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Carasel's Page of Anime  
Carasel's Page of Anime
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It has recently come to my attention that I have made my website with the idea that whoever is coming to here will already have a fair knowledge of what anime is when they get here, but this is not always the case so I thought I would make a page to explain anime.

Anime (pronounced ah-nee-MAY)
Anime refers to Japanese animated stories that have usually been on Japanese television for varying lengths of time.  It is more commonly known as Japanimation, a fairly self-explanatory name combining Japanese and  animation.  Anime has received increasing popularity in recent years due to shows such as Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z and Ranma 1/2, to the point where it has become a very prominent sub-culture in the US and Canada.

Genres of Anime
Shoujo anime which roughly means anime directed at a female junior high/high school student audience.  Consequently many of the protagonists, in this form of anime, happen to be female junior high students and the story focuses often on the love interests of these protagonists (because of course girls have no OTHER interests).  Most of these girls are ditzy, rather excitable, not really prone to thought and are usually also sex objects so, while hooking the 13 yr. old female viewer, they can also catch the 30 yr. male old viewer (yes, I'm getting pretty cynical at this point)
Shounen anime is the male counterpart to shoujo and therefore directed at males of junior high or high school age. The focus of these are normally action and fighting (because of COURSE no boy has any other interests--Yea gender stereotyping!). I personally don't have a wide experience with straight shounen anime (being a girl an' all), but I've heard that these anime are pretty deficient in the emotional arena.
Hentai is the pornographic genre of anime and usually refers to anime which has sexually explicit or perverted subject matter.
There are several other genres of anime, but these are the more prominent ones.

Characteristic Features of Anime
Huge eyes, though not always definitive of anime, the majority of them have characters with eyes exaggerated to take up 2/3rds of the character's face and consequently:
Tiny noses and mouths, due to the size of the eyes the rest of the features of anime characters are normally very small and their noses sometimes disappear entirely because of:

van_sad.jpg (10922 bytes)chibi_Van.gif (10996 bytes)Chibi/super-deformed characters, a style of shrinking the characters from their normal size to a smaller and more cartoonish way of drawing them, mainly to show humorous or embarrassing moments, (note: super-deformed often abbreviated to SD) ex. here is Van (from Vision of Escaflowne) in normal form (left) and in chibi form (right)
Homosexual undertones, run rampant in anime
Bizarre love triangles, usually in anime there are two main characters who are supposed to get together and the majority of the supporting cast is in love or pursuing one or the other of the protagonists (and sometimes both of them)
Crazy hair, most anime characters have big hair (they ALL have bangs) and usually they have hair in some pretty crazy colours too
Bishounen, for the longest time I kept coming across this term on various anime pages and NO ONE defined it and so I wandered around their pages, having to try and figure it out for myself what it meant and, finally, I did. It refers to pretty boy male characters and, oh man, are they common in anime (especially in shoujo)
Cross dressing characters, I have no idea why, but this is very popular in anime
Female characters with huge appetites, again, I have no idea why, but many of the super-skinny protagonists have huge appetites and are usually eating or thinking about eating
Mecha, which generally refers to rather large human-operated machines that can usually transform from a human shape to a fighter plane, dragon etc, they can usually fly. Here is an example of one kind of mech from Robotech
mecha_example.jpg (24750 bytes)
Female characters who can't cook, usually in anime the female lead will not be able to cook very well, but the male protagonist will show her how much he loves her by eating her cooking

Other Terms of Interest
Manga, refers to Japanese comics (and sometimes animation too) and is often the basis for anime, many anime series have the complete story first told in comic form and then bought for production on TV
OAV/OVA, standing for Original Animation Video, these usually are straight to video releases that continue the story of and already established anime or manga series, the animation quality is, depending on your perspective, better than that on the TV series and it is in the OAV's where the anime is an original story, rather than one based on previously released manga material
Spoilers, is a term that refers to information about specific events that happen in the series discussed on a web page and can "spoil" it for someone who has not seen the episode with the event in it, ex. if I were to discuss Yui (from Fushigi Yuugi) becoming Seriyuu no Miko in episode10 that would be a spoiler for anyone who has only seen up to episode 9

Whew! Well, now you've got the basics to check out the rest of my pages, enjoy.