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Anime in Japanese, but typically in English is an abbreviation of the word "animation". Outside Japan, the term most popularly refers to animation originating from Japan; and to the Occidental way of thinking, not all animations are considered anime. Anime is therefore usually considered to be a subset of animation.
Anime is traditionally hand drawn, but like in most animation computer assisted animation techniques have become quite common in recent years. The story-lines of anime represent most major genres of fiction and most motion-picture media (television broadcast, DVD and VHS distribution, and full length motion pictures).
In Japanese, the English term animation is written in katakana as アニメーション (animēshon, pronounced /ɑnime:ɕoɴ/). The shortened term, anime (アニメ), emerged in the 1970s. Animation, as well as anime, come from the Latin, "animare" meaning "to breathe life into" thus "animated" means to be full of activity, or moving pictures.Both the original and abbreviated forms are valid and interchangeable in Japanese, but as could be expected the shorter form is more commonly used.
The pronunciation of anime (pronounced /ɑnime/) in English differs significantly from Japanese. The first vowel is further forward in English than Japanese: /æ/ is more likely than /ɑ/. As English stresses words differently than Japanese, the second vowel is likely to emerge as an unstressed schwa /ə/ or /I/ in English, whereas in Japanese each mora carries equal stress. As with a few other Japanese words such as Pokémon and Kobo Abé, anime is sometimes spelled as animé in English with an acute accent over the final e to cue the reader that the letter is pronounced as a Japanese /e/. However, this accent does not appear in any commonly used system of romanized Japanese, and English native speakers may produce /eI/.
Linguistically, the anime definition is subject to interpretation. In Japan, the term does not specify an animation's nation of origin or style; instead, it is used as a blanket term to refer to all forms of animation from around the world. In English, main dictionary sources define anime as "a Japanese style of motion-picture animation" or "a style of animation developed in Japan". Common uses of the term is Japanese explicit, among Western audiences Furthermore, the terms "cartoon" or "animated series" used for most other visual styles, particulary for French, Korean, and American animation. Any non-Japanese works are called anime-influenced animation, if they borrow any stylization from Japanese animation. Even so, some anime are co-productions with non-Japanese companies, like the Cartoon Network and Production IG series IGPX. Yet, a French-Japanese co-production such as Ōban Star-Racers is not considered anime.
Anime can be used as a common noun, "Do you watch anime?" or as a suppletive adjective, "The anime Guyver is different from the movie Guyver." It may also be used as a mass noun, as in "How much anime have you collected?" and therefore is never pluralized "animes" (nouns are never pluralized in Japanese). However, in other languages where anime has been adopted as a loan word, it is sometimes used as a count noun in singular and in plural as in Danish "Jeg tror, jeg vil se en anime" ("I think I'll watch an anime") and "Hvor mange anime'er har du nu?" ("How many animes do you have now?").Animation technique
The basics of anime is based on traditional animation. While anime is considered separate from cartoons, anime still uses multiple still images in rapid succession to produce the animated visual effect. Like all animation, the production processes of storyboarding, voice acting, character design, cel production, etc. still apply. With improvements in computer technology, computer animation increased the efficiency of the whole production process.
Anime is often considered a form of limited animation. That means that stylistically, even in bigger productions the conventions of limited animation are used to fool the eye into thinking there is more movement than there is.1 Many of the techniques used a comprised with cost-cutting measures while working under a set budget.
Anime scenes place emphasis on achieving three-dimensional views. Backgrounds depict the scenes' atmosphere. For example, anime often puts emphasis on changing seasons, as can be seen in numerous anime, such as Tenchi Muyo. Sometimes actual settings have been duplicated into an anime. The backgrounds for the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya are based on various locations within the suburb of Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan.
Camera angles, camera movement, and lighting play an important role in scenes. Directors often have the discretion of determining viewing angles for scenes, particularly regarding backgrounds. In addition, camera angles show perspective. Directors can also choose camera effects within cinematography, such as panning, zooming, facial closeup, and panoramic.Lighting effects are used in conjunction with camera effects. For additional three-dimensional effects, various shades of lighting are used
Anime has many genres typically found in any mass media form. Such genres include action, adventure, children's stories, comedy, drama, erotica (more specifically ecchi or hentai), medieval fantasy, occult/horror, romance, and science fiction.
Most anime includes content from several different genres, as well as a variety of thematic elements. Thus, some series may be categorized under multiple genres. For example, Neon Genesis Evangelion might be considered to fall into the genres of post-apocalyptic, science fiction, mecha, and drama. A show may have a seemingly simple surface plot, but at the same time may feature a far more complex, deeper storyline and character development. It is not uncommon for an action themed anime to also involve humor, romance, and even social commentary. The same can be applied to a romance themed anime in that it may involve an action element, or in some cases brutal violence.
