Anime is hand-drawn and computer animation originating from Japan. In Japan and in Japanese, anime describes all animated works,
regardless of style or origin. However, outside of Japan and in English, anime is colloquial for Japanese animation and refers specifically to animation produced in Japan. Animation produced outside of Japan with similar style to Japanese animation is referred to as anime-influenced animation.
Anime differs greatly from other forms of animation by its diverse art styles, methods of animation, its production, and its process. Visually, anime works exhibit a wide variety of art styles, differing between creators, artists, and studios. While no single art style predominates anime as a whole, they do share some similar attributes in terms of animation technique and character design.
The opening and credits sequences of most anime television series are accompanied by J-pop or rock songs, often by reputed bands—as written with the series in mind—but are also aimed at the general music market, therefore it is often alluded once vaguely or not all to the thematic settings or plot of the series. Also, they are often used as incidental music for each episode to highlight particularly important scenes.
Anime are often classified by target demographic, including children's, girls', boys' and a diverse range of genres targeting an adult audience. Shoujo and shounen anime sometimes contain elements popular with children of both genders in an attempt to gain crossover appeal. Adult anime may feature a slower pace or greater plot complexity that younger audiences may typically find unappealing, as well as adult themes and situations.
The history of anime can be traced back to the start of the 20th century, with the earliest verifiable films dating from 1906. Before the advent of film, Japan already had a rich tradition of entertainment with colourful painted figures moving across the projection screen in , a particular Japanese type of magic lantern show popular in the 19th century.