Anime

Anime (/ˈænəˌmeɪ/) (Japanese: アニメ Hepburn: anime, [aɲime] (listen), plural: anime)[a] 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.[1] 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.[2][3] The culturally abstract approach to the word's meaning may open up the possibility of anime produced in countries other than Japan.[4][5][6] For simplicity, many Westerners strictly view anime as a Japanese animation product.[3] Some scholars suggest defining anime as specifically or quintessentially Japanese may be related to a new form of Orientalism.[7]

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.[8] 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.[8] 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.[9] Japanese anime accounts for 60% of the world's animated cartoon television shows, as of 2016.[10]

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.[11] In Japanese, the term anime is used as a blanket term to refer to all forms of animation from around the world.[1][12] In English, anime (/ˈænəˌmeɪ/) is more restrictively used to denote a "Japanese-style animated film or television entertainment" or as "a style of animation created in Japan".[2][13]

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])[3] and is アニメ (anime) in its shortened form.[3] The pronunciation of anime in Japanese differs from pronunciations in other languages such as Standard English (pronunciation: /ˈænɪmeɪ/), 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,[14][15] but others believe this to be a myth derived from the French popularity of the medium in the late 1970s and 1980s.[3] In English, anime—when used as a common noun—normally functions as a mass noun. (For example: "Do you watch anime?" or "How much anime have you collected?")[16] 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.[14][17] In general, the latter term now only appears in period works where it is used to distinguish and identify Japanese animation.[18]

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.[19]

Format

The first format of anime was theatrical viewing which originally began with commercial productions in 1917.[20] 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.[21] It wasn't until the 1960s when the first televised series were broadcast and it has remained a popular medium since.[22] 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.[23][24] The emergence of the Internet has led some animators to distribute works online in a format called "original net anime" (ONA).[25]

The home distribution of anime releases were popularized in the 1980s with the VHS and LaserDisc formats.[23] 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.[23] 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.[26] 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.[26] 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.[26]

History

Anime cell 1917
A cel from Namakura Gatana, the earliest surviving Japanese animated short made for cinemas, produced in 1917

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.[15] A claim for the earliest Japanese animation is Katsudō Shashin, an undated and private work by an unknown creator.[27] 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.[20][28][29] 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.[30]

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.[31] 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.[32] The first talkie anime was Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka, produced by Masaoka in 1933.[33][34] By 1940, numerous anime artists' organizations had risen, including the Shin Mangaha Shudan and Shin Nippon Mangaka.[35] The first feature-length animated film was Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors directed by Seo in 1944 with sponsorship by the Imperial Japanese Navy.[36]

Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors-screeny
A frame from Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors (1944), the first feature-length anime film

The success of The Walt Disney Company's 1937 feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs profoundly influenced many Japanese animators.[37] 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.[38] He intended this as a temporary measure to allow him to produce material on a tight schedule with inexperienced animation staff.[39] Three Tales, aired in 1960, was the first anime shown on television.[40] The first anime television series was Otogi Manga Calendar, aired from 1961 to 1964.[41]

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"[42] and the "god of manga".[43][44] His work—and that of other pioneers in the field—inspired 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.[45] 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.[46] 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.[47] 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.[48][49] 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.[50]

Anime's genre classification differs from other types of animation and does not lend itself to simple classification.[51] 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".[51] 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.[52] 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.[53] 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.[54] Other subgenres found in anime include magical girl, harem, sports, martial arts, literary adaptations, medievalism,[55] and war.[56]

Attributes

Modernanime
Anime artists employ many distinct visual styles

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.[57] 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.[58][59] 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,[60] including the stop motion puppet animation work produced by Tadahito Mochinaga, Kihachirō Kawamoto and Tomoyasu Murata.[61][62] 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.[63] 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.[63]

Prior to the digital era, anime was produced with traditional animation methods using a pose to pose approach.[58] The majority of mainstream anime uses fewer expressive key frames and more in-between animation.[64]

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.[65] Anime scenes place emphasis on achieving three-dimensional views, and backgrounds are instrumental in creating the atmosphere of the work.[15] 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.[66][67] Oppliger stated that anime is one of the rare mediums where putting together an all-star cast usually comes out looking "tremendously impressive".[68]

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.[69][70][71] 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.[72]

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.[73] 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.

A common anime character design convention is exaggerated eye size. The animation of characters with large eyes in anime can be traced back to Osamu Tezuka, who was deeply influenced by such early animation characters as Betty Boop, who was drawn with disproportionately large eyes.[74] Tezuka is a central figure in anime and manga history, whose iconic art style and character designs allowed for the entire range of human emotions to be depicted solely through the eyes.[75] The artist adds variable color shading to the eyes and particularly to the cornea to give them greater depth. Generally, a mixture of a light shade, the tone color, and a dark shade is used.[76][77] Cultural anthropologist Matt Thorn argues that Japanese animators and audiences do not perceive such stylized eyes as inherently more or less foreign.[78] However, not all anime have large eyes. For example, the works of Hayao Miyazaki are known for having realistically proportioned eyes, as well as realistic hair colors on their characters.[79]

Manga emotions-EN
Anime and manga artists often draw from a defined set of facial expressions to depict particular emotions

Hair in anime is often unnaturally lively and colorful or uniquely styled. The movement of hair in anime is exaggerated and "hair action" is used to emphasize the action and emotions of characters for added visual effect.[80] Poitras traces hairstyle color to cover illustrations on manga, where eye-catching artwork and colorful tones are attractive for children's manga.[80] Despite being produced for a domestic market, anime features characters whose race or nationality is not always defined, and this is often a deliberate decision, such as in the Pokémon animated series.[81]

