Anime/Manga Addicts - Sri Lanka

Anime is actually a shortened version of the word "animation" and refers to the distinctly unique Japanese animation. Anime originated back in 1963 when a man named Osamu Tezuka produced the first truly successful Japanese animation series known as "Testuwan Atom," aka "Atom Boy." Testuwan was a big fan of popular Western cartoons, particularly those produced by Disney.

Today's anime has made leaps and bounds in terms of storylines and animation techniques. Think of the old Popeyecartoons and then compare them to a more modern Family Guy or Kim Possible and you get the idea.

Like any other type of visual entertainment, anime has its own set of genres, demographics and yes, even ratings. Unlike American cartoons, anime is not strictly intended for young children. Quite the contrary, there is an entire anime subset devoted strictly to older viewers (18+), as well as all the maturity levels in between.

Anime also displays some cultural differences. For example, casual nudity is accepted in Japan so shows rated for young teens might feature some content that American parents might feel was mildly suggestive.

Should you be watching anime?

Another distinguishing difference between anime and American cartoons are the storylines themselves. Because American cartoons target young children, their plots are relatively simple and typically tell the story from start to finish in 30 minutes or less. Anime on the other hand, deals with much more complex plots and frequently stretches the story out over numerous episodes. There are some exceptions to this of course - Case Closed is a wonderful anime about a young prodigy with keen detective skills. He solves the case in each episode however, there is still an underlying and ongoing mystery that he continues to pursue from episode to episode when he's not busy making the local police look like idiots.

You'll find anime that deal with death, murder, romance, ghosts, and even a demon girl that offers to do your bidding via her own website (see Hell Girl). In the long run, most anime do ultimately support the "good over evil" ideal, however don't be surprised if some of the good guys get dusted along the way.

Anime has a number of distinguishing characteristics from the bizarre hairdos to the cliche' over-sized eyes of their characters. Interestingly, however, anime has become such a huge hit with Western viewers that many American producers are now entertaining anime-influenced works.

So, how can you find out which anime are right for you? Easy! Try them out! Start by looking at some of your favorite genres for other forms of entertainment - for example, if you're a big Stephen King buff, you might want to sample some supernatural anime shows to get your feet wet. Likewise, if you love a good action movie, an action anime such as Dragon Ball Z or Naruto might be just what you're looking for. (Katherine Luther,2010)