+ What Is Anime?

+ History of Anime

+ Commonly Used Anime/Manga Terms

+ Local TV Schedule

+ Animax Schedule

+ AXN Asia Schedule

+ List of Animes Shown in the Philippines


What Is Anime?

by: Makkun


ASTROBOY Pic Source: Animenfo


     What is Anime? I guess whether you're an "otaku" or not, you're as curious as everybody else about the origin of this word. Anime has evolved throughout the years of its existence, until to that point that is no longer a jargon, but a part of the language of mankind.


     It's not that easy to define Anime. Actually, it still is an ambiguous word; the type that has too many interpretations which sometimes can be misleading.


     For starters, Anime is the short word Japanese Animation. Although anime can be any kind of animation, whether from the North, East, West, or South, this word has been referred specifically to that of animation from Japan.


     Most Animes came from "mangas" or Japanese comicbooks. Osamu Tezuka is considered the present-day "god of manga".


     Anime has always been compared to "American Cartoons", since basically there is not much difference on how both are produced. They were created from sketches, and then later processed on computers, programmed for a couple of months (sometimes even years) and released finally as animated shows. Although this is the case, and there was even a claim that Japan "stole comics" from America, there are features - character designs, the variety of stories and level of viewer's maturity that are distinctly Japanese.


Yami no Matsuei


     The borderline between Anime and "American cartoons" is perhaps the level at which the "stories" are developed. American cartoons are generally, for kids - whereas Anime can target different ages - from children to adults. American Cartoons usually respond to the values of children, but with the rampant exercise of "freedom of expression" which brought out the unique talents of the creators and/or Mangakas (Manga writers), Anime can be a lot of things - about love, friendship, society, humanity, technology, realism, betrayal, death, revenge, lust and even delicate and/or disturbing topics.


     Another difference between Anime and American Cartoons is how the author creates the main character. Generally, the latter provides a hero that is trustworthy, honest and loyal to his kind. But since Anime is a "hell lot of things", the characters could come out in a different wrapping - weird, psychotic, hypocrites, liars - all the "powerful emotional conflicts" that ordinary people possess. This is probably the reason why viewers are still attracted to such characters - because they "are real". But this was the start of the rising claim that while American Cartoons provide wholesome entertainment to its market, "Anime is all sex and violence" which pollutes the minds of its viewers. This misinterpretation has been one of the major reasons why anime is not accepted as an open genre, especially in US.


     Well...it's not for me to argue. I think that although some animes have "violence," "struggles" and "sufferings," I didn't see it that way. The characters still stood up enduring all these - crawling their way to the top by themselves, prooving their worth. Women who have been abused struggled to retain their dignity, fought for survival. People have built another society to replace the lost one. What I see are "real people" and I'm moved by their strength. I'm encouraged by their efforts. This is the real world. This is HOW I SHOULD LIVE. All of these are lessons in life, and I don't understand why some people look the "other" way. American Cartoons do help children nourish their values, but when someday they got knocked down, will their imaginative heroes save them??




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History of Anime


     In 1914, cartoonists were among the first Japanese artists to experiment with animated motion pictures. Japan's first worldwide success was Kitayama Seitaro's short film Momotaro(1918). Although the Japanese animation industry continued to grow slowly, its one, last prewar milestone was Chikara To Onna No Yononaka. Appearing in 1932, the short film was the first animated "talkie" in Japanese.

     As unbelievable as it may seem, the success of both the anime and manga industries in Japan rests firmly on the shoulders of one man: Osamu Tezuka. Originally an aspiring animator, Tezuka became a cartoonist after World War II. He was only 20 years old when his first significant work, the novel-length Shintakarajima or "New Treasure Island", appeared in 1947. In just a few years, he became Japan's most popular manga artist, eventually earning the title "God of Manga."

     For manga and anime fans, Tezuka's most obvious contribution came in the design of his characters. The artist needed a vast emotional template to tell his often complex stories. Seeking inspiration, he returned to the prewar Disney cartoons that he loved as a child. Just like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, Tezuka's animal and humans characters sported round heads with huge, expressive eyes. Although these features appeared simple and cartoonish, they actually allowed a character to express a wide range of emotions, from adulation to seething hatred.

