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Anime is commonly defined as animation originating in Japan. (アニメ?, an abbreviated pronunciation in Japanese of "animation", pronounced [anime] ( listen) in Japanese, but typically /ˈćnɨmeɪ/ ( listen) or /ˈćnɨmə/ in English.) The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, anime is also referred to as "Japanese animation".
While the earliest known Japanese animation dates to 1917, and many original Japanese cartoons were produced in the ensuing decades, the characteristic anime style developed in the 1960s—notably with the work of Osamu Tezuka—and became known outside Japan in the 1980s.
Anime, like manga, has a large audience in Japan and recognition throughout the world. Distributors can release anime via television broadcasts, directly to video, or theatrically, as well as online.
Both hand-drawn and computer-animated anime exist. It is used in television series, films, video, video games, commercials, and internet-based releases, and represents most, if not all, genres of fiction. Anime gained early[when?] popularity in East and Southeast Asia and has garnered more-recent popularity in the Western World.