Adult animation

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Adult animation, adult cartoon or mature animation, is any type of animated motion work that is catered specifically to adult interests, and is mainly targeted and marketed towards adults and adolescents, as opposed to children or all-ages audiences. Works in this medium could be considered adult for any number of reasons, which include the incorporation of explicit or suggestive content, graphic violence, profane language, thematic elements or dark humour. Works in this genre may explore philosophical, political, or social issues. Some productions are noted for their complex and/or experimental storytelling and animation techniques. This includes animated films, television series, and internet series.

Adult animation is typically defined as animation which skews toward adults.[1][2][3][4] It is also described as something that "formative youths should stay far, far away from"[5] or has adult humor[6][7] and comes in various styles,[8][9][10][11] but especially sitcoms and comedies.[12] Some have stated that it refers to animations with "adult themes and situations," which uses "explicit language" and make jokes that adults, and occasionally teens, are "more likely to understand" than others.[13] Such animations often run in the evening, but they are not pornographic or dirty, but rather just called adult as they are "overall directed toward an older age group." These animations can also "appeal to wide swaths of viewers," including those aged 18-34.[14][15] AdWeek called adult animation "animated projects aimed at grown-ups, not kids."[16] They also focus on issues that adults handle,[17] and have cheeky, and occasionally crass, humor "that has no limits—bouncing between funny and offensive," while evoking a "balance of reality and fantasy."[18] Others stated these animations that something is only a comedy where "the violence is bloody, the dialogue is raunchy, and the intimacy is filthy."[19]

The Americas[edit]

Argentina[edit]

In 2019, Ayar Blasco's second Spanish-language animated film, Lava was released.[a] A 67-minute comedy and science fiction film, it tells the story of a lonely tattoo artist named Deborah who "endeavors to save herself and her town from an alien invasion," with the aliens coming in various forms, trying to get humanity to submit, with Deborah trying to convince others to resist these attacks.[20] One critic, Vassilis Kroustallis, described the film as a "welcome COVID-19 satire," doing well when it comes to self-reflection and interesting characters, and weaker when it comes to plotlines.[21] In November 2020 it was announced that Rock Salt Releasing had gained "global sales rights and U.S. distribution" for the film, complete with English dubbing.[22]

Canada[edit]

Adam de la Peña at the San Diego Comic Con's Code Monkeys panel in July 2007; Peña is the creator of the Code Monkeys animated series

Adult animation has slowly moved forward in Canada. From 2002 to 2003, Clone High, a Canadian–American adult animated sitcom, a parody of teen dramas such as Dawson's Creek and Beverly Hills, 90210,[23] first aired in its entirety on Canadian cable network Teletoon between 2002 and 2003, later debuting on MTV. After controversy regarding its depiction of Mahatma Gandhi, which prompted hundreds in India to mount a hunger strike in response, MTV pulled the series, which had been receiving low ratings. Additionally, Clone High attracted mixed reviews from television critics upon its premiere, but it has since received critical acclaim and a cult following. Some critics described it as having a "silly premise" and noted that it was short-lived.[24]

Then, from 2004 to 2007, Tripping the Rift, an American/Canadian adult CGI science fiction comedy television series, which aired in Syfy, then airing on channels of other North American and International broadcasters,[25] airing on Space and Teletoon.[26] It also aired in France, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, and Central Europe.[27] Then in 2008, Anchor Bay released the 75 minute unrated Tripping the Rift: The Movie on DVD on March 25, 2008.[28] The series was described as "strange riff on Star Trek", with one reviewer saying that while the show has "some out-of-date CGI animation," it mixes spoof of sci-fi with political satire and social commentary.[29] In addition, from 2007 to 2008, an American animated television program by Adam de la Peña, titled Code Monkeys, which follows the adventures of fictional video game company GameaVision, ran for two seasons, from 2007 to 2008, on G4 and G4 Canada. The series was described as being an "arcade-themed comedy," while having a style of "lude, stoner humor" while having visuals of a distinct flavor.[24]

