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Introduction

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Anime (アニメ) refers to the animation style originating in Japan. It is characterized by distinctive characters and backgrounds (hand-drawn or computer-generated) that visually and thematically set it apart from other forms of animation. Storylines may include a variety of fictional or historical characters, events, and settings. Anime is aimed at a broad range of audiences and consequently, a given series may have aspects of a range of genres. Anime is most frequently broadcast on television or sold on DVDs and other media, either after their broadcast run or directly as original video animation (OVA). Console and computer games sometimes also feature segments or scenes that can be considered anime.

Manga (漫画) is Japanese for "comics" or "whimsical images". Manga developed from a mixture of ukiyo-e and Western styles of drawing, and took its current form shortly after World War II. Manga, apart from covers, is usually published in black and white but it is common to find introductions to chapters to be in color, and is read from top to bottom and then right to left, similar to the layout of a Japanese plain text. Financially, manga represented in 2005 a market of ¥24 billion in Japan and one of $180 million in the United States. Manga was the fastest growing segment of books in the United States in 2005.

Anime and manga share many characteristics, including: exaggerating (in terms of scale) of physical features, to which the reader presumably should pay most attention (best known being "large eyes"), "dramatically shaped speech bubbles, speed lines and onomatopoeic, exclamatory typography..." Some manga, a small amount of the total output, is adapted into anime, often with the collaboration of the original author. Computer games can also give rise to anime. In such cases, the stories are often compressed and modified to fit the format and appeal to a wider market. Popular anime franchises sometimes include full-length feature films, and some have been adapted into live-action films and television programs.

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YuYu Hakusho is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi. The name of the series is spelled YuYu Hakusho in the Viz Media manga and Yu Yu Hakusho in other English distributions of the franchise. The series tells the story of Yusuke Urameshi, a teenage delinquent who is struck and killed by a car while attempting to save a child's life. After a number of tests presented to him by Koenma, the son of the ruler of the afterlife Underworld, Yusuke is revived and appointed the title of "Underworld Detective", with which he must investigate various cases involving demons and apparitions in the human world. The manga becomes more focused on martial arts battles and tournaments as it progresses.

The manga was originally serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 1990 to July 1994. The series consists of 175 chapters collected in 19 tankōbon volumes. An anime adaptation consisting of 112 television episodes was originally aired on Japan's Fuji Television network from October 10, 1992 to January 7, 1995, and has also been broadcast in various countries around the world. The YuYu Hakusho franchise has also spawned two animated films, a series of original video animations (OVAs), audio albums, video games, and other merchandise. YuYu Hakusho has been well received since its debut, with the manga selling over 49 million copies in Japan alone and winning the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen manga in 1993. The animated series won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize for best anime in 1994 and 1995. The anime has also been given positive reviews by critics, who compliment its writing, characters, and amount of action, though some have judged the series as being too repetitive.

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Gaara is a fictional character in the Naruto manga and anime series created by Masashi Kishimoto. Kishimoto designed Gaara as a foil to the series' titular character, Naruto Uzumaki, as the two were born through similar circumstances, but develop vastly different personalities as they deal with their troubled upbringing. Initially introduced as an antagonist and Naruto's rival, the two eventually develop a bond as kindred spirits and become close friends as the series progresses.

In the anime and manga, Gaara is a ninja affiliated with Sunagakure, and is the son of Sunagakure's leader, the Fourth Kazekage. As a child, his father attempted to turn him into a human weapon by placing a tailed beast into him, and he was ostracized by the Sunagakure villagers. As a result, he develops into a ruthless killer, slaying others without remorse, and treating his siblings Kankuro and Temari with contempt. His battle with Naruto during the series changes this outlook, and he begins to aid others in order to emulate Naruto. In Part II of the series, he becomes Sunagakure's Fifth Kazekage. Gaara has appeared in several pieces of Naruto media, including the second featured film in the series, the third original video animation, and several video games.

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The episodes of the Yozakura Quartet anime are based on the manga series of the same name by Suzuhito Yasuda. They are directed by Kou Matsuo and produced by the animation studio Nomad. The plot of the episodes follows the members of the Hiizumi Life Counseling Office, Akina Hiizumi, a human that can use "tuning" to return yōkai to their world; Hime Yarizakura, a dragon yōkai who is the mayor of the town of Sakurashin; Ao Nanami, a satori with telepathic abilities; and Kotoha Isone, a half-human, half-yōkai who can conjure objects with her words. Together, they protect the townspeople of Sakurashin, a city where humans and yōkai coexist with one another.

The episodes aired from October 2, 2008 to December 18, 2008 on Tokyo Broadcasting System in Japan. Other networks that broadcast the episodes include BS-i, Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting, and Mainichi Broadcasting System. The anime adaptation of the manga was first confirmed in Kodansha's Monthly Shōnen Sirius magazine on March 26, 2008.

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Bishōnen
Credit: KishiShiotani

An illustration of a Bishōnen, a young man whose beauty can transcend the boundary of gender or sexual orientation.

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