Many of us find ourselves day dreaming about places far away from where we currently are. Anime is one of the few doors we have that give us a way to transport ourselves into the worlds where our wildest imaginations reside.
Today most people see anime only as a form of entertainment. However, like everything, anime has a history. Whilst it is great to sit down after a long hard day of work and immerse yourself in a world of your choice; it is also important to know things like where this form of entertainment came from and what it was inspired by.
Unlike normal cartoons, where people stop watching after a certain age, anime can be watched by anyone. Not to mention that the genres are never ending. Its just something for everyone.
Almost everybody knows that anime comes from Japan. However, it has a far longer history than you might think. In fact, anime was at the vanguard of Japan’s furious attempts to modernize in the early 20th century. As with much of Japan’s cultural output in the first decades of the 20th Century, animation from this time shows artists trying to incorporate traditional stories and motifs in a new modern form.
Did you know, the oldest surviving example of Japanese animation, Namakura Gatana (Blunt Sword), dates back to 1917, though much of the earliest animated movies were lost following a massive earthquake in Tokyo in 1923.
Whilst anime is not reality, like American cartoons,it is often based on and inspired by everyday Japanese life, this is one of the reasons as to why the two are so different. One of the most common type of series follow the trials of student life. As with many cultures, parents are a major motivational factor for their children. In American shows, parents usually serve as authority figures that appear once in a while to dole out advice and discipline. The protagonists usually spend some time trying to avoid talking to parents about whatever issues they are dealing with. In anime, characters seem to treat their elders more respectfully and are more likely to look to their parents for guidance, rather than acting and receiving "what have we learned from this experience" lectures from their parents at the resolution of a conflict. Hence what each represent is different.
Fun fact, whilst most anime are inspired by morals and historical stories, there are some that are just around so that the viewer laughs at its stupidity. The Japanese strongly believe that laughing leads to a healthier life. What better way to do so than by creating a ridiculous anime?!
On January 1, 1963, Fuji Television broadcasted a 30-minute animated television series called Tetsuwan Atomu (better known in English as Astro Boy). The show became a surprise hit, starting an anime boom and a period of intense competition for TV audiences. The success marked the beginning of a new kind of anime industry. This was the anime that caused the rest of the world to actually look at what was being created.
That is how anime started making its way into the world. So, i hope you enjoyed this page and I hope that the next time you sit down to relax with some anime, be it a high school drama, a sci-fiction or just some good old comedy; you realize, somewhere at the back of your mind that this simple world of cartoon, has more depth than the two dimensional lines in front of you.
Hey , maybe even pick up some Japanese ;3