In 2005, a British-Canadian adult animated series about a British high school in South London, titled Bromwell High, aired on Teletoon in Canada first, then had an incomplete run on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom. It was a co-production between Hat Trick Productions in the UK and Decode Entertainment in Canada.[30] It was originally to be entitled Streatham Hill, but was renamed Bromwell High in January 2005. Streatham Hill is a real London suburb, while Bromwell is fictional.[31] Reviewers stated that it made fun of living in a London suburb while "delivering a surreal and outlandish viewing experience," parodying British culture itself, having simplistic but edgy humor while staying a "wholly original" animation.[29]

In March 2019, Trailer Park Boys: The Animated Series, a spinoff of the Trailer Park Boys series, began streaming on Netflix. CBR would describe it as "the animated successor to beloved Canadian comedy icons" and stated that any continuation of "this Nova Scotian raunchiness is always appreciated."[32] Later, in July 2020, it was announced that a reboot of the series is in the works at MTV Studios with the original creators Lord, Miller, and Lawrence returning.[33] Specifically, the Adult Animation Unit of ViacomCBS was said to be at work on rebooting shows like Clone High and Beavis and Butt-Head.[34]

In November 2020, Chris Robinson of Cartoon Brew wrote an article about the animation scene in Toronto, Canada. Within the article, he argued that while Canada has put out fine animation on TV for years, it has "never produced a series" which is just as "timeless and popular" as Family Guy and The Simpsons. He also stated that adult animations tend to be "very Canada-specific" like Corner Gas Animated.[35] However, Robinson quoted George Elliott, president of Elliott Animation, who stated that outside of adult animation, "many Canadian shows have found global success."

Chile[edit]

In 2018, The Wolf House, also known as La Casa Lobo, by filmmakers Cristobal León & Joaquín Cociña, who both work in Santiago de Chile, Chile. premiered. It was described as a "a stop-motion tour de force, staged as a single sequence" while having a strong "allegory about Chile’s inglorious ties with Nazis."[36]

United States[edit]

In the United States, before the enforcement of the Hays Code, some cartoon shorts contained humor that was aimed at adult audience members rather than children. Following the introduction of the Motion Picture Association of America film rating system, independent animation producers attempted to establish an alternative to mainstream animation. Initially, few animation studios in the United States attempted to produce animation for adult audiences, but later examples of animation produced for adults would gain mainstream attention and success. Adult animation in the United States includes shows with superhero, sci-fi, and fantasy elements.[37] Some of the most prominent animations with these mature themes include The Simpsons, Bojack Horseman, Futurama, and Archer, along with other adult animated television series, feature films, and animation in other forms which helped the genre expand over the years.

Europe[edit]

Britain[edit]

Preliminary drawing for design of Animal Farm strip cartoon commissioned by the British Foreign Office in 1950; Animal Farm was released as a British animated film in 1954 in a production funded, and supported, by the CIA.

In 1954, a British film studio produced an animated adaptation of George Orwell's novel Animal Farm. This film is believed to have been one of the earliest examples of British animation, and like the book is meant to be a portrayal or critique of Stalinism with characters serving as analogues to figures from the Russian Revolution of 1917, as argued by Orwell himself, due to his hostility to Stalin and his policies since the 1930s.[38][39][40][41]un conte satirique contre Staline[42] He also described it, in his essay "Why I Write" (1946), as the first book in which he tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, "to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole".[43] The film was brought to the silver screen thanks to funding from the CIA and support from the CIA's Office of Policy Coordination, while it was banned by the Soviet Union.[44][45][46]

For many years, it had been problematic to import films that did not meet the approval of the United States Customs Service. In 1972, the Customs Service refused entry of a short film titled Sinderella, depicting scenes of sexual intercourse between characters based upon Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Prince Charming. The film was seized as obscene material, and its distributor filed a court case and an appeal in 1974, but lost both.[47]

