Anime TV Shows:
What is Anime?
Anime is hand-drawn and computer animation originating from or associated with Japan. The word anime is the Japanese term for animation, which means all forms of animated media.
The word anime — pronounced “ah-knee-may” — is an abbreviation of the word animation. In Japan, the word is used to refer to all animation. However, outside of Japan, it has become the catch-all term for animation from Japan.
For decades, anime was produced by and for Japan — a local product, with a distinct look-and-feel to not just the artwork but the storytelling, the themes, and the concepts. Over the last forty years, it has become an international phenomenon, attracting millions of fans and being translated into many languages. A whole generation of viewers in the West has grown up with it and are now passing it on to their own children.
Because all things anime tend to be lumped together, it’s tempting to think of anime as a genre. It isn’t, at least no more than animation itself is a genre, but rather a description of how the material is produced. Anime shows, like books or movies, fall into any number of existing genres: comedy, drama, sci-fi, action-adventure, horror and so on.
What Makes Anime So Special?
Most anime fans can sum this up in two words: “It’s different.” Anime is as unlike most American cartoons like “Batman” and “Spider-Man” are different from the comics that run in daily papers. These differences show up in many ways including the artwork storytelling, breadth of material and even cultural nuances exhibited by the characters.
Anime art styles range from the flamboyant and outlandish in shows like “Samurai Champloo” and ” FLCL” to the simple and direct in shows like “Azumanga Daioh!.“ That said, even shows with more “basic” artwork can still be visually striking. Anime has this way of making everything look fresh and new.
It doesn’t shy away from epic storylines, either, which often run for dozens (sometimes hundreds) of episodes. The best anime, though, no matter what their length, all demand great emotional involvement from the viewer.
The sheer range of anime shows out there means a fan of most any other kind of TV or movie can find an anime series that mirrors its style. For fans of hard science fiction, the show “Planetes” would be perfect for you; romantic comedy fans will love “Fruits Basket” while crime fighting lovers will enjoy “Ghost in the Shell.” There are even adaptations of classical literature like “The Count of Monte Cristo.”
Not only that, fans of anime also get an intimate look into Japan’s history, language and worldview, woven into a great deal of anime on many levels. Some shows are takeoffs on Japanese history like “Sengoku Basara” or raid Japanese mythology for story ideas like “Hakkenden” or “Hell Girl.” Even shows that are outwardly non-Japanese in their presentation like “Claymore” and “Monster” have tinges of a Japanese sensibility to them.
What’s most striking is how anime’s impact is coming full circle. Some recent American cartoon productions, like “Avatar: The Last Airbender,“ are openly inspired by anime itself, and live-action English-language versions of anime titles are starting to come into production more frequently.
History of Anime Show:
The first years
Anime dates back to the birth of Japan’s own film industry in the early 1900s and has emerged as one of Japan’s major cultural forces over the past century.
Much of the work done in these early years was not the cel animation technique that would come to be the dominant production technique, but a host of other methods: chalkboard drawings, painting directly on the film, paper cut-outs, and so on.
Post-war and the rise of TV:
It wasn’t until after WWII—in 1948, to be precise—that the first modern Japanese animation production company, one devoted to entertainment, came into being: Toei. Their first theatrical features were explicitly in the vein of Walt Disney’s films (as popular in Japan as they were everywhere else). One key example was the ninja-and-sorcery mini-epic Shōnen Sarutobi Sasuke (1959), the first anime to be released theatrically in the United States (by MGM, in 1961).
The First Exports
Up until this point, Japanese animated productions had been made by and for Japan. But gradually they began to show up in English-speaking territories, although without much in the way to link them back to Japan.
1963 heralded Japan’s first major animated export to the U.S.: Tetsuwan Atomu—more commonly known as Astro Boy. In 1968, animation studio Tatsunoko followed the same pattern—they adapted a domestic manga title and ended up creating an overseas hit. In this case, the hit was Speed Racer (aka Mach GoGoGo).
In the 1970s, the rising popularity of TV put a major dent in the Japanese film industry—both live-action and animation. Many of the animators who had worked exclusively in film gravitated back to TV to fill its expanding talent pool. The end result was a period of aggressive experimentation and stylistic expansion, and a time where many of the common tropes found in anime to this day were coined.
Among the most important genres that arose during this time: mecha, or anime dealing with giant robots or vehicles. Tetsujin 28-go had been the first: the story of a boy and his remote-controlled giant robot.
