The word “anime” is frequently understood as “Japanese cartoons”, but in reality this term is deeper than it may seem! Usually when you hear the word “anime” you resemble an image of a character with huge eyes, funny hair and bright clothes.
In Japanese the word “anime” is written this way «アニメ» (literally “anime”). This is a contraction for the word “animation” (アニメーション or «animeeshon»).The snag is in the use of this world in the Land of the Rising Sun and abroad.
Contractions of words are very common in Japan. If the language allows making a word shorter, you need to right it directly this way, for instance, a remote control (リ モ ー ト コ ン ト ロ ー ル or «rimooto kontorooru») becomes «rimokon» (リ モ コ ン), a television set (テ レ ビ ジ ョ ン or «terebijon») now is just «Terebi» (テ レ ビ), the long name of the «Family Computer» (フ ァ ミ リ ー コ ン ピ ュ ー タ or «Famirii Konpyuuta») becomes «Famicom» (フ ァ ミ コ ン). Even names can be contracted, “Brad Pitt”, for instance, can become “Burapi” (ブ ラ ピ). Native speakers seem to be obsessed with making their slang shorter and more compact in everyday speech.
These examples were foreign adopted words, but believe me, Japanese words can also be contracted. Adopted words in Japan are called “Gairaigo” (外 来 語 ), but even if they were adopted from other languages they easily fit the everyday language. They become a part of culture and society and are frequently used to express ideas and concepts in more detailed form. These words are being “delivered” by language immigrants which enroll in the Japanese society, thus words adopted from abroad become Japanese ones.
Well, let us turn to the most important point. The word “anime” is not so old itself. Originally it was only used by people connected to animated cartoons in Japan. Other words were used for Japanese cartoons, for instance, “manga eiga” ( 漫 画 映 画 ), «Terebi manga» (テ レ ビ 漫 画 ). There was also one variation of this word – “Douga” ( 動 画 ), which literally means a “moving image”. All these words are synonyms to the well-known word “anime”.
It all continued up to 1970 when this word first appeared on the big screen in Japan. This was the time when otaku have begun to appear all over the world. By the year 1980 the word “anime” has been widely used in Japan to stand for…well…anime.
Anime has become a great way to distinct Japanese cartoons from foreign ones. Now when we use the word “anime” everyone understands what we are talking about.
In the west this word relates to the Japanese cartoons, but it primarily relates to a certain kind of anime. Namely, the Japanese cartoons where characters have huge anime eyes and brightly dyed hair. The word “anime” is a contraction for this kind of cartoons and can be used in a mocking manner in English. “God, this is anime”. In other cases it is being used in the descriptive form.
This is Sazae-san. This seems the most popular anime show on the Japanese TV. It is being broadcasted from the year 1969, and every Japanese person knows this anime.
Characters look normal there. No one has huge Astro Boy eyes. The reason for this is that anime was based on the comic of the year 1940. But in the year 1940 American cartoon artists loved to draw big eyes (like in “The Simpsons”, for example).
The word “anime” has a lot of meanings in Japanese for practically anything from Pretty Cure to Popeye.
As in the English language, “anime” is related to the drawing style. But, as it was mentioned before, Japan does not hold rights for huge “anime” eyes. Nowadays, animated characters with big eyes continue to appear in the Western cartoons. However, the Japanese people often draw such analogies as “Looks like anime” or “Similar to anime”.
Do I think that we should use another world to describe the Japanese cartoons? No, of course not. This word fits well in many languages, so that an attempt to exclude it can lead to a great confusion.
However, keep in mind, that the word “anime” means more than simply “anime”.
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Types of Anime
- Code-anime – anime, designed for children.
- Shounen anime – anime, designed for the older boys and young men (from 12 to 16-18 years).
- Shoujo anime – anime, designed for older girls and women (from 12 to 16-18 years).
- Seinen anime – anime for young men.
- Jo-anime – anime, designed for young women.
- TV series – a serial anime, intended for display on TV.
- TV Movie – neserialnoe anime, designed for display on TV.
- OAV / OVA – Anime, created especially for the production of a video (Original Animation Video). It happens as a serial (usually) and a single. Currently, the standard length of OAV – 23-25 minutes, in the 1980s and in the early 1990s and there were hours and longer OAV.
- Feature films – anime, designed to be shown in cinemas. Rarely shorter than 50 minutes, the usual length – from 60 to 90 minutes.
