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Anime is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of “animation.” In English-speaking countries, anime refers to a style of animation originating in Japan, characterized by colorful graphics and often featuring themes intended for an adult audience. The intended meaning of the word ‘anime’ sometimes varies, depending on the context.
Anime first began in the early 20th century, when Japanese filmmakers experimented with the animation techniques also pioneered in France, Germany, the United States, and Russia. The oldest known anime in existence first screened in 1917 – a two-minute clip of a samurai trying to test a new sword on his target, only to suffer defeat. After the success of the Disney corporations “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs” in 1937, many Japanese animators were heavily inspired by it, and adopted many of it’s styles while developing their own. In the 1960s, manga artist and animator Osamu Tezuka, often heralded as one of the grandfathers of the industry due to his work on series such as Astro Boy and Kimba The White Lion, adapted many Disney animation techniques to help reduce costs and limit the number of frames in productions. The first ever anime tv series to air in Japan was Otogi Manga Calendar, and aired from 1961 to 1964
In The West
Anime did not start to get popular in the west until the late 1980s/early 1990s, after the airing of the cult film Akira . Despite the film receiving a limited release in the U.S., due to the perceived lack of marketability, it became popular within many circles, and is considered the staple for anime in the west. As well as Akira, many works by Studio Ghibli often received success within the west, due to backing by Disney. However, anime did not truly start to become popular until the airing of Cowboy Bebop on Adult Swim starting on September 2, 2001. The show became a breakout success, and helped lead to other anime airing on TV in America, and getting a popular western fandom, such as Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, Sword Art Online and Attack on Titan.
Anime has a long history online, spanning across numerous websites and communities. Online streaming services have developed into the primary source for many anime fans, with many websites being created in order to host fan-subbed anime. As well as this, a number of legal anime websites have also developed, offering users a way to watch officially licensed anime, most notably Crunchyroll and FUNimation. A number of online forums dedicated to anime have also developed over the years, such as Anime News Network , an online Anime and Japanese media news site, and My Anime List, a forum dedicated to anime and manga. A number of other websites also have their own dedicated anime boards, such as 4Chan’s /a/ board and r/Anime