Anime is extremely popular these days. It’s easy to become overwhelmed as a parent when their kids are discussing the animated sensation. Here are some of the most common phrases and terms, to help you better understand the phenomenon of anime.

Anime Just Means Japanese Animation

Simply put, anime is simply the term applied to animation originating from or inspired by Japan. It’s often finely attentive to detail in its illustration and makes use of exaggerated imagery to convey emotions and punctuate plotlines. Its counterpart in print is known as manga. Manga is the comic book beginnings of most anime.

Modern anime has integrated digital and traditional animation to create sharper, more spectacular images.

Anime is Hyper-realistic and Exaggerated Intentionally

The artistic style that defines anime and sets it apart from American animation is the intent of the storyline paired with a distinct animation process that has held over since anime’s post WWII origins. Unlike American animation, Japanese anime uses still frame animation frequently, and tends toward an amplification of human facial features to express emotions. Yes, the big eyes are distinctly anime.

Not All Anime is Aimed Toward a Single Audience

Traditionally, anime has been marketed toward boys and girls separately. Shonen, which is aimed to young male audiences, features adventure, lots of robots and technology, while shojo is mostly for girls. This does not mean that boys will not be interested in shojo or girls in shonen. Rather, it’s the storyline and characters that kids find so interesting.

Unlike American animation, which tends to be aimed toward a mostly youthful audience, anime is broken into many genres and subgenres to delineate that which belongs to children, and which manga or anime are more adult oriented. Also, it’s important to remember that cultural and social acceptance and taboos are often different, and this is especially true with anime. Anime comes in many flavors, so pay attention and you’ll be able to easily discern whether the themes are right for your child’s age.

It’s Not All Robots and Sailor Moon

Anime touches on many coming of age topics, it’s true, but it also explores human interaction on every level. The writers and animators of anime have used their work to express humankind’s struggle with humanity and the beauty that is found all around with equal fervor.

Currently, you can find anime just about anywhere you prefer your media. Most streaming sites have an entire section of anime titles, so take a minute and scroll through the titles. Anime featuring musicians, magic, humor, animals, and of course the ingenuity of humans can be easily found. It’s easy to search titles online before you watch, to give you a brief synopsis of the content.

Worlds Beyond and Preservation of Traditions

The magic of anime is a powerful one. So, go ahead, play Pokémon with your kids, watch a Studio Ghibli film, and explore this amazing world that is anime and manga, it’s cool.