Anime and manga artists often draw from a common canon of iconic facial expression illustrations to denote particular moods and thoughts.[82] These techniques are often different in form than their counterparts in Western animation, and they include a fixed iconography that is used as shorthand for certain emotions and moods.[83] For example, a male character may develop a nosebleed when aroused.[83] A variety of visual symbols are employed, including sweat drops to depict nervousness, visible blushing for embarrassment, or glowing eyes for an intense glare.[84]

Music

The opening and credits sequences of most anime television episodes are accompanied by Japanese pop or rock songs, often by reputed bands. They may be written with the series in mind, but are also aimed at the general music market, and therefore often allude only vaguely or not at all to the themes or plot of the series. Pop and rock songs are also sometimes used as incidental music ("insert songs") in an episode, often to highlight particularly important scenes.[85]

Industry

Akihabara Night
Akihabara district of Tokyo is popular with anime and manga fans as well as otaku subculture in Japan

The animation industry consists of more than 430 production companies with some of the major studios including Toei Animation, Gainax, Madhouse, Gonzo, Sunrise, Bones, TMS Entertainment, Nippon Animation, P.A.Works, Studio Pierrot and Studio Ghibli.[86] Many of the studios are organized into a trade association, The Association of Japanese Animations. There is also a labor union for workers in the industry, the Japanese Animation Creators Association. Studios will often work together to produce more complex and costly projects, as done with Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away.[86] An anime episode can cost between US$100,000 and US$300,000 to produce.[87] In 2001, animation accounted for 7% of the Japanese film market, above the 4.6% market share for live-action works.[86] The popularity and success of anime is seen through the profitability of the DVD market, contributing nearly 70% of total sales.[86] According to a 2016 article on Nikkei Asian Review, Japanese television stations have bought over ¥60 billion worth of anime from production companies "over the past few years", compared with under ¥20 billion from overseas.[88] There has been a rise in sales of shows to television stations in Japan, caused by late night anime with adults as the target demographic.[88] This type of anime is less popular outside Japan, being considered "more of a niche product".[88] Spirited Away (2001) is the all-time highest-grossing film in Japan.[89][90] It was also the highest-grossing anime film worldwide until it was overtaken by Makoto Shinkai's 2016 film Your Name.[91] Anime films represent a large part of the highest-grossing Japanese films yearly in Japan, with 6 out of the top 10 in 2014, in 2015 and also in 2016.

Anime has to be licensed by companies in other countries in order to be legally released. While anime has been licensed by its Japanese owners for use outside Japan since at least the 1960s, the practice became well-established in the United States in the late 1970s to early 1980s, when such TV series as Gatchaman and Captain Harlock were licensed from their Japanese parent companies for distribution in the US market. The trend towards American distribution of anime continued into the 1980s with the licensing of titles such as Voltron and the 'creation' of new series such as Robotech through use of source material from several original series.[92]

In the early 1990s, several companies began to experiment with the licensing of less children-oriented material. Some, such as A.D. Vision, and Central Park Media and its imprints, achieved fairly substantial commercial success and went on to become major players in the now very lucrative American anime market. Others, such as AnimEigo, achieved limited success. Many companies created directly by Japanese parent companies did not do as well, most releasing only one or two titles before completing their American operations.

Licenses are expensive, often hundreds of thousands of dollars for one series and tens of thousands for one movie.[93] The prices vary widely; for example, Jinki: Extend cost only $91,000 to license while Kurau Phantom Memory cost $960,000.[93] Simulcast Internet streaming rights can be cheaper, with prices around $1,000-$2,000 an episode,[94] but can also be more expensive, with some series costing more than US$200,000 per episode.[95]

The anime market for the United States was worth approximately $2.74 billion in 2009.[96] Dubbed animation began airing in the United States in 2000 on networks like The WB and Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.[97] In 2005, this resulted in five of the top ten anime titles having previously aired on Cartoon Network.[97] As a part of localization, some editing of cultural references may occur to better follow the references of the non-Japanese culture.[98] The cost of English localization averages US$10,000 per episode.[99]

The industry has been subject to both praise and condemnation for fansubs, the addition of unlicensed and unauthorized subtitled translations of anime series or films.[100] Fansubs, which were originally distributed on VHS bootlegged cassettes in the 1980s, have been freely available and disseminated online since the 1990s.[100] Since this practice raises concerns for copyright and piracy issues, fansubbers tend to adhere to an unwritten moral code to destroy or no longer distribute an anime once an official translated or subtitled version becomes licensed. They also try to encourage viewers to buy an official copy of the release once it comes out in English, although fansubs typically continue to circulate through file sharing networks.[101] Even so, the laid back regulations of the Japanese animation industry tends to overlook these issues, allowing it to grow underground and thus increasing the popularity until there is a demand for official high quality releases for animation companies. This has led to an increase in global popularity with Japanese animations, reaching $40 million in sales in 2004.[102]

Legal international availability of anime on the Internet has changed in recent years, with simulcasts of series available on websites like Crunchyroll.

