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Anime Research Project

The Three Different Types of Anime

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            Although anime has many different genres and characteristics, it can typically be categorized into three different types.  One type is film, the movies that are generally released into theaters.  These films represent the highest budget and are on the higher end of video quality.  Film anime such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away have had so much success that they are some of the highest grossing films in Japan of all time (Halsall).

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"Spirited Away"

            The second type of anime is Original Video Animation, or OVA.  These are most similar to television miniseries.  The number of episodes can range anywhere from two to twenty episodes and are normally released directly to video.  The different episodes in a series normally have a very continuous plot making it confusing to watch them out of sequence.  Each episode relates to the last one, making one long story.  They are also of very high quality animation, close to that used in films, and sometimes even surpassing.  Shows such as RahXephon went directly to video in America, but have still managed to gain much recognition and many followers.  This kind of anime can also be turned into a series shown on television such as Gundam Wing and Tenchi Muyo (Halsall).

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"RahXephon"

             The last type is anime as television series.  These shows are typically of lower quality than that of the other two due to the budget having to be spread out.  A full season consists of twenty-six episodes each averaging about twenty-three minutes.   As in many live-action television series, episodes are commonly unrelated to each other so viewers would not have to have seen the previous ones to enjoy the one they are watching.  They also use “eyecatch” scenes before and after commercial breaks and have opening and closing credits like other television series.  Titles that become very popular will sometimes span across all three of these types.  Some good examples are “Tenchi Muyo which was originally an OVA, [and] spawned three movies, two television series, as well as several spinoff titles and specials;” and Ghost in the Shell, which started off a movie and produced a TV series (Wikipedia).

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