I guess I'm not sure I understand why you're interested in writing an
"anime" script. Unless you're writing a script in Japanese for Japanese
speaking actors in a Japanese production, I'm not sure it's going to help
you much to know the official anime script format.
Now if you'd like to write a screenplay in English that contains the
sophistication and storytelling aspects of your favorite anime, you can do
that in many standard movie and/or TV screenplay formats. Most
screenwriting programs have those templates already built in. It's up to
you then to write a story that contains the elements that you enjoy from
If you're interested in adapting scripts for English dubbing, that is its
own specialized niche, but it doesn't take that long to get familiar with
its conventions. In that case, you'll use whatever form the recording
studio likes to use.
In the end, formatting can only make your script *look* professional. As
always, however, the content is more important than the formatting.
If you want to break down the substance of why anime stories are different
from American animation or even live-action, that is something you'll have
to discover for yourself through studying story and breaking down the
elements of the stories you like. That's what I do with my mythology
studies, I break down what I find interesting and captivating about my
favorite anime and how it differs from American animation storytelling and
mythology. It's a broad subject. I spend most of my time after watching a
film trying to break down the story to see if I could improve it in any way,
whether I liked the film or not.
There are plenty of film critics and academics that do their best to
interpret different film makers and different styles of film making. Susan
Napier does it in anime, as does Antonia Levi. Donald Richie is a very
famous writer on Japanese cinema in general. Those would be great places to
> From: Chris Gregory <fallout2man@...>
> Reply-To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: Tue, 01 Apr 2008 06:43:30 -0000
> To: <email@example.com>
> Subject: [crispin_freeman_fansite] Question about anime scripts
> I'd like to ask Crispin, or anyone who knows really about one thing in
> particular. I've been developing a keen interest in writing for a while
> and lately been trying to train myself in script writing.
> One thing I've been wondering ever since I started looking into the
> specifics of script writing, is this: Does an anime script differ
> significantly from a screenplay or American TV script, and if so how?
> Not just in format but substance. Every course, program or tutorial in
> screenwriting has been focused on American film with occasional options
> for American TV writing. I've checked on every available place on the
> internet and at best found only dialog transcripts of anime. This makes
> me wonder, if you were to want to write an anime script from the start
> (versus adapting a story from another medium), how would you go about
> it opposed to traditional screenwriting?
> Any info would be extremely appreciated, as it'll help me trying to
> refine my writing immensely. Thanks in advance - Chris
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