Animation Japanese style. Best known for its distinctive early "big eyes, small mouth" visual style and the wide range of subjects and genres it covers. Unlike the United States (where it is generally regarded as a "ghetto" restricted to children's programming), animation is considered just another medium in Japan, lending itself to any story for any age level (although the demographic which watches TV the most is inevitably kids). It is also very useful in certain genres like Sci-Fi which would otherwise be very expensive to produce. As a result, a large number of Japanese television shows and movies are animated; there is also a very large market for direct-to-video animation (known as OVAs). Most of these productions are not restricted to topics suitable for the under-12 set. It is a commonly held misconception that the term anime is derived from French. It's actually short for the Japanese animeeshon, itself a loanword from English. Anime's trademark visual style is shared with manga (Japanese comic books and graphic novels); in both cases, it is inherited from the post-World War II work of Osamu Tezuka, who is arguably the father of modern Japanese commercial art. It may come as a surprise that the classic anime "style" is in fact lifted from American animation. Tezuka was strongly influenced by the work of Walt Disney, and adapted the Disney style to Japanese sensibilities. (Other sources say the greatest influence was actually Betty Boop, who was one of Tezuka's favorite characters.) Subsequent creators of graphic works copied his style, resulting in the familiar "large eyes" look that characterized anime and manga for so many decades since the 1950s. (On this topic, fellow artist/author Shirow Masamune has said, "I've heard that some people complain about the large eyes and small noses and mouths in Japanese manga. But I don't see a whole lot of difference when I look at Disney characters.") Tezuka's work essentially created both manga and anime as they are known today. His seminal creation — and the one most Americans are likely to be familiar with — was Tetsuwan Atom (Mighty Atom). It's perhaps better known in the English-speaking world as Astro Boy.
Anime films and series:
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