     Tezuka founded the Osamu Tezuka Production Animation Department or, as it was eventually called, Mushi Productions. His goal was to produce animated theatrical features as well as episodic series for the fledgling Japanese television industry. Mushi Production's premiere series, Tetsuwan Atom (US: Astro Boy) missed out on being the first domestically-produced animated televisions show by only a few months. That honor fell to Otagi Manga Calendar or "Manga Stories Calendar," which featured short, historical cartoons. But, in all its black-and-white glory, Tetsuwan Atom was the first regular animated program to contain a recurring cast performing in fictionalized stories. Based on Tezuka's manga series of the same name, Tetsuwan Atom followed the amazing adventures of a robot boy as he fights crime and protects his friends. The show became so popular that it was even distributed worldwide.


Pic Source: Animenfo

Mobile Suite Gundam

     As new and exciting as Japanese animated television series seemed in the 1960's, you could not escape the fact that most series were created strictly for chaldean. Notable exceptions did exist. Jungle Taitei frequently ventured into complex, multi-part story-lines. Another early show, 8-Man (US: 8th Man) featured a main character who was murdered by criminals and resurrected as a robot. Mach Go Go Go (US: Speed Racer) could be downright moody, at times, even with its goofy monkey sidekick. By and large, though, animated television programs followed the tried and true good guy vs. bad guy formula.

     This all changed in the 1970's, as a new, more sophisticated approach began to emerge in televised anime. Nowhere could this better be seen than in a program created by the oddly named manga artist Monkey Punch. Lupin Sansei featured a main character who was a master thief. Inspired by 1920's satirical mysteries of French writer Maurice Leblanc, the show was part comedy and part jet-setting adventure. Packed with adult humor and slapstick violence, Lupin Sansei was aimed squarely at an older audience. The program's infectious insanity went on to spawn two sequel TV series and several feature films.

     The "giant robot" show had been a mainstay of Japanese animation ever since Shotaro Kaneda first called on Tetsujin 28 in 1966. This science fiction sub-genre got a significant reinterpretation when Mobile Suit Gundam premiered in 1979. Combining the epic story elements of Yamato with the oversized, humanoid mecha of Tetsujin 28-go (US: Gigantor), MS Gundam was an intelligent and exciting space opera. The sprawling story-line detailed a future space war in which the opposing forced ducked it out with mechanized battlesuits. Human pilots actually "wore" the giant robots as a protective shell.


Pic Source: Animenfo

Urusei Yatsura by Rumiko Takahashi


     As the 1980's began, television and film producers scrambled to keep up with the increasing demand for more sophisticated and exciting animated programming. The situation became even more frantic as the home video market exploded onto the scene a few year later. Now Japanese fans could actually buy copies of their favorite animated TV shows and movies. Production companies even started to bypass the traditional entertainment media and release original animated features straight to video. In 1986, an adaptation of his fantasy series Dragon Ball went on to become Japan's most popular animated TV show

     Employing as deft a hand at light comedy and fantasy as Toriyama, Rumiko Takahashi dominated television and video throughout the '80's and '90's. First with the insane alien comedy Urusei Yatsura and later with the gender-bending of Ranma 1/2, she enchanted audiences of all ages. her other important series, Maison Ikkoku, playfully toyed with the conventions of the romantic comedy genre.

     On the opposite end of the spectrum from Takahashi was Go Nagain, an artist with a reputation for creating "naughty" manga. Anime adaptations of his work actually began in 1972 with the Devilman TV series. Now that the direct-to-video market had been established, anime created strictly for adults could bypass the usual restrictions imposed by TV and film sensors. Strange and sexy programs like Nagai's Kekko Kamen, which featured a naked super-heroine, could now be produced for home video release.

     The first and best was artist/director Katsuhiro Otamo. Not only was his groundbreaking 1988 anime film Akira a huge international hit, it ushered in an entirely new style of anime. Popular titles like Bubble Gum Crisis and A.D. Police were cut from the same fast-paced and dangerous mold as Akira. In 1987, Otomo contributed two short segments to the Neo-Tokyo and Robot Carnival animated anthologies.

