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Synonyms: Japanese animation, Japanimation
See also: Manga, OAV, ONA
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Anime is the Japanese word for animation. As a loanword, it often refers to animated video sources created in Japan. These may be available in stores as official versions once licensed for distribution in a given country, or may be fansubbed (or occasionally even fandubbed) and distributed informally among fans.

Anime sources often have a distinct aesthetic, and set of signifiers that are, literally, foreign to English-language media. In comedy anime, for example, a large sweat drop may appear on a character to signify not that they are sweating, but that they are uncomfortable or embarrassed. Anime fans are proficient in reading these symbols, but this may be a barrier to understanding for those new to the medium.

Anime, and other Japanese media sources (i.e., Manga, Toku) are broadly divided into either shounen or shoujo, categories that very roughly correspond to "for boys" and "for girls", and which have their own distinct traditions and tropes. (Manga are also divided into seinen and josei genres, which are aimed at adult men and women respectively, but these series are rarely adapted as anime or translated into English.)

Anime Fandom

Anime and Manga

Anime and manga fandom tend to greatly overlap, especially since many anime are close adaptations of manga stories. Fans will occasionally use the term "animanga" instead of just anime or manga, showing the close association between the two mediums. Many fannish practices, such as Japanese word usage, are shared between anime and manga fans.

Japanese Word Usage

Anime fans and anime fandom often use Japanese-language terms for fannish concepts, some of which correspond neatly with concepts, terms, and categories familiar to members of Western media fandom, others that are subtly different or totally unfamiliar. For example, "yaoi" may correspond roughly to "slash", but has its own history, aesthetic, popular tropes, rules, cliches and traditions. Though there is a significant amount of overlap between people who enjoy yaoi and people who enjoy slash, the differences between the two are pronounced enough that many fans prefer one or the other genre exclusively. Many other institutions of anime (and manga) fandom exist in the same separate-but-parallel fashion with regard to Western media fandom.

Subtitled or Dubbed

Some anime fans feel very strongly about how they view anime, such as whether the show is dubbed into their native language, or whether the show is still in Japanese with subtitles. The fans who feel strongly on this issue usually prefer subtitles.

The preference for subtitles is founded in the history of dubs being poorly done. Especially with early dubbing, English dubs commonly changed or censored dialog, censored or cut scenes or cut entire episodes, and had poor voice-acting with the Japanese names and terms being badly pronounced. Certain productions, particularly the "free adaptations" of writer/producer Carl Macek, sought to eliminate references to Japanese culture. Additionally, some Japanese terms are difficult to translate and don't work well in other languages.

This poor dubbing continues today, and some companies receive a lot of criticism from fans for the changes made to shows. One of the most drastic examples of this was 4Kids Entertainment's 2004 English release of One Piece, one of the most popular anime shows. One Piece underwent heavy editing including changing a chain-smoking character's cigarettes into lollipops, and cutting the first 143 episodes down to 104. An ongoing internet meme is "what if 4kids licensed (miscellaneous anime)" depicting drastic and comical changes made to an anime series, and this simultaneously reveals fears some fans have regarding anime being licensed and dubbed.

Some companies are learning from fan reaction and attempting to remain truer to the original material. Official DVD releases with the original Japanese voices with subtitles are becoming more common to appeal to fans who prefer subtitles.

Many people have argued that both subs and dubs can be beneficial in certain circumstances. Subs can be good for people with auditory processing issues, but also may be distracting for others, and aren't accessible to many folks with poor vision.


Early (Western) Anime Print Zines



Mailing Lists

  • Yaoi_News "Yaoi_News". Archived from the original on 2001-04-13. Description: "Welcome to Yaoi_News. This is the Yaoi fanfiction web site update list. If you have a web sight and have anime f/f or m/m fan fiction you are welcome to join. If you just want to find out when pages are being updated you have found the correct place to come. All anime fandoms are welcome. This list, because of the nature of the pages that are being announced, is only for people 18 and over."
  • Anime Adult "Anime Adult". Archived from the original on 2002-10-03. Description: "Mailing list dealing with all anime for mature fans; includes hentai, yaoi, and yuri. This list is meant for fans of all anime, such as Pokémon, Gundam Wing, Sailor Moon, Ranma 1/2, Dragonball Z, etc. It is an adult list, and includes both hentai/lemons, and yaoi(m/m) and yuri(f/f) fics and art. I prefer that anyone on this list is at least 13 and up."
  • MA Yaoi "MA Yaoi". Archived from the original on 2002-11-20. Description: "This is a Mummies Alive yaoi (male/male) group. Yuri (female/female) is allowed too. ----NO SPAM ALLOWED!!!!---- This is a pic and story trading list. I donh't have anthng to trade, so i expect artists and writers to post here. You MUST post an intro post within 2 days of joining. Lurkingis discoraged. Flamers of all kinds will be banned w/o warning."
  • Slash n Yaoi "Slash n Yaoi". Archived from the original on 2003-04-17. Description: "For people who enjoy writing homoerotic fanfiction for both anime and live-action series. ALL series welcomed!"
  • Anything Yaoi Mailing List "Anything Yaoi Mailing List". Archived from the original on 2002-10-17. Description: "Anything Yaoi Mailing List is a ML designed for stories and discussion of Yaoi/Slash/Shounenai (male-male homosexual content) in writing, anime, and manga. We're here to share ideas, stories, and the like, not to receive advertising solicitations, so please keep the mail as on topic as possible. You can reach the moderators at [email protected] or [email protected] if you have questions. When in doubt, please ask the moderators."
  • Zerochiten "Zerochiten". Archived from the original on 2001-11-18. Description: anime discussion list for adults, with a yaoi/slash focus, but covering anything and everything anime/manga/fanfic/etc. related that we happen to hit upon in conversations
  • Springs Yaoi "Springs Yaoi". Archived from the original on 2003-10-06. Description: "Tired of getting strange looks at animé club meetings from fanboys because of your yaoi-loving tendencies? Do you live in the Colorado Springs/Denver metro area? Then suffer weird looks no longer! *g* Springs Yaoi is a gathering group for fans of june/yaoi/shonen-ai/shoujo manga and animé in Colorado Springs and Denver (Colorado, US). (You don't *have* to live in CS or Denver, but you do need to live close enough that you can attend group activities—this list is *not* for lurkers.) You must be 18 to join. (There will be no exceptions to this unless I know one of your parental units personally and they've given permission.) The goal is to have monthly showings of various animé with time to show and tell our favorite manga and doujinshi as well. *g* Questions? Email the person crazy enough to run this (Aithine) or visit the club's web site. You must send me a note to the above address stating you're 18+, you know what june/yaoi/shonen-ai is and telling me where in the area you live before I'll approve your subscription to the list. (And fanboys are welcome, too, so long as you realize what kind of animé we're watching, you're seriously interested in the animé and you aren't coming just to be a royal PITA.)"
  • Anime Slash "Anime Slash". Archived from the original on 2003-11-19. Description: "Like writing Anime? Like cartoons? comicbooks? comic strips? This is for those who enjoy writing fan fiction and slash fiction about thier favorite characters. Those who are interested in exchanging ideas, showing off thier fiction and are looking for exposure are welcome."
  • Anime Fanfic Fanart "Anime Fanfic Fanart". Archived from the original on 2003-02-17. Description: "Amine FanFic Fan Fiction Sailor Moon Dragonball Pokemon We except all anime fan fiction and Fan Art for all anime shows. WE except all ratings Nc-17, Slash, R, PG, G."


  • Shotaku - anime and gaming convention held annually in Morocco.

Meta/Further Reading