Anime is hand-drawn and technically computer animation originally from Japan. In Japanese, anime, also known as a shortened term, anime, means “anime” and refers to all animated works. Most of the works created are from Japanese animation wherein a real live set or backgrounds with people are put in while the characters themselves are rendered on screen. The action takes place inside a highly-developed world in which fantasy and magic are part and parcel of everyday life. Anime usually involves anime characters, but it also covers original stories told in a different format.
Anime first gained worldwide popularity when the Japanese animation industry showed some degree of competence in producing such. Since then, anime has gone through tremendous changes and expansion. The first work to introduce anime into the Western world was the comic Shurikomi, drawn by Tomoko Ninomiya. This manga became so popular that a TV series version was made and ran for 17 seasons, later becoming one of the most watched anime series ever.
In the past few years, anime has reached new heights in terms of acceptance. American and Japanese animation companies have been producing hit anime series like Naruto and Evangelion. The Japanese manga, once a secret to the west, has finally been exposed to the masses. While still not widely accepted in the west, the anime has become more mainstream and can be found anywhere from college classrooms to television stations.
In Japan, anime and Japanese comics are often confused. Some westerners would refer to the anime as Japanese manga and vice versa. However, most westerners tend to refer to the Japanese comics as “manga”, which simply means “comics”. Some have even taken to collecting licensed and copyright free versions of Japanese anime and manga. The popularity of these “free manga’s” has spawned a new sub-culture of their own.
Anime conventions are increasing in popularity. In fact, in some cities like Las Vegas, there are entire events devoted entirely to anime and manga conventions. Many westerners feel a connection to the subject because they themselves have grown up with anime. The growing interest in the anime genre has created a market for westerners who want otaku products for their collections.
Not only are they gaining popularity, anime merchandise is also starting to become popular with fans of other types of media. Fans of anime are now creating their own fan art, which is often uploaded on sites such as Deviant Art. This form of fan art, while not widely accepted in Japan, has grown in popularity online and off. With westerners increasingly becoming interested in anime and its characters, it seems that nothing is impossible anymore.