Markets

Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) valued the domestic anime market in Japan at ¥2.4 trillion ($24 billion), including ¥2 trillion from licensed products, in 2005.[103] JETRO reported sales of overseas anime exports in 2004 to be ¥2 trillion ($18 billion).[104] JETRO valued the anime market in the United States at ¥520 billion ($5.2 billion),[103] including $500 million in home video sales and over $4 billion from licensed products, in 2005.[105] JETRO projected in 2005 that the worldwide anime market, including sales of licensed products, would grow to ¥10 trillion ($100 billion).[103][105] The anime market in China was valued at $21 billion in 2017,[106] and is projected to reach $31 billion by 2020.[107]

Awards

The anime industry has several annual awards which honor the year's best works. Major annual awards in Japan include the Ōfuji Noburō Award, the Mainichi Film Award for Best Animation Film, the Animation Kobe Awards, the Japan Media Arts Festival animation awards, the Tokyo Anime Award and the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. In the United States, anime films compete in the ICv2.com Anime Awards[108] There were also the American Anime Awards, which were designed to recognize excellence in anime titles nominated by the industry, and were held only once in 2006.[108] Anime productions have also been nominated and won awards not exclusively for anime, like the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature or the Golden Bear.

Globalization

Anime has become commercially profitable in Western countries, as demonstrated by early commercially successful Western adaptations of anime, such as Astro Boy and Speed Racer. Early American adaptions in the 1960s made Japan expand into the continental European market, first with productions aimed at European and Japanese children, such as Heidi, Vicky the Viking and Barbapapa, which aired in various countries. Particularly Italy, Spain and France grew an interest into Japan's output, due to its cheap selling price and productive output. In fact, Italy imported the most anime outside of Japan.[109] These mass imports influenced anime popularity in South American, Arabic and German markets.[110]

The beginning of 1980 saw the introduction of Japanese anime series into the American culture. In the 1990s, Japanese animation slowly gained popularity in America. Media companies such as Viz and Mixx began publishing and releasing animation into the American market.[111] The 1988 film Akira is largely credited with popularizing anime in the Western world during the early 1990s, before anime was further popularized by television shows such Pokémon and Dragon Ball in the late 1990s.[112][113] The growth of the Internet later provided Western audiences an easy way to access Japanese content.[102] This is especially the case with net services such as Netflix and Crunchyroll. As a direct result, various interests surrounding Japan has increased.

Fan response

Anime clubs gave rise to anime conventions in the 1990s with the "anime boom", a period marked by increased popularity of anime.[114] These conventions are dedicated to anime and manga and include elements like cosplay contests and industry talk panels.[115] Cosplay, a portmanteau for "costume play", is not unique to anime and has become popular in contests and masquerades at anime conventions.[116] Japanese culture and words have entered English usage through the popularity of the medium, including otaku, an unflattering Japanese term commonly used in English to denote a fan of anime and manga.[117] Another word that has arisen describing fans in the United States is wapanese meaning White individuals who desire to be Japanese, or later known as weeaboo for individuals who demonstrate a strong interest in Japanese anime subculture, which is a term that originated from abusive content posted on the popular bulletin board website 4chan.org.[118] Anime enthusiasts have produced fan fiction and fan art, including computer wallpaper and anime music videos.[119]

As of the 2010s, many anime fans use online communities and databases such as MyAnimeList to discuss anime and track their progress watching respective series.[120][121]

Anime style

One of the key points that made anime different from a handful of the Western cartoons is the potential for visceral content. Once the expectation that the aspects of visual intrigue or animation being just for children is put aside, the audience can realize that themes involving violence, suffering, sexuality, pain, and death can all be storytelling elements utilized in anime as much as other types of media.[122] However, as anime itself became increasingly popular, its styling has been inevitably the subject of both satire and serious creative productions.[3][5] South Park's "Chinpokomon" and "Good Times with Weapons" episodes, Adult Swim's Perfect Hair Forever, and Nickelodeon's Kappa Mikey are examples of satirical depictions of Japanese culture and anime. Some works have sparked debate for blurring the lines between satire and serious "anime style" productions, such as the American anime style production Avatar: The Last Airbender.[5] These anime styled works have become defined as anime-influenced animation, in an attempt to classify all anime styled works of non-Japanese origin.[123] Some creators of these works cite anime as a source of inspiration and like the French production team for Ōban Star-Racers moved to Tokyo to collaborate with a Japanese production team.[124][125][126] When anime is defined as a "style" rather than as a national product it leaves open the possibility of anime being produced in other countries.[2][5] A U.A.E.-Filipino produced TV series called Torkaizer is dubbed as the "Middle East's First Anime Show", and is currently in production,[6] which is currently looking for funding.[127] The web-based series RWBY is produced using an anime art style and has been declared to be anime.[4][128] In addition, the series will be released in Japan, under the label of "anime" per the Japanese definition of the term and referenced as an "American-made anime".[129][130] Netflix declared the company's intention to produce anime.[131] In doing so, the company is offering a more accessible channel for distribution to Western markets.[132] Defining anime as style has been contentious amongst fans, with John Oppliger stating, "The insistence on referring to original American art as Japanese "anime" or "manga" robs the work of its cultural identity."[3][133]

Media franchises

A number of anime media franchises have gained considerable global popularity, and are among the world's highest-grossing media franchises. Pokémon in particular is the highest-grossing media franchise of all time, bigger than Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe.[134] Other anime media franchises among the world's top 10 highest-grossing media franchises include Hello Kitty and Dragon Ball,[135] while the top 20 also includes Fist of the North Star, Yu-Gi-Oh, Gundam and Evangelion.[136]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ Once informally romanized as animé, although this has fallen into disuse.

Sources

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External links

Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan (Japanese: 進撃の巨人, Hepburn: Shingeki no Kyojin, lit. "Advancing Giant") is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. The series began in Kodansha's Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine on September 9, 2009, and has been collected into 27 tankōbon volumes as of December 2018. It is set in a world where humanity lives in cities surrounded by enormous walls protecting the humans from gigantic man-eating humanoids referred to as titans.

