Anime (Japanese: アニメ?, ; i/ˈænɨmeɪ/ or /ˈɑːnɨmeɪ/) are Japanese cartoons and computer animation. The word is the abbreviated pronunciation of "animation" in Japanese. In English, the term is defined as a style of animation originating in Japan, which often features colorful graphics, vibrant characters and action-filled plots with fantastic or futuristic themes. The intended meaning of the term sometimes varies depending on the context.
While the earliest known Japanese animation dates to 1917, and many original Japanese animations were produced in the ensuing decades, the characteristic anime style developed in the 1960s—notably with the work of Osamu Tezuka—and became known outside Japan in the 1980s.
Anime, like manga, has a large audience in Japan and recognition throughout the world. Distributors can release anime via television broadcasts, directly to video, or theatrically, as well as online.
Both hand-drawn and computer-animated anime exist. It is used in television series, films, video, video games, commercials, and Internet-based releases, and represents most, if not all, genres of fiction. As the market for anime increased in Japan, it also gained popularity in East and Southeast Asia. Anime is currently popular in many different regions around the world.