Is Adventure Time an Anime?

Article — By on October 14, 2012 9:54 am

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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As was mentioned in the comments section of my What is an anime? article, I have proposed the adoption of an “I’ll know it when I see it” policy when it comes to anime. So, does Adventure Time fit? To spoil the article, yes. It fits all the way in.

Anime Eyes

Anime eyes are an important part of anime. In fact, they may account for up to 40% of an anime’s animeness, according to a recent PEW Center report available at (You may not be able to access the article if you’re not a Pew Platinum member).

So how does Adventure Time stack up?

Welp, can’t argue with the math. 4 sets of anime eyes times 40% means Adventure Time is 160% anime.

I’d leave the article with this, but I get the feeling some obstinate folks won’t be convinced just yet.


The Japanese Language

Most animes have Japanese scattered throughout the series.

As you can see, Adventure Time does as well.



A concept used exclusively in anime, moé is that which inspires males or females to masturbate to anime girls when they act cute.

Blushing is probably the most moé thing of all, and Adventure Time has it in spades. Marceline (a typical bishoujo), is often featured in moé segments like this one.


Fetishization of the Dead

Though some may look at Sankarea as a clear example of anime’s “newfound” obsession with guro themes, Adventure Time had already tackled this subject with CoffinCreep Princess long before Sankarea even aired.

Ahead of the curve as always. And what curves…



According to Wikipedia,

Samurai (?) [bu͍.ɕi̥] were the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan.

I’m not sure I can say more on this subject.



It’s not an anime without a hot springs episode. Every show, from Ergo Proxy to Hamtaro, has an onsen episode or two.

The purpose is to provide masturbation material to youths so they will attach to a given series as they would to a lover — a valuable marketing technique that has proven successful among ronery Japanese youth.

Like other anime, Adventure Time has an onsen episode.

It fulfills its purpose well enough.


And of course…


Sexual Molestation

…of Both Sexes


Yup. Anime as fuck.

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Dark_Sage says:

Having watched over 20 animes completely, I’m going to have to disagree with your analysis there. It’s quite clearly Japanese.

PolynAzn says:

Not sure if sarcasm levels are too high or too low.

xarin says:

it really looks more korean then japanese to me too

Dark_Sage says:

Pretty sure that’s Japanese. You don’t often see Korean writing in animes.

csb says:

No, that really is Korean, Seiji. Check this image

and compare them letters.

Well, even if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t matter anyway, since Koreans are involved in pretty much every single anime you see out there (especially hentai). Take a quick look at the ending credits.

Zan says:

If you aren’t familiar with Dark_Sage’s sense of humor, that’s him being facetious. The whole thing is a joke.

wethericers says:


w0lf says:

…I thought it was Tiếng Việt.

Nerdbeast2015 says:

Although he might have done this as a joke, all of the points do apply to Adventure Time clearly being anime.

Nathan says:

Nope. It’s definately Korean. He’s writing in Korean because that is the language his girlfriend speaks.

Nope.avi says:

No ma’am that is clearly Korean, watching 20 animes doesn’t mean you know the difference and doesn’t make you anywhere close to an Otaku. Let me show you the difference

Korean: 이 한국어입니다 (This is Korean)

Japanese: これが日本人だ (This is Japanese)

The brackets are what they literally mean

Dark_Sage says:

If that isn’t Japanese, then why can’t I understand it?

Kamica says:

Pretty sure D_S is trolling you. Anybody who has seen more than one anime series in their lifetime can tell the difference between Japanese and Korean.

lygerzero0zero says:



kokujin-kun says:

>The brackets are what they literally mean

He’s right, just think about it.

aoihakurei says:


lygerzero0zero says:

Indeed. He’s perfectly correct, just not the way he thinks he is.

arnon says:


All hail Google Translate.

jabashque says:

And if he just added a period to “This is Japanese”, Google Translate would have actually given a translation with 日本語 instead of 日本人.

ZEROibis says:

That is what I thought when I saw it, but everyone knows those symbols are either from japan or from hieroglyphics on the Japanese pyramids in Egypt. Also look he is even writing right to left and that only happens in anime!

arnon says:

Isn’t the writing going left to right?

burl says:

I can read Korean and that letter is definitely in Korean.

rarely_upset says:

Thank you for enlightening us. This has been keeping me up at night for two and a half years.

