The Anime and Manga Portal
Anime (アニメ) refers to the animation style originated in Japan. It is characterized by distinctive characters and backgrounds (hand-drawn or computer-generated) that visually and thematically set it apart from other forms of animation. Storylines may include a variety of fictional or historical characters, events, and settings. Anime is aimed at a broad range of audiences and consequently, a given series may have aspects of a range of genres. Anime is most frequently broadcast on television or sold on DVDs and other media, either after their broadcast run or directly as original video animation (OVA). Console and computer games sometimes also feature segments or scenes that can be considered anime.
Manga (漫画) is Japanese for "comics" or "whimsical images". Manga developed from a mixture of ukiyo-e and Western styles of drawing, and took its current form shortly after World War II. Manga, apart from covers, is usually published in black and white but it is common to find introductions to chapters to be in color, and is read from top to bottom and then right to left, similar to the layout of a Japanese plain text. Financially, manga represented in 2005 a market of ¥24 billion in Japan and one of $180 million in the United States. Manga was the fastest growing segment of books in the United States in 2005.
Anime and manga share many characteristics, including: exaggerating (in terms of scale) of physical features, to which the reader presumably should pay most attention (best known being "large eyes"), "dramatically shaped speech bubbles, speed lines and onomatopoeic, exclamatory typography..." Some manga, a small amount of the total output, is adapted into anime, often with the collaboration of the original author. Computer games can also give rise to anime. In such cases, the stories are often compressed and modified to fit the format and appeal to a wider market. Popular anime franchises sometimes include full-length feature films, and some have been adapted into live-action films and television programs.
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Shojo Beat is a shōjo manga magazine formerly published in North America by Viz Media. Released in June 2005 as a sister magazine to Shonen Jump, it featured serialized chapters from six manga series, as well as articles on Japanese culture, manga, anime, fashion and beauty. After its initial launch, Shojo Beat underwent two redesigns, becoming the first English anthology to use the cyan and magenta ink tones common to Japanese manga anthologies. Viz launched related "Shojo Beat" imprints in its manga, Japanese light novel, and anime divisions to coordinate with the magazine's contents.
Targeted at women ages 16–18, the first issue of Shojo Beat launched with a circulation of 20,000. By 2007, the average circulation was approximately 38,000 copies, with half coming from subscriptions rather than store sales. It was well-received by critics, who praised its mix of manga series and the inclusion of articles on Japanese culture, though some critics found the early issues boring and poorly written. In May 2009, Viz announced they were discontinuing the magazine; the July 2009 issue was the last released. Fans were disappointed at the sudden news. Industry experts felt its loss would leave female comic fans without a magazine of their own, but praised Viz for its choice to continue using the "Shojo Beat" imprint and branding for its shōjo manga and anime releases.
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Himura Kenshin (緋村 剣心), known as Kenshin Himura in the English-language anime dubs, is a fictional character from the Rurouni Kenshin universe created by Nobuhiro Watsuki. He is the main protagonist of the manga and anime series, as well as the related media in the franchise. When creating Kenshin, Watsuki designed him to be the physical opposite of Hiko Seijūrō, a character that appears in Watsuki's first one-shot manga, "Crescent Moon in the Warring States"; a character with the same name appears in Rurouni Kenshin as Kenshin's swordsmanship teacher.
Kenshin's story is set in a fictional version of Japan during the Meiji period. Kenshin is a former legendary assassin known as "Hitokiri Battōsai" (人斬り抜刀斎). The term refers to an assassin and translates as "manslayer." Within the Rurouni Kenshin universe "Battōsai" refers to someone who has mastered battōjutsu. Assassins during the bakumatsu adopted professional names; for instance Kawakami Gensai was known as Hitokiri Gensai and as The Unsheather on the Japanese kanzenban covers. At the end of the Bakumatsu, he becomes a wandering samurai, now wielding a sakabatō (逆刃刀, lit. "reverse-blade sword"), a katana that has the cutting edge on the inwardly curved side of the sword, thus being nearly incapable of killing. Kenshin wanders the countryside of Japan offering protection and aid to those in need, as atonement for the murders he once committed as an assassin. In Tokyo, he meets a young woman named Kamiya Kaoru, who invites him to live in her dojo despite learning about Kenshin's past. Throughout the series, Kenshin begins to establish lifelong relationships with many people, including ex-enemies, while dealing with his fair share of enemies, new and old. Through these encounters and relationships, Kenshin begins to find true atonement for his past enabling him to fully conquer his "Battōsai" nature.
The chapters of the manga series Tokyo Mew Mew were written by Reiko Yoshida and illustrated by Mia Ikumi. The first chapter premiered in the September 2000 issue of Nakayoshi, where it was serialized monthly until its conclusion in the February 2003 issue. The series focuses on five girls infused with the DNA of rare animals that gives them special powers and allows them to transform into "Mew Mews". Led by Ichigo Momomiya, the girls protect the earth from aliens who wish to "reclaim" it. A sequel, Tokyo Mew Mew a la Mode written and illustrated solely by Mia Ikumi, was serialized in Nakayoshi from April 2003 to February 2004. The sequel introduces a new Mew Mew, Berry Shirayuki, who becomes the temporary leader of the Mew Mews while they face a new threat in the form of the Saint Rose Crusaders.
The 27 unnamed chapters were collected and published in seven tankōbon volumes by Kodansha starting on February 1, 2001; the last volume was released on April 4, 2003. The 11 chapters of Tokyo Mew Mew a la Mode were published in two tankōbon volumes on November 6, 2003 and April 6, 2004. Tokyo Mew Mew was adapted into a 52-episode anime series by Studio Pierrot that aired in Japan on TV Aichi and TV Tokyo from April 6, 2002 to March 29, 2003. The manga series is licensed for regional language releases by Pika Édition in France, Japonica Polonica Fantastica in Poland, in Finnish by Sangatsu Manga, and Carlsen Comics in Germany, Denmark, and Sweden.