Many cultures have enjoyed films since the genre was first introduced. The Japanese were no exception to this rule. Not only did they enjoy films that mostly came from the United States, they made their own films with stories of their cultures. When animated films were introduced, many film companies in Japan saw an opportunity in this new art form. Anime has become a widespread cultural phenomenon in the country of Japan. Its popularity has continued to increase and it has been exported to other countries around the world.
Japan is an ancient country with historical records that go back thousands of years. The culture of Japan provides reverence for ancestors, and history is an important topic of study. History includes personal family histories as well as the general history of the country. This gives storytellers in Japan an amazingly wide array of cultural knowledge to draw into the world of today. It allows them to find ancient heroes and villains in their own culture without resorting to invention. It also gives them artistic license to create and explore new characters and stories of the future.
The visual art portion of anime shares the stage with the written portion. The art is drawn by professional artists and there are many styles in this art form. It is constantly evolving and growing. Anime art of even a decade ago is very different from that of today. Those who collected mugs decorated with ceramic decals or ceramic transfers of anime art can see the progression. This ever-changing art form continues to recreate itself with every artist who chooses to produce anime. Their backgrounds and need to constantly update the culture of anime ensure the forms will continue to evolve.
There is a written portion to anime art. It is a separate tool used to tell the story and not considered to be part of the anime. The characters are used to tell stories. Conversations between them outline details and add dramatic content. While not always recognized as an art form in itself, the written portion of anime continues to complete the visual section of each story with words that speak as loud as the colors and action of the characters. It supplements the action and explains the background of the characters and the plot of each anime film.