In England, Martin Rosen directed two animated features based on the novels of Richard Adams: Watership Down in 1978, and The Plague Dogs in 1982. Both films deal with adult themes: Watership Down, the negotiation of leadership to organize an exodus away from persecution, and The Plague Dogs on animal testing. For Watership Down, the film has received a mostly positive critical reception, with an 82% 'Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 34 reviews, while the critical consensus on the site says the film is "aimed at adults perhaps more than children" and is a "respectful, beautifully animated adaptation of Richard Adams' beloved book."[48] As for The Plague Dogs, it was praised for its visual style, while others believed that the film was downbeat due to an unhappy ending.[49] Currently the film has a 57% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 7 reviews with an average rating of 7 out of 10.[50][51]

Pink Floyd – The Wall, an adaptation of Pink Floyd's concept album of the same name, was highly metaphorical, and symbolic imagery and sound are present most commonly. The film is mostly driven by music and does not feature much dialogue. The film is best known for its imagery of mental isolation, drug use, war, fascism, dark or disturbing animated sequences, sexual situations, violence and gore. Despite its turbulent production and the creators voicing their discontent about the final product, the film received generally positive reviews and has an established cult following. Reviewers praised the film for its "a stunning vision of self-destruction"[52] while others called it "unrelentingly downbeat and at times repulsive"[53] It earned two British Academy Awards: Best Sound for James Guthrie, Eddy Joseph, Clive Winter, Graham Hartstone and Nicholas Le Messurier,[54] and Best Original Song for Waters.[54] and "unremitting in its onslaught upon the senses."[55] Gilmour stated (on the "In the Studio with Redbeard" episodes of The Wall, A Momentary Lapse of Reason and On an Island) that the conflict between him and Waters started with the making of the film. Gilmour also stated on the documentary Behind The Wall (which was aired on the BBC in the UK and VH1 in the US) that "the movie was the less successful telling of The Wall story as opposed to the album and concert versions." Later, although the symbol of the crossed hammers used in the film was not related to any real group, it was adopted by white supremacist group the Hammerskins in the late 1980s.[56] In terms of the animation, even before the original Pink Floyd album was recorded, the intention was to make a film from it.[57] The original plan was for the film to be live footage from the album's tour, together with Gerald Scarfe's animation and extra scenes,[58] and for Waters himself to star.[58] EMI did not intend to make the film, as they did not understand the concept.[59] Later, Alan Parker convinced Waters and Scarfe that the concert footage was too theatrical and that it would jar with the animation and stage live action. After the concert footage was dropped, Seresin left the project and Parker became sole director.[60]

In 1986, England produced yet another politically themed animation, When the Wind Blows, which recounts a rural English couple's attempt to survive a nearby nuclear attack and maintain a sense of normality in the subsequent fallout.[61] The film stars the voices of John Mills and Peggy Ashcroft as the two main characters and was scored by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd. The film is a hybrid of traditional and stop-motion animation. The characters of Jim and Hilda Bloggs are hand-drawn, but their home and most of the objects in it are real objects that seldom move but are animated with stop-motion when they do.[62][63] In the United States it was released on Blu-ray on 11 November 2014 by Twilight Time in a limited edition of 3000,[64] and in the United Kingdom, a dual-format release containing both the DVD and Blu-ray version was released on 22 January 2018 by the BFI. Severin Films released another Blu-ray of the movie in the United States through their Severin Kids label on 21 April 2020.[65]

In 2016, Ethel & Ernest was broadcast on television on BBC One.[66] Some critics called it a "placid, exquisitely observed chronicle of an ordinary English marriage."[36]

In November 2020, the Daily Express reported that an adult animated comedy named The Prince was coming soon to HBO Max.[67] They described it as a show which will poke "fun at the British monarchy...lampoon[ing] various royals."

