History of Japan Anime Culture

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The anime industry is hugh, but it wasn't always. Anime didn't start till the early 1900’s, and it didn't become “popular” until the 1980’s. Dragon Ball is the most well known anime but is often called a cartoon. Now anime is a lot more popular than in the 80’s and 90’s. They now even have words for anime enthusiast; weeb, and otaku.

The first animated film was released for public viewing in 1917. It was only black and white, there was no color. The short film was made with chalk and it didn't even laast for five minutes. It was made by Shimokawa Oten when he was only 25. He passed away on May 26th, 1973 at the ripe old age of 81. Shimokawa was born in Maiyakojima Prefecture in 1892, though moved to Tokyo when we was 9.

The first colored animated film was in September 3rd, 1958. It was called Hakujaden The Tale of the White Serpent and lasted 1 hour and 19 minutes. The Director was Taiji Yabushita and the company that produced it was Toei Animation. Toei Animation was also the very first animation studio. It was created in January 23rd, 1948. It is still around today.

The first animated series, aired from May 1, 1961 to January 25th, 1964 called Instant History/Otogi Manga Calendar, was aired from May 1, 1961 to January 25th, 1964. There were two seasons, the first season was called Instant History, it had 312 episodes. The second season was called Otogi Manga Calendar, it also had 312 episodes. Every episode was about 5 minutes in length

Kyoto Animation is the most well known animation studio, it was founded in 1981 and established in 1985 and it burned down on July 18th, 2019. It killed 33 people and wounded many more, including the arson; Shinji Aoba. They say the motive may of been revenge for allegedly stolen ideas.

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There are many different types and genres of anime. The different types or demographics, of anime include shonen, seinen, shojo, josei, and kodomomuke. Shonen means “few years” often refers to young boys under the age of 15. Most of the anime that falls under shonen have young male heros and are mostly action, adventure, and some fighting. However some of the anime in this category can have their fair share of fanservice and some comedy as well. Some well known examples include; Dragon Ball, Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Watamote and Attack on Titan.

Seinen refers to young men between the ages of 15 to 24. Seinen anime can be pretty violent and/or psychological, but not always. There are also, but not as much, comedy as well. Seinen anime also has many risque series bt it is not the focus of the series. Some more known examples are; Berserk, Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Hellsing, and Gantz.

The female version of shonen anime is shojo anime. Just like shonen, shojo means “young” but, “young girl” instead of “young boy”. The age this anime group is aimed for is young girls, ages 10 to 18. These anime tend to be more romance and interpersonal relationships. This doesn't mean that it is without action or adventure. Most shojo anime always have a female lead. Many male homosexual love stories fall into this category. Popular works include; NANA, Sailor Moon, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Fushigi Yuugi, and Ouran High School Host Club.

Another type of anime is josei. This type of anime is tailored to adult women. They often are slice-of-life or romantic anime with adult women. Shonen action and adventures have become very popular in the last few years. Josei anime can also cover dark subjects like rape and infidelity. The ones that have male leads instead of female usually have a pretty-boy and they are often homosexual. Popular josei series include; Loveless, Paradise Kiss, Honey and Clover, 07-Ghost, and Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist.

The last type of anime is kodomomuke. This category literally means “directed at children.” These works tend to be simple, imaginative works that teach the viewers morals and values. Popular children’s series include; Doraemon, Hello Kitty, Chibi Maruko-chan, Heidi, Girl of the Alps, Anne of Green Gables, and Anpanman.

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History of Japan Anime Culture. (2022, November 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 20, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/history-of-japan-anime-culture/
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History of Japan Anime Culture [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Nov 25 [cited 2024 May 20]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/history-of-japan-anime-culture/
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