ANIME (/ˈænəˌmeɪ/ (Japanese : アニメ, ( listen ), plural:
anime)), also called JAPANIMATION, is hand-drawn or computer
animation associated with
Japan . The word anime is the Japanese term
for animation, which means all forms of animated media. Outside
Japan, anime refers specifically to animation from
Japan or as a
Japanese-disseminated animation style often characterized by colorful
graphics, vibrant characters and fantastical themes. Arguably, the
culturally abstract approach to the word's meaning may open up the
possibility of anime produced in countries other than Japan. For
simplicity, many Westerners strictly view anime as a Japanese
animation product. Some scholars suggest defining anime as
specifically or quintessentially Japanese may be related to a new form
of orientalism .
The earliest commercial Japanese animation dates to 1917, and
Japanese anime production has since continued to increase steadily.
The characteristic anime art style emerged in the 1960s with the works
Osamu Tezuka and spread internationally in the late twentieth
century, developing a large domestic and international audience. Anime
is distributed theatrically, by way of television broadcasts, directly
to home media, and over the Internet. It is classified into numerous
genres targeting diverse broad and niche audiences.
Anime is a diverse art form with distinctive production methods and
techniques that have been adapted over time in response to emergent
technologies. It consists of an ideal story-telling mechanism,
combining graphic art, characterization, cinematography, and other
forms of imaginative and individualistic techniques. The production
of anime focuses less on the animation of movement and more on the
realism of settings as well as the use of camera effects, including
panning, zooming, and angle shots. Being hand-drawn, anime is
separated from reality by a crucial gap of fiction that provides an
ideal path for escapism that audiences can immerse themselves into
with relative ease. Diverse art styles are used and character
proportions and features can be quite varied, including
characteristically large emotive or realistically sized eyes.
The anime industry consists of over 430 production studios, including
major names like
Studio Ghibli ,
Gainax , and Toei
Animation . Despite
comprising only a fraction of Japan's domestic film market, anime
makes up a majority of Japanese
DVD sales. It has also seen
international success after the rise of English-dubbed programming.
This rise in international popularity has resulted in non-Japanese
productions using the anime art style, but these works are usually
described as anime-influenced animation rather than anime proper.
* 1 Definition and usage
* 2 Format
* 3 History
* 4 Genres
* 5 Attributes
* 5.2 Characters
* 5.3 Music
* 6 Industry
* 6.1 Awards
* 7 Globalization
* 7.1 Fan response
* 8 See also
* 9 References
* 9.1 Notes
* 9.2 Sources
* 9.3 Bibliography
* 10 External links
DEFINITION AND USAGE
Anime is an art form, specifically animation, that includes all
genres found in cinema, but it can be mistakenly classified as a
genre. In Japanese , the term anime refers to all forms of animation
from around the world. In English, anime (/ˈænəˌmeɪ/ ) is more
restrictively used to denote a "Japanese-style animated film or
television entertainment" or as "a style of animation created in
The etymology of the word anime is disputed. The English term
"animation" is written in Japanese katakana as アニメーション
(animēshon, pronounced ) and is アニメ (anime) in its shortened
form. Some sources claim that anime derives from the French term for
animation dessin animé, but others believe this to be a myth
derived from the French popularity of the medium in the late 1970s and
1980s. In English, anime—when used as a common noun —normally
functions as a mass noun . (For example: "Do you watch anime?" or "How
much anime have you collected?") Prior to the widespread use of
anime, the term Japanimation was prevalent throughout the 1970s and
1980s. In the mid-1980s, the term anime began to supplant
Japanimation. In general, the latter term now only appears in period
works where it is used to distinguish and identify Japanese animation.
The word anime has also been criticised, e.g. in 1987, when Hayao
Miyazaki stated that he despised the truncated word anime because to
him it represented the desolation of the Japanese animation industry.
He equated the desolation with animators lacking motivation and with
mass-produced, overly expressionistic products relying upon a fixed
iconography of facial expressions and protracted and exaggerated
action scenes but lacking depth and sophistication in that they do not
attempt to convey emotion or thought.
