The Fabulous and Exclusive World of Anime Gifts

Watching a good film is something that we all gift ourselves to from time to time, we all have our favourite genres of films, it might be the latest Hollywood blockbuster, an English horror film or a french film noir. One of the least mainstream types of film called anime films are films many of us would have never heard of before, but they have become hugely popular with enthusiasts.

What is Anime? It is simply a hand drawn or digitally designed cartoon, it is an abbreviation of the word animation. It is used to describe a story telling animation that is full of colour, fantasy, exciting characters, with a mix of cinematography. As a whole it gives the viewer a gift of sense experience with a kaleidoscope of colour and features.

The term originates in Japan, when the first type of this animation appeared in the early part of the 20th century. It became very popular in 1960s when the first series, ‘Otogi manga’ was aired from 1961 to 1964, since then this style of cartoon and film has become even more popular than ever.

The word ‘manga’ is closely associated with anime as manga are comic books and graphic novels with the same story lines, characters and visuals that are then made into films. The manga style was actually developed in Japan around the end of the 19th century. Manga was around before the launch of anime and covers a whole range of ideas; from action-adventure, horror, science fiction and fantasy and even sports or romance.

There are now over 430 design studios producing this type of animation. Many of the studios are organised into trade associations. The average episode can cost anywhere between $100,000 to $300,000 to produce and on even larger productions some film studios work together to share the work and the huge cost of the productions.

Although only making up a small amount of the Japanese film market, this type of film is now the biggest market within the Japan DVD and Blu-ray sector. As a genre it contributed to over 70% of sales within the market in the same year. The highest grossing film hit a hugely impressive figure of $330million.

Within the world of Anime there are varying types of films that are aimed at different parts of society. There are children specific films, female genres films, male genres films and adult specific where the plot is slower and more complex.

The popularity of these films are shown in the music that accompanies the opening and closing credits, they are produced and written by reputable bands that sometimes produce the music with a specific film or series in mind.

During the 1980s and 1990s in America this type of film made its way to TV audiences, in current times many children growing up all over the world have come across this type of animation. Anime has to be licensed by other countries in order to be deemed legal and some of these licenses can be very expensive, however within the US alone the market was valued at just under $3 billion dollars.

Obviously when things start to become popular in countries like the USA, they start to spread to the rest of the western world and now it is a global business. You can watch films, buy gifts associated to these films and even dress as the characters.

Conventions are held all over the world celebrating this style of film and graphic novels, with people dressing up in various costumes and characters get to meet similar fans, industry leaders, trade stories or buy gifts from their favourite films.

Gifts can also be purchased online through various outlets, so for those that cannot make these gatherings you can still buy gifts of your favourite films, comics and characters from the comfort of your own home.

The Wonderful World of Pixel Art – Animated GIFs and Free Emoticons

The internet is a huge place. By its very nature it’s home to an almost infinite amount of weird and wonderful interests and pursuits that most of us probably don’t even now exist. With its sheer size and user-generated content, it’s a place full of discovery that panders to every human whim, fancy, and interest. One of these is the wonderful, quirky, and often adorable world of pixel art.

Let’s cover the basics: what is pixel art? Pixels are the tiny little squares used to make every image on your computer screen, and can be used to make tiny animations in .gif format. You can make these yourself in programmes like Corel Photo-Paint, or more specific programmes like Jasc’s Animation Shop. Many, particularly younger people, will be familiar with some of the uses of pixel art. Emoticons, anikaos, and animated GIFs are all examples of basic pixel art used on forums, MySpace, and Windows Live Messenger as a means of aiding expression in an essentially text-based form of communication, as well just simply for fun. Emoticons are perhaps the most widely used and searched for.

A range of emoticons come as standard with Live Messenger and most forums. These tend to be your basic set of emoticons to cover the main emotions and actions expressed while chatting. Many websites however offer more advanced and diverse emoticons in varying sizes and shapes, some even with sound. The latter tend to frequent more on pay-sites. There are though far more user-generated emoticons on the net, and are frequently exchanged between users of Messenger – which allows you to add and save emoticons used by others.

While emoticons are by far the most popular in the west, their eastern counterparts ‘anikaos’ (pronounced ani-cows, meaning literally ‘animated faces’ in Japanese) are becoming more and more popular as interest in Japanese popular culture continues to grow. Anikaos are typically floating spherical blobs bobbing up and down with a cute face depicting any number of emotions and actions. They tend to be used more on forums and are incredibly diverse, ranging from generic white blobs to household animals, peas, and characters from anything between Star Wars and Dragonball-Z. The user-generated nature of anikaos, like most pixel art, means their diversity and numbers continue to multiply.

Yet, beyond the world of communication-aiding emoticons and anikaos, the possibilities are even more varied. People can make literally anything they want in miniature using pixel art – and they do. People love to have things made tiny and love to use them on their websites, MySpace pages, and on Messenger.

