Fantasy

Fantasy

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Fantasy is a genre
Genre
Genre , Greek: genos, γένος) is the term for any category of literature or other forms of art or culture, e.g. music, and in general, any type of discourse, whether written or spoken, audial or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria. Genres are formed by conventions that change over time...

 of fiction
Fiction
Fiction is the form of any narrative or informative work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary—that is, invented by the author. Although fiction describes a major branch of literary work, it may also refer to theatrical,...

 that commonly uses magic
Magic (paranormal)
Magic is the claimed art of manipulating aspects of reality either by supernatural means or through knowledge of occult laws unknown to science. It is in contrast to science, in that science does not accept anything not subject to either direct or indirect observation, and subject to logical...

 and other supernatural
Supernatural
The supernatural or is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature...

 phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme
Theme (literature)
A theme is a broad, message, or moral of a story. The message may be about life, society, or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and are almost always implied rather than stated explicitly. Along with plot, character,...

, or setting
Setting (fiction)
In fiction, setting includes the time, location, and everything in which a story takes place, and initiates the main backdrop and mood for a story. Setting has been referred to as story world or milieu to include a context beyond the immediate surroundings of the story. Elements of setting may...

. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common. Fantasy is generally distinguished from science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 and horror
Horror fiction
Horror fiction also Horror fantasy is a philosophy of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural...

 by the expectation that it steers clear of (pseudo-)scientific and macabre
Macabre
In works of art, macabre is the quality of having a grim or ghastly atmosphere. Macabre works emphasize the details and symbols of death....

 themes, respectively, though there is a great deal of overlap between the three, all of which are subgenres of speculative fiction
Speculative fiction
Speculative fiction is an umbrella term encompassing the more fantastical fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history in literature as well as...

.

In popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

, the genre of fantasy is dominated by its medievalist form, especially since the worldwide success of The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is a high fantasy epic written by English philologist and University of Oxford professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's earlier, less complex children's fantasy novel The Hobbit , but eventually developed into a much larger work. It was written in...

books by J. R. R. Tolkien
J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College,...

. In its broadest sense, however, fantasy comprises works by many writers, artists, filmmakers, and musicians, from ancient myths
Mythology
The term mythology can refer either to the study of myths, or to a body or collection of myths. As examples, comparative mythology is the study of connections between myths from different cultures, whereas Greek mythology is the body of myths from ancient Greece...

 and legend
Legend
A legend is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude...

s to many recent works embraced by a wide audience today.

Fantasy is a vibrant area of academic study in a number of disciplines (English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, cultural studies
Cultural studies
Cultural studies is an academic field grounded in critical theory and literary criticism. It generally concerns the political nature of contemporary culture, as well as its historical foundations, conflicts, and defining traits. It is, to this extent, largely distinguished from cultural...

, comparative literature
Comparative literature
Comparative literature is an academic field dealing with the literature of two or more different linguistic, cultural or national groups...

, history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, medieval studies
Medieval studies
-Development:The term 'medieval studies' began to be adopted by academics in the opening decades of the twentieth century, initially in the titles of books like G. G. Coulton's Ten Medieval Studies , to emphasize a greater interdisciplinary approach to a historical subject...

). Work in this area ranges widely, from the structuralist theory of Tzvetan Todorov
Tzvetan Todorov
Tzvetan Todorov is a Franco-Bulgarian philosopher. He has lived in France since 1963 with his wife Nancy Huston and their two children, writing books and essays about literary theory, thought history and culture theory....

, which emphasizes the fantastic as a liminal space, to work on the connections (political, historical, literary) between medievalism and popular culture.

Traits of fantasy


The identifying traits of fantasy are the inclusion of fantastic elements in a self-coherent (internally consistent) setting, where inspiration from mythology and folklore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

 remains a consistent theme. Within such a structure, any location of the fantastical element is possible: it may be hidden in, or leak into the apparently real world setting, it may draw the characters into a world with such elements, or it may occur entirely in a fantasy world
Fantasy world
A fantasy world is a fictional universe used in fantasy novels and games. Typical worlds involve magic or magical abilities and often, but not always, either a medieval or futuristic theme...

 setting, where such elements are part of the world. Essentially, fantasy follows rules of its own making, allowing magic and other fantastic devices to be used and still be internally cohesive.

