Anime is hand-drawn and computer animation originating from Japan. In Japan and in Japanese, anime (a term derived from the English word animation) describes all animated works, regardless of style or origin. However, outside of Japan and in English, anime is colloquial for Japanese animation and refers specifically to animation produced in Japan.Animation produced outside of Japan with similar style to Japanese animation is referred to as anime-influenced animation.
The earliest commercial Japanese animations date to 1917. A characteristic art style emerged in the 1960s with the works of cartoonist Osamu Tezuka and spread in following decades, developing a large domestic audience. Anime is distributed theatrically, through television broadcasts, directly to home media, and over the Internet. In addition to original works, anime are often adaptations of Japanese comics (manga), light novels, or video games. It is classified into numerous genres targeting various broad and niche audiences.
Anime is a diverse medium with distinctive production methods that have adapted in response to emergent technologies. It combines graphic art, characterization, cinematography, and other forms of imaginative and individualistic techniques. Compared to Western animation, anime production generally focuses less on movement, and more on the detail of settings and use of “camera effects”, such as panning, zooming, and angle shots.Diverse art styles are used, and character proportions and features can be quite varied, with a common characteristic feature being large and emotive eyes.
The anime industry consists of over 430 production companies, including major studios like Studio Ghibli, Sunrise, and Toei Animation. Since the 1980s, the medium has also seen international success with the rise of foreign dubbed and subtitled programming. As of 2016, Japanese anime accounted for 60% of the world’s animated television shows.[
As a type of animation, anime is an art form that comprises many genres found in other mediums; it is sometimes mistakenly classified as a genre itself.In Japanese, the term anime is used to refer to all animated works, regardless of style or origin. English-language dictionaries typically define anime as “a style of Japanese animation”or as “a style of animation originating in Japan”. Other definitions are based on origin, making production in Japan a requisite for a work to be considered “anime”.
The etymology of the term anime is disputed. The English word “animation” is written in Japanese katakana pronounced in its shortened form. Some sources claim that the term is derived from the French term for animation dessin animé but others believe this to be a myth derived from the popularity of anime in France in the late 1970s and 1980s.
In English, anime—when used as a common noun—normally functions as a mass noun. As with a few other Japanese words, such as saké and Pokémon, English texts sometimes spell anime as animé with an acute accent over the final e, to cue the reader to pronounce the letter, not to leave it silent as English orthography may suggest. 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.
Modern Era of Anime
In the 1960s, manga artist and animator Osamu Tezuka adapted and simplified Disney animation techniques to reduce costs and limit frame counts in his productions. Originally intended as temporary measures to allow him to produce material on a tight schedule with an inexperienced staff, many of his limited animation practices came to define the medium’s style. Three Tales (1960) was the first anime film broadcast on television; the first anime television series was Instant History (1961–64).An early and influential success was Astro Boy (1963–66), a television series directed by Tezuka based on his manga of the same name. Many animators at Tezuka’s Mushi Production later established major anime studios (including Madhouse, Sunrise, and Pierrot).
The 1970s saw growth in the popularity of manga, many of which were later animated. Tezuka’s work—and that of other pioneers in the field—inspired characteristics and genres that remain fundamental elements of anime today. The giant robot genre (also known as “mecha”), 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 series such as Gundam and Super Dimension Fortress Macross became instant classics in the 1980s, and the genre remained one of the most popular in the following decades.The bubble economy of the 1980s spurred a new era of high-budget and experimental anime films, including Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (1987), and Akira (1988).
Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995), a television series produced by Gainax and directed by Hideaki Anno, began another era of experimental anime titles, such as Ghost in the Shell (1995) and Cowboy Bebop (1998). In the 1990s, anime also began attracting greater interest in Western countries; major international successes include Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z, both of which were dubbed into more than a dozen languages worldwide. In 2003, Spirited Away, a Studio Ghibli feature film directed by Hayao Miyazaki, won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards. It later became the highest-grossing anime film, earning more than $355 million. Since the 2000s, an increased number of anime works have been adaptations of light novels and visual novels; successful examples include The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Fate/stay night (both 2006)