Central and Eastern Europe[edit]

In 2018, Chris the Swiss, a Swiss animated documentary film directed by Anja Kofmel, premiered. It was screened in the International Critics' Week section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.[68][69] It was described as a war animation which combines live-action interviews, newsreel animation, and more to focus on the Yugoslav War.[36]

Then, in October 2020, Alex Dudok de Wit of Cartoon Brew wrote about the CEE Animation Forum, held virtually from October 6 to 8, which he called "a seedbed of interesting European animation," noting that six features were pitched to potential partners and buyers, half of which were for families, with the other half being for "older audiences."[70] In the latter was Igi, a Georgian feature produced by Natia Nikolashvili, King Wray, a Romanian feature produced by Anton Groves and Damian Groves, and The Black Swallow, a French feature produced by Louis-J Gore. While the Groves brothers and Gore were looking for co-producers, Nikolashvili was looking for "financial and creative partners."

France[edit]

In 1973, Rene Laloux directed La Planète sauvage based on the French science fiction novel Oms en série by Stefan Wul. It has been televised in the United States and United Kingdom as Fantastic Planet, and several DVD editions have been released. Also in 1973, an Italian film, King Dick, was released and became a cult classic in the United Kingdom. A West German short called Snow White and the Seven Perverts ("Schneeflittchen unter die Sieben Bergen"), produced by Love Film, also appeared. This little film mostly parodies Snow White and has been included as part of other compilation films.

The first foreign animated feature to receive both an X rating and wide distribution in the United States was Tarzoon: Shame of the Jungle, a French-Belgian film. A dubbed version, which featured new dialogue performed by American actors and comedians such as John Belushi, Adolph Caesar, Brian Doyle-Murray, Judy Graubart, Bill Murray and Johnny Weissmuller Jr., received an R rating. According to distributor Stuart S. Shapiro, the X rating hurt the film's distribution, but the dubbed version "took the bite out of the film. It lost its outrageousness." Tarzoon was banned by the New Zealand Board of Censors in 1980.[47]

Germany[edit]

In 1990, Werner – Beinhart!, a German animated film based on the comic book sold 4.9 million tickets, making it the third most successful movie in theaters in Germany in 1990, behind Look Who's Talking and Pretty Woman, and one of the highest-grossing German films in the 1990s with a gross of $24 million (€19.7 million).[71][72] The film contains animated sequences that are embedded in those of the live-action sequences, which form the background story.

Felidae is a 1994 German adult animated horror/mystery film directed by Michael Schaack, written by Martin Kluger, Stefaan Schieder and Akif Pirinçci, and based on Pirinçci's 1989 novel of the same name. Produced by Trickompany, the film features the voices of Ulrich Tukur, Mario Adorf and Klaus Maria Brandauer. The story centers on domestic house cat Francis and the grisly feline murders taking place in his new neighborhood.[73] In a review, Eric Hansen of Variety said the film lacked screen time for the plot, and that it needed more to avoid confusion. Hansen complimented the voices behind Francis and Bluebeard, but criticized Klaus Maria Brandauer's voice-over as a "by-the-numbers performance."[74]

Russia[edit]

Soyuzmultfilm, a Russian animation studio based in Moscow, which was launched in 1936,[75] the studio has produced more than 1,500 cartoons.[76] began specializing in the creation of animated TV series, feature films and short films. The studio made films in a wide variety of genres and art techniques, including stop-motion, hand-drawn, 2D and 3D techniques.[77] This included cartoons for an adult audience like The Signature is Illegible [ru] in 1954 by Alexander Ivanov [ru], The Villain with a Sticky Label [ru] the same year by Vsevolod Shcherbakov [ru] and Boris Stepantsev, and Ballad of a Table [ru] in 1955 by Mikhail Kalinin and Roman Davydov. The studio also produced A Miracle-maker [ru] in 1957 by Alexander Ivanov [ru], and Familiar Pictures [ru] in 1957 by Yevgeny Migunov. The latter film was shot entirely in a way that was innovative for that time when films were done in a conventional manner.[78]

