Anime Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Japanese Cartoons

In this article, we are going to answer several questions about anime, the famous Japanese animations that are successful all over the world. Let's see curiosities, origin, facts, genres, rankings, absolutely everything about Japanese drawings in this article.

The Japanese design industry is a joy for many, generating a lot of money in the market. Do you really know anime? How are they produced? Why are they popular and addictive? Why are they criticized by some?

What does Anime mean?

Anime [アニメ] is the Japanese word derived from the English “animation”. The Japanese use the word anime to refer to any design, whether Western or Japanese. Westerners generally use the word anime to refer to Japanese cartoons.

For Westerners, anime has a specific feature in the traits, a more adult theme and its peculiarities. Many westerners don't call some Japanese drawings anime, just because of the absence of these characteristics, as in the case of Sazae-san.

Read also: Sazae-san - The longest anime in history

Anime is an abbreviated word adapted to Japanese, without the abbreviation the correct would be to say animeeshon [アニメーション]. The use of abbreviated words in formal and written language is common in the Japanese language, so keep using anime.

Animes - everything about Japanese cartoons

What is the origin of anime?

Japanese animations and drawings appeared in the early 19th century, but it was only in 1960 that the anime style we know today emerged. Many Japanese artists during World War II were influenced by the Americans.

Osamu Tezuka, with his famous artwork Astro Boy [鉄腕アトム] created that identity. Astro Boy was the first manga (Japanese comic) to win an animated series. In 1967 Japan had already created "The Princess and the Knight", "Fantomas" and "Speed Racer".

At that time, Japanese comics dominated Japan, so it was only a matter of time before several serialized films and animations appeared. At that time anime had specific characteristics like giant robots.

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Animes - Japanese cartoons - doubts and curiosities

What was the first anime to be made?

Many believe that the first anime to be made was Astro Boy, but this is not completely true. Hakujaden (The Legend of the White Serpent) premiered on October 22, 1958, Toei Animation's first commercially released production.

This was actually the first anime specially made for television, aired by TBS with production by Otogi studio. Previously, some short animations and Japanese animated films have been released, without the characteristics of anime.

The first Japanese animation is called Katsudō Shashin, in which a sailor boy leaves, sent in 1907. Japan had several animations before Hakujaden such as Momotaro, Chikara to Onna and The battle of the monkey and the crab.

Read also: List of Anime by Studios + Year of Release

The artigo is still half finished, but we recommend opening it to read the following later:

How are anime created?

Japan is a country that enjoys reading, so one of the markets that earns the most are the so-called manga comics, they adopted their own style and traits, adapted for TV, thus creating anime.

In addition to the manga, there are Books known as Light Novels, and games called Visual Novels, (full of dialogues like a manga), which are also transformed into TV adaptations following similar traits.

Japan is famous for creating thousands of anime or Japanese cartoons, with more than 400 animation studios in the country. Over 350 animations are released every year, but this is only a piece of the works created in Japan.

There are thousands of works that never had the chance to win an animated adaptation, for this reason, the Japanese animation market is endless. Not to mention that it's not just manga, games and books that get animations.

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Animes - Japanese cartoons - doubts and curiosities

How are anime produced and released?

Anime is released in seasons: Winter (January), Spring (April), Summer (July) and Autumn (October). Each season usually has more than 50 weekly airings, anime usually have 12/13 Episodes called “1-cour”.

Some have 24 episodes being called "2-cour", or receive two seasons of 12 episodes with a break called "split cour". Films, OVAs (Specials not shown on TV), specials and others are also released.

Japanese cartoons have a similar market to series, movies, novels and others. Not having a specific target audience, anime is released mainly for teenagers and adults. While children's animations take a different path, as in the case of Doraemon.

Animes - Japanese cartoons - doubts and curiosities

What are the Genres of Anime?

Those who think that Anime are things for kids, are very wrong. Animes are divided into genres with a specific audience. Some bring nonsensical stories, others bring more exciting stories than any dramatic or romantic movie you have seen.

There are thousands of anime that make your eyes sweat, or that make you reflect on the behavior or life we lead. See the anime genres below or in our article on types of anime.

Read also: Anime Genres and Types – Complete list with recommendations

Shounen – (Young Boys) – These are animations created with a young male target audience aged between 14 and 21, with more fanciful content, with fights, action and comedy. Examples: One Piece and Naruto.