Attack on Titan has become a critical and commercial success. As of December 2018, the manga has 88 million tankōbon copies in print worldwide (78 million in Japan and 10 million outside of Japan), making it one of the best-selling manga series. The anime adaptation has been well received by critics with the first two seasons being met with universal critical acclaim with praise for its story, animation, music, voice acting and characters, although reception for its third season has been more mixed. However the anime has proved to be extremely successful in both the US and Japan thus boosting the series' popularity. Although it also gained fame in neighbouring Asian countries, 'political' themes found within caused controversies in South Korea and China.

Death Note

Death Note (Japanese: デスノート, Hepburn: Desu Nōto) is a Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. The story follows Light Yagami, a high school student who stumbles across a mysterious otherworldly notebook: the "Death Note", which belonged to the Shinigami Ryuk, and grants its user the power to kill anyone whose name and face they know. The series centers around Light's subsequent attempts to use the Death Note to change the world into a utopian society without crime as a god-like vigilante named "Kira" and the subsequent efforts of an elite task-force of law enforcement officials, consisting of members of the Japanese police agency led by L, an enigmatic international detective, to apprehend him and end his reign of terror.

Death Note was first serialized in Shueisha's manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2003 to May 2006. The 108 chapters were collected and published into 12 tankōbon volumes between April 2004 and July 2006. An anime television adaptation aired in Japan from October 3, 2006, to June 26, 2007. Composed of 37 episodes, the anime was developed by Madhouse and directed by Tetsurō Araki. A light novel based on the series, written by Nisio Isin, was also released in 2006. Additionally, various video games have been published by Konami for the Nintendo DS. The series was adapted into three live action films released in Japan on June 17, 2006, November 3, 2006, and February 2, 2008, and a television drama in 2015. A miniseries entitled Death Note: New Generation and a fourth film were released in 2016. An American film adaptation was released on Netflix on August 24, 2017.

Death Note media is licensed and released in North America by Viz Media, with the exception of the video games and soundtracks. The episodes from the anime first appeared in North America as downloadable from IGN, before Viz Media licensed it and it aired on YTV's Bionix anime block in Canada and on Adult Swim in the United States with a DVD release following. The live-action films briefly played in certain North American theaters in 2008, before receiving home video releases. In 2015, the collected volumes of the Death Note manga had over 30 million copies in circulation.

Doraemon

Doraemon (Japanese: ドラえもん) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Fujiko F. Fujio, the pen name of the duo Hiroshi Fujimoto and Motoo Abiko. The series has also been adapted into a successful anime series and media franchise. The story revolves around a robotic cat named Doraemon, who travels back in time from the 21st century to aid a boy named Nobita Nobi (野比のび太, Nobi Nobita).

The Doraemon manga series was first published in December 1969 in six different magazines. A total of 1,345 stories were created in the original series, which are published by Shogakukan. It is one of the best-selling manga in the world, having sold over 100 million copies as of 2015.

The volumes are collected in the Takaoka Central Library in Toyama, Japan, where Fujiko Fujio was born. Turner Broadcasting System bought the rights to the Doraemon anime series in the mid-1980s for an English-language release in the United States, but cancelled it without explanation before broadcasting any episodes. In July 2013, Voyager Japan announced the manga would be released digitally in English via the Amazon Kindle e-book service.

Awards for Doraemon include the Japan Cartoonists Association Award for excellence in 1973, the first Shogakukan Manga Award for children's manga in 1982, and the first Osamu Tezuka Culture Award in 1997. In March 2008, Japan's Foreign Ministry appointed Doraemon as the nation's first "anime ambassador." A Ministry spokesperson explained the novel decision as an attempt to help people in other countries understand Japanese anime better and to deepen their interest in Japanese culture.The Foreign Ministry action confirms that Doraemon has come to be considered a Japanese cultural icon. In India, its Hindi, Telugu and Tamil translation has been telecasted, where the anime version is the highest-rated kids' show; winning the Best Show For Kids award twice at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards India in 2013 and 2015. In 2002 Time Asia magazine acclaimed the character as an "Asian Hero" in a special feature survey. An edited English dub distributed by TV Asahi aired on Disney XD in the United States started on July 7, 2014. In Epcot, Doraemon toys are on the Japan shop. On August 17, 2015, another English dubbed version distributed by Luk Internacional began broadcasting on Boomerang UK. The film series is the largest by number of admissions in Japan.

Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball (Japanese: ドラゴンボール, Hepburn: Doragon Bōru), sometimes styled as Dragonball, is a Japanese media franchise created by Akira Toriyama in 1984. The initial manga, written and illustrated by Toriyama, was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1984 to 1995, with the 519 individual chapters collected into 42 tankōbon volumes by its publisher Shueisha. Dragon Ball was initially inspired by the classical Chinese novel Journey to the West as well as Hong Kong martial arts films. The series follows the adventures of the protagonist, Son Goku, from his childhood through adulthood as he trains in martial arts and explores the world in search of the seven orbs known as the Dragon Balls, which summon a wish-granting dragon when gathered. Along his journey, Goku makes several friends and battles a wide variety of villains, many of whom also seek the Dragon Balls.

Toriyama's manga was adapted and divided into two anime series produced by Toei Animation: Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, which together were broadcast in Japan from 1986 to 1996. Additionally, the studio has developed 20 animated feature films and three television specials, as well as two anime sequel series titled Dragon Ball GT (1996–1997) and Dragon Ball Super (2015–2018). From 2009 to 2015, a revised version of Dragon Ball Z aired in Japan under the title Dragon Ball Kai, as a recut that follows the manga's story more faithfully by removing most of the material featured exclusively in the anime. Several companies have developed various types of merchandising based on the series leading to a large media franchise that includes films, both animated and live-action, collectible trading card games, numerous action figures, along with several collections of soundtracks and a large number of video games. Dragon Ball is one of the top twenty highest-grossing media franchises of all time, having generated more than $20 billion in total franchise revenue as of 2018.Since its release, Dragon Ball has become one of the most successful manga and anime series of all time, with the manga sold in over 40 countries and the anime broadcast in more than 80 countries. The manga's 42 collected tankōbon volumes have sold over 160 million copies in Japan, and are estimated to have sold more 250–300 million copies worldwide, making it the second best-selling manga series in history. Reviewers have praised the art, characterization, and humour of the story. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential manga series ever made, with many manga artists citing Dragon Ball as a source of inspiration for their own now popular works. The anime, particularly Dragon Ball Z, is also highly popular across the world and is considered one of the most influential in boosting the popularity of Japanese animation in Western culture. It has had a considerable impact on global popular culture, referenced by and inspiring numerous artists, athletes, celebrities, filmmakers, musicians and writers across the world.

Dragon Ball Super

Dragon Ball Super (Japanese: ドラゴンボール超(スーパー), Hepburn: Doragon Bōru Sūpā) is a Japanese anime television series and the latest syndicated/serialized entry in the Dragon Ball media franchise. The TV anime version produced by Toei Animation began airing on July 5, 2015 and ended on March 25, 2018. Its overall plot outline was written by Dragon Ball franchise creator Akira Toriyama, while the individual episodes were written by different screenwriters. The series is a sequel to Toriyama's original Dragon Ball manga and the Dragon Ball Z television series featuring the first new storyline in 18 years. The anime was broadcast on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. on Fuji TV. A manga version illustrated by Toyotarou with story and editing by Toriyama began serialization in Shueisha's shōnen manga magazine V Jump in June 2015, predating the anime. It has since surpassed the anime and is telling an original story.

Dragon Ball Super follows the adventures of Goku and his friends after defeating Majin Buu and bringing peace to Earth once again. Goku encounters beings far more powerful and defends the Earth against a powerful destructive deity. He attains the power of a god and learns his newly discovered powers under the gods of his universe. Goku travels to other universes to face more powerful opponents as well as nearly unstoppable foes. A sequel anime film, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, was released for Japanese theatres in 2018 and internationally in 2019.

Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z (Japanese: ドラゴンボールZ (ゼット), Hepburn: Doragon Bōru Zetto, commonly abbreviated as DBZ) is a Japanese anime television series produced by Toei Animation. It is the sequel to the Dragon Ball anime and adapts the latter 325 chapters of the original 519-chapter Dragon Ball manga series created by Akira Toriyama which ran in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1988-1995. Dragon Ball Z aired in Japan on Fuji TV from April 26, 1989 to January 31, 1996, before getting dubbed in territories including the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, India, and Latin America. It was broadcast in at least 81 countries worldwide. It is part of the Dragon Ball media franchise.

Dragon Ball Z follows the adventures of Goku who, along with his companions, defend the Earth against villains ranging from conquerors (Vegeta, Frieza), androids (Cell) and other creatures (Majin Buu). While the original Dragon Ball anime followed Goku from childhood to early adulthood, Dragon Ball Z is a continuation of his adult life, but at the same time parallels the life of his son, Gohan, as well as the development of his rivals Piccolo and Vegeta from enemies to allies.

Due to the success of the anime in the United States, the manga chapters making up its story were initially released by Viz Media under the title Dragon Ball Z. Additional works called animanga were released in Japan, which adapt the animation to manga form. Dragon Ball Z's popularity has spawned numerous releases which have come to represent the majority of content in the Dragon Ball universe; including 17 movies and 148 video games, many of them being only released in Japan, and a host of soundtracks stemming from this material. Dragon Ball Z remains a cultural icon through numerous adaptations, including a more-recent remastered broadcast titled Dragon Ball Kai. There have also been two sequel series; Dragon Ball GT (1996–1997) and Dragon Ball Super (2015–2018).

Fairy Tail

Fairy Tail (Japanese: フェアリーテイル, Hepburn: Fearī Teiru) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiro Mashima. It was serialized in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine from August 2, 2006 to July 26, 2017, with the individual chapters collected and published into 63 tankōbon volumes. The story follows the adventures of Natsu Dragneel, a member of the popular wizard guild Fairy Tail, as he searches the fictional world of Earth-land for the dragon Igneel.

The manga has been adapted into an anime series produced by A-1 Pictures, Dentsu Inc., Satelight, Bridge, and CloverWorks which began broadcasting in Japan on October 12, 2009. Additionally, A-1 Pictures has developed nine original video animations and two animated feature films. The series ended its initial run on March 30, 2013. A second series premiered on TV Tokyo on April 5, 2014, and ended on March 26, 2016. A third series of the anime series began airing on October 7, 2018, and is slated to have 51 episodes. The series has also inspired numerous spin-off manga, including a sequel storyboarded by Mashima, titled Fairy Tail 100 Years Quest, which launched on July 25, 2018.

The manga series was originally licensed for an English language release in North America by Del Rey Manga, which began releasing the individual volumes on March 25, 2008 and ended its licensing with the 12th volume release in September 2010. In December 2010, Kodansha USA took over North American release of the series. The Southeast Asian network Animax Asia aired an English-language version of the anime for seven seasons from 2010 to 2015. The manga was also licensed in the United Kingdom by Turnaround Publisher Services and in Australia by Penguin Books Australia. The anime has been licensed by Funimation for an English-language release in North America. As of February 2017, Fairy Tail had 60 million copies in print.