In November 2020 it was announced that Premier, the video platform of Gazprom-Media, and the TV channel 2x2 had begun a partnership which would produce adult animation while "working with well-known Russian and international companies."[79] At least three animated series will then be released in 2021 and 2022. The Director of 2x2, Denis Vsesvyatsky, was quoted as saying that this will open a "new era in the adult animation industry in Russia" as they look for potential partners, while the CEO of Premier, Ivan Grodetsky, described "connoisseurs of adult animation" as a new audience for the platform in an attempt to attract new users. In December 2020, Russian artist Prokopiy Ulyashov, 27, re-imagined The Simpsons, a mature animated series, styling them as "characters from famous Soviet animation series and cartoons."[80]

Spain[edit]

In 2015, Birdboy: The Forgotten Children, a Spanish animated drama-horror coming-of-age film, premiered. It followed the titular character, Birdboy, a shy outcast in a post-apocalyptic society, and Dinky, a teenage mouse runaway fleeing her desolate island home.[81][82] The series was also described as a film which dissects social ills in Spain in a "funny, sad, sweet, macabre, and surgeon-sharp" manner.[36]

It was later said that Alberto Vázquez, who created Birdboy: The Forgotten Children and later, Homeless Home, was at the forefront of adult animation itself.[83] Also, Birdboy won Best Animated Feature at the 2016 Goya Awards, Vázquez scored a historic win by simultaneously receiving the prize for Best Animated Short (Decorado, which was also honored at Cannes).[84]

In June 2020, a trailer was released for Vazquez's next feature film, Unicorn Wars, which is an adult animated film about the gruesome war against teddy bears and unicorns, or as the teddy bears call them, devils.[85][86]

Central Asia[edit]

Iran[edit]

The French and Iranian film, Persepolis, based on comics of the same name has been described an "adult-oriented story."[87] The film features various LGBTQ characters. At one point in the film, Marjane Satrapi lives for some time in a communal apartment with eight gay men in Vienna, Austria.[88][89] Additionally, Marjane's boyfriend Fernando (named Enrique in the comic) reveals to her that he is gay.[90][91] He thanks her because she helped him to discover his own sexuality. He states that if a relationship with her does not work out, it would not work with any other girl.

East Asia[edit]

China[edit]

For years, education in adult animation within China fostered "practical talents" in the country's animation industry.[92] In 2017, the Chinese animated dark comedy film directed by Liu Jian, Have a Nice Day premiered.[93] It was first shown in the main competition for the Golden Bear at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival in February 2017.[94] It is Liu Jian's second feature film, following his debut Piercing I.[95] The film, mostly done by Liu himself, took three years to complete.[96] The film was withdrawn from the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in June 2017 at its producer's demand as it did not have proper governmental clearance to be screened internationally.[97] Strand Releasing distributed the film in US while Memento Films International handled additional territories including the UK, Mexico, Spain, Benelux, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey and Eastern Europe.[95] The film has been licensed to screen in more than 30 countries. In China, the premiere of the film took place at the Pingyao International Film Festival in early November 2017, with a guest appearance by Chinese film director Jia Zhangke, who praised the film as a milestone in Chinese animation.[98] The film won Best Animation Feature at the 54th Golden Horse Awards.[99] The film was later described as revealing a "dark side of China’s modernization" and called subversive.[36]

Hong Kong[edit]

Hong Kong, like the rest of China, has been involved in adult animation for years. One of these animations is the recent film, No.7 Cherry Lane, which has been described as "dense with literary and classic cinema references" and called the first venture by Yonfan into adult animation itself.[100]

Japan[edit]

Shelves displaying Japanese anime

Adult animation is known in Japan as adult anime (アダルトアニメ, adaruto anime). In both English and Japanese, the word "adult" may carry connotations of a sexual nature, but anime on serious topics such as Akira or Ghost in the Shell are often referred to as "adult" in Japan as well, even when sex is not a key part of the story.[101][102] Akira is also seen as a pivotal film in the cyberpunk genre, particularly the Japanese cyberpunk subgenre[103] while James Cameron cited Ghost in the Shell as a source of inspiration for Avatar,[104] and called it "the first truly adult animation film to reach a level of literary and visual excellence."[102] Some have argued that since the 1980s, Japanese animators have been "grounded in complicated, nuanced stories for decades," including those created by Studio Ghibli like Totoro", "Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle, The Wind Rises, and Nausicaä.[105] The latter were spread to a U.S. audience with distributors like GKids. Other stated that anime changed by the "increasing importation of Japanese animated adult erotic fare" beginning in the 1990s.[106]

