In some strange twist of cultural fate, animation in this hemisphere—that’s cartoon TV, films, shorts, commercials, etc.— seems to speak only in jokes and, mostly, only to children. Western cartoons are funny, and every year, the American animated movies hoisting Oscars over their heads are the ones consumed by kids and marketed for families and designed to make everyone laugh and feel good about themselves and their anthropomorphized feelings. TV shows? Yeah, there’s an Emmy for animation, though it tends to be a tennis match between only a couple consistent comedies.
But it’s not that way everywhere—especially across Asia where dramatic animation gets deserved praise alongside live action television—and now with streaming services opening up the world of TV, even us westerners are getting in on some serious animated drama.