The rise of anime

Japanese anime productions, simply known as anime, short for animation in Japanese, have been rising in popularity in recent years all over the world. One of the reasons for this rise is certainly the continuous development of computer technology with new editing software and methods of creating art. Today, it is quite difficult to find a person, at least among the younger generations, who has never heard of anime. When asked, a lot of people would name some of the mainstream anime like Dragon Ball Z, Naruto Shippuden, Death Note, Bleach, Pokemon… the list goes on.

The creation of anime was not so easy in the beginning and there have been some quite difficult periods in the development of anime productions.

The first anime

As you can guess, the first anime movie was released in Japan. It was done in late 1916 or early 1917 by a man named Shimokawa Oten. The first anime was made with chalk and it lasted for less than five minutes, which is much shorter compared to today’s anime movies. Having in mind that this was a century ago, it was a promising start.

Flimsy beginnings

The creation of anime was quite difficult in the beginning for a few reasons. First of all, the practice of making anime was not so common. Then, the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 brought about the destruction of Japanese theaters and studios, so fewer and fewer anime movies were created. After that, World War 2 broke out and the practice of creating anime was on the verge of disappearing. On top of all of that, all the early anime films were printed on extremely unendurable and flammable nitrocellulose, so preserving them was not an easy task.

The savior of anime

In the 1930s and 1940s, there was a high rise in technology. Despite low funding and destroyed studios in the war, anime movies kept being produced thanks to Kenzo Masaoka. He was the first to create anime movies with voiceovers, called talkies, in 1932, after just one year of work. The first such anime was titled Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka, which means Within the World of Power and Women. It is a story about a man having an affair with his secretary after growing tired of his domineering wife.

The rise of the anime industry

After the war finally ended, the production of anime started spiking in the 1950s thanks to Toei Animation, a Japanese animation studio part of Toei Company. Their first release was Hakujaden, meaning Panda and the Magic Serpent also known as The Tale of the White Serpent.The anime was released in 1958 and it lasted for 78 minutes, which was undoubtedly a huge spike compared to the first 5-minute anime.

The anime industry continued growing in the 1960s thanks to television. The earliest aired anime was Mogura no Aventure, Mole’s Adventure, which was in color and lasted for nine minutes. The spike in art in the 1970s contributed to the rise of anime as well, leading to the Golden Age of Anime in the 1980s, when Dragon Ball first appeared.

Despite a slowdown in anime production in the 1990s, we have reached the time when the technology and passion of anime creators are more than enough to keep us satisfied with new anime movies for many years to come. 

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