The first format of anime was theatrical viewing which originally
began with commercial productions in 1917. Originally the animated
flips were crude and required played musical components before adding
sound and vocal components to the production. On July 14, 1958, Nippon
Television aired Mogura no Abanchūru ("Mole\'s Adventure "), both the
first televised and first color anime to debut. It wasn't until the
1960s when the first televised series were broadcast and it has
remained a popular medium since. Works released in a direct to video
format are called "original video animation " (OVA) or "original
animation video" (OAV); and are typically not released theatrically or
televised prior to home media release. The emergence of the Internet
has led some animators to distribute works online in a format called
"original net anime " (ONA).
The home distribution of anime releases were popularized in the 1980s
with the VHS and
LaserDisc formats. The VHS
NTSC video format used in
Japan and the United States is credited as aiding the rising
popularity of anime in the 1990s. The Laser Disc and VHS formats were
transcended by the
DVD format which offered the unique advantages;
including multiple subtitling and dubbing tracks on the same disc.
DVD format also has its drawbacks in the its usage of region
coding ; adopted by the industry to solve licensing, piracy and export
problems and restricted region indicated on the
DVD player. The Video
CD (VCD) format was popular in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but became only a
minor format in the United States that was closely associated with
History of anime A cel from
Namakura Gatana , the
earliest surviving Japanese animated short made for cinemas, produced
Japanese animation began in the early 20th century, when Japanese
filmmakers experimented with the animation techniques also pioneered
in France, Germany, the United States and Russia. A claim for the
earliest Japanese animation is
Katsudō Shashin , an undated and
private work by an unknown creator. In 1917, the first professional
and publicly displayed works began to appear. Animators such as Ōten
Seitarou Kitayama produced numerous works, with the
oldest surviving film being Kouchi's
Namakura Gatana , a two-minute
clip of a samurai trying to test a new sword on his target only to
suffer defeat. The
1923 Great Kantō earthquake
1923 Great Kantō earthquake resulted in
widespread destruction to Japan's infrastructure and the destruction
of Shimokawa's warehouse, destroying most of these early works.
By the 1930s animation was well established in
Japan as an
alternative format to the live-action industry. It suffered
competition from foreign producers and many animators, Noburō Ōfuji
Yasuji Murata , who still worked in cheaper cutout animation
rather than cel animation . Other creators,
Kenzō Masaoka and
Mitsuyo Seo , nonetheless made great strides in animation technique;
they benefited from the patronage of the government, which employed
animators to produce educational shorts and propaganda . The first
talkie anime was
Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka
Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka , produced by Masaoka
in 1933. By 1940, numerous anime artists' organizations had risen,
including the Shin Mangaha Shudan and Shin Nippon Mangaka. The first
feature-length animated film was Momotaro\'s Divine Sea Warriors
directed by Seo in 1944 with sponsorship by the Imperial Japanese Navy
. A frame from Momotaro\'s Divine Sea Warriors (1944), the first
feature-length anime film
The success of
The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company 's 1937 feature film Snow
White and the Seven Dwarfs profoundly influenced many Japanese
animators. In the 1960s, manga artist and animator Osamu Tezuka
adapted and simplified many
Disney animation techniques to reduce
costs and to limit the number of frames in productions. He intended
this as a temporary measure to allow him to produce material on a
tight schedule with inexperienced animation staff. Three Tales ,
aired in 1960, was the first anime shown on television. The first
anime television series was Otogi
Manga Calendar , aired from 1961 to
The 1970s saw a surge of growth in the popularity of manga , Japanese
comic books and graphic novels , many of which were later animated.
