What Is Anime? History, Usage, And The Art of Creating It

Satyam Maitrai
Satyam Maitrai
Content Writer
12 min reading·

what is anime

Have you ever been curious to know what anime is? Ever wanted to get informed on the concept of anime? Moreover, do you love watching anime and wondered about diving into the vast knowledge there is in anime? 

Then tighten your seat belt as in this article we will be bringing that information to you.

Over the past few decades, anime, a kind of animation that has its roots in Japan, has grown in popularity all over the world. It has a distinctive visual aesthetic that is frequently highlighted by vibrant graphics, oversized components, and intricate backgrounds. I have here a guide that could quickly explain the animation designing process in detail.

Although a lot of people think of anime as being about action and adventure, the medium covers a wide spectrum of themes and subject matter. Let’s start with the definition.

What Is Anime?

Short for "animation," the term "anime" specifically refers to Japanese animation. Early in the 20th century, Japan developed the first anime, and ever since then, the form has played a key role in Japanese popular culture. 

From fashion to video games to the language itself, anime has had a significant impact on Japanese society. On top of that, the distinctive visual style of anime is one of its most noticeable characteristics. 

Large, expressive eyes and unusual apparel are frequently drawn on characters. Also, the general aesthetic of anime is typically more bright and vibrant than that of Western animation, and backgrounds are frequently quite realistic and detailed.

From romance and comedy to action and adventure, anime covers a wide spectrum of genres. Attack on Titan, Naruto, and One Piece are just a few of the manga (Japanese comics) adaptations that have become some of the most well-known anime series in recent years. These shows frequently have sizable and devoted fan bases both in Japan and abroad.

Nonetheless, computer-generated imagery (CGI) is widely used in anime to produce intricate and dynamic visual effects in addition to conventional animation methods. This has assisted in expanding the realm of what is possible in animation by enabling more intricate action scenes and dynamic camera perspectives.

Also, the capacity of anime to convey gripping tales that cover a wide range of subjects and subject matter is one of the factors contributing to its appeal. From science fiction and fantasy to social themes and political criticism, anime has explored it all. Several anime programs are also renowned for their excellent character development and emotional nuance, earning them a worldwide following of viewers.

It is in this regard, millions of people worldwide now love anime, which has recently gained popularity outside of Japan. There are numerous anime films and OVAs (original video animations) that explore various themes and subject matter in addition to regular anime shows.

So, now that you're informed on what anime is, let's get your knowledge broadened by exploring the history of anime.

The History Of Anime

Have you been asked to tell the history of anime and you're lost for words? Have you ever wanted to have a peep into how, where and when anime originated? Here you are, about to do that.

Anime has significantly influenced popular culture all around the world. Audiences of all ages and backgrounds have fallen in love with it, thanks to its distinctive style, visual storytelling, and characters. Yet, anime has a lengthy and complicated history that dates back more than a century to the very beginnings of animation.

In the early 1900s, Japanese artists started experimenting with animation methods, which is when anime first emerged. Several early anime films included characters with similar designs and aesthetics as they were inspired by the work of Western animators like Walt Disney and Max Fleischer. But, Japanese animators quickly started to forge their own distinct aesthetic, distinguished by big eyes, vibrant hair, and exaggerated facial emotions.

Moreover, Japanese artist and inventor Eiji Tsuburaya, who subsequently rose to fame for designing the special effects for the original Godzilla movies, produced the first anime film, Katsudo Shashin, in 1907. A number of silent shorts, such as Namakura Gatana (1912) and Chikara To Onna No Yo No Naka (1912), were shown, which featured slapstick humor and simple animation 

Additionally, Japanese animators started experimenting with script writing where dialogues were synced with sound during the 1920s and 1930s when sound in animation first started to develop. Momotaro: Holy Sailors (1945), a propaganda film created during World War Two with anthropomorphic animals battling against evil Westerners, is one of the most well-known anime movies from this era.