A very popular form pixel art at the moment is animated GIFs of Nintendo and Sega characters from the ’80s and ’90s such as Mario, Kirby, Link, and Sonic the Hedgehog recreated exactly from the 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit games on which they appeared. The current craze for all things retro, especially in gaming, is certainly adding fuel to this. Particularly with girls, animated GIFs of the characters Hello Kitty and Pucca Love are also extremely popular, and can be found on many a MySpace page. Hello Kitty and Pucca Love are very cute characters that are used frequently to personalise web pages and make them more attractive.

The fact that both Hello Kitty and Pucca Love have huge merchandising markets ‘offline’ easily explains their popularity in this respect. Likewise with both sexes, Pokemon animated GIFs are extremely popular, particularly on MySpace and gaming sites. The cuteness of many Pokemon characters and the fact they are already computer game sprites makes them perfectly convertable into animated GIFs.

But it doesn’t end simply at branded corporate characters, oh no. There is a whole pixel art culture out there with people creating weird and wonderful designs of their own constantly. Witness blinking cheeseburgers, winking cake slices, a strange beige bob running towards you with a chefs for absolutely no reason at all! The possibilities are endless and quite frequently very, very strange. Very aptly, there seems to be a perfect miniature of the boundless lengths of human creativity contained within this little culture.

Mostly, GIFs get passed around in networks fairly randomly, but if you’re actively on the lookout, my advice would be to specifically refine your search. For example if you’re specifically after gaming GIFs, try punching in ‘nintendo animated GIFs’ or ‘super mario animated GIFs’. Many sites with the best GIFs don’t even have domain names, so it pays to be patient. There are sites out there that endeavor to collect GIFs together from around the net, but some are more organised than others and the quality varies from site to site.

A frequent problem is that they just won’t be categorised, making your search difficult. If you find yourself falling in love with this kooky little world, then it doesn’t even end here. Pixel art is not just animated GIFs and emoticons – there are communities out there dedicated to making ‘pixel art for pixel art’s sake’. These people make incredibly high quality pictures and landscapes of such complexity that it takes your breath away. Pixel Joint is a great little community to get involved in if you find yourself going for this more advanced stuff, whether to appreciate or to create. Have fun!

Fantastic Anime Collectibles As Kids’ Gifts

Or, are you an anime collector who would like to expand your current collection? If so, you may be prepared to make a few anime purchases. Before performing so, you’ll want to take the time to examine professional anime dealers. These people come extremely rated and advocated by anime collectors, like people who collect for profits, also as an interest.

As nice as it’s to hear that anime dealers are great way to purchase anime Collectibles, you may be looking for more info on how so. When looking at rare, tough to discover, together with other valuable anime Collectibles, many dealers are where you want to turn. This is just because of their specialty. Professional dealers stand to make the most cash when buying and selling rare, tough to discover, or limited edition Collectibles. Anime collectors, especially those who are looking to profit from their collections, can benefit the most from this great selection.

As previously stated, anime dealers frequently specializes in valuable Collectibles, such as those that are rare or hard to discover. Yes, this means that you’ll need to pay a decent amount of cash to purchase these pieces, but it’s essential to maintain value in mind. When selling collectibles, many professional dealers first take the time to determine approximate values. This is conducted by examining average selling prices, also as availability. Usually speaking, this results in you and various buyers paying the standard value or asking price. On the other hand, numerous amateurs charge essentially whatever they feel inclined toward charging.

Now that you know why you should at least contact an anime trader, you may be curious as to how you are in a position to set about doing so. Many anime collectors are happy with the alternatives that they have. Since the majority collectors prefer purchasing valuable Collectibles locally or at the very least in person, you may want to take the same approach. Your first stop ought to be a local anime dealer, if one exists. As the anime genre increases in popularity, numerous specialty anime shops are shooting up nationally, particularly in larger cities.

Anime collectors searching to expand their collections are also urged to go to their local hobby shops. What many people don’t realize is that numerous hobby store owners and staff members are collectors as well. In fact, a locally hobby shop dealer, although often times rare, might actually double as a collectable dealer. If not, numerous hobby store owners are still educated; as a result, you might be at least pointed in the right direction, like to a well-known anime dealer either locally or online.

Per buying anime Collectibles from dealers in individual, collectors are urged to look at and attend anime occasions and conventions. These are increasing in popularity and numerous happen on local, national, and international levels. The web is a great way to stay kept up to date and informed on any anime occasions or conventions, particularly those where dealers will likely be present. Additionally to being able to buy Collectibles from a professional anime dealer, you might also find a wealth of valuable details at anime themed occasions.

Despite the reality that numerous anime collectors prefer to make their buys in person, particularly when managing rare and valuable pieces, many others don’t have the luxury of doing so. If you are one of those people, you’ll want to go to the web. You will see a big amount of hobby shops and specialty amine dealers that have online websites. Many are comparable in nature and contain a big choice of anime Collectibles, frequently for a wide range of costs.

Per the internet, an extra great way to discover an anime trader is by networking. If you appreciate anime collecting, you need to join an on-line community, also commonly noted as an online message board, that focuses on this fantastic hobby. In addition to pointing you to well-known and respected dealers, you may also discover other collectors willing to trade or trade their merchandise.