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Introduction

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Anime (アニメ) refers to the animation style originating 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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Azumanga Daioh is a Japanese comedy manga by Kiyohiko Azuma. It was serialized by MediaWorks in the shōnen manga magazine Dengeki Daioh from 1999 to 2002 and collected in four bound volumes. In May 2009, three additional chapters began serialization in Shogakukan's Monthly Shōnen Sunday under the title Azumanga Daioh: Supplementary Lessons. The manga is drawn as a yonkoma (a series of vertical four-panel comic strips), and it depicts the lives of a group of girls during their three years as high-school classmates. The series has been praised for its off-beat humor driven by eccentric characters, and Kiyohiko Azuma has been acclaimed as a "master of the four-panel form," for both his art style and comic timing.

It was adapted as an anime television series which aired on the TV Tokyo network from the week of April 8, 2002 until the week of September 30, 2002. Several soundtrack albums of the anime series were released, as well as three video games based on the Azumanga Daioh franchise.

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Naruto Uzumaki (うずまき ナルト) is a fictional character in the anime and manga franchise Naruto, created by Masashi Kishimoto. The main protagonist and title character of the series, he is a young teenage ninja from the fictional village of Konohagakure. The villagers ostracize Naruto because of the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox—a malevolent creature that attacked Konohagakure—sealed in his body. To be recognized, he aspires to become the village's leader, the Hokage. His cheerful and boisterous personality lets him befriend other Konohagakure ninja, as well as ninja from other villages. Naruto appears in the series' films and in other media related to the franchise, including video games and original video animations.

Anime and manga publications have praised Naruto's character. Although some saw him as a stereotypical manga and anime protagonist comparable to those in other shōnen manga, they have praised his personality and development as he avoids stereotypes. Naruto has remained popular with the Naruto fan-base, placing high in popularity polls. Merchandise based on Naruto has been released, including figurines and keychains.

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The fifth season of the One Piece anime series was directed by Kōnosuke Uda and produced by Toei Animation. Like the rest of the series, it follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat Pirates, but instead of adaptating part of Eiichiro Oda's One Piece manga, it features three completely original, self-contained story arcs. The first five episodes, each following their own plots, form the "Dreams!" (ドリームス!) arc. The next three episodes make up the "Shutsugeki! Zenii Kaizoku Dan" (出撃! ゼニィ海賊団, lit. "Sortie! Zenny Pirates") storyline and focus on the Straw Hats meeting an old moneylender. The last five episodes form the "Niji no Kanata e" (虹の彼方へ, lit. "To the Other Side of the Rainbow") arc and deal with the protagonists getting trapped inside a mysterious, rainbow-colored mist.

The season initially ran from November 3, 2002 through February 2, 2003 on Fuji Television in Japan and was released on DVD in five compilations, each containing one disc with two or three episodes, by Toei Animation between March 3, 2004 and July 7, 2004. The season was then licensed and heavily edited for a dubbed broadcast and DVD release in English by 4Kids Entertainment. Their adaptation ran from August 4, 2007 though September 22, 2007 on Cartoon Network and omitted seven of the season's thirteen episodes. It was the last season to be dubbed by 4Kids Entertainment. DVDs of their adaptation were not released. Starting with the sixth season, Funimation Entertainment began dubbing new episodes for broadcast on Cartoon Network. Eventually they began redubbing the series from the start for uncut release on DVD and released the fifth season, relabeled as "One Piece: Season Two – Seventh Voyage", on May 11, 2010.

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An artwork depicting Shōnen-ai
Credit: Sen Cross, Hiji and Ryo at Animexx

An artwork depicting shōnen-ai. Unlike yaoi manga, shōnen-ai manga focus more on romance and do not include explicit sexual content, although they may include implicit sexual content.

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Television series and specials


Did you know

  • ... that Firo Prochainezo, a character of the Baccano! light novel and anime series, wears glasses in an attempt to look smarter?

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