‘Anime is a medium, not a genre’, they say. But the word doesn’t normally mean a medium in English.
Animation is a medium, and so is television, in a different sense. In English, anime usually isn’t identical with ‘animation’ and is never identical with ‘television’.
Granted, English-speakers do choose among several competing senses when they use the word anime. None of the typical senses, however, describes a medium:
- ‘Japanese animation’ isn’t a medium.
- ‘Animation for people over the age of eight’ isn’t a medium.
- ‘Animation with a style of character design like that in the light novel adaptation du jour’? Still not a medium.
- ‘Animation which Netflix wants to sell to teenagers and younger adults’ is totally not a medium.
Of course, people should feel welcome to use anime in the Japanese sense within English sentences if they desperately want to: no one pays me to tell others what to say.
Those who do so ought, however, to expect to confuse their audiences, much as they would if they invited someone to a mansion which turned out to be a flat. (Or, as some other varieties of English have it, an ‘apartment’.) Plus, to be honest, if someone sets themselves out as a fan of animation in general, they must prepare to own it. I will expect opinions on Fehérlófia.
Anime is neither a genre nor a medium.