Starting in the early 1960s, anime has blossomed into one
of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world. Originating in
Japan as comic books and magazines, and going on to animated forms, the
series of incredible stories developed with various characters, their life
and growth have attracted fans around the entire planet, both young and old.
Anime is, of course, an abbreviation of the word "animation." There are a wide variety of artistic styles in anime because it depends on the specific style of the artist or studio and what they create in their own imagination. In many series, the characters have large, round eyes and big hair but this isn't always the case.
All animation must first be hand-drawn by the artist, and these artists have mostly also done comic renditions for comic books and started out with that as their goal. This then expanded into the animation sector, and was often assisted by other animators in studios, sometime using computer techniques. The procedure of turning drawn cartoons into animation is a long and complicated one but fulfilling for both the artist and eventual viewer.
Early on, the Japanese film industry solved the problem of low budgets and other restrictions by making their movies from the characters in the early comic books. The artist could have free reign to create whatever kind of characters they wanted. Since Japanese anime usually emphasizes backgrounds for atmosphere, any scene whatsoever was possible, from the big city, nature, to different countries around the globe and even outer space settings. Thus any story line could be complimented by the illustration coming from the artist's free creativity. Any sort of action and activity was feasible, from wild fights, to whole cities blowing up. The possibilities were endless.
The artists of these characters and story lines often took part in the animation process, sometimes devoting literally years to creating the series. The anime went on to become television broadcasts and occasionally full-length movies.
One of the most popular anime series is called Inuyasha, a feudal fairy tale. Rumko Takahashi, a Japanese manga (comic book) artist, developed the tale originally. Her incredible talents led her to become the best selling female comic artist in history. Studios adapted her comic illustrations to the screen, and now there are currently about 167 episodes of Inuyasha on DVD for all to enjoy. It is still an on-going plot and thus fans can continue to enjoy Inuyasha far into the future.
DragonBall, another extremely popular series, was created by Akira Toriyama who spent over 11 years producing hundreds of episodes. Over 160,000 people a month search for DragonBall Z on the main search engines, and it is likely growing by the day.
Credit must be given to the Japanese culture for producing such original and thoroughly enjoyable entertainment for all ages. It has competed with the American cartoon industry that has mostly concentrated on the children of our culture, but now competes with the animated movies becoming more and more popular in present day.
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