     Equally as influential was the work of artist Masamune Shirow. Through the adaptation of his original manga Appleseed and his own direction of Black Magic M-66, he presented a future where the lines between technology and humanity began to blur. Although Shirow's energetic video series Dominion Tank Police can best be described as a police-mecha-comedy, his recent masterpiece, the 1995 film Kokaku Kidoutai (US: Ghost in the Shell), once again took on the man versus machine interface.Not all new anime was as outlandish as Shirow's or Otomo's. In fact, some of it was quite serious. Keiji Nakazawa wrote of his experiences as a Hiroshima survivor in the heartrending manga saga Barefoot Gen. With director Masaki Mari, Nakazawa adapted his novels into a frank and powerful 1983 film. Exploring similar territory, Hotaru No Haka (US: Grave of the Fireflies) followed the struggle of two orphans who survived the fire-bombing of Tokyo. Few live action films have ever come as close to capturing the true horrors of war as this animated film did.

     Audiences were now becoming more receptive to animation that wasn't strictly action or comedy oriented. In response, anime producers turned to Japanese literature for inspiration. Based on the classic novel by Murasaki Shikibu, Genji Monogatari (US: The Tale of Genji) was a fascinating study in palace intrigue. A novel by 20th century philosopher and children's writer Kenjii Miyazawa inspired the delightful Ginga Tetsudo no Yoru (US: Night on the Galactic Railroad). The success of such films showed that anime had finally broken free from the restraints of its earlier "kids-only" label to enter the realm of high-brow acceptance.


Pic Source: Animenfo

Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke)


     Founded by Toshio Okada, Gainax brought together a group of creators who were part of the first generation raised on Japanese animation. Driven by their shared enthusiasm for the medium, Gainax produced some of the most significant and popular works of the '80's and 90's. The company's first video Otaku no Video held a mirror up to the bizarre world of anime fandom. This lighthearted, semi-autobiographical romp didn't even hint at the greatness that would suddenly appear in the company's next release, the science fiction masterpiece Oneamitsu No Tsubasa Oritsu Uchu Gun(US: The Wings of Honneamise). The video series Top O Nerae! Gunbuster (US: Gunbuster) and TV show No Umi No Nadia (US: Nadia the Secret of Blue Water) verified the company's skill at presenting exciting adventures, both futuristic and historical. Finally, Gainax established itself as the current leader of episodic science-fiction by producing the beautifully-rendered TV show Shin Seiki Evangelion (US: Neon Genesis Evangelion)

     Studio Ghibli grew out of the association of two long-time anime creators, Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki. Both worked on various Toei TV and film projects during the 1960's. In 1971, the two men served as directors on the original Lupin Sansei TV show and later collaborated on the children's adventure series Mirai no Shonen Conan (Eng. Trans.: Future Boy Conan). Miyazaki's first significant directing job came with the 1978 theatrical release Cagliostro No Shiro (US: Castle of Cagliostro). Once again delightfully portraying the antics of the Lupin character, this successful feature was followed by a strip of landmark films: Kaze no Tani No Nausicaa (Eng. Trans.: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind), Tenku No Shiro Rapyuta (Eng. Trans.: Laputa: Castle in the Sky), Tonari No Totoro (US: My Neighbor Totoro), Majo No Takkyubin (US: Kiki's Delivery Service), Kurenai No Tuta/Porco Rosso (Eng. Trans.: Crimson Pig), Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko (Eng. Trans.: Present-Day Great Raccoon War Ponpoko), and Mononoke Hime (US: Princess Mononoke). Although Takahata filled various behind-the-scenes roles in Miyazaki's projects, from producer to musical director, he also displayed a considerable gift for direction and screenwriting in his own right. As already mentioned, he was the creative genius behind the gripping Hotaru no Haka. His moving animated film Omoide Poro Poro (Eng. Trans.: Only Yesterday) was the simple story of a woman coming to grips with the memories of her youth. This ability to tell the small, human story against the backdrop of greater events was a hallmark of Takahata and Miyazaki's considerable talents. Coupled with flawless hand-drawn animation, it was a formula that placed Studio Ghibli firmly at the top of the Japanese film industry.

     In Japan, Gundam celebrates its 20th anniversary with a whole new TV show, while Akira Toriyama's wacky Dr. Slump returns to the small screen with a new series of his own. Osamu Tezuka's influence is still being felt as two recent films based on his earlier manga works, Black Jack and Jungle Taitei demonstrate. Meanwhile, older audiences have been treated to the imaginative X:The Motion Picture and Katsuhiro Otomo's anthology film Memories.