The work of
Osamu Tezuka drew particular attention: he has been called
a "legend" and the "god of manga". His work—and that of other
pioneers in the field—inspired characteristics and genres that
remain fundamental elements of anime today. The giant robot genre
(known as "mecha " outside Japan), for instance, took shape under
Tezuka, developed into the Super
Robot genre under
Go Nagai and
others, and was revolutionized at the end of the decade by Yoshiyuki
Tomino who developed the Real
Robot anime like the
The Super Dimension Fortress Macross series became instant
classics in the 1980s, and the robot genre of anime is still one of
the most common in
Japan and worldwide today. In the 1980s, anime
became more accepted in the mainstream in
Japan (although less than
manga ), and experienced a boom in production. Following a few
successful adaptations of anime in overseas markets in the 1980s,
anime gained increased acceptance in those markets in the 1990s and
even more at the turn of the 21st century. In 2002,
Spirited Away , a
Studio Ghibli production directed by
Hayao Miyazaki won the Golden
Bear at the
Berlin International Film Festival
Berlin International Film Festival and in 2003 at the 75th
Academy Awards it won the
Academy Award for Best Animated Feature .
Anime are often classified by target demographic, including
childrens' (子供, kodomo ), girls' (少女, shōjo ), boys' (少年,
shōnen ) and a diverse range of genres targeting an adult audience.
Shoujo and shounen anime sometimes contain elements popular with
children of both sexes in an attempt to gain crossover appeal. Adult
anime may feature a slower pace or greater plot complexity that
younger audiences typically find unappealing, as well as adult themes
and situations. A subset of adult anime works featuring pornographic
elements are labeled "R18" in Japan, and are internationally known as
hentai (originating from pervert (変態, hentai)). By contrast, some
anime subgenres incorporate ecchi , sexual themes or undertones
without depictions of sexual intercourse , as typified in the comedic
or harem genres; due to its popularity among adolescent and adult
anime enthusiasts, the inclusion of such elements is considered a form
of fan service .
Anime's genre classification is different from other types of
animation and does not lend itself to simple identity. Gilles Poitras
compared the labeling
Gundam 0080 and its complex depiction of war as
a "giant robot" anime akin to simply labeling
War and Peace
War and Peace a "war
novel". Science fiction is a major anime genre and includes important
historical works like Tezuka's
Astro Boy and Yokoyama 's Tetsujin
28-go . A major subgenre of science fiction is mecha , with the Gundam
metaseries being iconic. The diverse fantasy genre includes works
based on Asian and Western traditions and folklore; examples include
the Japanese feudal fairytale
InuYasha , and the depiction of
Scandinavian goddesses who move to
Japan to maintain a computer called
Yggdrasil in Ah! My Goddess .
Genre crossing in anime is also
prevalent, such as the blend of fantasy and comedy in
Dragon Half ,
and the incorporation of slapstick humor in the crime anime Castle of
Cagliostro . Other subgenres found in anime include magical girl ,
harem, sports, martial arts, literary adaptations, medievalism , and
Genres have emerged that explore homosexual romances. While
originally pornographic in terminology, yaoi (male homosexuality) and
yuri (female homosexuality) are broad terms used internationally to
describe any focus on the themes or development of romantic homosexual
relationships. Prior to 2000, homosexual characters were typically
used for comedic effect, but some works portrayed these characters
seriously or sympathetically.
Anime artists employ many distinct visual styles
Anime differs greatly from other forms of animation by its diverse
art styles, methods of animation, its production, and its process.
Visually, anime is a diverse art form that contains a wide variety of
art styles, differing from one creator, artist, and studio. While no
one art style predominates anime as a whole, they do share some
similar attributes in terms of animation technique and character
Anime follows the typical production of animation, including
storyboarding , voice acting , character design , and cel production
Shirobako , itself a series, highlights many of the aspects involved
in anime production). Since the 1990s, animators have increasingly
used computer animation to improve the efficiency of the production
process. Artists like
Noburō Ōfuji pioneered the earliest anime
works, which were experimental and consisted of images drawn on
blackboards, stop motion animation of paper cutouts, and silhouette
Cel animation grew in popularity until it came to
dominate the medium. In the 21st century, the use of other animation
techniques is mostly limited to independent short films , including
the stop motion puppet animation work produced by
Tadahito Mochinaga ,
Kihachirō Kawamoto and Tomoyasu Murata. Computers were integrated
into the animation process in the 1990s, with works such as Ghost in
the Shell and
Princess Mononoke mixing cel animation with
computer-generated images. Fuji Film , a major cel production
company, announced it would stop cel production, producing an industry
panic to procure cel imports and hastening the switch to digital
Prior to the digital era, anime was produced with traditional
animation methods using a pose to pose approach. The majority of
mainstream anime uses fewer expressive key frames and more in-between
Japanese animation studios were pioneers of many limited animation
techniques, and have given anime a distinct set of conventions. Unlike
Disney animation, where the emphasis is on the movement, anime
emphasizes the art quality and let limited animation techniques make
up for the lack of time spent on movement. Such techniques are often
used not only to meet deadlines but also as artistic devices. Anime
scenes place emphasis on achieving three-dimensional views, and
backgrounds are instrumental in creating the atmosphere of the work.
