Anime/Manga FAQ

[ol][li]What is anime?[/li]Anime (an abbreviated pronunciation in Japanese of “animation”, pronounced a-nee-may in English) is animation originating in Japan, as described by wikipedia. The world outside Japan regards anime as “Japanese animation”. Anime originated about 1917. While anime had entered markets beyond Japan in the 1960s, it grew as a major cultural export during its market expansion during the 1980s and 1990s. The anime market for the United States alone is “worth approximately $4.35 billion, according to the Japan External Trade Organization”.

Anime, like manga (Japanese comics), has a large audience in Japan and high recognition throughout the world. Distributors can release anime via television broadcasts, directly to video, or theatrically, as well as online.

[li]What is manga?[/li]Manga (rhymes with panda) consist of comics and print cartoons (sometimes also called komikku), in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 20th century. In their modern form, manga date from shortly after World War II, but they have a long, complex pre-history in earlier Japanese art. Since the 1950s, manga have steadily become a major part of the Japanese publishing industry, representing a 481 billion yen market in Japan in 2006 (approximately $4.4 billion dollars).

[li]Who watches anime or reads manga?[/li]In Japan, people of all ages read manga and watch anime. And, their popularity is increasing throughout the world. Anime and manga are both mediums used to tell stories like films and books. Anyone who refer to them as genres would be akin to saying all books are one genre. The mediums includes a broad range of genres: action-adventure, romance, sports and games, historical drama, comedy, science fiction and fantasy, mystery, horror, sexuality, and business and commerce, among others.

[li]What’s with the big eyes?[/li]Osamu Tezuka, who is believed to have been the first to use this technique, was inspired by the exaggerated features of American cartoon characters such as Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse, and Disney’s Bambi. Tezuka found that large eyes style allowed his characters to show emotions distinctly. Cultural anthropologist Matt Thorn argues that Japanese animators and audiences do not perceive such stylized eyes as inherently more or less foreign.

Generally, the most common form of anime drawings are "exaggerated physical features such as large eyes, big hair and elongated limbs, plus dramatically shaped speech bubbles, and speed lines. However, not all anime and manga have large eyes. For example, some of the work of Hayao Miyazaki and Toshiro Kawamoto are known for having realistically proportioned eyes, as well as realistic hair colors on their characters.

Many commentators refer to anime as an art form. As a visual medium, it naturally places a large emphasis on visual styles. The styles can vary from artist to artist or by studio to studio. Some titles make extensive use of common stylization: FLCL, for example, is known for its wild, exaggerated stylization. In contrast, titles such as Only Yesterday or Jin-Roh take much more realistic approaches, featuring few stylistic exaggerations.

[li]What is licensing?[/li]While Anime has been licensed by its Japanese owners for use outside of Japan since at least the 1960s, the practice became well-established in the United States in the late 1970s to early 1980s often with fairly dramatic changes to the original concepts and storylines. The trend towards American distribution of anime continued into the 1980s with the licensing of titles such as Voltron and the ‘creation’ of new series such as Robotech through use of source material from several original series.

In the early 1990s, several companies began to experiment with licensing less children-oriented material. Some, such as A.D. Vision, and Central Park Media and its imprints, achieved fairly substantial commercial success and went on to become major players in the now very lucrative American anime market. Others, such as AnimEigo, achieved more limited success. Many companies created directly by Japanese parent companies did not do as well, most releasing only one or two titles before folding their American operations.

[li]How does licensing affect how we get anime or manga?[/li]TBW.

[li]What are common terms and lexicons?[/li]A list is available at

[li]Where are good places to watch, rent, or purchase anime?[/li]Watching: has free content, but also has premium content you’d have to pay for.
Local univerisities with anime followings (like Harvard, MIT, and Boston University in the Boston area). Google search for colleges in your area.
Local theaters can have monthly anime showings as well.

Blockbuster in the US
Local libary
Local univerisities with anime followings (like MIT in the Boston area). Google search for colleges in your area.

Purchasing: (, etc.)
Local stores (again, perform a search).

[li]Where are good places to read or purchase manga?[/li]TBW. Suggestions welcomed.

[li]What about P2P (peer-to-peer), torrents, and other file sharing methods?[/li]In order to not cause legal troubles for the GWC community, file sharing will not be included as a viable method of obtaining anime or manga in this FAQ.

[li]What are some common knowledge that should be shared?[/li][ul]
[li]Japanese has no plural. Saying animes, mangas, and even katanas is incorrect.[/li][li]Japanese hand motion for “come here” is different from western cultures. Westerners show their backhand to whomever they’re waving over. Japanese show their backhand to themselves and look as if they are waving hello or goodbye to whomever they’re waving over.[/li][li]TBW.[/li][li]TBW.[/li]


[li]What are some good anime or manga resources?[/li]


If you’re interested in starting a FAQ, just go ahead and begin one. We can stick it and add additional questions (and hopefully answers :p) as needed.

Hey all, in light that this is a brand spanking new thread, it needs a FAQ to compliment it. So, this thread is for suggestions on what to put into the FAQ.

Right off, I’ll suggest:

I think we should refrain from posting sites with torrents and keep GWC as far from trouble as possible.

We need a site that has a lexicon of anime/manga terms (moe for example) as well as a list of questions and answers to post.

Edit: Found one at

I’m making my original post the FAQ. I imagine, I’ll be editing for the next few days.

I hadn’t checked into this forum since we created it. Great job fastcart. This is a great example of what this community can accomplish when it is allowed to do its own thing. Fantastic work.

I think it’s safe to say that this thread has moved way beyond the suggestion phase and has been renamed accordingly.

Well done, Fastcart!

Thank you both. Once I stop procrastinating, I’ll tidy the OP some more.