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Anime today, one of the most popular entertainment forms to sweep the world, has affected many people all over the world. Even though these cartoons are Japanese, over the years, they have been adopted by many other countries. Being an otaku (fan) of anime is taken very serious by most, attending conventions all over the country and painstakingly strive to make costumes exactly like the characters they admire in the anime they watch. How these cartons originated and their history is not always known to some otaku, but it is a vital factor in forming what most know as anime today.
The very earliest forms of anime are not specifically know. Some say that it came from Chinese Shadow Play,other say that it originated from the early forms of Manga, Japanese comics, which consists of Pictures on temple walls and woodblock printing, and some say both. However it started, we do know that the first documented animated movie in Japan to be shown to the public was displayed at the theater Kabukiza and was called “Tekugukan”. The first know anime was discovered in 2005 and made in 1907 and it consisted of fifty frames. Most other films made at this time have not survived long enough to be found and preserved, mainly because after they were shown in theaters, they were sold to smaller theaters, then sold a individual strips or frames.
From 1900 to 1910 the animation industry grew in both size and technologically and more the works of this time period were salvaged. Some of them most famous animators during this time, Shimokawa Oten, Kouchi Jun’ichi, and Kitayama Seitaro, maintained their own animation studios and took on apprentices. Shimokawa Oten was a artist for various magazines and drew political caricatures. He was hired by Tenkatsu to make cartoons but was only capable of completing five movies before his health failed. Kouchi Jun’ichi’s films are know as technological advances in Japanese cartoons. He first studied watercolor and then was hired as a cartoonist and he made fifteen films in all. Finally, Kitayama Seitaro, was a cartoonist who worked with chalkboard animation, which was not very successful, and then later started working with paper animation. Since these great animators had studios, new animators were born from the time period, growing the art of anime is a whole. Murato Yosuji, Kimura Hakuzan, Yamamoto Sanae, and Ofuji Noboro were some of Seitaro’s students that went on to be animators in later years.
During 1920 to 1940, anime was used for different means than entertainment. The first youth protection laws were passed in the twenties and animators started making educational cartoons. When World War II started, animation was used by the government as propaganda and gain the people’s support. During the war the government only hired a handful of cartoonists, the others were banned from their line of work, and the cartoonists hired were used to fight against the enemies of Japan in WWII.
After the war, the country was focused on rebuilding their country and pulling it out of the swamp it had fallen into during the war. During this time, the animation industry did not flourish exceedingly in Japan. In the 1960s however, it was replenished by the works of Osamu Tezuka. these works are the next big landmark in the history of Anime. When Tezuka revealed his work, Tetsuwan Atomu, in 1963, Japan was still in the economic crises that followed the war. Because of this, it was a brave for Tezuka to publish his story, but ultimately, this anime helped people have hope, unite them, and help them to somewhat take their minds off the troubles of that time. Osamu Tezuka went on to make many more anime that swept the country and went on to shape other countries as well, including Hi No Tori and Kimba the White Lion.
Even though anime still had a way to go, it had been established firmly in many countries and in the years to follow, it would change the lives of many people. It has become something that brings people from all over the world together to share their interests.
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