The Anime and Manga Portal
Anime (アニメ) refers to the animation style originated 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.
Clannad is a Japanese visual novel created by the software company Key, the producer of games such as Kanon and Air. Key released a limited version of this game for the PC on April 28, 2004, and the regular version less than four months later on August 8, 2004. The visual novel was later ported to the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. The gameplay in Clannad follows a linear plot line, which offers pre-determined scenarios and courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the five female main characters.
While both of Key's first two previous works, Kanon and Air, had been released first as adult games and then censored for the younger market, Key's third work Clannad was released for all ages and does not contain risqué situations or even any fan service. On November 25, 2005, Key released an adult spin-off entitled Tomoyo After: It's a Wonderful Life which expands the scenario of Tomoyo Sakagami, one of the five heroines from Clannad.
Aki Toyosaki(豊崎 愛生), born October 28, 1986, is a Japanese seiyū and singer born in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan. She had her first major voice acting roles in 2007, voicing Amuro Ninagawa in Kenkō Zenrakei Suieibu Umishō and Su in Shugo Chara!. She was later named as a "Best New Actress" at the 4th Seiyu Awards in 2010 for her role as Yui Hirasawa in K-On! and Kana Nakamachi in Kanamemo.
Her career as a musician began with her performance of the opening and ending themes of the anime series K-On! in April 2009. In the same month, she and three other voice actresses debuted as the musical group Sphere with their single "Future Stream". Later, K-On!'s ending theme was given Animation Kobe's "Best Song" award, and Toyosaki received the "Best Musical Performance" at the 4th Seiyu Awards for her performance on the K-On! mini-album Hōkago Tea Time with four other actresses. She later released her first solo single "love your life" in October 2009.
The Claymore anime series is based on the manga series of the same name by Norihiro Yagi. The episodes are directed by Hiroyuki Tanaka and produced by Madhouse Studios. They adapt the first through eleventh volumes of the manga over twenty-four episodes. The remaining two episodes follow an original storyline not found in the manga written by Yagi. The series aired between April 2007 and September 2007 in Japan on Nippon Television. The series follows the adventures of Clare, a Claymore, or half-human, half-yoma hybrid, and her comrades as they fight for survival in a world filled with yoma, or shapeshifting demons.
Nine DVD volumes, each containing three episodes of the anime, have been released in Japan by Avex Trax. In addition, five limited edition sets have been released. The first limited edition set contains the first DVD volume, while the other four sets each contain two DVD volumes. The latest limited edition set and volumes were released on March 26, 2008. On February 15, 2008, Funimation announced that it has acquired the Region 1 DVD and broadcast licenses for the anime, and it released all series in six volumes in North America between fall 2008 and summer 2009.