The backgrounds are not always invented and are occasionally based on
real locations, as exemplified in Howl\'s Moving Castle and The
Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya . Oppliger stated that anime is one of
the rare mediums where putting together an all-star cast usually comes
out looking "tremendously impressive".
The cinematic effects of anime differentiates itself from the stage
plays found in American animation.
Anime is cinematically shot as if
by camera, including panning, zooming, distance and angle shots to
more complex dynamic shots that would be difficult to produce in
reality. In anime, the animation is produced before the voice
acting, contrary to American animation which does the voice acting
first; this can cause lip sync errors in the Japanese version.
Body proportions of human anime characters tend to accurately reflect
the proportions of the human body in reality. The height of the head
is considered by the artist as the base unit of proportion. Head
heights can vary, but most anime characters are about seven to eight
Anime artists occasionally make deliberate modifications
to body proportions to produce super deformed characters that feature
a disproportionately small body compared to the head; many super
deformed characters are two to four heads tall. Some anime works like
Crayon Shin-chan completely disregard these proportions, such that
they resemble Western cartoons.
A common anime character design convention is exaggerated eye size.
The animation of characters with large eyes in anime can be traced
back to Osamu Tezuka, who was deeply influenced by such early
animation characters as
Betty Boop , who was drawn with
disproportionately large eyes. Tezuka is a central figure in anime
and manga history, whose iconic art style and character designs
allowed for the entire range of human emotions to be depicted solely
through the eyes. The artist adds variable color shading to the eyes
and particularly to the cornea to give them greater depth. Generally,
a mixture of a light shade, the tone color, and a dark shade is used.
Matt Thorn argues that Japanese animators and
audiences do not perceive such stylized eyes as inherently more or
less foreign. However, not all anime have large eyes. For example,
the works of
Hayao Miyazaki are known for having realistically
proportioned eyes, as well as realistic hair colors on their
Anime and manga artists often draw from a defined
set of facial expressions to depict particular emotions
Hair in anime is often unnaturally lively and colorful or uniquely
styled. The movement of hair in anime is exaggerated and "hair action"
is used to emphasize the action and emotions of characters for added
visual effect. Poitras traces hairstyle color to cover illustrations
on manga, where eye-catching artwork and colorful tones are attractive
for children's manga. Despite being produced for a domestic market,
anime features characters whose race or nationality is not always
defined, and this is often a deliberate decision, such as in the
Pokémon animated series.
Anime and manga artists often draw from a common canon of iconic
facial expression illustrations to denote particular moods and
thoughts. These techniques are often different in form than their
counterparts in Western animation, and they include a fixed
iconography that is used as shorthand for certain emotions and moods.
For example, a male character may develop a nosebleed when aroused. A
variety of visual symbols are employed, including sweat drops to
depict nervousness, visible blushing for embarrassment, or glowing
eyes for an intense glare.
The opening and credits sequences of most anime television episodes
are accompanied by Japanese pop or rock songs, often by reputed bands.
They may be written with the series in mind, but are also aimed at the
general music market, and therefore often allude only vaguely or not
at all to the themes or plot of the series. Pop and rock songs are
also sometimes used as incidental music ("insert songs") in an
episode, often to highlight particularly important scenes.
List of anime companies and List of Japanese animation
Akihabara district of Tokyo is the center of otaku
subculture in Japan.