     International audiences are also enjoying a growing influx of popular anime. Pokemon, Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball have delighted children wherever they've been shown. Most significant is the deal that Disney Studios and Studio Ghibli inked to bring all of Miyazaki's filmed masterpieces to American audiences. Entertainment Weekly picked the first release under this agreement, Kiki's Delivery Service, as its 1998 Video of the Year. Mononoke Hime also appeared in theaters across the country.


Pic Source: Animenfo

Shinguuji Sakura From Sakura Taisen


     In anime, faces are very streamlined, but are used to convey the wide range of human emotions. The designs are so simplified that the smallest curve can change the entire character's expression. Characters often have multiple styles of faces, such as the normal face, the serious face, and the ultra cartoony or super deformed face, all used for the same characters at various times depending on what the situation calls for.

     Most important are the big glossy eyes, said to be part of the legacy of Disney, who had a big influence on pioneering Japanese animators, but are also used because of the high level of emotion that having large eyes affords.

     Hair is another widely recognized feature of anime characters. Not only do characters often have outrageously huge hair styles, but anime hair comes in all various colors not naturally found on people. Used primarily to help distinguish character from character, the colors often times suggest something about personality traits. Hair is usually given the 3 shade treatment of highlight, regular color, and shadow and tends to be drawn very angularly.


(source: http://gwu.edu/~koulikom/history.html c/o Animenfo.com)


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Commonly Used Anime/Manga Terms


     I got this from the site: BLACK MOON - Anime and Manga Glossary. The webmaster has given the best definitions, so I think it's no longer necessary to alter them. I couldn't have defined them better myself anywayz! ^_^


BGM - Short for "Background Music." This is the music played in the background of an anime. Unlike music in most Western animation, the BGM in anime can be very sophisticated and can stand alone on it's artistic merits. Some of Japan's most talented composers, performers, and singers have created music for anime. Anime shows can also generate enormous numbers of soundtrack CDs, ranging in style from Pop, Rock, and Classical, to experimental noise and traditional Japanese folk music. Sailormoon alone generated some 28 music CDs.

BISHOUJO - The literal translation is Beautiful Girl. Example; Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon... (Pretty Soldier Sailormoon).

BISHOUNEN - The literal translation is Beautiful Boy. Bishounen are found in all types of manga and anime and can be quite masculine, they are not necessarily "effeminate" Males but sometimes are. Bishounen are the focus in shounenai or Boy's love manga... see the definition of yaoi.

CGI - Refers to Computer Generated Illustration as used in manga or anime. Macintosh Computers started an explosion in the use of Computer assisted illustration in manga production, and today's manga make heavy use of Computers... though the results still look hand crafted. Today's anime makes wide use of Computer technology, even when it is not evident. Miyazaki's Mononoke-hime (Princess Mononoke) used Computer technology extensively for tracking motion, charting perspective, filling in color, and generating some limited special effects. Other contemporary anime like BLOOD: The Last Vampire rely heavily upon CGI but make no attempt to hide the results. "BLOOD" is a brilliant example of the fusing of traditional cel animation with the Digital Arts.

-CHAN - The honorific used when addressing or referring to Girls and young Women. The word is not used between Adults unless there is a great deal of familiarity and affection. This honorific is gender specific and used only when referring to Females, as in "Rei-chan spoke with Gendo-san."

CHARA - Japanese shorthand for the English word character. The word refers to character designs in anime, manga, movies, or games. Entire illustrated books are released for various anime series in which rough Black & White Sketches and refined Drawings of anime characters are compiled. Many anime Illustration books include a chara section.

DOUJINSHI - Doujinshi roughly translates into same stuff, different people. These are unofficial, amateur produced manga based upon successful, well established manga or anime series. Doujin range in quality from crude Black & White pamphlets numbering a few pages, to beautifully produced volumes that dazzle the eye. You'll find incredibly talented Artists creating doujin, and many successful mangaka got their start in doujin circles. Most doujinshi are parodies, or alternative takes on established titles, with some doujin venturing into explicit Adult themes. Large Japanese publishing houses generally look the other way and ignore the small print runs of doujinshi publishers... which never amount to more that a few thousand copies.

