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Anime: Japanese Animation Genre Sweeping The Globe With Its Style

The word "animation" in Japanese is referred to as "anime," a Japanese word.

When used both inside and outside Japan, the term "anime" refers exclusively to the animation produced in Japan. On the other hand, the word anime, which is a shortening of the English word animation, is used to refer to any and all animated works, regardless of the style or country in which they were created, both in Japan and in Japanese.

Anime-influenced animation is a term commonly used to refer to animation created in a country other than Japan but has a style comparable to Japanese animation.

The year 1917 marks the beginning of commercial animation production in Japan. In the 1960s, the works of cartoonist Osamu Tezuka gave birth to a distinctive artistic style that would go on to spread in the decades that followed, attracting the attention of a sizable domestic audience.

Distribution of anime takes place in movie theatres, on television, in direct distribution to consumers' home media devices, and online.

Anime is known for adapting a wide variety of works, including original works as well as light novels, video games, and Japanese comic books known as manga. It is subdivided into a great number of genres that cater to a wide variety of specific and general audiences.

Anime is a very diverse medium that utilises its own unique production techniques, which have evolved over time in response to newly developed technologies. Graphic art, character development, cinematography, and various other forms of creative and individualistic technique are brought together in this work.

Compared to Western animation, the production of anime places a greater emphasis, in general, not on movement but rather on the finer details of settings and the utilisation of "camera effects," such as panning, zooming, and angle shots.

There are a number of different art styles used, and the proportions of characters' bodies and facial features can vary quite a bit. However, one consistent trait is that they have large eyes that express a lot of emotion.

There are over 430 production companies that make up the anime industry. Some of the most well-known studios in the industry are Studio Ghibli, Sunrise, Bones, Ufotable, MAPPA, CoMix Wave Films, and Toei Animation.

Since the 1980s, the medium has also enjoyed success on a global scale as a result of the proliferation of internationally dubbed and subtitled programming as well as the growing distribution of this programming through streaming services.

As of the year 2016, Japanese animation was responsible for sixty per cent of all animated television shows across the globe.

Anime's Rise To The Mainstream From A Niche Hobby

Anime was originally a niche genre. Fans only had access to old VHS recordings of the classics. However, just like the mainstreaming of nerd culture these days, the popularization of Japanese Anime in The western zeitgeist has been rapid and aggressive. Some studios like Funimation began to import Anime shows into

North America, and worldwide.

Originally, Anime content was only available as subbed or dubbed. Subbing means having a show with English Subtitles while the original Japanese voice actors were retained in the audio.

Dubbed refers to the dubbing over of the Japanese vocals using English-speaking voice actors. However, most dubbed shows never kept the emotion or intention of the original dialogues, losing something in the translation.

As Anime grew more popular in the West, many Studios, such as Toei Animation, began re-releasing remastered and newly dubbed versions of popular shows such as Dragon BallZ, strictly for the English speaking demographic. They also continue this with new shows as well.

While you may not be into Anime yourself, I'm sure you've heard of some Anime or the mainstream Hollywood adaptations of it, in some form or other.

Tom Cruise's Edge Of Tomorrow, the Wachowski sibling's Speed Racer, and even the most recent Ghost In The Shell were all based on popular Japanese Manga and Anime stories.

History Of Anime

It is generally agreed that emakimono and kagee were the forerunners of Japanese animation.

In the eleventh century, emakimono was a common practice. While the emakimono was being unrolled from right to left in chronological order, as a moving panorama, it was accompanied by the narration of legends and anecdotes by itinerant storytellers. Kagee was a well-liked performance art during the Edo period, and its roots can be traced back to the shadow play of China.

In the eighteenth century, magic lanterns from the Netherlands were another popular form of entertainment. The Kamishibai paper play experienced a surge in popularity during the twelfth century and continued to be performed in street theatre up until the 1930s.

Characters in the majority of Japanese animations are thought to have descended from the puppets used in the bunraku theatre and ukiyo-e prints. In conclusion, mangas were a significant source of inspiration for anime. Both Kitzawa Rakuten and Okamoto Ippei incorporated elements of film into the comic strips that they created.


A still from Namakura Gatana (1917), the oldest Japanese animated short film created specifically for theatres has been preserved.

When Japanese filmmakers first began experimenting with animation methods used in other countries, such as France, Germany, the United States of America, and Russia, the country's animation industry was only getting started.

Katsudo Shashin, a private work created by an unidentified author around the year 1907, is often cited as the first example of Japanese animation.

Animators such as Ten Shimokawa, Seitar Kitayama, and Jun'ichi Kuchi, who are regarded as the "fathers of anime," began producing numerous films in 1917. Of these films, Jun'ichi Kuchi's Namakura Gatana is the oldest one that has survived to the present day.

The first works that were created for professional use and displayed in public venues appeared in 1917. As a result of the Great Kant earthquake in 1923, Shimokawa's warehouse was destroyed, taking a large number of his early works with it.