Hentai

Outside of Japan, hentai (変態 or へんたい; listen English: ; lit. "pervert") is anime and manga pornography. In the Japanese language, however, "hentai" is not a genre of media but any type of perverse or bizarre sexual desire or act. For example, outside of Japan a work depicting lesbian sex might be described as "yuri hentai", but in Japan it would just be described as "yuri".

The word is short for hentai seiyoku (変態性欲), a perverse sexual desire. The original meaning of hentai in the Japanese language is a transformation or metamorphosis. The implication of perversion or paraphilia was derived from there. Both meanings can be distinguished in context easily.

Hunter × Hunter

Hunter × Hunter (Japanese: ハンター×ハンター, Hepburn: Hantā Hantā, abbreviated: HxH) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi. It has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine since March 3, 1998, although the manga has frequently gone on extended hiatuses since 2006. As of October 2018, 380 chapters have been collected into 36 volumes by Shueisha. The story focuses on a young boy named Gon Freecss, who discovers that his father, who he was told was dead, is actually alive and a world renowned Hunter, a licensed profession for those who specialize in fantastic pursuits such as locating rare or unidentified animal species, treasure hunting, surveying unexplored enclaves, or hunting down lawless individuals. Despite being abandoned by his father, Gon departs upon a journey to follow in his footsteps, pass the rigorous Hunter Examination, and eventually find his father. Along the way, Gon meets various other Hunters and also encounters the paranormal. The original inspiration for the manga came from Togashi's own collecting hobby.

In 1999, Hunter × Hunter was adapted into a 62-episode anime television series produced by Nippon Animation and directed by Kazuhiro Furuhashi. The show premiered on Japan's Fuji TV and ran until 2001. Three separate original video animations (OVAs) totaling 30 episodes were subsequently produced by Nippon Animation and released in Japan from 2002 to 2004. A second anime television series by Madhouse aired on Nippon Television from October 2011 to September 2014, with two animated theatrical films released in 2013. There are also numerous audio albums, video games, musicals, and other media based on Hunter × Hunter. The manga has been translated into English and released in North America by Viz Media since April 2005. Both television series were also licensed by Viz, with the first series having aired on the Funimation Channel in 2009 and the second series premiering on Adult Swim's Toonami block since April 16, 2016.

Hunter × Hunter has been a huge critical and financial success and has become one of Shueisha's best-selling manga series, having sold 66 million copies in Japan alone as of 2014.

Inuyasha

Inuyasha (犬夜叉), also known as Inuyasha: A Feudal Fairy Tale (Japanese: 戦国御伽草子 犬夜叉, Hepburn: Sengoku Otogizōshi Inuyasha), is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi. It premiered in Weekly Shōnen Sunday on November 13, 1996, and concluded on June 18, 2008, with the chapters collected into 56 tankōbon volumes by Shogakukan.

The series begins with Kagome Higurashi, a 15-year-old schoolgirl from Tokyo who is transported to the Sengoku period of Japan after falling into a well in her family shrine, where she meets the half dog-demon, Inuyasha. When a monster from that era tries to take the magical Shikon Jewel embodied in Kagome, she inadvertently shatters the Jewel into many pieces that are dispersed across Japan. Inuyasha and Kagome start traveling to recover it before the powerful and evil half spider-demon Naraku finds all the shards. Inuyasha and Kagome gain several allies during their journey, including Shippo, Miroku, Sango and Kirara. In contrast to the typically comedic nature of much of Takahashi's previous work, Inuyasha deals with a darker and more serious subject matter, using the setting of the Sengoku period to easily display the violent content while still retaining some comedic elements.

It was adapted into two anime television series produced by Sunrise. The first was broadcast for 167 episodes on Yomiuri TV and Nippon TV in Japan from October 16, 2000, until September 13, 2004. The second series, called Inuyasha: The Final Act, began airing five years later on October 3, 2009, to cover the rest of the manga series and ended on March 29, 2010, after 26 episodes. Four feature films and an original video animation have also been released. Other merchandise include video games and a light novel. Viz Media licensed the manga, the two anime series, and movies for North America. Both Inuyasha and Inuyasha: The Final Act aired in the United States on Adult Swim (and later on its revived Toonami block) from 2002 until 2015.

My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia (Japanese: 僕のヒーローアカデミア, Hepburn: Boku no Hīrō Akademia) is a superhero manga series written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi. It has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since July 2014, and 20 volumes have been collected in tankōbon format. The story follows Izuku Midoriya, a boy born without superpowers (called quirks) in a world where they have become the norm, but who still dreams of becoming a hero himself. He is scouted by the world's greatest hero, who shares his quirk with Izuku after recognizing his potential, and later enrolls him in a high school for heroes in training.

The manga was adapted into an anime television series by Bones. Its first season aired in Japan from April 3 to June 26, 2016, followed by a second season from April 1 to September 30, 2017, then a third season from April 7 to September 29, 2018, and an animated film titled My Hero Academia: Two Heroes was released on August 3 of that year.The series has been licensed for English-language release by Viz Media and began serialization in their weekly digital manga anthology Weekly Shonen Jump on February 9, 2015.

Naruto

Naruto (ナルト) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who searches for recognition from his peers and the village and also dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village. The story is in two parts, the first set in Naruto's pre-teen years, and the second in his teens. The series is based on two one-shot manga by Kishimoto: Karakuri (1995), which earned Kishimoto an honorable mention in Shueisha's monthly Hop Step Award the following year, and Naruto (1997).