ED - Shorthand meaning the ending music that plays over the closing credits of an anime. Successful anime shows will always have their OP (opening music), and ED songs released on Compact Disk Soundtracks, with some theme songs even being released as CD singles.

ECCHI - Ecchi is a mild term referring to someone or something of a perverse sexual nature. It is also the Japanese pronunciation of the English letter "H" (see HENTAI).

FANSUB - An unofficial video tape release of an anime that has been subtitled into English by fans. While technically illegal because of copyright issues, fansubbing has been one of the major vehicles for getting translated shows into the hands of Western audiences. Hence, fansub projects are looked upon favorably by veteran anime viewers, provided the fansubbers make no profit off of their projects.

FANFIC - A work of fiction written by a fan and based on a popular anime or manga title.

HENTAI - A Japanese slang word meaning perverted or perversion. In the world of manga and anime, hentai refers to the Adult oriented titles that present extreme, graphic sexual imagery. A common Western stereotype concerning manga and anime is that these artforms are filled with graphic sex. While such imagery exists (and has always existed in Japan), hentai titles make up just a small niche market in Japan's massive manga and anime output. Good examples of hentai anime would be La Blue Girl and Urotsukidoji. (also see SHUNGA).

HENSHIN - To transform. Seen most often in Magical Girl manga and anime like Card Captor Sakura, Sailormoon and Fancy La La. A henshin sequence is when a normal character transforms into their magical alter ego.

KAMI - The Shinto expression for Supreme Being (God), that can also be used to describe lesser supernatural beings and spirits inhabiting the natural universe.

KATANA - The beautiful slightly curved Sword called katana is said by many to be the very soul of Japan, and the county's history and folklore is replete with references to the blade.

KAWAII - The Japanese word for cute. Cuteness is a national fixation in Japan and it is certainly one of the defining aesthetics of manga and anime. Westerners who first encounter the cult of cute initially go into shock... but believe me, it grows on you.

KODOMO - Kodomo means "child" and in Japan there are manga and anime specifically created for children under 10 years of age. Doraemon and Anpanman are two wildly popular kodomo titles. Doraemon is a futuristic Robot Cat who is sent back in time (which would be our present), in order to combat evil and save humanity. Anpanman is a superhero sweet roll filled with bean jam who fights giant evil germs and feeds the hungry by letting them eat his head. Yeah... you read that correctly.

-KUN - An honorific used for addressing or referring to Children and teenagers, particularly males, or in an adult setting, used to address an inferior.

MANGA - In 1814 the famous Japanese Artist Hokusai created a book of Black & White sketches that he called manga (involuntary sketches). In recent Japanese history the word has come to describe those small illustrated books of Black & White Ink Drawings that tell a series of stories. Graphic novel would be the closest translation for "manga" though they are not at all like novels in the Western sense, nor are they comparable to Western comic books. Manga cover a wide range of topics, from fantasy & adventure, to sports & cooking.

MANGA-KA - Manga Artist. One who draws manga. The word is gender neutral and can refer to a Male or Female Artist. In fact many of Japan's most famous manga-ka are Women. Takeuchi Naoko (Sailormoon), Takahashi Rumiko (Ranma 1/2), and Watase Yu (Fushigi Yuugi), to name but a few.

MAHOU - The Japanese word for magic. Also used in conjunction with the word shoujo (Girl). Mahou shoujo literally means "magical girl" and is used to describe shows like Sailormoon, Nurse Angel Ririka SOS, and Card Captor Sakura.

MASAKA - The Japanese expression for "It can't be!"

MECHA - A Japanese contraction of the English word mechanical. Mecha (pronounced "meh-ka"), refers to anything of a mechanical nature... Weapons, advanced Body Armor, Vehicles, and of course... Giant Robots. The first mecha to ever appear in a Japanese production premiered in the 1957 live action Science Fiction film, The Mysterians ("Macross" fans take note). The mecha, called Mogera was a colossal bird-like Robot that could shoot death rays from it's eyes.

MINA - Meaning everyone. You can respectfully address an entire room full of people by using the honorific mina-san, which is somewhat like saying "Ladies and Gentlemen." However, the honorific is gender neutral so it could be used when speaking to women, men, or mixed company.