Also, as American forces invaded Japan after the war, they took Japanese animation methods and styles with them. As a result, the "limited animation" subgenre of anime emerged, using fewer frames per second and more straightforward character designs. Nonetheless, the "founder of anime" Osamu Tezuka, whose best-known work is the 1963 television series Astro Boy, is credited with popularizing this genre.

Anime is still a huge element of Japanese culture and a widely-loved form of entertainment today. It covers a wide range of genres, and it has spawned a ton of products, fan clubs, and spinoffs. And, there is no doubt that anime will continue to enthrall viewers for many years to come because of its innovative, experimental, and creative heritage.

So, now I have talked about the history of anime, let's take a ride to know how anime is created

How Is Anime Made?

Are you passionate to be an animator? Ever questioned the process used to create anime? Well, for any general stop-motion animation, I have a detailed guide for you to learn. But today, let's examine how anime is produced in particular and how this adored art form is created.

Concept and planning

The creation of a concept and storyline is the first step in creating an anime. This entails generating concepts, outlining the plot, and developing characters. Once the concept is birthed, the planning phase starts and this planning stage involves creating a schedule for production, creating a team, and a budget


The technique of visualizing the script is called storyboarding, and it comes next. In a series of sketches, the storyboard artist depicts the order of scenes, camera perspectives, and other specifics. A storyboard is a crucial tool for the production crew since it provides them with a clear vision of the finished result.

Voice acting

The process of voice acting starts after the storyboard is finished. The characters are given voice actors to give them life. This entails using a sound studio to record speech and sound effects. In Japan, voice performers enjoy great respect and are frequently recognized as celebrities in their own right.


The magic happens throughout the animation process. The storyboard serves as a roadmap for animators as they produce the finished work. The animation used to be created earlier by hand, but nowadays most anime are produced digitally. Everything, from the characters to the backdrops and special effects, is made by the animation crew.

Texturing and Coloring

Following the conclusion of the animation, coloring, and texturing are started. Making the anime appear more realistic entails giving the backdrops and characters color and adding textures. To make sure that the finished product is consistent, the color and texture artists collaborate closely with the animators.

Music and sound effects

Music and sound effects are added as the production process comes to a close. For the anime, the sound crew develops a special sound design and writes an original score. The anime experience frequently includes music, which can heighten the emotional effect of the narrative.

Following the understanding of how anime is made is the knowledge of what the anime you made can be used for. So, let's now see how anime can be used.

Why Is Anime Popular?

In recent years, anime has gained popularity on a global scale. Millions of fans, both young and old, have fallen in love with anime because of its distinctive combination of intriguing narrative, breathtaking visuals, and colorful characters. 

So why is anime so well-liked? Let's look more closely.

The popularity of anime is largely due to its capacity for telling intricate, captivating tales. Unlike many Western animated television programs, anime frequently addresses weighty issues like morality, love, and betrayal. 

Due to this, a variety of viewers who are seeking more than just mindless pleasure find it to be appealing. Anime series with compelling plotlines and well-rounded characters, such as "Death Note," "Fullmetal Alchemist," and "Attack on Titan," are particularly well-known for this.

Secondly, the amazing aesthetic of anime is another factor in its popularity. Anime is renowned for its vibrant, lively animation and intricate character designs, which frequently draw inspiration from the manga: the Japanese comic book aesthetic. 

Moreover, vibrant colors, strong lines, and dramatic camera angles combine to produce a visually spectacular experience that captures and holds the attention of viewers. The stunning fight scenes in anime series like "Naruto," "One Piece," and "Dragon Ball Z" are a testament to the aesthetic skill of the genre.

Thirdly, character diversity in anime is another factor contributing to its popularity. In contrast to many Western animated series, which sometimes rely on clichés and stereotypes, anime characters are frequently nuanced and multifaceted. 

They are diverse in terms of their histories, personalities, and cultural backgrounds and come from all areas of life. As a result, a variety of viewers find anime fascinating because they may identify with the characters they see on TV. The diverse human characters in renowned anime series like "Sailor Moon," "My Hero Academia," and "Haikyuu" are a big part of their popularity.

