Should we assume a culture neutral perspective when asking a question or it's fine to assume Anime & Manga SE is written mainly from foreigners and consequently all question are asked in a non-Japanese cultural perspective?

This issue started to bugs me from What differentiates anime from regular cartoons, where "regular" stands for non-anime. Answers to that question clarify how limited that point of view is because, by a Japanese point of view, "regular cartoons" are anime, but the question "foreigner" perspective is still intact.

Three options are available, here a very rough list:

  • Japanese perspective: because anime are from Japan (producer perspective)
  • Foreigner perspective: because Anime & Manga SE is written in English mainly for a foreign audience (foreigner watcher perspective)
  • Neutral perspective: because objectivity and neutrality are major constraints.

Supposing neutral perspective is adopted, should questions have to be rewritten to adapt to that perspective?

2 Answers 2


In the particular case you have listed, I'd rather the title be changed to "What differentiates anime from other cartoons?" (changing "regular" to "other"), which I guess is the neutral perspective. It seems to me that it is best to use objective terms whenever possible.

However, I don't think we should change every question and answer to fit with one particular perspective. It's not a very important consideration, as Alenanno has said. If there's an easy way to change it to the objective perspective, then I think it's alright to do so, but if you find that you have to rewrite entire sentences to accomplish it, then you're probably infringing on the original author's stylistic rights.

tl;dr: We should not mandate a particular perspective, but we should support the objective perspective whenever it is convenient to do so.

  • With that said, if this answer gets support, I'll take that as a sign that it's acceptable to change the name of the question as I have proposed.
    – Logan M
    Commented Dec 15, 2012 at 23:27
  • Maybe it's better to ask the author to change the sentence instead of rewriting it. And it's relevant because the question set the tone of the following answers.
    – chirale
    Commented Dec 16, 2012 at 8:39
  • 1
    @chirale Good point. I don't think we should go around changing things like this without the author's permission.
    – Logan M
    Commented Dec 16, 2012 at 21:00

I think even Japanese actually use "Anime" to refer to Japanese-style cartoons only. And I doubt you'll ever see a Japanese calling a Disney cartoon "Anime".

I don't think there's an issue here. :)

  • I'm not telling Disney's cartoons are anime from a Japanese perspective. I'm telling that anime from a Japanese perspective are "regular" cartoons. All anime are cartoons, but only Japanese cartoons are anime. So the "regular" term is misleading and assume a foreign perspective, because reduce cartoons to foreign cartoons.
    – chirale
    Commented Dec 15, 2012 at 11:27
  • 1
    I doubt that too. What I meant is that Japanese people will use the same terms we do, because that's what the tendency seems to be. But we can wait for some Japanese to post on here if you prefer. :)
    – Alenanno
    Commented Dec 15, 2012 at 11:30
  • @chirale In any case, your question is still legit. I upvoted it. :D
    – Alenanno
    Commented Dec 15, 2012 at 11:55
  • Thank you! I'm interested how the community will handle the cultural perspective issue more than the specific question I cited as example, so your suggestion to seek for a Japanese point of view in the meanwhile is welcomed.
    – chirale
    Commented Dec 15, 2012 at 12:16
  • 2
    To be fair, the Japanese Wikipedia article for Avatar calls it an anime... And Spongebob.
    – atlantiza
    Commented Dec 15, 2012 at 19:06

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