Anime (ah-NIH-may) is a term for Japanese animation. Anime often covers more serious topics than the typical cartoon. In America, cartoons are considered a form of entertainment meant for children. In Japan, people of all ages watch anime. Most shows and movies are centered for kids, adolescents, or young adults, but there are also many anime that are made for the older crowd, even businessmen. There are many genres in anime with basic categories like comedy, romance, action, drama, and pornography (hentai). There are also anime with content meant specifically for boys (shounen), girls (shoujo), and businessmen. Anime doesn't shy away from epic story lines, which can run for dozens (sometimes hundreds) of episodes. The best anime, though, no matter what their length, all demand great emotional involvement from the viewer.
Probably the most readily apparent differences between Japanese animation and other places is the artwork. Huge eyes, brightly colored hair, well-endowed female characters, and exaggerated emotional expressions and gestures are typical of anime style. Early anime artists were largely influenced by early Disney characters like the Seven Dwarves from Snow White, Mickey Mouse, and the non-Disney Betty Boop. All of these characters had large eyes, and Betty Boop was certainly well-endowed.
Understanding the culture of origin is important in truly understanding what is going on in a just about any art from a particular people be it Japanese anime or manga, or American sitcoms (situation comedies). If you have watched any amount of anime you, along with most people living outside of Japan, probably noticed that the characters behave differently and things in general (houses, transportation, eating, sleeping, greeting, and much, much more) are a bit different from what you are used to. Some of the differences are because of strange artistic visions, but most of the differences are a direct result of culture. Anime is an art form, and as art, it...
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