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.
Cardcaptor Sakura, also known as Cardcaptors, is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by the manga artist group Clamp. The manga was originally serialized monthly in Nakayoshi from the May 1996 until the June 2000 issue, and later published in 12 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. The story focuses on Sakura Kinomoto, an elementary school student who discovers that she possesses magical powers after accidentally freeing a set of magical cards from the book they had been sealed in for years. She is then tasked with retrieving those cards in order to avoid an unknown catastrophe from befalling the world.
The series was adapted into an anime TV series by Madhouse that aired in Japan on NHK between April 1998 and March 2000, two anime films, ten video games, and some of these media have since been translated into other languages. In addition, Kodansha published art books, picture books and film comics for the manga and anime series. Critics praised the manga for its creativity and described it as a quintessential shōjo manga, as well as a critical work for manga in general. The manga series was awarded the Seiun Award for Best Manga in 2001. The TV anime adaptation was praised for its ability to transcend its target audience of young children and be enjoyable to older viewers too. The artwork in the anime was also a focus of attention, and it was described as above average for a late-1990s TV series. The TV anime won the Animage Grand Prix award for Best Anime in 1999.
Rock Lee (ロック・リー) is a fictional character in the anime and manga series Naruto created by Masashi Kishimoto. Kishimoto considers Lee his favorite character to draw, and at first designed Lee to symbolize human weakness. In the anime and manga, Lee is a ninja affiliated with the village of Konohagakure, and is a member of Team Guy, which consists of himself, Neji Hyuga, Tenten, and Might Guy—the team's leader. Unable to use most ninja techniques, Lee dedicates himself to using solely taijutsu, ninja techniques similar to martial arts. Lee dreams of becoming a "splendid ninja" despite his inabilities. Lee has appeared in several pieces of Naruto media, including the third and fourth featured films in the series, the third original video animation, and several video games.
Numerous anime and manga publications have commented on Lee's character. IGN compared Lee to Bruce Lee and Noel Gallagher, and Anime News Network called Lee the "goofiest looking character" in the series. Among the Naruto reader base, Lee has been popular, placing high in several popularity polls. Numerous pieces of merchandise have been released in Lee's likeness, including figurines and plush dolls.
The episodes have aired since October 6, 2004, on TV Tokyo in Japan. Viz Media obtained the foreign television, home video, and merchandising rights to the Bleach anime from TV Tokyo Corporation and Shueisha on March 15, 2006. Subsequently, Viz Media contracted Studiopolis to create the English adaptation of the anime, and has licensed its individual Bleach merchandising rights to several different companies. The English adaptation of the Bleach anime premiered on Canada's YTV channel in the Bionix programming block on September 8, 2006. Cartoon Network began airing Bleach the following evening as part of its Adult Swim block. Adult Swim stopped broadcasting new episodes of the English adaptation on October 20, 2007, after airing the first 52 episodes of the series. It was replaced with another Viz Media series, Death Note, to provide Studiopolis more time to dub additional episodes of the series. The series returned from hiatus on March 2, 2008. It briefly went on hiatus again after the airing episode 167, but resumed its broadcast on the Adult Swim chennel in North America on April 3rd, 2010.