"Anime" in English usually refers to a style of animation originating in Japan, heavily influenced by the manga (Japanese comics/graphic novels) style and typically featuring characters with large eyes, big hair, elongated limbs, exaggerated facial expressions, brush-stroked outlines, limited motion, and other distinctive features. The term may also be used for other animation connected to Japan.
While the earliest-known Japanese animation dates from 1917, and many original Japanese cartoons were produced in the ensuing decades, the characteristic anime style developed in the 1960's - notably with the work of Osamu Tezuka and became known outside of Japan in the 1980's.
Anime, like manga, has a large audience in Japan and is highly recognized throughout the world. Distributors can release anime via television broadcasts, directly to video, or theatrically, as well as online.
Both hand-drawn and computer-animated anime exist. It is used in television series, films, video games, commercials, and Internet-based releases, and represents most, if not all, genres of fiction. Anime gained early popularity in East and Southeast Asia and has garnered more recent popularity in the Western world.