The animation industry consists of more than 430 production companies
with some of the major studios including Toei
Madhouse , Gonzo , Sunrise , Bones ,
TMS Entertainment , Nippon
Studio Pierrot and
Studio Ghibli . Many of
the studios are organized into a trade association , The Association
of Japanese Animations . There is also a labor union for workers in
the industry, the Japanese
Animation Creators Association . Studios
will often work together to produce more complex and costly projects,
as done with Studio Ghibli's
Spirited Away . An anime episode can
cost between US$ 100,000 and US$300,000 to produce. In 2001,
animation accounted for 7% of the Japanese film market, above the 4.6%
market share for live-action works. The popularity and success of
anime is seen through the profitability of the
contributing nearly 70% of total sales. According to a 2016 article
on Nikkei Asian Review, Japanese television stations have bought over
¥60 billion worth of anime from production companies "over the past
few years", compared with under ¥20 billion from overseas. There has
been a rise in sales of shows to television stations in Japan, caused
by late night anime with adults as the target demographic . This type
of anime is less popular outside Japan, being considered "more of a
niche product ".
Spirited Away (2001) is the all-time
highest-grossing film in
Japan . It was also the highest-grossing
anime film worldwide until it was overtaken by
Makoto Shinkai 's 2016
Your Name .
Anime films represent a large part of the
highest-grossing Japanese films yearly in Japan, with 6 out of the top
10 in 2014 , in 2015 and also in 2016 .
Anime has to be licensed by companies in other countries in order to
be legally released. While anime has been licensed by its Japanese
owners for use outside
Japan since at least the 1960s, the practice
became well-established in the United States in the late 1970s to
early 1980s, when such TV series as
Captain Harlock were
licensed from their Japanese parent companies for distribution in the
US market. The trend towards American distribution of anime continued
into the 1980s with the licensing of titles such as
Voltron and the
'creation' of new series such as
Robotech through use of source
material from several original series.
In the early 1990s, several companies began to experiment with the
licensing of less children-oriented material. Some, such as A.D.
Vision , and
Central Park Media and its imprints, achieved fairly
substantial commercial success and went on to become major players in
the now very lucrative American anime market. Others, such as AnimEigo
, achieved limited success. Many companies created directly by
Japanese parent companies did not do as well, most releasing only one
or two titles before completing their American operations.
Licenses are expensive, often hundreds of thousands of dollars for
one series and tens of thousands for one movie. The prices vary
widely; for example, Jinki: Extend cost only $91,000 to license while
Kurau Phantom Memory cost $960,000.
Simulcast Internet streaming
rights can be less expensive, with prices around $1,000-$2,000 an
episode, but can also be more expensive, with some series costing
more than US$200,000 per episode.
The anime market for the United States was worth approximately $2.74
billion in 2009. Dubbed animation began airing in the United States
in 2000 on networks like The WB and
Cartoon Network 's
Adult Swim .
In 2005, this resulted in five of the top ten anime titles having
previously aired on Cartoon Network. As a part of localization, some
editing of cultural references may occur to better follow the
references of the non-Japanese culture. The cost of English
localization averages US $10,000 per episode.
The industry has been subject to both praise and condemnation for
fansubs , the addition of unlicensed and unauthorized subtitled
translations of anime series or films. Fansubs, which were originally
distributed on VHS bootlegged cassettes in the 1980s, have been freely
available and disseminated online since the 1990s. Since this
practice raises concerns for copyright and piracy issues, fansubbers
tend to adhere to an unwritten moral code to destroy or no longer
distribute an anime once an official translated or subtitled version
becomes licensed. They also try to encourage viewers to buy an
official copy of the release once it comes out in English, although
fansubs typically continue to circulate through file sharing networks.
Even so, the laid back regulations of the Japanese animation industry
tends to overlook these issues, allowing it to grow underground and
thus increasing the popularity until there is a demand for official
high quality releases for animation companies. This has led to an
increase in global popularity with Japanese animations, reaching $40
million in sales in 2004.
