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For many Lebanese children growing up in the 1970s and '80s, during the Civil War, the ultimate heroic figure was a giant robot. An animated Japense series – or anime, as it is known in Japan – "Grendizer" was dubbed into classical Arabic and screened across the region, enchanting a generation of children. "Grendizer" and other Japanese series dubbed into Arabic and screened during the '70s and '80s, such as "Treasure Island," transformed a generation of young Arabs into unwitting anime fans.Although anime is no longer dubbed into Arabic and screened locally, Lebanese fans can access it online.Manga and anime are produced for people of all ages and have a distinctive style, featuring characters with enormous eyes and spiky hair. What truly differentiates anime from Western cartoons is the drama, he adds. An avid fan of manga and anime, Khaled Salloum founded the Social Anime Rejects, a group for otaku – people addicted to the Japanese series – seven years ago. Meetings are held weekly for attendees to share and discuss manga and anime. Because anime series are no longer dubbed into Arabic by local stations, he says, the group watch them with English or French subtitles.Anime is completely different from Western cartoons, even those aimed at adults, he says.
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