History


Beginning perhaps with the Epic of Gilgamesh
Epic of Gilgamesh
Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Mesopotamia and is among the earliest known works of literature. Scholars believe that it originated as a series of Sumerian legends and poems about the protagonist of the story, Gilgamesh king of Uruk, which were fashioned into a longer Akkadian epic much...

and the earliest written documents known to humankind, mythic and other elements that would eventually come to define fantasy and its various subgenres have been a part of some of the grandest and most celebrated works of literature. From The Odyssey to Beowulf
Beowulf
Beowulf , but modern scholars agree in naming it after the hero whose life is its subject." of an Old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature.It survives in a single...

, from the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

to The Book of One Thousand and One Nights
The Book of One Thousand and One Nights
One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age...

, from the Ramayana
Ramayana
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

to the Journey to the West
Journey to the West
Journey to the West is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. It was written by Wu Cheng'en in the 16th century. In English-speaking countries, the tale is also often known simply as Monkey. This was one title used for a popular, abridged translation by Arthur Waley...

, and from the Arthurian legend
Matter of Britain
The Matter of Britain is a name given collectively to the body of literature and legendary material associated with Great Britain and its legendary kings, particularly King Arthur...

 and medieval romance
Romance (genre)
As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a style of heroic prose and verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe. They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures, often of a knight errant portrayed as...

 to the epic poetry
Epic poetry
An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...

 of the Divine Comedy, fantastical adventures featuring brave hero
Hero
A hero , in Greek mythology and folklore, was originally a demigod, their cult being one of the most distinctive features of ancient Greek religion...

es and heroines, deadly monster
Monster
A monster is any fictional creature, usually found in legends or horror fiction, that is somewhat hideous and may produce physical harm or mental fear by either its appearance or its actions...

s, and secret arcane realm
Realm
A realm is a dominion of a monarch or other sovereign ruler.The Old French word reaume, modern French royaume, was the word first adopted in English; the fixed modern spelling does not appear until the beginning of the 17th century...

s have inspired many audiences. In this sense, the history of fantasy and the history of literature are inextricably intertwined.

There are many works where the boundary between fantasy and other works is not clear; the question of whether the writers believed in the possibilities of the marvels in A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a play that was written by William Shakespeare. It is believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta...

or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a late 14th-century Middle English alliterative romance outlining an adventure of Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur's Round Table. In the poem, Sir Gawain accepts a challenge from a mysterious warrior who is completely green, from his clothes and hair to his...

makes it difficult to distinguish when fantasy, in its modern sense, first began.

Although pre-dated by John Ruskin
John Ruskin
John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political...

's The King of the Golden River
The King of the Golden River
The King of the Golden River or The Black Brothers: A Legend of Stiria by John Ruskin was originally written in 1841 for the twelve-year-old Effie Gray, whom Ruskin later married. It was published in book form in 1851, and became an early Victorian classic which sold out three editions...

(1841), the history of modern fantasy literature is usually said to begin with George MacDonald
George MacDonald
George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister.Known particularly for his poignant fairy tales and fantasy novels, George MacDonald inspired many authors, such as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, E. Nesbit and Madeleine L'Engle. It was C.S...

, the Scottish author of such novels as The Princess and the Goblin
The Princess and the Goblin
The Princess and the Goblin is a children's fantasy novel by George MacDonald. It was published in 1872 by Strahan & Co.The sequel to this book is The Princess and Curdie....

and Phantastes
Phantastes
Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women is a fantasy novel written by George MacDonald, first published in London in 1858. It was later reprinted in paperback by Ballantine Books as the fourteenth volume of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in April 1970.The story centres on the character...

(1858), the latter of which is widely considered to be the first fantasy novel ever written for adults. MacDonald was a major influence on both J. R. R. Tolkien
J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College,...

 and C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis
Clive Staples Lewis , commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland...

. The other major fantasy author of this era was William Morris
William Morris
William Morris 24 March 18343 October 1896 was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement...

, a popular English poet who wrote several novels in the latter part of the century, including The Well at the World's End.