Naruto was serialized in Shueisha's magazine, Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1999 to 2014, and released in tankōbon (book) form in 72 volumes. The manga was adapted into an anime television series produced by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex, which broadcast 220 episodes in Japan from 2002 to 2007; the English adaptation of the series aired on Cartoon Network from 2005 to 2009. Naruto: Shippuden, a sequel to the original series, premiered in Japan in 2007, and ended in 2017, after 500 episodes. The English adaptation was broadcast on Disney XD from 2009 to 2011, and then switched to Adult Swim's Toonami block in January 2014. Besides the anime series, Studio Pierrot has developed eleven movies and eleven original video animations (OVAs). Other Naruto-related merchandise includes light novels, video games, and trading cards developed by several companies.

Viz Media licensed the manga and anime for North American production and serialized Naruto in their digital Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. The anime series began airing in the United States and Canada in 2005, and in the United Kingdom and Australia in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The films and most OVAs from the series were also released by Viz, with the first film premiering in movie theaters. Viz Media began streaming the two anime series on their streaming service Neon Alley in December 2012. The story of Naruto continues with Naruto's son, Boruto Uzumaki, in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations: Boruto wishes to create his own ninja way instead of following his father's.

Naruto is the third best-selling manga series in history, selling 235 million copies worldwide in 35 countries. It has become one of Viz Media's best-selling manga series; their English translations of the volumes have appeared on USA Today and The New York Times bestseller list several times, and the seventh volume won a Quill Award in 2006. Reviewers praised the manga's character development, strong storylines, and well-executed fight scenes, though some felt the fight scenes slowed the story down. Critics noted that the manga, which has a coming-of-age theme, makes use of cultural references from Japanese mythology and Confucianism.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion (Japanese: 新世紀エヴァンゲリオン, Hepburn: Shinseiki Evangerion, literally "The Gospel of the New Century") is a Japanese mecha anime television series produced by Gainax and Tatsunoko Production, directed by Hideaki Anno and broadcast on TV Tokyo from October 1995 to March 1996. The cast included Megumi Ogata as Shinji Ikari, Megumi Hayashibara as Rei Ayanami, and Yūko Miyamura as Asuka Langley Soryu. The music was composed by Shirō Sagisu.

Evangelion is set fifteen years after a worldwide cataclysm, particularly in the futuristic fortified city of Tokyo-3. The protagonist is Shinji, a teenage boy who was recruited by his father to the shadowy organization Nerv to pilot a giant bio-machine mecha called an "Evangelion" into combat with alien beings called "Angels". The series explores the experiences and emotions of Evangelion pilots and members of Nerv as they try to prevent any and all of the Angels from causing another cataclysm, and as they deal with the quest of finding out the real truth behind events and organizational moves. The series features imagery derived from Kabbalah, Christianity, and Judaism.

Neon Genesis Evangelion received critical acclaim, and garnered controversy. Particularly controversial were the last two episodes of the show, leading the team behind the series to produce the original intended version of the ending in the 1997 film The End of Evangelion. Regarded as a deconstruction of the mecha genre, the original TV series led to a rebirth of the anime industry and has become a cultural icon. Film, manga, home video, and other products in the Evangelion franchise have achieved record sales in Japanese markets and strong sales in overseas markets, with related goods selling over ¥150 billion by 2007 and Evangelion pachinko machines selling ¥700 billion by 2015.

One-Punch Man

One-Punch Man (Japanese: ワンパンマン, Hepburn: Wanpanman) is an ongoing Japanese superhero webcomic created by ONE which began publication in early 2009. The series quickly went viral, surpassing 7.9 million hits in June 2012. The Japanese shortened name Wanpanman is a play on the long-running children's character Anpanman, wanpan being a contraction of wanpanchi ("one punch"). One-Punch Man tells the story of Saitama, a superhero who has grown bored by the absence of challenge in his fight against evil and seeks to find a worthy opponent.

A digital manga remake of the series, illustrated by Yusuke Murata, began publication on Shueisha's Young Jump Web Comics website in 2012. The chapters are periodically collected and printed into tankōbon volumes, with sixteen volumes released as of April 4, 2018. Viz Media has licensed the remake for English serialization in its Weekly Shonen Jump digital magazine.An anime television adaptation by Madhouse aired in Japan between October and December 2015. It was dubbed in English during the summer of 2016, and later that year a planned second season was announced. On September 25, 2017, it was announced that they would be changing both its production company and director.

One Piece

One Piece (Japanese: ワンピース, Hepburn: Wan Pīsu) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. It has been serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine since July 22, 1997, and has been collected into 91 tankōbon volumes. The story follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a boy whose body gained the properties of rubber after unintentionally eating a Devil Fruit. With his crew of pirates, named the Straw Hat Pirates, Luffy explores the Grand Line in search of the world's ultimate treasure known as "One Piece" in order to become the next Pirate King.

The manga has been adapted into an original video animation (OVA) produced by Production I.G in 1998, and an anime series produced by Toei Animation, which began broadcasting in Japan in 1999. Additionally, Toei has developed thirteen animated feature films, one OVA and thirteen television specials. Several companies have developed various types of merchandising such as a trading card game and numerous video games. The manga series was licensed for an English language release in North America and the United Kingdom by Viz Media and in Australia by Madman Entertainment. The anime series was licensed by 4Kids Entertainment for an English-language release in North America in 2004, before the license was dropped and subsequently acquired by Funimation in 2007.

