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What is it?
Anime is the Japanese term for animation, which means all forms of animated media. In Japanese “anime” is used to refer to all forms of animation from around the world. In English, “anime” just refers to "a style of animation created in Japan". Prior to the use of the term “anime”, which started in the mid 1980s, Japanimation was the word used.
The earliest commercial Japanese animation dates back to 1917, and by the 1930s animation was well established in Japan. The first talkie anime was produced in 1933.  The first feature-length animated film was made in 1944.
The success of Walt Disney's 1937 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs heavily influenced many Japanese animators. In the 1960s, manga artist and animator Osamu Tezuka adapted and simplified many Disney animation techniques.
The 1970s saw a surge of growth in the popularity of manga, Japanese comic books and graphic novels, many of which were later animated. Tezuka’s work inspired characteristics and genres that remain fundamental elements of anime today.

Animation technique

Japanese animation studios were pioneers of many limited animation techniques, and have given anime a distinct set of conventions. Anime scenes place emphasis on achieving three-dimensional views, and backgrounds are instrumental in creating the atmosphere of the work.  
Fun Facts
  • Many anime figures have large emotive eyes. Tezuka’s style allowed for the entire range of human emotions to be depicted solely through the eyes. The artist adds variable colour shading to the eyes and particularly to the cornea to give them greater depth.
  • Japanese anime accounted for 60% of the world's animated cartoon television shows, as of 2016.
  • In Japanese anime, the animation is produced before the voice acting, and this can cause lip sync errors.
  • Hair in anime is often unnatural looking and exaggerated. "Hair action" is used to emphasize the action and emotions of characters. Facial expressions used to denote particular moods and thoughts in anime are usually different from those used in Western animation. For example, a male character may develop a nosebleed when aroused.   
  • Japanese culture and words have entered English usage through the popularity of the medium, including  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.
  • Some of Japan’s anime media franchises  are among the world's highest-grossing Pokémon in particular is the highest-grossing media franchise of all time, bigger than Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe. Other anime media franchises among the world's top 15 include Hello KittyGundam, and Dragon Ball.

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