Learn About Anime in 5 Minutes
May 10, 2020


By allin5minutes

What is anime?

In Japanese, the term anime refers to all forms of animation. In English, however, the term anime refers specifically to Japanese animation. It can be either hand-drawn or created with computers. Anime is often based on Japanese comics that are called manga.

Animated cartoons in Japan began as far back as 1907. The founders of them are thought to be Katsudo Shashin, Junichi Kouichi, and Seitarou Kitayama.


The anime industry consists of over 400 production studios. A few of the biggest ones are Studio Ghibli, Toei Animation, and Kyoto Animation. 

A couple of the best Japanese animators are Hayao Miyazaki who is also called the Japanese Walt Disney and Isao Takahata. They are both currently still creating new animations.



People of all ages can enjoy anime therefore a wide range of audiences are targeted with complicated and emotional storylines. An anime plot develops over the course of dozens of episodes, and a single storyline can take more than 50 episodes to develop.

Depending on anime, characters can also be created a complex and can contain various personality traits. There can also be multiple main characters in a storyline which leads to longer and more interesting anime.

Physical features

Anime Character

While anime characters may possess bodies with proportional body parts, their heads, hair, and facial expressions are usually exaggerated and brightly colored. The characters’ eyes are huge and can even take up almost half of the face. This feature can be traced back to Osamu Tezuka whose iconic art style allowed for the entire range of human emotions to be depicted solely through the eyes.

Mouth, when it is closed, is a simple line, and lips are represented with shading. The focus will be on creating a look that reflects the character’s personality rather than creating a realistic look.

The facial expressions are also usually exaggerated. For example, an embarrassed character might have a big sweat-drop at the side of his head. 


A common characteristic of anime is solid color shading. Surfaces such as hair and skin are textured with high contrast. A darker tone is used for shading while the lighter tone is used for highlighting. It creates a distinction between shadows and highlights on characters of solid blocks of color. Diagonal pen strokes are used to suggest swiftness or velocity.

Anime types

Here are a few anime types:

  • Kodomomuke
    Kodomomuke is all anime intended for children. It has simple stories that teach morals and core values to them.
  • Shonen
    Shonen is anime intended for young boys. It is usually noticed by its high amounts of fighting and contains humorous plots with male characters.
  • Seinen
    Seinen is anime meant for men older than high school age. They tend to be more violent than shonen and can have content of a pornographic nature.
  • Shojo
    Shojo is anime aimed at girls under the age of 18. They focus on romance and relationships. Shojo anime almost always have a female lead.
  • Josei
    Josei anime is aimed at women older than high school age. The series are often slice-of-life or romantic tales featuring adult women. In general, they tend to contain a more realistic representation of relationships than shojo.
  • Hentai/Ecchi
    Hentai is anime containing pornographic content. Ecchi is similar to hentai, though it doesn’t go as far.

Character types

In anime, there are multiple types of characters. Here are a few of them:

  • Tsundere
    Tsunderes are often stuck-up on the outside but loving on the inside. Their constant inner struggle between their pride and love is the key to how these characters act. 
  • Kuudere
    Kuudere is a person who is calm and composed on the outside. They are always in charge of a situation. Kuuderes often seem unaffected by the world around them. They tend to fear to show any weakness.
  • Dandere
    Dandere is a quiet and often antisocial character. A dandere most likely has a difficult time expressing themselves. They fear that saying the wrong thing might get them into trouble or in awkward situations so they remain silent.
  • Yandere
    On the outside, yanderes are often normal people, however, they are romantically obsessed with someone and are willing to murder if necessary. The obsessive type of yandere will destroy anyone in their way to true love. Possessive type of yandere might even kill the person they are obsessed with so they don’t end up with someone else.

Popular anime

Here is a list of a few of the most popular anime you should definitely watch:

  • Death Note
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Naruto
  • Sword Art Online
  • Bleach

Interesting facts

The longest-running anime is Sazae-san and it has over 7500 episodes.

The highest-grossing anime film of all time is Spirited Away bringing in a total of $275 million worldwide.

Animated Japanese shows account for 60% of the world’s animation-based entertainment.

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