NANI - The Japanese word for "what".

NEWBIE - American slang for a person who has just discovered something. In the context of anime and manga, a newbie is an enthusiastic new fan that has viewed primarily American produced dubs of anime and seen only English translated manga. A newbie's exposure to original Japanese works has been minimal at best, with overall knowledge of manga and anime quite low.

OHAYOU - Good Morning. The polite form would be "ohayou gozimasu".

OP - The opening theme music to an anime that plays as the show begins.

OTAKU - This word can have a very negative meaning depending on the context in which it is used. In Japanese society it's usage is widely understood to mean someone who is an anti-social maniac. But in the International anime community the word has evolved into a slang reference meaning obsessed fan. Serious devotees of anime and manga call themselves otaku.

OVA - Anime that is released directly to video tape without having been broadcast on television is referred to in Japan as an Original Video Animation or OVA. Westerners will often transpose the letters to "OAV" but the meaning remains the same.

POKEMON - An Alien life-form that invaded and conquered the Earth in the late 20th Century. All seriousness aside, the word Pokemon is a Japanese contraction of the English words pocket and monster... and no, it is not pronounced "Pokey Man."

RONIN - Samurai were a class of military retainers to the rich and powerful (samurai means "one who serves"), but when samurai lost their benefactors they became ronin, or "masterless samurai." The manga and anime series Rurouni Kenshin is based upon one such Lordless samurai.

SAKURA - Means Cherry or Cherry Blossom. The Cherry Tree and it's blossom have a special place in the Japanese heart. As far back as the 10th century the blossom has been considered the national flower, and it has been the subject of Poetry, Prose, and Paintings over the ages. From the 10th century to the present day, hanami or "flower viewing" parties have been held in March and April to celebrate the ephemeral beauty of the delicate Pink flower. During hanami season, trees all over Japan go into full bloom and clouds of Cherry blossoms can be seen carried on the gentle winds. One of the most reoccurring visuals in all of anime is the sight of Cherry blossoms gently floating to the ground, with flurries of the petals surrounding on screen characters.

-SAMA - The very formal honorific used when talking to or about someone who is much older and wiser. The honorific is gender neutral and used when referring to Men or Women. Used primarily to show great respect to an individual, as in "Miyazaki-sama is a distinguished Artist."

-SAN - The formal, polite honorific one uses when talking to or about someone of equal social status. The honorific is gender neutral and used when referring to Adult Men or Women, as in "Gendo-san and Ritsuko-san both work with computers."

SEIYUU - A Professional Voice Actor or Actress. In Japan, animation studios employ seiyuu to provide the many voices for characters. Some seiyuu have become big Stars in their own right due to their voice acting abilities. A talented seiyuu can take on a wide variety of roles, for instance Ohtani Ikue does the voice of Pikachu from Pocket Monsters as well as doing the voice of the Cat Girl named Meruru from Vision of Escaflowne.

SEMPAI - An honorific used by a young person when talking to or about a benefactor or senior in a social organization. The usage of this honorific is encountered time and again in anime, mostly when Students are talking to or about their Senior classmates, as in "Tamiya-sempai heads the campus motorcycle club."

SEINEN - Seinen means "young Man." Manga and anime that specifically targets young Adult Males around the ages of 18 to 25 are seinen titles. The stories in seinen works appeal to University Students and those in the working world. Typically the story lines deal with the issues of Adulthood. The tough guy Secret Agent Golgo 13 is a good example of a seinen title.

SENSEI - The formal, polite honorific used when addressing someone who is an accomplished Professional. Doctors, Teachers, Professors, Scientists, and other specialists are addressed in this way. Gifted individuals in the Arts are also addressed in this manner, as in "Akemi-sensei created the great series known as Patlabor."

SENSHI - The literal translation of this word is Soldier. When dubbing into English the Japanese series Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon (Pretty Soldier Sailormoon), American editors changed the word to mean "Scout." There's quite a big difference between a Soldier and a Scout.

SHINTO - Japan's oldest and original religion is Shinto. In Shintoism everything in the natural world possesses it's own spirit, or kami. Shinto is based upon the worship of and coexistence with the natural world. In the Tenchi Muyo series, Tenchi's Father, Masaki Yoshi, is a Shinto Priest. A Shinto place of worship is always called a Shrine. A Buddhist place of worship is always referred to as a Temple.