Despite MacDonald's future influence with At the Back of the North Wind (1871), and Morris's popularity with his contemporaries, it wasn't until the 20th century that fantasy fiction began to reach a large audience. Lord Dunsany established the genre's popularity in both the novel and the short story form. Many popular mainstream authors also began to write fantasy at this time, including H. Rider Haggard
H. Rider Haggard
Sir Henry Rider Haggard, KBE was an English writer of adventure novels set in exotic locations, predominantly Africa, and a founder of the Lost World literary genre. He was also involved in agricultural reform around the British Empire...

, Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English poet, short-story writer, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature...

 and Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs was an American author, best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic Mars adventurer John Carter, although he produced works in many genres.-Biography:...

. These authors, along with Abraham Merritt, established what was known as the "lost world" sub-genre, which was the most popular form of fantasy in the early decades of the 20th century, although several classic children's fantasies, such as Peter Pan
Peter Pan
Peter Pan is a character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie . A mischievous boy who can fly and magically refuses to grow up, Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood adventuring on the small island of Neverland as the leader of his gang the Lost Boys, interacting with...

and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900, it has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of...

, were also published around this time.

Indeed, juvenile fantasy
Juvenile fantasy
Juvenile fantasy is children's literature with fantasy elements: fantasy intended for readers not yet adult.The protagonists are usually children or teens who have unique abilities, gifts, possessions or even allies that allow them to face powerful adversaries...

 was considered more acceptable than fantasy intended for adults, with the effect that writers who wished to write fantasy had to fit their work in a work for children. Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist and short story writer.Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in 1804 in the city of Salem, Massachusetts to Nathaniel Hathorne and the former Elizabeth Clarke Manning. His ancestors include John Hathorne, a judge during the Salem Witch Trials...

 wrote many early works verging on fantasy, but in A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys
A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys
A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys is a children's book written by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne in which he rewrites myths from Greek mythology...

, intended for children, wrote fantasy. For many years, this and successes such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), created the circular effect that all fantasy works, even the later The Lord of the Rings, were therefore classified as children's literature.

In 1923 the first all-fantasy fiction magazine, Weird Tales
Weird Tales
Weird Tales is an American fantasy and horror fiction pulp magazine first published in March 1923. It ceased its original run in September 1954, after 279 issues, but has since been revived. The magazine was set up in Chicago by J. C. Henneberger, an ex-journalist with a taste for the macabre....

, was created. Many other similar magazines eventually followed, most noticeably The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. The pulp magazine format was at the height of its popularity at this time and was instrumental in bringing fantasy fiction to a wide audience in both the U.S. and Britain. Such magazines were also instrumental in the rise of science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

, and it was at this time the two genres began to be associated with each other.

By 1950 "sword and sorcery
Sword and sorcery
Sword and sorcery is a sub-genre of fantasy and historical fantasy, generally characterized by sword-wielding heroes engaged in exciting and violent conflicts. An element of romance is often present, as is an element of magic and the supernatural...

" fiction had begun to find a wide audience, with the success of Robert E. Howard
Robert E. Howard
Robert Ervin Howard was an American author who wrote pulp fiction in a diverse range of genres. Best known for his character Conan the Barbarian, he is regarded as the father of the sword and sorcery subgenre....

's Conan the Barbarian
Conan the Barbarian
Conan the Barbarian is a fictional sword and sorcery hero that originated in pulp fiction magazines and has since been adapted to books, comics, several films , television programs, video games, roleplaying games and other media...

 and Fritz Leiber
Fritz Leiber
Fritz Reuter Leiber, Jr. was an American writer of fantasy, horror and science fiction. He was also a poet, actor in theatre and films, playwright, expert chess player and a champion fencer. Possibly his greatest chess accomplishment was winning clear first in the 1958 Santa Monica Open.. With...

's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are two seminal sword-and-sorcery heroes appearing in stories written by Fritz Leiber . They are the protagonists of what are probably Leiber's best-known stories....

 stories. However, it was the advent of high fantasy
High fantasy
High fantasy or epic fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy that is set in invented or parallel worlds. High fantasy was brought to fruition through the work of authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, whose major fantasy works were published in the 1950s...

, and most of all J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit
The Hobbit
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, better known by its abbreviated title The Hobbit, is a fantasy novel and children's book by J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald...

and The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is a high fantasy epic written by English philologist and University of Oxford professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's earlier, less complex children's fantasy novel The Hobbit , but eventually developed into a much larger work. It was written in...

which reached new heights of popularity in the late 1960s, that allowed fantasy to truly enter the mainstream. Several other series, such as C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia and Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula Kroeber Le Guin is an American author. She has written novels, poetry, children's books, essays, and short stories, notably in fantasy and science fiction...

's Earthsea
Earthsea
Earthsea is a fictional realm originally created by Ursula K. Le Guin for her short story "The Word of Unbinding", published in 1964. Earthsea became the setting for a further six books, beginning with A Wizard of Earthsea, first published in 1968, and continuing with The Tombs of Atuan, The...

 books, helped cement the genre's popularity.

The popularity of the fantasy genre has continued to increase in the 21st century, as evidenced by the best-selling status of J. K. Rowling
J. K. Rowling
Joanne "Jo" Rowling, OBE , better known as J. K. Rowling, is the British author of the Harry Potter fantasy series...

's Harry Potter
Harry Potter
Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry...

 books. Several fantasy film adaptations have achieved blockbuster status, most notably The Lord of the Rings film trilogy
The Lord of the Rings film trilogy
The Lord of the Rings is an epic film trilogy consisting of three fantasy adventure films based on the three-volume book of the same name by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. The films are The Fellowship of the Ring , The Two Towers and The Return of the King .The films were directed by Peter...

 directed by Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson
Sir Peter Robert Jackson, KNZM is a New Zealand film director, producer, actor, and screenwriter, known for his The Lord of the Rings film trilogy , adapted from the novel by J. R. R...

, or the Harry Potter
Harry Potter (film series)
The Harry Potter film series is a British-American film series based on the Harry Potter novels by the British author J. K. Rowling...

films, currently the highest-grossing film series in film history.

Media



Fantasy is a popular genre, having found a home for itself in almost every medium. While fantasy art and recently fantasy films have been increasingly popular, it is fantasy literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

 which has always been the genre's primary medium.

Fantasy role-playing game
Role-playing game
A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making or character development...

s cross several different media. The "pen & paper" role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy role-playing game originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. . The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997...

was the first and is the most successful and influential, and the science fantasy
Science fantasy
Science fantasy is a mixed genre within speculative fiction drawing elements from both science fiction and fantasy. Although in some terms of its portrayal in recent media products it can be defined as instead of being a mixed genre of science fiction and fantasy it is instead a mixing of the...

 role-playing game series Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy
is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and is developed and owned by Square Enix . The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science-fantasy role-playing video games , but includes motion pictures, anime, printed media, and other merchandise...

has been an icon of the console RPG genre.

Subgenres


Modern fantasy, including early modern fantasy, has also spawned many new subgenres with no clear counterpart in mythology or folklore, although inspiration from mythology and folklore remains a consistent theme. Fantasy subgenres are numerous and diverse, frequently overlapping with other forms of speculative fiction in almost every medium in which they are produced. A couple of examples are the science fantasy
Science fantasy
Science fantasy is a mixed genre within speculative fiction drawing elements from both science fiction and fantasy. Although in some terms of its portrayal in recent media products it can be defined as instead of being a mixed genre of science fiction and fantasy it is instead a mixing of the...

 and dark fantasy
Dark fantasy
Dark fantasy is a term used to describe a fantasy story with a pronounced horror element.-Overview:A strict definition for dark fantasy is difficult to pin down. Gertrude Barrows Bennett has been called "the woman who invented dark fantasy". Both Charles L...

 subgenres, which the fantasy genre shares with science fiction and horror, respectively.

Subculture


Professionals such as publishers, editors, authors, artists, and scholars within the fantasy genre get together yearly at the World Fantasy Convention
World Fantasy Convention
The World Fantasy Convention is an annual convention of professionals, collectors, and others interested in the field of fantasy. It places emphasis on literature and art, while de-emphasizing dramatic presentation, gaming, masquerade, and the like. The World Fantasy Awards are presented at the...

. The World Fantasy Awards are presented at the convention. The first WFC was held in 1975, and it has occurred every year since. The convention is held at a different city each year.

Additionally, many science fiction conventions, such as Florida's FX Show and MegaCon
MegaCon
MegaCon, short for Mega Convention, is a large convention that caters to the comic book, sci-fi, anime, fantasy, gaming, and multi-genre community, occurring between late February and early March at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, USA.An attendee will find over of exhibit...

, cater to fantasy and horror fans. Anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 conventions, such as Ohayocon
Ohayocon
Ohayocon is a convention focusing on Japanese pop culture, including popular anime and manga fandom. It is traditionally held during the month of January in Columbus, Ohio. Ohayocon was first held in 2001 in Cleveland, Ohio, moving to Columbus in 2003...

 or Anime Expo
Anime Expo
Anime Expo, abbreviated AX, is an American anime convention held in Los Angeles, California and organized by the non-profit Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation . With rare exceptions, the convention is traditionally held on the July 4th weekend and lasts for four days...

 frequently feature showings of fantasy, science fantasy, and dark fantasy series and films, such as Majutsushi Orphen (fantasy), Sailor Moon
Sailor Moon
Sailor Moon, known as , is a media franchise created by manga artist Naoko Takeuchi. Fred Patten credits Takeuchi with popularizing the concept of a team of magical girls, and Paul Gravett credits the series with "revitalizing" the magical-girl genre itself...

(urban fantasy), Berserk
Berserk (manga)
is a manga series written and illustrated by Kentaro Miura. Set in a medieval Europe-inspired world, the story centers around the characters of Guts, an orphaned mercenary, and Griffith, the leader of a mercenary band called the...

(dark fantasy), and Spirited Away
Spirited Away
is a 2001 Japanese animated fantasy-adventure film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. The film tells the story of Chihiro Ogino, a sullen ten-year-old girl who, while moving to a new neighborhood and after her parents are transformed into pigs by the witch Yubaba,...

(fantasy). Many science fiction/fantasy and anime conventions also strongly feature or cater to one or more of the several subcultures within the main subcultures, including the cosplay
Cosplay
, short for "costume play", is a type of performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. Characters are often drawn from popular fiction in Japan, but recent trends have included American cartoons and science fiction...

 subculture (in which people make and/or wear costumes based on existing or self-created characters, sometimes also acting out skits or plays as well), the fan fiction
Fan fiction
Fan fiction is a broadly-defined term for fan labor regarding stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator...

 subculture, and the fan video or AMV
Anime music video
An anime music video is a music video consisting of clips from one or more animations set to an audio track ; the term usually refers to fan-made unofficial videos. An AMV can also be a set of video game footage put together with music which is known as a GMV...

 subculture, as well as the large internet subculture devoted to reading and writing prose fiction and/or doujinshi in or related to those genres.

See also

  • Fantasy literature
    Fantasy literature
    Fantasy literature is fantasy in written form. Historically speaking, literature has composed the majority of fantasy works. Since the 1950s however, a growing segment of the fantasy genre has taken the form of films, television programs, graphic novels, video games, music, painting, and other...

  • Fantastic art
    Fantastic art
    Fantastic art is an art genre. The parameters of fantastic art have been fairly rigorously defined in the scholarship on the subject ever since the 19th century. There was a movement of science fiction and fantasy artists prior to and during the Great Depression, which were mainly cover art and...

  • Fantasy tropes and conventions
    Fantasy tropes and conventions
    There are many elements that occur throughout the fantasy genre in different guises. Worldbuilding, in particular, has many common conventions as do, to a lesser extent, plot, and characterization....

  • List of fantasy authors
  • List of fantasy worlds
  • List of fantasy novels
  • List of high fantasy fiction
  • List of genres
  • Fairy tale
    Fairy tale
    A fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features such folkloric characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. However, only a small number of the stories refer to fairies...

  • Horror fiction
    Horror fiction
    Horror fiction also Horror fantasy is a philosophy of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural...

  • List of literary genres
  • Science fiction
    Science fiction
    Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

  • Speculative fiction
    Speculative fiction
    Speculative fiction is an umbrella term encompassing the more fantastical fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history in literature as well as...

  • Supernatural fiction
    Supernatural fiction
    Supernatural fiction is a literary genre exploiting or requiring as plot devices or themes some contradictions of the commonplace natural world and materialist assumptions about it....

  • Worldbuilding
    Worldbuilding
    Worldbuilding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a fictional universe. The result may sometimes be called a constructed world, conworld or sub-creation. The term world-building was popularized at science fiction writer's workshops during the 1970s...


External links