Finally, accessibility is a factor in anime's popularity. It's now simpler than ever for fans to enjoy anime series and movies from anywhere in the world because of the growth of streaming services like Netflix, Crunchyroll, and Funimation. 

As a result, anime has been able to connect with a larger audience than ever before, and the global fandom for the genre has grown significantly.

Therefore, when something beautiful is created, there is every tendency that it will be widely accepted and will last long. 

However, do you know? The beauty and popularity of an anime are tracked down to the software employed in making it.

Also, have you ever encountered difficulty while making anime? Has anime-making been hard and time expending for you? Do you spend so much time in the process of making anime yet not satisfied with the outcome?

If yes, then why not discuss some of the most recommended software used by professionals to create anime?

Top 6 Anime-Making Software

Creating anime can be difficult and time-consuming, but anyone can bring their ideas to life with the correct anime-making software. Let’s examine some of the top anime software that’s trending in the market right now, starting from my number #1 recommended software.

#1 MakeStoryboard

#2 Clip Studio Paint

#3 Toon Boom Harmony

#4 Autodesk Maya

#5 Blender 

#6 Synfig Studio

Now that you know which software to use, have you ever been curious to know the differences that lie between cartoons and anime? Do you want to know the places they differ from each other? Let's begin.

Differences Between Anime And Cartoon

Millions of people all around the world have fallen in love with animated entertainment such as anime and cartoons. Nonetheless, there are notable contrasts between the two, ranging from their historical backgrounds and narrative styles to the cultural and stylistic inspirations they share. 

Let’s start understanding their origin.


Cartoons have been around for a very long time; they were first utilized for political satire in the early 1900s. Their comic and jovial attitude distinguishes them, and they are typically produced in the United States and Europe. Nonetheless, cartoons are frequently made with children in mind, although adults can still enjoy them.

On the other hand, anime is an animation style that had its beginnings in Japan in the early 20th century. It is a stylized form of animation that frequently has deeper, more nuanced plots than cartoons. With millions of followers from all around the world, anime has grown in popularity and become a global phenomenon.


Self-contained episodes with a unique plot while using the psychology of colors are a common element of cartoons. The episodes are often brief and created with the audience's enjoyment in mind. Additionally, the stories frequently have a humorous tone and aren’t taken too seriously. Cartoons frequently have straightforward characters and plots.

On the other side, anime frequently features a more intricate and sophisticated plot. Many episodes can make up an anime series, and each one builds on the one before it to convey a more complex plot. 

Compared to cartoon characters, anime characters frequently have deeper backstories and more fully realized personalities. 

Influences of culture:

Western culture has a big influence on cartoons as they are typically made in the United States and Europe. Also, cartoons frequently include archetypal Western figures like the superhero or the clumsy sidekick. They are also greatly affected by American popular culture, as evidenced by the numerous allusions to films, TV shows, and celebrities in cartoons.

Conversely, Japanese culture has a significant influence on anime. Characters from many anime programs are modeled around traditional Japanese stereotypes, such as the samurai or the ninja. Moreover, anime frequently examines Japanese cultural concepts like honor, loyalty, and family. Japanese mythology is also incorporated into anime, giving it a special and distinctive cultural character.

Style-Influencing Factors:

Cartoons are frequently distinguished by their basic design. They frequently have characters with exaggerated features and proportions, brilliant colors, and bold lines. Nonetheless, characters in cartoons frequently engage in physical comedy, including slapstick humor and other comic routines.

On the other hand, anime is renowned for its intricate and artistic animation. Anime frequently has intricate backgrounds and locations and has characters with more realistic dimensions and features. To give anime a more cinematic air, it frequently uses more dynamic camera angles and animation techniques.

Summing up

In conclusion, anime is a style of animation that was developed in Japan and has since spread throughout the world. It is renowned for its distinct animation style, intricate plots, and potent narrative. 

Moreover, in the presence of brilliant content creators and advanced software such as MakeStoryboard, it seems very likely that anime will continue to have a large influence on entertainment and culture on a global scale and will continue to grow in popularity.

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