SHRINE - In Shinto, the natural world is sacred, and in the ancient past some of the first places of worship were large trees or boulders. Shimenawa, or "sacred ropes" made of paper and rice straw are still placed on or around areas designated as sacred (In Miyazaki's My Friend Totoro a shimenawa can be seen around the tree Totoro sleeps in). Shimenawa can always be seen draped above the entrance to a Shrine (a Shinto place of worship is referred to as a Shrine, whereas a Buddhist place of worship is a Temple). Today many anime enthusiasts refer to Web sites constructed in honor of specific anime characters as "shrines."

SHOUJO - The Japanese word for Girl. Shoujo also defines the manga and anime titles that are specifically created for young Girls. These works often have very complex stories and character interaction. Romantic and plot driven shoujo works like Onii-sama e, Marmalade Boy, and Fushigi Yuugi have also attracted large numbers of Male fans.

SHOUNEN - The Japanese word for Boy. Shounen also defines the manga and anime titles that are specifically created for young Boys. These works are often filled with lots of action, fantasy adventure, and Giant Robots.

SUPER DEFORMED - A style of drawing extremely common in anime and manga that has absolutely no equivalency in the West. Normally proportioned characters are shrunk and distorted in the super deformed style. Bodies become very small and heads become disproportionately large. Often times characters in a particular scene will be drawn in both normal and super deformed styles. Usually when a character is drawn in this way it denotes an extreme mood change, anger, sillyness, or exasperation. Characters are also drawn in super deformed style just because it makes them look so cute... and in Japan, cuteness is everything! Model Figures, Dolls, Keychains, and various toys will also present characters in the super deformed style.

SWEAT DROP - This is a signature visual stylization used in manga and anime. Whenever a character is feeling embarrassed, perplexed, self-conscious, or just plain stupid... a large tear drop shape will appear near their face or head. Sometimes this "sweat drop" is small and barely noticeable and other times it can nearly cover an entire face. This visual clue denotes to the viewer that the character is feeling out of sorts.

TANKOUBON - A book format in which manga are compiled after having had successful serialized runs in magazines. Tankoubon means separate volume and these softcover books contain around five to eleven story installments.

TEZUKA OSAMU - Tezuka is one of those Giants in the world of Art that everyone should know about. He is considered the modern Father of manga and anime and is so revered in Japan that a museum has even been built to house all of his creations. In 1963 Tezuka created his Tetsuwan Atomu (literally, "Atom with iron arms"), which later that same year premiered on U.S. television as Astro Boy. Tezuka created the very first full color animation, a television series called Jungle Taitei (Jungle Emperor). Years later, when Disney Studios released it's "Lion King" animated movie, the people of Japan were absolutely stunned and furious that it was nothing more than a replica of Tezuka's Jungle Emperor story. Disney's Lion King story was almost an exact copy of Tezuka's. The glorious new animated feature film, METROPOLIS is based upon a famous manga series by Tezuka.


UKIYO-E - This school of Art developed in the late 1670's and went on to become one of Japan's most well known artistic styles. Ukiyo-e means "floating world pictures" and it's aesthetics are concerned with the transient, fleeting aspects of life. Ukiyo-e woodblock prints became very fashionable in the Europe of the late 1800's, and eventually directly influenced the Impressionist painters. If you study ukiyo-e you'll see it's sensibilities resonating in today's anime.

UFO CATCHER - A coin operated mechanical game machine found in arcades. The machine's "joy stick" control is used to skillfully direct a mechanical hook in capturing the small Plush Dolls held in the machine's large see through bin. The Plush Dolls (called "UFO Catcher Dolls"), are super deformed versions of anime characters. These Dolls have become very popular collectables in the West because of their rarity and hyper cuteness.

YAOI - Also known as shounenai or Boy's love. Yaoi manga features romantic love between Male characters. These homo-erotic titles which can sometimes be quite explicit are enjoyed by a great number of Women in Japan, in fact, there are many more Female readers of yaoi manga than there are Male readers. There is no equivalent to shounenai in the world of Western comic books.

YUME - The Japanese word for dream.


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