In recent years, Japanese animated TV shows and movies have appeared in Europe, the United States, and various Asian countries, gaining high popularity and acceptance. Moreover, the very fact that the word anime is now regularly used in English to mean “an animation style that has evolved independently in Japan” indicates how established Japanese anime has become throughout the world (Tsugashi 2004: 21). When talking about Japanese anime ’s introduction to the rest of the world, it is impossible to avoid referencing Katsuhiro Ōtomo’s Akira (Standish 1998: 57). Originally based on a manga (Japanese comic), the animated movie appeared in 1988 ( Figure 10.1 ). Th is coincides with the period when anime as a genre gained concrete status comparable to other media such as manga and fi lm, and also, one could argue, when Japanese anime history reached maturity.