Watching a good film is something that we all gift ourselves to from time to time, we all have our favourite genres of films, it might be the latest Hollywood blockbuster, an English horror film or a french film noir. One of the least mainstream types of film called anime films are films many of us would have never heard of before, but they have become hugely popular with enthusiasts.
What is Anime? It is simply a hand drawn or digitally designed cartoon, it is an abbreviation of the word animation. It is used to describe a story telling animation that is full of colour, fantasy, exciting characters, with a mix of cinematography. As a whole it gives the viewer a gift of sense experience with a kaleidoscope of colour and features.
The term originates in Japan, when the first type of this animation appeared in the early part of the 20th century. It became very popular in 1960s when the first series, ‘Otogi manga’ was aired from 1961 to 1964, since then this style of cartoon and film has become even more popular than ever.
The word ‘manga’ is closely associated with anime as manga are comic books and graphic novels with the same story lines, characters and visuals that are then made into films. The manga style was actually developed in Japan around the end of the 19th century. Manga was around before the launch of anime and covers a whole range of ideas; from action-adventure, horror, science fiction and fantasy and even sports or romance.
There are now over 430 design studios producing this type of animation. Many of the studios are organised into trade associations. The average episode can cost anywhere between $100,000 to $300,000 to produce and on even larger productions some film studios work together to share the work and the huge cost of the productions.
Although only making up a small amount of the Japanese film market, this type of film is now the biggest market within the Japan DVD and Blu-ray sector. As a genre it contributed to over 70% of sales within the market in the same year. The highest grossing film hit a hugely impressive figure of $330million.
Within the world of Anime there are varying types of films that are aimed at different parts of society. There are children specific films, female genres films, male genres films and adult specific where the plot is slower and more complex.
The popularity of these films are shown in the music that accompanies the opening and closing credits, they are produced and written by reputable bands that sometimes produce the music with a specific film or series in mind.
During the 1980s and 1990s in America this type of film made its way to TV audiences, in current times many children growing up all over the world have come across this type of animation. Anime has to be licensed by other countries in order to be deemed legal and some of these licenses can be very expensive, however within the US alone the market was valued at just under $3 billion dollars.
Obviously when things start to become popular in countries like the USA, they start to spread to the rest of the western world and now it is a global business. You can watch films, buy gifts associated to these films and even dress as the characters.
Conventions are held all over the world celebrating this style of film and graphic novels, with people dressing up in various costumes and characters get to meet similar fans, industry leaders, trade stories or buy gifts from their favourite films.
Gifts can also be purchased online through various outlets, so for those that cannot make these gatherings you can still buy gifts of your favourite films, comics and characters from the comfort of your own home.