Shoujo - (Young Girls) – They are animations created with a focus on girls, most of them are novels, dramas, school life, musicals, a lot of comedy. This genre has attracted not only girls, many of these works are watched by men, and are quite famous as in the case of Kimi ni todoke, Maid Sama and Itazura na Kiss.

Yuri / Shoujo-Ai (Children) – Animations aimed at children from 6 to 12 years old, are similar to American animations, the features are not usually as detailed as anime for adults, and most are usually comedy or educational. and they are watched by people of all ages as in the case of Doraemon and Sazae-san which has over 7,000 episodes.

Animes - Japanese cartoons - doubts and curiosities

Mecha – Anime that use giant robots or similar things. Like Evangelion, Gundam and Code Geass.

Kemono - Where main characters are animals, beasts, chimeras, etc.

Of course there are other genres to divide anime. Genres like: adventure, action, science fiction, comedy, sports, drama, fantasy and romance. There are also recurring themes: high school, martial arts, magic, horror... these are just a few.

Anime genres for adults

Anime are works of art made for people of all ages. A great proof of this is the huge market for adult animations, but we won't just talk about them here, there are some genres of anime for adults, but without indecency.

Seinen - Anime for an older audience, above 20 years old. With more mature and serious stories, it can involve action, comedy, drama, realistic events, etc.

Josei - Anime aimed at adults and young females.

Ecchi (indecent) – Anime that make use of sex appeals, such as cameras focused on the characters' breasts and underwear.

Hentai (perverted) – It is the western term used to refer to pornographic anime.

Yuri / Shoujo-Ai (ouch = love) - Animes that appeal to female homosexuality. Yuri a heavy genre than shoujo-ai.

Yaoi / Shounen-Ai – Anime that appeal to male homosexuality. Yaoi a heavier genre than shounen-ai.

Animes - Japanese cartoons - doubts and curiosities

Anime and the media

The anime, along with manga, games, and books of the same style, has generated billions of dollars in the market every year. Thanks to this, countless products are released, such as clothing, toys, cards, action figures, etc.

Animes - Japanese cartoons - doubts and curiosities

Animes are able to generate money even through concerts and audio CD sales, just notice that every anime receives an opening and ending sung by bands, which release their album and soundtrack.

Thanks to Otaku, thousands of people benefit from sales of anime, manga and other products. Signs, stores, TV commercials, album covers by singers, all these generate profit, all thanks to Japanese designs. Japan is surrounded by all these types of media, especially the Akihabara neighborhood.

The media around the world is influenced by Japanese animations and creations. Several manga with the animation license are released to the West, dubbed into English, thus also generating the creation of products for sales, showing that this does not happen only in Japan.

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Animes - Japanese cartoons - doubts and curiosities
Example of how anime has influenced the commerce of products.

Japanese drawings in Brazil

Anime has made it quite popular among young Brazilians. At the same time, it is questionable among some young people and adults. Brazil is dominated by a bad sense of machismo, where some young people consider watching cartoons as childish, cannot understand or like animations, or even complain about reading subtitles.

In the case of adults, there are some protective or uninformed religious parents. They think all anime is Yugioh, Dragon Ball and Naruto style, full of violence and the occult. They totally forget that there are genres.

Read also: The controversy of religions of thinking that everything in Japan belongs to Capeta!

Unfortunately Brazil was badly influenced by anime, until ancient times, the only animations received in Brazil were discriminated against by adult society, our country has only received shounen action anime with supernatural or unreal content.

Animes - Japanese cartoons - doubts and curiosities

Currently there are no studios that release animations in our language, one of the last famous works released in the Portuguese language was “Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood”. Fortunately, manga has been gaining popularity thanks to Panini, JBC and New POP and Netflix has been bringing some dubbed anime to the west.

The anime are a great source of knowledge and culture about Japan. Watching them, it is possible to learn many things, including the language. Animes in no way can be considered something for children, since the target audience is young people and adults.

Also cannot be considered something unique, anime is completely diversified, so we cannot refer to anime as a whole, there are genres, adaptations, etc. If you haven't watched any anime yet, give it a chance, you may be surprised. Don't forget to leave your comment and opinion below.

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