AniDB Definition:Anime

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Revision as of 02:34, 13 March 2008 by Karasuhebi (talk | contribs) (→‎Specific Cases: fixed a typo in the "Robotech" entry.)
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These are basically guidelines to follow. There are certain shows that some people are certain are anime, yet others are equally certain that they are not anime. This is meant to help determine what is considered an anime for AniDB. Questionable shows should be discussed in the DB Change Requests forum and the mods or exp will decide if it is appropriate to have in the database.


What does "anime" mean in Japan?

"Anime" in Japan technically means any animated film, regardless of origin. Also, "manga" is any printed comic.

Why not use this definition?

This is too broad, this would mean anything that is animated (Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, ...) would be considered anime.

What does the rest of the world think?

People in the rest of the world take "anime" to mean animated films from Japan.

Why not use this definition?

What does "from Japan" really mean? What if a show is produced by a Japanese company and was released in Japan, but was drawn in India because of cheap labor, is it an anime? What about that animated commercial for a bar of soap, is that anime? Also, many people consider many shows from China and Korea to also be anime because their style is similar to other anime.

What about using the styles to define an anime?

Anime styles are frequently distinctive and fairly easy to recognize. The stereotype is of characters with huge hair and large eyes. Although this is true of many animes (to varying degrees), there are also many animes that do not fit this description. Also not everything with big eyes is necessarily an anime either.

So what IS an anime?

An anime is an animated, professionally produced, feature film created by a Japanese company for the Japanese market.

What does this mean?

  • First of all, an anime needs to be animated. Live action, or something with just a few animated scenes is not an anime.
  • An anime has to be professionally produced. This means that fan made shows are not considered anime.
  • It has to be a feature film, that means it has to have a plot. For instance an animated soap commercial is not an anime.
  • The anime needs to be created by a Japanese company. The company can collaborate with other companies out of the country, but it has to have some involvement with a Japanese company.
  • The anime needs to be created for the Japanese market. For instance, Disney may collaborate with a Japanese company on the making of a film for the United States, but it is not an anime even though a Japanese company is involved.
  • The AniDB mods and ultimately Exp have the final say in what is appropriate for AniDB.


Yes, every rule has exceptions. There are a lot of borderline cases, but these cases should be discussed before adding them to the database. If there is something in the database or you think should be added to the database that does not match the definition above it needs to be discussed in the Forum. First, you should Search to see if there has already been a discussion about the anime in question. If you cannot find one, then you need to make a post in the DB Change Requests forum, put [ADD][ANIME] or [DEL][ANIME] in the subject of your topic.

In General

Chinese/Korean productions?

Are animated, professionally produced, feature films created by a Korean/Chinese company for the Korean/Chinese market allowed? Generally, yes, check the forum before adding them though.


The keys here are, are they professionally produced and do they have a story line? If so, then yes. Note, in some cases an official AMV related to a series can be added as a special, but VERY rarely will an AMV have its own anime record, check the forum before adding something like this. An example is Macross: Flashback 2012.

Game CGs?

Most are fan-made, so they are not professionally produced so they would not be considered anime. Animated ads for a game, although professionally produced probably do not have enough of a story line to be considered an anime.

Fan-Made Shows/Parodies?

No, they are not professionally produced.

Parody Subs/Dubs?

Not as anime entries. These are sometimes allowed as specials to an existing anime.

Live Action?

Where is the key requirement, "animation", hiding in this phrase? Are you mad? If there are some live action scenes that are incorporated into an anime that otherwise meets the requirements and when looked at as a whole they can still be considered animated, they may be anime (although this may be extremely unwise, common sense not ruling around here, as it's the first step on the sort of slippery slope we're already experiencing in country of origin), and certain official "live action" extras such as interviews are permitted. Check that your marbles are all still present before considering adding anything like this. Examples are D.C.~Da Capo~ and Hanaukyo Maids.


Not as anime entries. Official omakes are allowed as specials to an existing anime.

Specific Cases

For an ongoing list of items that have been requested for deletion, or have been deleted, see List of duplicate and "not anime" entries in AniDB

Note: some links in this guide are pointing to Internal Docs section and are not available to everyone.
Those are meant to be references for people who work on AniDB documentation.

The Animatrix


Ultima The Animatrix should be allowed because it was animated by many well known Japanese artists. link

Anime Fiction


Der Idiot english company producing for the english market link



Der Idiot Amateur english company producing for the english market: about us link

Daicon Opening Animations


Rar Given the long and active tradition of 同人誌, declaring everything not made by the copyright holders might become overly restrictive. However, due to the time and expense it takes to produce animation compared to literature, I suspect a simple 'no doujinshi' rule will probably do for a good few years yet. Unless of course, someone who's seen the work in question wants to contradict me and say it is worth keeping. link
Rar I completely revoke my comments about doujinshi in animation having added this a while ago... fan made, in the 80s, and great. link

Evangelion X


Der Idiot japanese fanproduction link

The Item


Der Idiot Amateur english company producing for the english market: about us link

The Last Unicorn


rar Ran across this, and as far as a bit of googling tells me, this is a US animation only, not even a co-production like some are (The Mysterious Cities of Gold for instance). link
nwa I was renaming the "The" titles and stumbled upon this.. according to IMDB this isn't really an anime at all... link
Der Idiot english company producing for the english market link

Mania - Secret of Green Tentacle


Der Idiot english company producing for the english market link



Der Idiot japanese fanproduction link



Der Idiot japanese fanproduction link



Ultima Robotech for example has Japanese origins because they were licensed from Tatsunoko Studios for international distribution by Harmony Gold USA. link
nwa Robotech was neither dubbed nor created by the Japanese.. there wasn't even any Japanese studios involved with it? in that case... it's not anime and should be deleted :P link
nwa I wouldn't allow Transformers US Movie or the US Robotech.. aah.. whatever.. they might as well be there.. link

Sailor Moon and the 7 Ballz


PetriW I don't see why it wouldn't. link
nwa they are crappy, but still hentai I guess link
Ultima Well, personally, removing Sailor Moon and the 7 Ballz wouldn't be a "huge" loss. I guess we should just allow official hentai productions into AniDB. We do the same for official anime music videos released on anime DVDs. I think we should do the same for hentai. link
Wahaha With a runtime of ~50 minutes, ~70 people who have the files in their lists and ~40 votes, this entry should be kept IMO. link
Der Idiot english company producing for the english market link



Der Idiot Amateur english company producing for the english market: about us link

Star Ballz


Der Idiot english company producing for the english market link

Understanding Chaos


Der Idiot Amateur english company producing for the english market: about us link

Avatar - The Last Airbender


Der Idiot american production for the american market link

Anime <x> is (not) listed as anime on page <y>

Although that would be part of an argument for or against listing it as an anime, that does not mean that it will be automatically added or removed from AniDB. Every site has a different user base and administrators with their own opinions, you will find that no two sites have the exact same list of anime.

If it is not an anime, where can I find more information?

Every anime related website has different ideas about what is an anime, you can try one of those sites. Also, you can try The Big Cartoon Database.