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What is Anime?

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What is Anime?! Here’s where you’ll know more about anime history.

Japanese animation, more popularly known as anime, first flourished after World War II. It features a variety of story themes, art styles and characters very distinct from Western cartoons, as popularized by Disney and Warner Brothers (Clements, 2006) if one might ask what is anime.

The word anime is an abbreviation coined from the Japanese word that is literally pronounced as “animēshon”. The Japanese style of drawing is evident in anime, particularly in the highly stylized facial features, large eyes, chibis, sweat drops, nose bleeds and face faults.

What is Anime?

Another quality that distinguishes anime from cartoons are its themes and symbolisms, which are deeply rooted in Japanese culture—mono no aware, the concept of life, and beauty, as being fleeting and sad—and bushido, the samurai code of ethics that places value on virtues such as honor, endurance, courage and, especially, loyalty to master and country, even unto death (hara-kiri). Such concepts add to anime’s realism (Ping, 1999), as opposed to cartoon’s more familiar themes of fairy tales, magic and fantasy.

What is Anime?

The more recent success of anime films such as Hayao Miyazaki’s Sen To Chihiro Kamikakushi (Spirited Away), which won an Oscar for best animated feature in 2001, and Cowboy Bebop (1998) by Shinichiro Watanabe, has earned anime an international following.Anime’s popularity worldwide has even spawned a sub-culture in many countries in North America and Europe (Napier, 2001). Popular web engines give out over 116,000,000 results for “Anime”—including fan sites, fan fiction, mailing lists and chat rooms and role-playing games—showing its popularity even in the World Wide Web.