Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Anime () (Japanese: アニメ, [aɲime] (listen), plural: anime) is hand-drawn and computer animation originating from or 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. 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 of 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. Whether these works are anime-influenced animation or proper anime is a subject for debate amongst fans. == 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 is used as a blanket term to refer to all forms of animation from around the world. In English, anime () is more restrictively used to denote a "Japanese-style animated film or television entertainment" or as "a style of animation created in Japan".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, Japanese pronunciation: [animeːɕoɴ]) and is アニメ (anime) in its shortened form. The pronunciation of anime in Japanese differs from pronunciations in other languages such as Standard English (pronunciation: ), which has different vowels and stress with regards to Japanese, where each mora carries equal stress. As with a few other Japanese words such as saké, Pokémon, and Kobo Abé, English-language texts sometimes spell anime as animé (as in French), with an acute accent over the final e, to cue the reader to pronounce the letter, not to leave it silent as Standard English orthography may suggest. 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. == Format == 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 both 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. The 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 bootleg copies. == History == 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 Shimokawa and 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 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 and 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, 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. The success of 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 1964. 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 genre. Robot anime like the Gundam and 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 and in 2003 at the 75th Academy Awards it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. == Genres == 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 may 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. Some genres explore homosexual romances, such as yaoi (male homosexuality) and yuri (female homosexuality). While often used in a pornographic context, the terms can also be used broadly in a wider context to describe or focus on the themes or the development of the relationships themselves.Anime's genre classification differs from other types of animation and does not lend itself to simple classification. 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 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 film Castle of Cagliostro. Other subgenres found in anime include magical girl, harem, sports, martial arts, literary adaptations, medievalism, and war. == Attributes == 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 design. === Animation technique === 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 animation. 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 processes.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 animation.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. === Characters === 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 heads tall. 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, in such a way that they resemble cariacatured Western cartoons.