‘Anime is a style of animation originated in Japan that is characterized by stark colorful graphics (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Japan’s animated outputs account for about 60% of the world’s animation. While many are fond of anime, not all of us know the history of anime. Let’s take a look at the historical background of anime.’
During late 1920’s and early 1930’s, Japanese government intimidates artists and publishers of comic strips because of the censorship in Japan. Many editors were put into jail, which results in companies having to hire “jail editors” that would take the blame for publishing a comic that criticized the government and went to jail. But after the World War II, cartoons flourished.
In 1947, a medical student named Osamu Tezuka released his first comic book entitled “Shin Takarajima” or the “New Treasure Island”. He also wrote with all sorts of genres. His ultimate work was the “Tetsuwan Atomu” or widely known as Astro Boy that was released last 1952.
In 1956, Hiroshi Okawa wanted to create a Japanese film studio that is comparable to Disney. So, he founded the Toei Animation. The first film that was released in 1958 was “The Tale of the White Serpent”.
In 1962, Osamu Tezuka founded his own animation company. He focused more on creating movies and series for TV. In 1963, “Tetsuwan Atomu” (Astro Boy) came out as a television series. It became the first real animated series for Japanese television. Astro Boy became a hit anime series. It was even premiered on NBC stations and all over the US.
Tezuka released more anime series such as “Hi No Tori” or Bird of Fire. Many recognized the unique style and approach of Tezuka. After Astro Boy’s success, other artists, inspired by him, began drawing to suit their own ideas of this up and coming art form. Leiji Matsumoto, whose new designs that were based on a French singer, motivated other artists to create new styles of anime during the 1970’s.
Anime continue to entertain not only kids but also adults. It has different genres that anyone can choose from ranging from romance, comedy, action, horror to sexual themes. The graphics and designs continue to evolve and depict the unique styles of each artist.