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  • 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, animewhen used as a common nounnormally 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 workand that of other pioneers in the fieldinspired 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.