Legal international availability of anime on the Internet has changed
in recent years, with simulcasts of series available on websites like
The anime industry has several annual awards which honor the year's
best works. Major annual awards in
Japan include the Ōfuji Noburō
Award , the Mainichi Film Award for Best
Animation Film , the
Animation Kobe Awards, the
Japan Media Arts Festival animation awards,
Tokyo Anime Award and the
Japan Academy Prize for
Animation of the
Year . In the United States, anime films compete in the ICv2.com Anime
Awards There were also the
American Anime Awards , which were
designed to recognize excellence in anime titles nominated by the
industry, and were held only once in 2006.
Anime productions have
also been nominated and won awards not exclusively for anime, like the
Academy Award for Best Animated Feature or the
Golden Bear .
Anime has become commercially profitable in Western countries , as
demonstrated by early commercially successful Western adaptations of
anime, such as
Astro Boy and
Speed Racer . Early American adaptions in
the 1960s made
Japan expand into the continental European market,
first with productions aimed at European and Japanese children, such
as Heidi ,
Vicky the Viking and
Barbapapa , which aired in various
countries. Particularly Italy, Spain and France grew an interest into
Japan's output, due to its cheap selling price and productive output.
In fact, Italy imported the most anime outside of Japan. These mass
imports influenced anime popularity in South American, Arabic and
The beginning of 1980 saw the introduction of Japanese anime series
into the American culture. In the 1990s, Japanese animation slowly
gained popularity in America. Media companies such as Viz and Mixx
began publishing and releasing animation into the American market.
The growth of the Internet provided Western audiences an easy way to
access Japanese content. This is especially the case with net
services such as
Crunchyroll . As a direct result, various
Japan has increased.
Anime clubs gave rise to anime conventions in the 1990s with the
"anime boom", a period marked by increased popularity of anime. These
conventions are dedicated to anime and manga and include elements like
cosplay contests and industry talk panels. Cosplay, a portmanteau for
"costume play", is not unique to anime and has become popular in
contests and masquerades at anime conventions. Japanese culture and
words have entered English usage through the popularity of the medium,
including otaku , a derogatory Japanese term commonly used in English
to denote a fan of anime and manga. Another word that has arisen
describing fans in the United States is wapanese meaning White
individuals who desire to be Japanese, or later known as weeaboo for
individuals who demonstrate a strong interest in Japanese anime
subculture, which is a term that originated from abusive content
posted on the popular bulletin board website
4chan.org . Anime
enthusiasts have produced fan fiction and fan art , including computer
wallpaper and anime music videos .
One of the key points that made anime different from popular Western
animation is the emotional content. Once the expectation that the
aspects of visual intrigue or animation being just for children is put
aside, the audience can realize that many emotions such as suffering,
death, pain, struggle, and joy can all be storytelling elements
utilized in anime as much as other types of media. However, as anime
itself became increasingly popular, anime styling has been inevitably
the subject of both satire and serious creative productions. South
Park 's "
Chinpokomon " and "
Good Times with Weapons
Good Times with Weapons " episodes, Adult
Perfect Hair Forever , and
Kappa Mikey are
examples of satirical depictions of Japanese culture and anime. Some
works have sparked debate for blurring the lines between satire and
serious "anime style" productions, such as the American anime style
production Avatar: The Last Airbender . These anime styled works have
become defined as anime-influenced animation , in an attempt to
classify all anime styled works of non-Japanese origin. Some creators
of these works cite anime as a source of inspiration and like the
French production team for
Ōban Star-Racers moved to Tokyo to
collaborate with a Japanese production team. When anime is defined
as a "style" rather than as a national product it leaves open the
possibility of anime being produced in other countries. A U.A.E.
-Filipino produced TV series called Torkaizer is dubbed as the "Middle
Anime Show", and is currently in production, which is
currently looking for funding. The web-based series
RWBY is produced
using an anime art style and has been declared to be anime. In
addition, the series will be released in Japan, under the label of
"anime" per the Japanese definition of the term and referenced as an
Netflix declared the company's intention to
produce anime. In doing so, the company is offering a more accessible
channel for distribution to Western markets. Defining anime as style
has been contentious amongst fans, with John Oppliger stating, "The
insistence on referring to original American art as Japanese "anime"
or "manga" robs the work of its cultural identity."
Anime and manga portal
List of anime
List of anime
Voice acting in
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