Animated works of an erotic nature have come to be described in western fandom as hentai, the Japanese word for "perverted", while in Japan they are more likely to be referred to as R-18 anime (18禁アニメ, jūhachikin anime) or erotic anime (エロアニメ, ero anime). Although some associate all anime with sexual content, hentai only makes up a very small portion of the Japanese animation industry.[107] As the result of the misconceptions about Japanese animation, some video stores outside Japan have classified children's anime as for adults only.[108] Many video stores have also categorized all adult-oriented animation as anime, including the works of Ralph Bakshi, the French animated film Fantastic Planet, the Canadian animated film Heavy Metal and the HBO television series Todd McFarlane's Spawn.[109] In the case of Spawn, Todd McFarlane directly listed anime as an influence, particularly Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira, and stated his hope that the show would help encourage the rise of adult animation on North American networks. This in part lead to the involvement of the Japanese studio Madhouse in the production, in an attempt to "combine" the Eastern and Western styles.[110]

Some of the earliest manga magazines were aimed at adults, and this provided a prime source as the basis for adult anime works. Weekly Manga Times began publication in 1956, and would be followed by Weekly Manga Goraku (1964), and Manga Action (1967). Anime works based on adult manga include Berserk,[111] Golden Boy and Tokyo Daigaku Monogatari. In the case of Golden Boy, while it has been positively received by English-language reviewers, it is widely known for its mature content, as the OVA features instances of partial female nudity, orgasms, and female masturbation, and the manga becomes almost pornographic starting in the second volume.[112] On the other hand, reviewers predicted that Tokyo Daigaku Monogatari, otherwise known as Tokyo University Story, would have "sexually-oriented material" but would not be pornographic.[113]

In 1969, Osamu Tezuka and Eiichi Yamamoto released Senya Ichiya Monogatari (千夜一夜物語) the first of a series of three animated feature films aimed at an adult audience. It was dubbed and released in the United States as One Thousand and One Arabian Nights.[114] Osamu Tezuka and Eiichi Yamamoto collaborated on the second film in the Animerama series Kureopatora (クレオパトラ) released in the United States as Cleopatra: Queen of Sex. This film was described by some as a time-travel farce which portrayed Julius Caesar as a "cigar-chomping, American-style politician."[114] The third film Kanashimi no Beradonna (哀しみのベラドンナ) was directed by Eiichi Yamamoto alone. It was entered in the Berlin International Film Festival, but did not achieve commercial success. In addition, mockbusters: Maruhi Gekiga, Ukiyoe Senichiya (マル秘劇画 浮世絵千一夜, The first animated film to receive the R-18 in Japan), Do It! Yasuji's Pornorama (ヤスジのポルノラマ やっちまえ!!, based on the erotic gag manga by Yasuji Tanioka) was released, but did not achieve commercial success either, with failure of films like this leaving a big stigma in the animation industry and the movie industry, with adult animation disappearing from the Japanese market until at least the 1980s.[115] The film was also called pornographic,[116][117] with female staff, most of whom were in their 20s,[116] embarrassed as female genitals appeared frequently during production.[118] The film was also dismissed as "foolish" by Japanese animation researcher Yasushi Watanabe[118] and by movie historian Junichiro Tanaka as a "silly poor piece of writing."[119]

In 1984, original video animation (OVA) of an erotic nature began to be released, first Lolita Anime by Wonder Kids based on the manga work of Fumio Nakajima, and then later in the year Cream Lemon, a series which proved to be a big hit in Japan.[120] La Blue Girl and New Angel are two other erotic anime to be released in United States and Europe in the early 1990s.

