation on all the big subjects in life. Give him a read and broaden your horizon. Anything else is a little beneath your standards … or so I thought.

    In looking for disturbing porn, though, I don’t think american i very far behind; violence also seem to be high on the want and wish there.

    But what I really wanted to say, that, though this play of words is kind of funny, then I do wonder why all the anime characters ARE bandaged GOING INTO the hospital. Please enlighten me on that issue.

    • It’s meant to be like an emergency room. I needed to show they were injured without a lot of bloody kitchen rags or whatever. :o)

  24. Pingback: Anime Hospital | Bizarro Blog! | Blog

  25. An acquaintance of mine was put on trial for child pornography charges, due to him having the largest reference library of Manga in Sweden. He was eventually acquitted but he was convicted in the lower court system. I hear your sentiment on how they appear, and partially agree on it. It sometimes disturb me how the girls look, but there are some really good storytelling and visually beautiful stuff in the genre too.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18430725

  26. Do you find if I ask if you modeled the characters on any particular anime characters? The one in the center looks a lot like Lelouch from Code Geass.

    And yes I’m an anime fan but have nothing to contribute to this discussion, to each his own lol.

    • I can’t remember what I modeled them after. I looked up some popular anime characters on Google Image, then just sort of concocted something that looked typical.

      • Thanks. And I know I said before that I have nothing to contribute but do you believe the characters are equally or more important than the story?

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