History of Anime
The history of anime spans back to the birth of the film and television industry in Japan. This popular form of art first came to be during the early 1990s and have since emerged as one of the biggest cultural forces of Japan over the last few decades. While a large part of the work done during these early years cannot be classified as the cel-animation technique which is dominant today, but there are other modes like chalkboard drawing, cut-outs of paper and direct painting on the film- that have contributed to the success of the present-day anime as we see it.
Post-war And The Advent of TV
It wasn’t until the end of the Second World War in 1948 that the modern Japanese company, one that is almost entirely dedicated to entertainment, came into existence. Their very first theatrical feature films followed the same vein as the Walt Disney movies we see these days. One key instance here was the ninja-and the sorcery mini-epic movie known as the Shonen Sarutobi Sasuke, that was theatrically released in the US. However, it wasn’t as popular as 'Rashomon’ by Akira Kurosawa which is also one of the biggest movies that brought the movie industry of Japan in the spotlight.
What truly pushed anime to the forefront in Japan was the popularity of television during the sixties. One of the first animated movies for TV from Toei was an adaptation of the famous Manga known by the name of Mitsuteru Yokoyama’s Sallypresent-day the Witch. Ditto Shotaro’s influential Cyborg 009 was further adapted in a cut-outs franchise of Toei.
Till this point, the animated productions of Japan were entirely crafted by the Japanese and created keeping the Japanese audience in mind. Eventually, they started getting popular in territories where English was a common norm and language.
In 1963, Japan rolled out its most popular animated export in America. Going by the name of Tetsuwan Atomu or Astro Boy, this movie was adapted from a famous manga by Osamu Tezuka and unfolded the tale of a robot boy with extraordinary powers. This series was first aired on the NBC with the effort of Fred Ladd. Later, Ladd also brought the famous Kimba the White Lion to the world audience. Both the movies turned out to be a touchstone for nostalgia over several generations, although its maker- a famous cultural icon in his own nation- stayed anonymous in the rest of the globe.
In 1968, Tatsunoko, an animations studio followed a similar pattern. They ended up adopting a domestic manga anime that later turned out to be an overseas success. Here, the movie Speed Racer gained considerably higher popularity. The man who brought Speed in America was the famous Peter Fernandez who was an essentially important figure in the popularity of anime beyond the borders of Japan. Eventually, Carl Macek and Sandy Frank did the same for plenty of other shows, successfully establishing a pattern which was followed by animators over the next few years.
When these shows were released, only a handful of viewers got to realize that they had been heavily tweaked and altered to cater to the tastes of the Non-Japanese masses. In addition to redubbing the beginning in English, the entire movie itself was edited at times for removing the things that weren’t acceptable by the network censors. It took a long time to build an audience base that strongly demanded the originals of the shows they were watching.
The History of Anime: Diversification
When we discuss the history of anime, we cannot just miss out on the diversification. During the early seventies to the nineties, the massive popularity of television led to financial losses for the Japanese movie industry. This included both the live-action and the anime industry. Several animators who had exclusively in the films switched back to TV in a bid to meet its ever-growing pool of talent. This resulted in a period of extensive experimentation and expansion in terms of stylistics. This was also a period where the most common tropes of anime were developed and eventually coined.
The most relevant genres to evolve during this period is mecha or the kind of anime that exclusively dealt with huge robots and vehicles. One of the first instances of this anime was Tetsujin 28-go which unfolded the tale of a young boy and his personal, remote-controlled robot. Next in line were Mazinger Z, the iconic Space Battleship Yamato and the famous Mobile Suit Gundam.
The trend involving robots continued till the 2000s, with a host of famous mecha animes like RahZephon, Macross Frontier, Zegapain and others. The coolest aspect of these animes was their heavy reliance on robots and technologies. This was also the period where classic series like the Getter Robo and the Dancougar were remade. Either way, anime was widely received during this period, and the makers also ended up getting awarded for their feats in character design and production.
During the 2010s, the iconic Toonami block was relaunched as a famous adult and action-oriented block on the Adult Swim. This also brought uncut anime to a wider audience. But the makers didn’t just stop with the re-release of the older series. Instead, they went on to come up with plenty of other series like the Durarara, the Hunter X Hunter, Space Dandy, One punch man, and others.
The popularity of anime piqued when Netflix, Amazon Prime came into picture allowing people from any corner of the globe to consume the gripping content.
Now that you’ve read everything about the history of anime, we are certain that your questions on the subject have been completely resolved. Anime evolved for several years and came to be what it is today. Currently, more than 60% of the global animation content consumed is anime. It is popular for its graphics appeal, incredible storyline and realistic portrayal of characters. Since the makers are constantly working on new technologies, we can expect some major innovations in the anime industry over the next few years.
Check out our latest articles below about various topics in the anime industry. We share fun things like memes, quizzes, quotes, news, photos, cosplay and more.