Founded in July 1998 by Justin Sevakis, the website claims to be the leading English-language source for news and information about anime and manga on the Internet. The site operates the magazine Protoculture Addicts. The website has separate versions of its news content aimed towards audiences in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Anime News Network publishes news stories related to anime and manga that are researched by the ANN staff. Other contributors, under staff discretion, also contribute news articles. The website maintains a listing of anime and manga titles, as well as people and companies involved in the production of those titles, which it dubs an "encyclopedia" The site hosts several regular columns, including a question-and-answer column "Hey Answerman", a review column entitled "Shelf Life", a column on old and forgotten media called "Buried Treasure" written by Sevakis, and a listing of claimed differences between edited and original versions of anime series titled "The Edit List". Staff members of ANN also publish their own blogs hosted on the site.
The site also hosts forums and includes threads to accompany each news item for purposes of discussion. Anime News Network hosts an IRC channel on the WorldIRC network, #animenewsnetwork.