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Anime Research Project

The History of Anime

Types of Anime
In the U.S.
An Underlying Theme
Works Cited
Long Enough

"Astro Boy"

"Kimba the White Lion"

            To put to rest a common misconception, anime is not new! It dates as far back as 1917, when three five minute films were made by three individuals.  These films started as dramatizations of Oriental folk tales and were told with Japanese artistic devises.  Anime has progressed much as live-action film has.  It went from the silent/ black and white era to animated talkies such as Chikaro To Onna No Yononaka in 1932, the first anime talkie.  It was not until 1955 that anime had its first full-color movie, Kimba the White Lion (Patten). 

            At the beginning of the 1930’s, anime began to take on a Western feel with its fast-paced comedy.  These films started to reflect the militaries influence in Japan.  In fact, the first animated feature, Momotaro's Gods-Blessed Sea Warriors, featured the Imperial Navy in animal form and was paid for by Japan’s Imperial military government.  After this, the economy suffered a blow, causing the growth of anime to suffer (Patten).

             In 1947, when Osamu Tezuka began animating films and writing manga, anime began to become popular.  Also known as the “God of Manga”, Tezuka’s style of anime is still commonly used today.  He relied heavily upon Western influences such as Walt Disney for his basic design of characters and backgrounds.  In the 1950’s a man named Hiroshi Okawa created the “Disney” of Japan, the Toei Film Company.  Another famous company was founded by none other than Tezuka, called Mushi Productions, and responsible for the aforementioned Kimba.  With the 80’s came many of the common dramas popular in today’s anime.  Mech became popular in America, paving the way for other anime series.  The birth of popular anime such as Dragon Ball Z came around this time as well.  Also, the beginnings of hintai anime began around this time, even though it was not at first allowed within America (McCarter).

            Many ideas for anime series come from manga or other forms of Japanese comics.  One example of this is Nausicaš of the Valley of Wind.  This was originally a comic drawn by Hayau Miyazaki for a popular magazine called Animage.  Original examples of this come from some of the first anime, like Astro Boy.  After this, around 1984, OVA became a very popular form of anime and the most commonly found in America.  Currently, anime uses Hollywood conventions of filmmaking such as its camera work and mise-en-scene.  Anime characters are also often used in Japan as a form of advertisement.  Anime sometimes retells other stories that were live-action, such as Metropolis fashioned after Fritz Lang's silent film (Patten).

"Nausicaš of the Valley of Wind"

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