The Video Revolution
Home video transformed the anime industry in the Eighties even more radically than TV had. It allowed casual re-watching of a show apart from the rerun schedules of broadcasters, which made it that much easier for die-hard fans—otaku, as they were now starting to be known in Japan—to congregate and share their enthusiasm.
LaserDisc (LD), a playback-only format that boasted top-notch picture and sound quality, emerged from Japan in the early Eighties to become a format of choice amongst both mainstream videophiles and otaku. Despite its technological advantages, LD never achieved the market share of VHS and was eventually eclipsed completely by DVD and Blu-ray Disc. But by the beginning of the Nineties owning an LD player and a library of discs to go with it (as few places in the U.S. rented LDs) was a hallmark of one’s seriousness as an anime fan both in the U.S. and Japan.
Evangelion, “late-night anime” and the Internet
In 1995, GAINAX director Hideaki Anno created Neon Genesis Evangelion, a landmark show which not only galvanized existing anime fans but broke through to mainstream audiences as well.
Two other major forces arose towards the end of the Nineties that helped anime find broader audiences. The first was the Internet and the second force was the newly-emergent DVD format.
The Trouble New Millenium
At the same time, anime was expanding far beyond Japan’s borders, one major upheaval after another through the 2000s threatened its growth and led many to speculate if it even had a future.
Surviving and Enduring
And yet despite all this, anime survives. Convention attendances continue to climb. A dozen or more anime titles (full series, not simply single discs) hit the shelves in any given month.
Examples of Different Anime Shows:
1. BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is a Japanese manga series written by Ukyō Kodachi and illustrated by Mikio Ikemoto. Serialised monthly in Shueisha‘s shōnen manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump, Boruto is a spin-off and a sequel to Masashi Kishimoto‘s Naruto, which follows the exploits of Naruto Uzumaki‘s son, Boruto Uzumaki, and his ninja team.
The life of the shinobi is beginning to change. Boruto Uzumaki, son of Seventh Hokage NarutoUzumaki, has enrolled in the Ninja Academy to learn the ways of Judo.
2. Toaru Kagaku no Rail Gun:
In the futuristic Academy City, which is made up of 80% students, many of which are espers possessing unique psychic powers, Mikoto Misaka is an electromaster who is the third strongest of a mere seven espers who have been given the rank of Level 5. The series focuses on the exploits of Mikoto and her friends; Kuroko Shirai, Kazari Uiharu, and Ruiko Saten, prior to and during the events of A Certain Magical Index.
To Aru Majutsu no Index (とある魔術の禁書目録, To Aru Majutsu no Indekkusu?, lit. A Certain Magical Index) is a Japanese light novel series written by Kazuma Kamachi and illustrated by Kiyotaka Haimura; the series is published by ASCII Media Works under their Dengeki Bunko imprint. Set in a city of scientifically advanced superhuman students, but in a world where magic is also real. Toma Kamijo’s right hand, the Imagine Breaker, will negate all magic, psychic, or divine powers, as well as his own luck. One day he finds a young girl hanging on his balcony railing. She turns out to be a nun from the Church of England, and her mind has been implanted with the Index Librorum Prohibitorum—all the magical texts the Church has removed from circulation. The series was made into an anime and premiered on October 4, 2008
4. Mikoto Misaka:
To Aru Majutsu no Index (とある魔術の禁書目録, To Aru Majutsu no Indekkusu?, lit. A Certain Magical Index) is a Japanese light novel series written by Kazuma Kamachi and illustrated by Kiyotaka Haimura; the series is published by ASCII Media Works under their Dengeki Bunko imprint. Set in a city of scientifically advanced superhuman students, but in a world where magic is also real. Toma Kamijo’s right hand, the Imagine Breaker, will negate all magic, psychic, or divine powers, as well as his own luck. One day he finds a young girl hanging on his balcony railing. She turns out to be a nun from the Church of England, and her mind has been implanted with the Index Librorum Prohibitorum—all the magical texts the Church has removed from circulation. The series was made into an anime and premiered on October 4, 2010
5. To Aru Kagaku no Railgun:
To Aru Kagaku no Railgun is a side story is based on Kamachi’s original story set in Academy City, a city where about 80% of its 230,000 citizens are students. The story deals with the adventures of Mikoto Misaka, one of the Level 5 psychics in the To Aru Majutsu no Index light novels.