QQwerty says:

No, you’re wrong. It’s Japanese and I know because I’m fluent in 23 languages, including Korean, Japanese, Ancient Inuit and Neantherthal Cave Pictograms.

Actually on second thought, they might be a Eurasian dialect of Neatherthal Cave Pictograms from an extinct tribe from where modern Tibet is.

What a breakthrough! I must write up a paper immediately! Thank you all for your help!

Zan says:

>Is Adventure Time an Anime?
No, it’s better.

FalseDawn says:

Man, that Ergo Proxy onsen episode was da bomb. Thanks for reminding me of it *goes to rewatch*

Chrouya says:

How about Avatar (not the film, but the animated series) ?

Dark_Sage says:

I wasn’t being serious with this article.

Avatar? It’s pretty close to anime, though I’d say it doesn’t quite hit the mark.

T. says:

you do realize that anime literally means animation made in japan, right?

Nerdbeast2015 says:

I know you aren’t being serious, but it is an anime the points you made in this article do apply to all of anime requirements. You can argue with me, but a lot of people who have seen anime know that it doesn’t have to look a certain way but act a certain way to be anime. Cartoon Network has been playing anime for years, like Naruto and Dragon Ball. (Not to mention a variety of adventure time episodes directed by a famous anime creator)

Dark_Sage says:

Dragon Ball isn’t anime though.

snooze says:

Fetishization of the Dead. I lost it here, thanks for the laughs.

w0lf says:

You can always look to Touhou for the whole Fetishization of the Dead. Just look at Touhou 13. Whole load of dead in there. (Then look at some of the more popular characters. Yuyuko’s dead, after all)

Sapphi says:

I kinda wanna see Adventure Time now. Looks cool.

Dark_Sage says:

10 minutes an episode. You have little to lose.

Gadorach says:

4 seasons later…

Starra says:

This show is lame.

kokujin-kun says:

The way Jake’s girlfriend can basically get away with saying just about anything because it’s all in Korean makes it the awesomest show in the history of everything.

Minami says:

Adventure Time is in Japanese. Your whole article is rendered moot.

blackiris says:

>Most animes have Japanese scattered throughout the series.
I don’t give a damn whether it was intentional or not, you sure did drop a clanger right there. There IS a point beyond which sarcasm is not allowed, and you, sir, have just trespassed it.

P32L says:

Wouldn’t nearly be the first time he’s done so. ‘Sides, I find it much easier to annoy people by pronouncing it with two syllables.

P32L says:

I also like how he ‘crossed the line’ by pluralising a word. You must be a lot of fun at parties.

blackiris says:

>I also like how he ‘crossed the line’ by pluralising a word.
7/10, decent enough – made me reply.

This is sheer folly, the plural is “anime” – whether you like it or not. You may want to pluralize the word matrix to “matrixes” but no matter what’s your personal preference of mutilating English, the plural is still “matrices”.

Dark_Sage says:

It’s a loan word, and like other loan words, we English speakers can treat it as our own. Ninja can be pluralized as ninja or ninjas. Same applies to anime. Best practice is to leave off the s when pluralizing, but I leave it on intentionally when I think it fits the writing style I’m going for.

blackiris says:

Two months ago, at my university, I had a small discussion on that matter with the professors on semantics, linguistic anthropology, and pragmatics. The agreement reached after that short exchange of opinions was unambiguous: language is what people make of it, loan words from languages that disregard the grammatical number per se tend to receive their plural forms from either their grammatical structure, or – in certain cases – in accordance with how they assimilate to a new cultural background.
You see, it’s a loan word. But there’s only one way to pronounce it – and it disregards the Japanese phonetics altogether. It’s /ˈænɪmeɪ/ – though I do believe that in some cases it can flatten to /ˈænəmeɪ/. You pronounce it this way because it’s the set standard – and just because it’s not an English word doesn’t automatically enable you to go all chuuni with /ˈæniːmə/. And it’s the same with the plural – in the case of the word “anime” there is NO official rule ordering you to use it this way or another. But it has been cemented over time that the proper plural form is “anime” so you should go along with the standards and not make English even more messed up than it already is. But if you still insist on using such linguistic freaks… then I’d recommend you to apply for a poetic license.