1988 saw the release of Akira directed by Katsuhiro Otomo which was dubbed and shown in North American theaters, and released on VHS around the world. Its success led to a greater interest in Japanese adult anime in the US, and opened the door for other titles. In 1995, Ghost in the Shell was released as a feature film, directed by Mamoru Oshii based on the manga by Masamune Shirow. It received critical acclaim in both Japan, and abroad hinting further at the possibilities of adult animation. One of the Japanese animation porn movies, which is said to have started the American adult video market, was Urotsukidoji, which came out in 1989. While the adult animation market exists primarily through direct sales, like mail-order to customers, and wholesale to specialty shops which cater to animation and to comic-book fans,[106] the legal framework in Japan and the United States regarding the regulation of obscene and pornographic material is overall rather similar.[121]

The North American Adult Swim channel has been airing adult-oriented anime series via Toonami on Saturday nights: Cowboy Bebop, FLCL, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, IGPX and Space Dandy. Four of the Japanese TV networks have similar late night anime blocks: Fuji Television's Noitamina,[122] and Mainichi Broadcasting System's Animeism and Anime Shower.[123]

The Animeism block was initially launched in October 2006 and was reorganized in 2015 from a Thursday night/Friday morning schedule to a Friday night/Saturday morning schedule, with MBS chief producer Hirō Maruyama stating that the change was done in order to prevent conflicts with Kansai TV's broadcast of noitaminA.[123] From June 2017 to January 2019, Animeism signed a deal with Amazon to stream their series exclusively on Prime Video worldwide, with Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul and Altair: A Record of Battles becoming the first titles exclusive to Prime Video on June 29, 2017.[124] In January 2019, the streaming deal was no longer in effect worldwide, with Prime Video only exclusively streaming titles in Japan only.[125][126] On March 8, 2019, MBS introduced the Super Animeism programming block, which expands the Animeism block by a half-hour starting from July 2019.[127] On March 23, 2019, it was announced at AnimeJapan 2019 that MBS, Kodansha, and DMM Pictures formed a two-year partnership to co-produce anime titles for the block, adapting works from Kodansha published manga or creating original works into anime, with Domestic Girlfriend being the first title produced through the partnership.[128]

As for the Noitamina timeslot, it was expanded from half an hour to a full hour in 2010,[129] with Fuji TV and Funimation announcing an agreement that allows Funimation to simulcast series from the noitaminA block in North America within an hour of their airing in Japan.[130] So far the only non-anime series aired on noitaminA was the live-action adaptation of Moyashimon: Tales of Agriculture in 2010.[131] Them, trom 2016 to 2018, Fuji TV signed a deal with Amazon to exclusively stream and simulcast series from the noitaminA block through their Prime Instant Video service on March 17, 2016, starting with Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress,[132] with The Promised Neverland being the first title since the deal to no longer be exclusive to Prime Video outside Japan.[133]

Starting in 2004, Mahiro Maeda directed a multi-episode anime adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' novel as Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo. It was aired on TV Asahi between October 5, 2004 and March 29, 2005,[134] then later on Animax a day after its TV Asahi broadcast, running from October 6, 2004 and March 30, 2005[134] NHK BS2 between June 17 and December 2, 2008,[135][136] AT-X between January 7 and June 20, 2012.[137][138] The anime was first licensed for a Western release by Geneon Entertainment, which released the title on DVD with both subtitled Japanese audio and an English dub.[139] Then, in 2006, Crunchyroll came into existence. It presented anime to a U.S. audience and later began presenting "a slate of originals" beginning in 2019, including shows like Onyx Equinox, a story which was "created by Latina showrunner Sofia Alexander set in Aztec Mexico."[105]

From October 2012 to March 2013, the first season of Psycho-Pass aired on Fuji TV's Noitamina. The second season aired from October 2014 to December 2014 on the same programming block, and the third season from October to December 2019. This series was later compared with The Simpsons, "satiric family sitcom," in terms of both animations having a specific flavor, each presenting adult themes in their own way.[140] The same critic noted that while Japan has various anime with adult themes, in the United States adult animation is "largely comedic." She also called both "entertainment for adults" even though they have differences in "aesthetics, genres and storylines."

