anime

/an"euh may'/, n.
a Japanese style of motion-picture animation, characterized by highly stylized, colorful art, futuristic settings, and sexuality and violence.
[ < Japn, borrowing of E animation]

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Style of animation popular in Japanese films.

Animé films are meant primarily for the Japanese market and, as such, employ many cultural references unique to Japan. For example, the large eyes of animé characters are commonly perceived in Japan as multifaceted "windows to the soul." Much of the genre is aimed at the children's market, but animé films are sometimes marked by adult themes and subject matter. Modern animé began in 1956 and found lasting success in 1961 with the establishment of Mushi Productions by Osamu Tezuka, a leading figure in modern manga (Japanese comics). Such animé as Akira (1988), Princess Mononoke (1997), and the Pokémon series of films have attained international popularity.

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▪ 2001

      Over the past two decades, animé has become the worldwide term for Japanese-style animation, be it for television, feature-length film, or direct-to-video release. Animé differs from Western animation in form, themes, structure, and, most important, philosophical concepts and codes. Because animé primarily is meant for domestic Japanese consumption, it pays little heed to the fact that many narrative and pictorial conventions or cultural and philosophical references are peculiar to Japan and, therefore, risk misinterpretation. For example, the omnipresent “Bambi-like” eyes of animé characters are seen in the West as merely cute, rather than as multifaceted “windows to the soul,” as they would be in Japan.

      Western animation is aimed mainly at children and juveniles and has a very limited thematic scope, notably fairy tales, funny animals, and humour. This is the focus for much of animé as well—after all, that is where the money is. Animé goes farther, however, running the gamut from cute children's cartoons to adult fantasy, crime, action, romance, science fiction, and even pornography. Animé, in other words, realizes much more of the potential of animation, even though the West had a head start by at least 25 years.

      Modern animé began in 1956 with the Toei Animation Co. and got its biggest push in 1961, when Osamu Tezuka, the undisputed giant of modern manga (Japanese comics), founded Mushi Productions to develop animation for the new TV industry. His successful children's series Tetsuwan Atom (Astroboy) and Jangaru taitei (Kimba the White Lion) found their way to the U.S. and France. After a slow start in the late 1970s with “rewritten” and censored imports of juvenile science-fiction TV series such as Uchu senkan Yamato (Star Blazers, or Space Cruiser Yamato) and Chojiku yosai Macross (Robotech), animé became quite common in the Western youth market. Recent success stories such as Sailor Moon, Pokémon, and Dragonball Z are but the highly visible tip of the iceberg. In addition, many Western TV cartoons, even those from the Disney Studios, once Tezuka's inspiration, have been outsourced to Japan, with noticeable effects on style. These forms of animé, in fact, have become so common that they hardly are perceived as animé any longer.

      The first adult animé to reach a wider Western audience was Akira (1988), an apocalyptic science-fiction feature-length film based on director Katsuhiro Otomo's manga series of the same name. Western imports of animé still are dominated by science fiction, fantasy, and violent action aimed mainly at young male adults. The “female” genres of animé, however, such as romance, soap operas, and humour—most of which also have had a high action quotient—commanded a larger market share in Japan. Up to the late 1990s, Western reception of animé had been restricted to a dedicated cult audience. In 1996, however, the Disney Studios struck a deal with Studio Ghibli to distribute all of Hayao Miyazaki's films, such as the much-anticipated Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke, 1997), and this should, finally, open the Western mainstream market to adult forms of animé.

Horst Schröder

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Animé — Anime « Animé » redirige ici. Pour les autres significations, voir Animation (homonymie) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • animé — animé, ée [ anime ] adj. • de animer 1 ♦ Didact. Doué de vie. ⇒ 2. vivant. Les êtres animés : les plantes et les animaux (opposés aux choses). Abusivt En grammaire, se dit des personnes et des animaux qui bougent. ♢ Théol. Qui a une âme. L… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • animé — animé, ée 1. (a ni mé, mée) part. passé. 1°   Doué de vie. Corps animés. 2°   Fig. Qui est dans telle ou telle disposition d esprit. Animé de sentiments bienveillants. Être animé d une haine violente. Multitude diversement animée. 3°   Excité,… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Anime — (del lat. medieval «amineus», blanco; voz americana) m. *Curbaril (árbol leguminoso). ⊚ Resina de este árbol. * * * anime. (Del lat. mediev. amineus, blanco). m. Resina o goma de diversas especies botánicas de Oriente y América, usada… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • animė — Bendroji  informacija Kirčiuota forma: animė̃Rūšis: naujai skolintos šaknies žodis Rašybos variantai: anime. Kilmė: japonų, anglų k. perraša anime. Pateikta: 2011 11 13. Atnaujinta: 2013 10 30. Reikšmė ir vartosena Apibrėžtis: populiarus japonų… …   Lietuvių kalbos naujažodžių duomenynas

  • anime — (n.) c.1985, Japanese for animation, a term that seems to have arisen in the 1970s, apparently based on Fr. animé animated, lively, roused, from the same root as English ANIMATE (Cf. animate) (adj.). Probably taken into Japanese from a phrase… …   Etymology dictionary

  • animê — s. m. Gênero de desenhos animados de origem japonesa.   ‣ Etimologia: japonês anime   ♦ Grafia em Portugal: animé …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • anime — s. m. Espécie de resina, semelhante à resina copal. anime s. m. Ver animé.   ‣ Etimologia: palavra japonesa …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • animé — s. m. Gênero de desenhos animados de origem japonesa.   ‣ Etimologia: japonês anime   ♦ Grafia no Brasil: animê …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • animé — ANIMÉ, ÉE. adject. Terme de Blason. Un cheval animé est celui qui paroît en action …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

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