FalseDawn says:

This just means that if “anime” becomes popular enough in Western culture, animes will be an acceptable pluralization. Until then, the weeaboos demand that it be “anime” singular or plural, so take heed, Dark_Sage. You wouldn’t want to upset those weeaboos.

Novles says:

Dark_Sage intentionally annoys people. He’ll be making it animes from now on, forever, until the end of his anime reviewing career. At least I hope he does. I’d find it pretty humorous.

prosauce says:

mad weaboos are entertaining

Glaive says:

You do realize the only reason it has only one pronunciation is because it’s a loan word, don’t you? Loan words have to confine to the phonetic standards of the language to which they are loaned to. Why? So that the speakers of said language can pronounce them. This doesn’t create a “set” standard for pluralization. Just have a look at the more common, less often debated word: tsunami. And now, having said that, I recommend you gather your thoughts and think about whether or not your argument is a legitimate one.

ZEROibis says:

Why do we need to argue about a bunch of tsunamis? Soon this thread is going to become synonymous with plural rants more than it already is with trolling…

crymore says:

cry more guys, cry more.

Anonymous says:

adventure time is something like Binbougami Ga!. Anime but on a level that it has surpassed the average anime.

or something like that

Dark_Pride says:

> moé is that which inspires males or females to masturbate to anime girls when they act cute.

I didn’t masturbate to that one, so it’s not moe.

nadeshiko says:

I just love anime for all of these reasons.

Anon says:

It’s not an anime….it’s a regular American cartoon, and at Otakon, you aren’t allowed to have an Adventure time panel (I tried to) because they only allowed Anime panels…and anime eyes are always animeish, and if you find adventure time has sexual molestation then whhoooaaa you haven’t even watched enough or little to no animes at all to even think it’s sexual (sooo many animes are perverted… On so many levels)
I mean I still like anime (only ones that aren’t perverted). But this article or whatever you want to call it makes me think that you don’t want to give credit to it’s creator (American), which seems a bit offending to me…I still really love Japan, Korea, and all other Asian, European countries, etc. and have the upmost respect for them.

Okay let me clear this up. Dark Sage must be trolling. I am Japanese, so let me clear a little bit up here.
1. That’s Korean, I know because I’m learning it, and I’m Japanese. Also, he’s sending it to his girlfriend’s parents, and all rainicorns SPEAK KOREAN.
2. An anime has a certain style, that of a manga style.
3. An anime has to be either made in Japan, or made by a Japanese person and/or group of people (im not as strict).
4. Adventure Time is a cartoon, not because it was made in America, but because it IS NOT ANIME STYLE.
5. What? molestation?!?? wHAT!??! you have NEVER watched anything if that is molestation!
6. Just because someone wears a suit of armor, AND, takes a bath is sewage, that doesn’t make it Japanese!
7. Wikipedia is not a reputable source.

But it doesn;t matter, this troll is a troll, and if he can reply to this with a GOOD reply I might take him seriously.

Dark_Sage says:

1. It’s racist to say Japanese is Korean.
2. Adventure Time isn’t a manga; it’s an anime.
3. False. Source:
4. False. Source:
5. Molestation is molestation, regardless of if there was penetration or not. Check your sexual abuse privilege.
6. Yes it does.
7. Why do you need a source for what a samurai is? I thought you were Japanese. Unless… you’re lying about that. …Shameful. :/

Also, I am honorarily Japanese, so I believe I outrank you in this.

QQwerty says:

I’m probably just taking bait, but whatever, I’ll spell it out for you:

IT’S A JOKE. Holy fuck.

The fact that you took all this seriously has me deeply concerned about your social life.

billy says:

ADVENTURE TIME IS TOO FUNNY AND INTERESTING TO BE ANIME!!!! Plus adventure time has creative art style unlike anime

LotusGG says:

Look, I just took the bait!

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