One Piece has received praise for its storytelling, art, characterization, and humor. Several volumes of the manga have broken publishing records, including the highest initial print run of any book in Japan. The official website for Eiichiro Oda's One Piece manga announced that the manga has set a Guinness World Record for "the most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author". As of January 2019, the manga has sold over 455 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling manga series in history. It became the best-selling manga for the eleventh consecutive year in 2018.

Pokémon (anime)

Pokémon (ポケモン, Pokemon), abbreviated from the Japanese title of Pocket Monsters (ポケットモンスター, Poketto Monsutā) and currently advertised in English as Pokémon the Series, is a Japanese anime television series, which has been adapted for the international television markets, concurrently airing in 124 countries worldwide. It is part of the Pokémon media franchise, based on Nintendo's Pokémon video game series. New episodes and movies air in the United States on Disney XD, with the entire library available on the DisneyNow app.

The Pokémon animated series is split up into six chronologically sequential series in Japan, split up by the version of the video game series the anime takes inspiration from: the original series, the Advanced Generation series, the Diamond & Pearl series, the Best Wishes! series, the XY series, and the newest, the Sun & Moon series. In the international broadcasts, these six series are split into 21 separate seasons.

These anime series are accompanied by spin-off programming, consisting of Pokémon Chronicles, a series of side stories featuring characters in the anime that are not its current cast of main characters, and the live action variety and Pokémon-related news shows of Weekly Pokémon Broadcasting Station, Pokémon Sunday, Pokémon Smash!, and Pokémon Get TV, premiering in late 2013.

The Pokémon anime series was largely credited for allowing anime to become more popular and familiar around the world, especially in the United States, where the two highest-grossing anime films are both Pokémon films. It was also considered to be one of the first anime series on television to reach this level of mainstream success with Western audiences, as well as being credited with allowing the game series to reach such a degree of popularity, and vice versa. The anime series is also regarded as the most successful video game adaptation of all time, with over 1,000 episodes. Pokémon is also globally one of the most widely watched shows on Netflix, as of 2016.In a 2018 interview, the creators of Detective Pikachu, which features a talking Pikachu, revealed that the original intention for the anime was to have the Pokémon talk, but OLM, Inc. were unable to come up with a concept that Game Freak were accepting of.

Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online (Japanese: ソードアート・オンライン, Hepburn: Sōdo Āto Onrain) is a Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec. The series takes place in the near future and focuses on protagonist Kazuto "Kirito" Kirigaya and Asuna Yuuki as they play through various virtual reality MMORPG worlds. Kawahara originally wrote the series as a web novel on his website from 2002 to 2008. The light novels began publication on ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Bunko imprint from April 10, 2009, with a spin-off series launching in October 2012. The series has spawned eight manga adaptations published by ASCII Media Works and Kadokawa. The novels and four of the manga adaptations have been licensed for release in North America by Yen Press.

An anime television series produced by A-1 Pictures, known simply as Sword Art Online, aired in Japan between July and December 2012, with a television film Sword Art Online: Extra Edition airing on December 31, 2013, and a second season, titled Sword Art Online II, airing between July and December 2014. An animated film titled Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale featuring an original story by Kawahara premiered in Japan and Southeast Asia on February 18, 2017, and was released in the United States on March 9, 2017. A spin-off anime series titled Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online premiered in April 2018, while a third season titled Sword Art Online: Alicization premiered on October 7, 2018. A live-action series will be produced by Netflix. Six video games based on the series have been released for multiple consoles.

Sword Art Online has received widespread commercial success, with the light novels having over 20 million copies sold worldwide. The anime series has received mixed to positive reviews, praised for its animation, musical score, and exploration of the psychological aspects of virtual reality, but criticized for its pacing and writing.

Vic Mignogna

Victor Joseph Mignogna () is an American actor and musician known for his voice-over work in the English dubs of Japanese anime shows, the most notable being Edward Elric from the Fullmetal Alchemist series, for which he earned the American Anime Award for Best Actor in 2007. Other notable anime roles include Broly from the Dragon Ball films, Tamaki Suoh in Ouran High School Host Club, Fai D. Flowright in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Dark in D.N.Angel, Kurz Weber in the Full Metal Panic! series, Zero and Ichiru Kiryu in the Vampire Knight series, Christopher Aonuma in Digimon Fusion, Nagato and Obito Uchiha in Naruto Shippuden, Ikkaku Madarame in Bleach and Matt Ishida in Digimon Adventure tri. He also voiced Qrow Branwen in the anime-style web series RWBY. In video games, he is the voice of E-123 Omega in the Sonic the Hedgehog series and Junpei Iori from Persona 3. In live-action work, he has participated in several Star Trek fan productions, including Star Trek Continues where he plays Captain Kirk.

Yu-Gi-Oh!

Yu-Gi-Oh! (遊☆戯☆王, Yū-Gi-Ō!, lit. "King of Games") is a Japanese manga series about gaming written and illustrated by Kazuki Takahashi. It was serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine between September 30, 1996 and March 8, 2004. The plot follows the story of a boy named Yugi Mutou, who solves the ancient Millennium Puzzle. Yugi awakens a gambling alter-ego within his body that solves his conflicts using various games.

Two anime adaptations were produced; one by Toei Animation, which aired from April 4, 1998 to October 10, 1998, and another produced by NAS and animated by Studio Gallop titled Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, which aired between April 2000 and September 2004. The manga series has spawned a franchise that includes multiple spin-off manga and anime series, a trading card game, and numerous video games. Most of the incarnations of the franchise involve the fictional trading card game known as Duel Monsters, where each player uses cards to "duel" each other in a mock battle of fantasy "monsters". This forms the basis for the real life Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game. As of 2018, Yu-Gi-Oh is one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.

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