The History of Anime
In 1914, Japan’s cartoonists first began to do experimentations on animated motion pictures. They were trying to create their own version of a cartoon. They wanted to have the Japanese ink style, but at the same time assimilate to technology. Kitayama Seitaro was the first to be successful with Momotaro in 1918. Chikara To Onna No Yononoka was also released by Seitaro before WWII in 1932. Seitaro could be called the father of anime. He not only created the first animation film successfully, but set up the road for future animation artists.
After WWII in 1948, Toei was the first animation production company to be completely devoted to the animtaion entertainment in Japan. Soon to follow was the artist Osamu Tezuka, basically the Father of Manga. He is the creator of such works as Astro Boy, Buddha, Kimba the White Lion, and so many more classic anime favorites. He adapted his style from Dishney art, being a fan of the films himself. Later it would be disputed that Disney stole the story line of Kimba the White Lion (a whole story by itself!).
With companies and artists such as these, anime and manga were quickly to rise. Over the years, anime’s such as, Dragonball (Akira Toriyama), Gundam and other famous mecha series, Sailor Moon, Rurouni Kenshin, and so much more have put a place in our hearts. Miyazaki set a new level of animation when he came along with Ghibli Studios. When television became a hit over in Japan, anime became a daily program.
The Adult 70s
The Explosive 80s
The 1980s was a big decade for anime. At that time it became explosive and even started to head over more to the United States. Two big animation companies came out of the 80s that changed anime: Studio Ghibli and Gainax.
Gainax was founded by Toshio Okada. He gathered a group of creators that were the first generation to grow up with anime. Otaku no Video was their first, followed by the masterpiece Oneamitsu No Tsubasa Oritsu Uchu Gun (The Wings of Honneamise). Gainax was able to establish itself as the leader of episodic sci-fi when it produced Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Studio Ghibli was the creation of Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki. Both men were directors on Lupin back in 1971. They also worked together on Future Boy Conan. It was not until 1978 that Miyazaki created his first of many significant and anime changing films, Castle if Cagliostro. Takahata was also involved in many of Miyazaki’s films, but more so behind the scenes. Between the two creative genius, Studio Ghibli has become one of the biggest anime film studios.
The America 90s
Anime became really popular in America in the 90s. With popular anime’s such as DBZ, Sailor Moon, and Pokemon, Americans accepted anime into their homes.
Toonami is probably the biggest thing to young American children at this time. Starting out with Moltar (from Space Ghost) as the host, anime became a popular genre on Cartoon Network. Eventually they created their own host, Tom, whom everyone knows. Anime’s such as Rurouni Kenshin, Ronin Warriors, many of Miyazaki’s films, and so many more have touched our hearts through Tom.
Soon another time block was opened for more mature anime on Cartoon Network called Adult Swim. Such famous shows like Cowboy Bebop(possibly having the most anime reruns on Cartoon Network) have been aired. Kids would stay up late to see these unedited an great shows.
As the 90s came to a close, anime took a dive in America. It was still popular, but only on an underground level. It seemed as if many people were tired or outgrew anime altogether. But that time would soon pass in the 2000s.
An art movement had occurred in Japan made by Takashi Murakami. He created the style called Superflat, in which he analyses post war Japanese culture. The only difference is, it’s the view of an otaku during that era. Many anime artists were inspired and influenced by him.
Neon Genesis Evangelion also became a popular trend in anime and anime style. RahXephon was an anime that was touched by the trend and even tried its own trend by bringing back 70s mecha style. Tokyo Mew Mew also brought back the magical girl genre. It seems as though many anime genres are being revived. Gundam SEED revive the whole robot genre in 2002.
Not only are genres being revived, adapting manga’s has also become very popular again. Adaptions of light novels are also popular. A very popular one at the moment is SAO. Not many people knew it was originally a twelve volume light novel series.