What the anime is based on! Mostly of academic interest, but a useful bit of info.
Based on an interactive (even if minimally so) form of entertainment software, generally available for PCs, consoles or arcade machines.
Any game where reflexes are the key to the gameplay, violence is optional.
Dating Sim - Visual Novel
The two terms are similar yet different, however, the fact that they look and 'feel' the same outweighs the technical differences. For clarification, visual novels are considered a sub-genre of adventure games and the term does not cover simulations. While the two genres often share a common visual presentation, dating sims are sometimes considered to be more statistically based than the "choose your own adventure" style of visual novels; basically, the choices you make might change something else than just the story arc (or your next porn pic). Dating sims can involve several technical elements such as a time limit, several statistics such as looks and charm which can be boosted through exercise, or an "attraction meter" which can increase or decrease depending on one's decisions.
Visual novels are distinguished from other game types by their extremely minimal gameplay. Typically the majority of player interaction is limited to clicking to keep the text, graphics and sound moving (most recent games offer 'play' or 'fast-forward' toggles that make even this unnecessary). Most visual novels have multiple storylines and many endings; the gameplay mechanic in these cases typically consists of intermittent multiple-choice decision points, where the player selects a direction in which to take the game. In Japanese, a distinction is often made between visual novels proper (abbreviated NVL) and adventure games (abbreviated AVG or ADV): the main difference is in the presentation of the text, which is overlaid on the picture in a visual novel, and confined to a window at the bottom of the screen in an "adventure". This distinction is normally lost in English, where adventure game refers to a different genre.
Overall they're both read-the-dialogue-and-click-next type of games. It's not needed to distinguish between a visual novel and a dating sim as this category covers them both, but there still is the need to distinguish between a visual novel and an adventure game and that can be a bit confusing for normal people. A useful fact: About 98% of the anime adaptations from a visual novel or a dating sim are also erotic games.
An erotic game or eroge is a Japanese video or computer game that features erotic content, usually in the form of anime-style artwork. In English, eroge are often called hentai games in keeping with the English slang definition of hentai. This is sometimes shortened to H games. In Japan, eroge are also referred to as 18+ games. Most erotic games are visual novels or dating sims but are not limited to them (Knights of Xentar was an awesome RPG eroge).
Any anime adaptation of a game that contains (or had a version than contains) adult content (generally sex scenes), regardless of how some fanboys blabber on how "the story in that visual novel was too good to be labelled as porn!", should definitely get this category added under them. This should make it pretty clear as to what is an erotic game and what is not. Roughly 80% of all anime adaptations from a game are from erotic games.
- Examples: Air, Tsukihime, Bible Black, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, Popotan, Fate/stay night, D.C.: Da Capo, Cleavage, Kanon
Any anime that is based on a role-playing game aka RPG. A role-playing video game is a video game which includes elements of non-electronic role-playing games. The player assumes control of one or several fictional characters (a party) who have joined forces in order to perform quests and overcome a great number of challenges and enemies, usually monsters inspired by fantasy, and, to a lesser extent, science fiction and classic mythology. During the course of the game the characters, or avatars, which are generally defined by quantized characteristics, evolve and improve in that their various attributes increase, as well as by gaining more powerful artefacts.
Manga is the lifeblood that drives the anime industry. Everything and its mother is based on manga.
|However!||Be very sure the manga actually was the basis for the anime!|
It's common practice to make manga adaptations of many popular anime, there's a manga based on Evangelion, and two (one shounen and one shoujo) based on each of Escaflowne and Mahou Tsukai Tai. Also it's quite common to release manga and anime versions of a story in parallel, for instance Nadesico and Shoujo Kakumei Utena.
Based on a live action film, Japanese or otherwise. For instance, Iria: Zeiram the Animation which is based, unsurprisingly, on the sci-fi action film Zeiram.
Not based on anything, the story is a new work, usually made up by the people involved in creating the anime. Generally if an original work (原作) credit is given, it will be to the studio, or director, or other members of the production team.
Note that novel means book with words in paper, so no comics and no "visual novels", which should go under manga and dating-sim - visual Novel/erotic game respectively. Examples include the many World Masterpiece Theatre series animated by Nippon Animation (日本アニメーション), the various anime based on the novels of Tanaka Yoshiki (田中芳樹) and lots of others.
Note that it can be applied to novels as we know them but also the typical light novels for teens and young adults, which are common in Japan and aside from being short include a number of illustrations. Examples would include Shakugan no Shana and Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu.