Animation is the process of making the illusion of motion and change by means of the rapid display of a sequence of static images that minimally differ from each other. The illusion—as in motion pictures in general—is thought to rely on the phi phenomenon. Animators are artists who specialize in the creation of animation.
Early examples of attempts to capture the phenomenon of motion into a still drawing can be found in paleolithiccave paintings, where animals are often depicted with multiple legs in superimposed positions, clearly attempting to convey the perception of motion.
Nova (formerly Nova Group) is a large eikaiwa school (private Englishteaching company) in Japan. It was by far the largest company of this type until its widely publicized collapse in October 2007. Before its bankruptcy, Nova employed approximately 15,000 people across a group of companies that supported the operations of and extended out from the "Intercultural Network" of its language schools. The scope of its business operations reached its peak in February 2007 following a rapid expansion of its chain to 924 Nova branches plus a Multimedia Center located in Osaka.
Nova, known for high-priced lesson packages, and later plagued by lawsuits and negative publicity, began to decline in earnest almost immediately after the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry placed a six-month ban against soliciting new long-term contracts from students on the company on 13 June 2007. The impending financial crisis facing Nova related to a rapid increase in refund claims, significant drops in sales figures, and deterioration of its reputation, came to the fore in September 2007 when Nova began to delay payment of wages and bonuses to staff. The NAMBU Foreign Workers Caucus in Tokyo estimated that up to 3,000 staff had not received their salaries on time. A solution for Nova's failure to pay wages was promised by 19 October in a fax sent to branch schools. On 23 October the Osaka Labor Standards office accepted a demand by unionized Nova instructors to investigate criminal charges against Nova President and founder, Nozomu Sahashi, over delayed and unpaid wages, but Sahashi was ultimately not charged.