Anime is an abbreviation of the word “animation”. Outside Japan, the term most popularly refers to animation originating in Japan. To the West, not all animation is considered anime; and anime is considered a subset of animation.

While some anime is hand drawn, computer assisted animation techniques have become quite common in recent years. Like any entertainment medium, the story lines represent most major genres of fiction. Anime is broadcast on television, distributed on media such as DVD and VHS, and included in video games. Additionally, some are produced as full length motion pictures. Anime often draws influence from manga, light novels, and other cultures. Some anime storylines have been adapted into live action films and television series


Animation became popular in Japan as it provided an alternative format of storytelling compared to the underdeveloped live-action industry in Japan. Unlike America, where live-action shows and films have generous budgets, the live-action industry in Japan is a small market and suffered from budgeting, location, and casting restrictions. The lack of Western-looking actors, for example, made it next to impossible to shoot films set in Europe, America, or fantasy worlds that do not naturally involve Japan. The varied use of animation allowed artists to create any characters and settings.

During the 1970s, there was a surge of growth in the popularity of manga which were often later animated  especially those of Osamu Tezuka, who has been called a “legend” and the “god of manga”. As a result of his work and that of other pioneers in the field, anime developed characteristics and genres that are fundamental elements of the art today. The giant robot genre (known as “mecha” outside Japan), for instance, took shape under Tezuka, developed under Go Nagai and others, and was revolutionized at the end of the decade by Yoshiyuki Tomino. Robot anime like Gundam and Macross became instant classics in the 80s, and the robot genre of anime is still one of the most popular in Japan and worldwide today. In the 1980s, anime was accepted in the mainstream in Japan, and experienced a boom in production (It should be noticed that, manga has significantly more mainstream exposure than anime in Japan). The mid-to-late ’90s, on into the 2000s, saw an increased acceptance of anime in oversea markets.


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