In May 2020, HBO Max penned a deal to "stream the library" of Studio Ghibli, which includes adult animations.[141] Later that year, Joanne Waage, general manager of Crunchyroll stated that anime was still growing in "international markets."[142] Elsewhere, Waage statted that due to the pandemic, "awareness of anime outside Asia" has been growing.[143] Around the same time, it was announced that an adult anime titled Idaten Deities in the Peaceful Generation would be released in July 2021 on Fuji TV's Noitamina programming block.[144][145] Also at that time, Yamibou, based on an adult visual novel, began streaming in English for the first time on Tubi TV and RetroCrush.[146] The same month, one critic, Nick Creamer argued that children's animation in Japan can handle almost all the topics which appear in "late-night anime," even exploring them with "more nuance and grace" than those which are "adult-oriented."[147] In November it was further announced that an "adult workplace romance" named JimiHen—!! would be turned into a TV anime series. [148] That same month, the Association of Japanese Animations stated, in a report, that Japanese animation would be challenged by adult animation in the United States, writing: "Hollywood has finally advanced into the realm overlapping with the adult animation market that had been Japan’s monopoly. If this trend shifts into high gear, the existence of Japanese animation may be questioned again."[149]

On December 12, 2020, Lloyd Newkirk pointed out a number of more adult animation like Berserk, Monster, Afro Samurai, Basilisk, Gantz, Hellsing: Ultimate.[150]

Korea[edit]

Headquarters of the Naver Corporation, which owns Line Webtoon, which has cooperated with Crunchyroll to create animated series.

In November 2019 it was announced that Crunchyroll would be partnering with Webtoon, a platform launched by a South Korean development company, Naver Corporation 14 years prior, to produce animated works from their catalog.[151] While adult animations were not specified, there is no doubt that some of those animations produced will be adult in character since 75% of the users in North America are 24 years old or younger and 64% are female according to articles in Korea JoongAng Daily and Publishers Weekly.[152][153]

In November 2020 it was announced that Locus Corporation, founded in 2009, creating many "influential and internationally renowned films," was being rebranded, with a new set of animations, such as Running Man: Revengers, Toemarok and Yumi’s Cells. The CEO of Locus, James Hyungsoon, stated that the part of the company's business plan was to produce "top-quality family animated films" while also expanding the "Korean animation industry with teenage and adult-oriented animation," along with series for preschoolers and young kids.[154] In the past, Locus has produced films like Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs. One of Locus's productions, Yumi's Cells, may be related to the webcomic of the same name published on Webtoon.

Southeast Asia[edit]

Philippines[edit]

Adult animation has a staying power in the Philippines. In 2007 an adult animated series was aired and it was the Filipino-American adult animates series called The Nutshack. The series aired on Myx TV , but the series was concluded in 2011 completing 2 seasons. In 2020, Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story (You Animal!) premiered on Netflix, an adult animation and comedy.[155] Avid Liongoren, the director of the animation, stated the hope for creating a "Filipino style when it comes to cartoons" and noted that the Philippines has a huge animation industry "that does work for foreign projects."[156] He also hoped it encourages "more local productions" and work for Pinoy animators. Others, like reviewer Oggs Cruz, called Hayop Ka! a "thing of beauty" with vibrant colors, good comic timing, and romance.[157] However, the same reviewer criticized it for "copious amounts of gratuitous nudity and sex," while arguing that the "overflowing creativity" in the animation is wasted. Later, it was said that it took three years to produce and that it was one of the many animated films in the Philippines.[158]

Oceania[edit]

Australia[edit]

Various adult animations have premiered in Australia. In October 2020, a film titled Combat Wombat,[159] came out, and became the second film in a trilogy of animated features which are part of the "Tales from Sanctuary City" series. It was described by one critic as an "entertaining and surprisingly adult movie."[160]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ His first was El Sol in 2010.

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