By the middle of the 1930s, the animation business in Japan had become well-established as a viable alternative to the live-action sector of the film industry. It was subject to competition from international manufacturers like Disney, and many animators, such as Noburufuji and Yasuji Murata, continued to work using cutout animation rather than cel animation since it was less expensive.

However, some artists, such as Kenzo Masaoka and Mitsuyo Seo, achieved significant advancements in the field. These creators benefited from the support of the government, which patronised the animation industry and paid animators to make instructional shorts and propaganda films.

In 1940, the government of Japan formed the Shin Nippon Mangaka Kykai out of numerous artist groups that it had previously disbanded.

The short film Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka (1933), which was made by Masaoka, is considered to be the first talkie anime.

Momotaro: Sacred Sailors (1945), the first film in the Momotaro series and the first full-length animation film, was created by Seo with financial support from the Imperial Japanese Navy.

In the 1950s, there was a surge in the production of brief animated commercials that were intended for television.

Modern period

A still from the opening sequence of Tezuka's Astro Boy television show, which debuted in 1963.

Osamu Tezuka was a manga artist and animator who worked in the 1960s. In order to cut expenses and minimise the number of frames in his projects, Tezuka modified and simplified the animation techniques used by Disney.

Many of his restricted animation methods eventually came to define the aesthetic of the medium, despite the fact that they were initially conceived as short-term solutions to enable him to generate content on a tight timetable with an inexperienced workforce.

The first anime film to be shown on television was "Three Tales," which debuted in 1960. Instant History was the first anime series to air on television (1961–64). Tezuka's manga of the same name was the basis for the television series Astro Boy, which ran from 1963 to 1966 and was directed by Tezuka.

This show was an early and significant hit. The majority of the animators who worked at Tezuka's Mushi Production went on to start prominent animation companies (including Madhouse, Sunrise, and Pierrot).

The decade of the 1970s witnessed a rise in the popularity of manga, most of which were subsequently adapted into animated films. Tezuka's work, along with those of other pioneers in the industry, was instrumental in the development of qualities and genres that are still essential components of anime today. 

For example, Tezuka was responsible for the development of the giant robot genre, which later evolved into the super robot genre thanks to the contributions of Go Nagai and others. Toward the end of the decade, Yoshiyuki Tomino, who was responsible for developing the real robot genre, revolutionised the field with his work.

During the 1980s, robot anime series like Gundam and Super Dimension Fortress Macross quickly established themselves as instant classics, and the genre remained one of the most popular in the decades that followed.

A new age of high-budget and experimental anime films, such as Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984), Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (1987), and Akira, was ushered in as a direct result of the bubble economy that characterised the decade of the 1980s (1988).

The television series Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995), which was produced by Gainax and directed by Hideaki Anno, marked the beginning of a new age of experimental anime titles, including Ghost in the Shell (1995) and Cowboy Bebop (1995), amongst others (1998).

In the 1990s, Western countries began to show a growing interest in anime. Major international successes include Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z, both of which have been dubbed into more than a dozen languages throughout the world. Spirited Away, an animated feature film produced by Studio Ghibli and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, was honoured with the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Annual Academy Awards ceremony in 2003.

After some time had passed, it eventually surpassed $355 million in earnings to become the highest-grossing anime film ever. Since the early 2000s, a growing number of anime works have been adapted from light novels and visual novels. Some notable examples of these adaptations, which have been very popular, are The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Fate/stay the night (both 2006).

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Film: Mugen Train Ended the Year as One of the Highest-Grossing Films in the World and Became the Highest-Grossing Japanese Film of 2020.

It also broke the record for the highest-grossing film in the history of Japanese cinema, making 10 billion yen (about $95.3 million or £72 million) in its first 10 days of release. The previous record, held by Spirited Away, which took 25 days, was surpassed by this.


Most anime TV shows have J-pop or J-rock songs, typically by well-known bands (since they were composed specifically for the series), but as these songs are also intended for the wider music market, they only loosely reference, if at all, the thematic settings or storyline of the series. They are also frequently utilised as background music ("insert songs") to draw attention to key moments in an episode.


In 2005, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) estimated that the Japanese domestic anime industry was worth 2.4 trillion ($24 billion), with 2 trillion of it coming from licenced products. In 2004, JETRO estimated that international sales of anime had reached 2 trillion ($18 billion).

In 2005, JETRO estimated the size of the American anime market at 520 billion ($5.2 billion), including sales of home videos of $500 million and revenue of over $4 billion from licenced items.

In 2005, JETRO estimated that the global anime business, including sales of licenced items, would increase to 10 trillion ($100 billion). Anime in China is expected to grow from its 2017 worth of $21 billion to $31 billion by 2020.

North America, Europe, China, and the Middle East are predicted to be the greatest contributors to the worldwide anime market's anticipated value of $48.3 Billion by 2030. Overseas sales of Japanese animation hit a record high of over $10 billion in 2019.


Awards are handed out every year in the anime industry for the greatest works of the year. The Mainichi Film Award for Best Animated Film, the Animation Kobe Honors, the Japan Media Arts Festival Animation Awards, the Tokyo Anime Award, and the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year are just a few of the major yearly awards given out in Japan.