Are you new to the Japanese anime world, and you want to know what does anime mean? So, keep reading to find out the answer, and to get our brief introduction to Japanimation!
The word “Anime” is a term derived from the word animation and is created by the Japanese people to designate all animation projects, regardless of their format (series, film, OVA, ONA, etc.).
In English, the term anime is mainly employed to refer to Japanese animation, but we also have our western animation.
Japanese animation, Japanese anime or japanime, is aimed at adults as well as children and teenagers. Besides, the Japanese anime director is considered an artist and often has great notoriety in the Japanese society.
In the West, we pay little attention to anime, and quite often western animations, or cartoons, are produced uniquely for children, which makes it look a bit childish and immature.
Keep reading our blog post for more details about “what does anime mean?”
What does anime mean? Back to the origins!
What does anime mean? Japanese anime history dates back to the beginning of so-called “animation” around the world. In 1917, Seitarō Kitayama was among the first to embark on this great adventure.
Between the years 1963 and 1966, Osamu Tezuka, considered the godfather of modern manga, enjoyed success with Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atomu).
The 1960s also saw the creation of series such as Mahōtsukai Sarī, Sazae-san and GeGeGe no Kitarō. Sazae-san was so successful that the series held the Guinness Record for the longest run, over 45 years.
What does anime mean: Anime & Popularity
Around the world, Akihabara, the electronic district of Tokyo, is now considered the favorite place for Japanese anime fans and otakus.
In the 1980s, Japanese anime experienced a revival in visual quality thanks to a new directors generation. The leader of this revolution is undoubtedly Hayao Miyazaki who, in 1985, created the Ghibli studio.
His works have toured the world and won many international awards. He won the Oscar for best anime Movie for Spirited Away, in 2003.
Among this same generation of directors, others have also stood out, such as:
- Isao Takahata (Hotaru no haka);
- Katsuhiro Ōtomo (Akira);
- Mamoru Ishii (Koukaku Kidoutai).
The 1990s were known for the dubbing (see dubbed anime) and broadcasting of a huge number of Japanese anime around the world, which marked several generations. You surely know One Piece, Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, Slam Dunk, Detective Conan, Hunter x Hunter, etc.
What does anime mean: Anime & Voice Actors (Seiyū)
In Japan, actors who do dubbing are called Seiyū. The importance of the anime series production (about 60% of the international anime) means that these actors are not only simple anonymous voices but real national stars.
Voice actors, or seiyū, are as popular as real actors because they can bring anime characters to life thanks to their voices.
The majority of Japanese voice actors have their own fan clubs, and some fans even go so far as to watch an anime just to listen to their favorite seiyū.
The job of dubbing is taken very seriously and there are hundreds of schools specialized in dubbing. Among the most well-known seiyū (MyAnimeList):
- Kamiya Hiroshi (Shingeki no Kyojin, Durarara, Monogatari Series, Natsume Yuujinchou Series, etc.);
- Hanazawa Kana (Nisekoi, Psycho-Pass, Steins;Gate, Tokyo Ghoul, etc.);
- Miyano Mamoru (Death Note, Assassination Classroom, Steins;Gate, Free!, etc.).