The following is a list of the major genres and designations that are specific to anime and manga.
- Action/Adventure primarily focuses on battles, war, and physical competition. Martial arts, weapon fighting, or other action oriented material are usually featured. Examples: Ninja Scroll or One Piece.
- Drama primarily has a high degree of character development and emotional themes. Many center around relationship complications. Examples: Fushigi Yūgi or InuYasha.
- Game Based primarily revolves around some sort of card or board game. Examples: Yu-Gi-Oh! or Hikaru No Go.
- Horror use darker and/or supernatural themes. Examples: Vampire Hunter D series or Chrono Crusade.
- Science Fiction consists of futuristic elements, particularly featuring future science and technology. They can be drawn from current scientific studies and inventions or created to meet the needs of the world. Examples: Ghost in the Shell or Wings of Honneamise
- Progressive or "Art films" are extremely stylized. Examples: Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei or Byōsoku 5 Centimetre.
- Bishōjo is Japanese for "beautiful girl". A blanket term that features pretty girl characters. Sometimes conflated with Moè. Examples: Magic Knight Rayearth or http://bestuff.com/http://bestuff.com/http://bestuff.com/http://bestuff.com/Negima.
- Bishōnen is Japanese for "beautiful boy". A blanket term that can be used to describe any anime that features "pretty" and elegant boys and men. Examples: Fushigi Yūgi or most CLAMP shows.
- Sentai is literally a "fighting team" in Japanese. It refers to any show that involves a superhero team. Examples: Cyborg 009 or Voltron.
- Robot/Mecha features super robots. Examples: Mobile Suit Gundam or Mazinger Z.
- Post-Apocalyptic simply deals with a post-apocalyptic world. Examples: Fist of the North Star or Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.
- Mahō shōjo is a subgenre of shōjo known for "Magical Girl" stories. Examples: Sailor Moon or Cardcaptor Sakura.
- Mahō shōnen is a male equivalent of Mahō Shōjo. Examples: D.N.Angel.
- Moé features characters with perky, cute, weak, or naivè behaviors. In some way, they are not overly independent.26 Examples: A Little Snow Fairy Sugar.
- Expertise specializes with a specific topic in depth. Topics range from sports, the arts, and cooking. Examples: Eyeshield 21 with football, or Yakitate! Japan with bread-making.
- Lolicon ("Lolita Complex") is the sexualization of under-aged female characters, the name coming from the titular character of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. Example: Kodomo no Jikan
- Shotacon ("Shōtarō Complex") is the sexualization of under-aged male characters, the name coming from the lead child actor from Tetsujin-nijūhachi-gō. Example: Papa to Kiss in the Dark
- Harem is a genre which focuses on a male character surrounded by the romance of multiple female characters. Typically, the male cohabits with at least one female.27 It is usually marketed as a Shōnen or Seinen.28 Examples: Ranma ½ or Love Hina.
- Reverse Harem reverses the gender balance in harem, where a female character is romantically involved with many male characters. It is more often than not a Shōjo or Josei Anime. Examples: Ouran High School Host Club or Fruits Basket.
- Magical Girlfriend is more accurately termed Exotic Girlfriend. This genre focuses on the romantic relationship (and cohabitation) between a man and at least one woman of extraordinary origins such as alien (Tenchi Muyo!, Urusei Yatsura), supernatural (Oh My Goddess!), or technological (Chobits). Often considered a subgenre of Harem.
- Ecchi is Japanese for "indecent sexuality", derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the letter "H", (the origin of the term is not well known, even in Japan. See main article for more information.) Sexual humor and fan service are prevalent. Examples: Oruchuban Ebichu or He Is My Master.
- Hentai is Japanese for "abnormal" or "perverted". This term is synonymous to pornography or erotica, as hentai content specifically consists of such. Examples: La Blue Girl or Bible Black.
- Shōjo-ai or Yuri is Japanese for "girl-love". These focus on love and romance between female characters. It is often being replaced by the term "Girls Love" (GL). Yuri is like Shōjo-ai, but sometimes involves older characters or explicit sexual activity. Examples: Revolutionary Girl Utena or Kannazuki no Miko.
- Shōnen-ai is Japanese for 'boy-love'. These focus on love and romance between male characters. The term "Shōnen-ai" is being phased out in Japan due to its other meaning of pederasty, and is being replaced by the term "Boys Love" (BL). Examples: Loveless or Gravitation
- Yaoi is like "Shōnen-ai" but often involving older characters and explicit sexual activity. Examples: Sensitive Pornograph
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