- For the Mists of Pandaria life energy, see Anima (blood fluid).
Anima is the essence of mortal souls that enter the Shadowlands, the product of all of the soul's experiences and actions in life. Great souls—good or evil—have a lot of anima, while those who have lived humbler lives have less. It is believed by some that the elements of Spirit and Decay have an influence in the soul's creation of anima. It infuses the Shadowlands and acts as the lifeblood of the afterlife, making trees grow and rivers flow, flowing through creatures, and connecting all the realms of the Shadowlands together.
In recent years, however, the machine of death has been broken. All souls who enter the Shadowlands now pour directly into the Maw instead of being distributed between realms, making the Maw grow larger and more powerful. As a consequence of this anima drought, the realms have been cut off from one another, breeding fear and distrust among the inhabitants -  and with no incoming anima, the other realms of the Shadowlands have started to wither. Many creatures relying on anima have also started to starve, sometimes becoming aggressive in their search for anima.
In-game, anima is a resource gathered from various sources and can be used for different game mechanics, such as powering up one's Soulbind, sending off adventure companions on missions, or other features and upgrades specific to a covenant sanctum. It is also present in mounts, pets, and other vanity items, such as the promotional mount.
- Anima is the source that is drawn upon when using death magic. It is comparable to mana.
- In Oribos and the Shadowlands as a whole, this "soulstuff" is used as a currency, traded, bartered for, and fought over.
- In Bastion, the stewards create anima-fueled guardians known as Centurions.
- In Ardenweald, anima is drawn in by the region's massive dream trees and subsequently infused into nature spirits awaiting rebirth. Ardenweald has suffered more keenly from soul-drought than any other realm in the Shadowlands, and the night fae's Winter Queen must now pick and choose which groves and souls will be fed the last precious drops of anima and which will wither away forever.
- In Revendreth, the venthyr harvest anima from prideful and sinful souls. They use it as sustenance, currency, and a power source to animate their various Stoneborn units.
- In Maldraxxus, anima is used to animate abominations, in necromantic rituals, and empower weapons and armor.
- The representation of Maw anima in the concept art implies it is the same as stygia, indicated in the various Covenant Campaigns as well, produced from the violent destruction of a soul.
- In each zone, the Anima Conductor is able to channel anima to each area's important locations.
- In Revendreth, anima is channeled to statues of Denathrius in each ward, represented as rivers of blood-like anima flowing from the sky.
- In Ardenweald, anima is channeled to each celestial tree, making their trunk's runes and branches glow with anima and causing an anima rain effect under its boughs.
- In Maldraxxus, anima is channeled into maldracite crystals atop pillars within each House as well as the Theater of Pain as green rivers flowing from the sky as well.
- In Bastion, the anima can be seen originating from the Font of Fealty in the Spires of Ascension and flowing into Elysian Hold, from there flowing through the sky by the anima gates with palm trees floating all around the zone, leading into the five Temples and the Eternal Forge.
- Mists of Pandaria featured another substance also known as "anima". Although it was initially said that "there are definitely ties between the anima of the Shadowlands and the anima of Pandaria", it was later stated that they are different.
- Anima means soul in Latin.
- ^ WoW: Shadowlands FX Concepts
- ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment. Shadowlands - Home. Retrieved on 2019-11-03.
- ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment 2019-11-01. Shadowlands Preview: Bastion and the Kyrian Covenant. Retrieved on 2019-11-03.
- ^ a b c d e Blizzard Entertainment 2019-11-01. BlizzCon 2019 - World of Warcraft: What's Next. Retrieved on 2019-11-02.
- ^ a b c d Blizzard Entertainment 2019-11-01. World of Warcraft: What’s Next Panel Recap. Retrieved on 2019-11-02.
- ^ World of Warcraft: Grimoire of the Shadowlands and Beyond, pg. 31
- ^ a b c
- ^ Anima Wyrmling
- ^ a b MrGM 2019-11-02. Blizzcon Shadowlands Interview: Frank Kowalkowski & Steve Danuser - Titanforging/Tier Sets & More! (23:30 - 25:00). YouTube. Retrieved on 2019-11-02.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Night Fae - Covenants - Shadowlands. Retrieved on 2019-11-03.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Venthyr - Covenants - Shadowlands. Retrieved on 2019-11-03.
- ^ Sagamer - A deep dive into Bastion, the Shadowlands realm of selflessness and greater purpose
- ^ Judgehype - Interview de Steve Danuser sur l'histoire de Shadowlands