- Short film – Anime intended for theatrical release. In brief 30 minutes, so it is always demonstrated together with other such movies.
- Comedy – a kind of anime, the main thing for them – the humor: parody, sitcoms, and stunt verbal jokes.
- History – a kind of anime, the effect of which is associated with certain real historical events.
- Drama – quite rare for the anime genre of dramatic, tragic story. The main feature – the lack of pronounced “happy ending.”
- Science Fiction (SF) – anime, action is related to the existence and use of technology that did not exist at the time of this anime (interstellar spacecraft, blasters, etc.) Usually anime SF outlines possible future history of mankind, it is often linked stories contacts with aliens.
- Space Opera – a kind of sci-fi anime, concentrating on wars taking place with the active use of the spacecraft.
- Fur – complex mechanisms usually propelled with no real prototypes (ie, invented specifically for this project). Usually, this term means “giant robots” chelovekoupravlyaemye huge war machines. Genre “fur” is characterized by the active use of fur.
- Sentay – literally “a group / team,” the anime genre, telling the adventures of a small permanent team of characters struggling with anyone or anything.
- Fur-sentay – the same as the sentay, but the team of characters while piloting one or more fur.
- Magical girl – “girls sorceress” genre shoujo anime that tells the adventures of girls, endowed with magical powers. It focuses on the problems of growing up female.
- Spokon – anime genre, tells about the young athletes to achieve success by fostering a will to win. Combining the words “sport” and “kondzё” (“guts”).
- Cyberpunk – anime genre, telling about the world of the future, whose life is totally determined by computer technology. Pictures of the future at the same time looks bleak and anti-utopian.
- Steampunk – a genre of anime, telling about our alternative worlds that are at the level of technological development, appropriate Europe at the end of the XIX century. This period is characterized by the beginning of the revolution of means of transportation – the appearance of airships, airplanes, locomotives and ships. Technology, however, is still perceived by ordinary people, not as something familiar and commonplace, but as something wonderful and often demonic. Steampunk cyberpunk emerged as an alternative. If cyberpunk is usually based on a futuristic aesthetic, the steampunk – on the aesthetics of a retro.
- Fantasy – Anime telling about worlds that are not ruled by technology (in SF) and “sword and magic.” In the fantasy often appear not only people, but also a variety of mythological creatures – elves, dwarves, dragons, werewolves cat people and gods and demons.
- Travel between worlds – a kind of anime in which the main character or characters travel between parallel worlds – usually between the world of modern Japan and the fantasy world.
- Mystic – anime genre, the effect of which is associated with the interaction of people and a variety of mysterious forces. The latter do not lend themselves to unequivocal scientific description of the differences between, say, magic fantasy. The relationship with them is usually associated with a variety of moral issues.
- Parapsychology – anime genre, the effect of which is associated with parapsychic force (telepathy, telekinesis, hypnosis).
- Apocalyptica – a kind of anime, telling the doomsday.
- Postapokaliptika – a kind of anime, telling about life after a global catastrophe – the Doomsday.
- Romance – Anime, telling the love conflicts.
- The soap opera – a genre of romantic shoujo anime, concentrating on presenting complex and intricate love stories.
- School soap opera – a kind of soap opera, describes a love story schoolchildren.
- Daily life – anime, describing the daily lives of ordinary Japanese people (usually – middle class) with all its joys and troubles.
- Social film or TV series – anime, lifting the burning problems of modern society.
- A psychological thriller – a genre of anime, telling the “adventures of the human soul.” Getting in unusual situations, the characters of the anime are experiencing complex and unpredictable psychological changes.
- Action – a genre Shounen anime, the effect of which is associated with militant opposition.
- Samurai action film – a genre of historical Shounen anime, the effect of which is related to the wars of the samurai and ninja.
- Detective – a kind of anime, the effect of which is related to the investigation of crimes.
- Detective School – Shounen anime genre, in which students conduct investigations.
- Police thriller – a genre Shounen anime, describing the police action on the identification of criminals and arrest them.
- Martial arts – anime genre, the plot of which is connected to the confrontation of different martial arts masters.
- Dobutsu – “Fluffy” anime about humanoid “furry” creatures.
- Idols – anime, the effect of which is associated with pop stars and music business.
- Otaku – a kind of anime, with links to the activities of anime fans.