The History of Anime – Where Did Anime Start?
Are you interested in Japanese filmmaking, have you ever wondered, while watching their anime, drama or manga, where it all started? Anime first started off in Japan in the 20th century briefly after the boarders were opened in the late 19th. This made the animation techniques that developed in the West easy to transport to Japan by 1914. “The very first three animated films created in Japan fit on one reel and were between one to five minutes long.”(Patten) The content of these works were primarily of old folk tales and samurai legends. Japanese animators were greatly influenced by American animators so the black and white style was a must but the rounded heads and animal adaptations of people was Japan’s first signature to making a style all to their own.
Many animators were urged to produce animations which enforced the Japanese spirit and national affiliation as a result of cultural nationalism, that japanese government began to enforce. Anime started to gain more appeal. The one to five minute shorts about common folk tales gave way to a more Western like style. The change in style meant that Anime was now going in a comedic fashion used to lighten people’s moods on intense topics like war.
In 1970 Anime introduced its most popular style of work yet: Mecha. Mecha, which is short for mechanical, involved large robots that were used in times of war. Also a theme variation started to show itself through Anime. Writers began to twist the good guy/bad guy roles and relationships. The idea of a troubled hero presented itself in shows like Lupin Sansei where a human infected with a demon had to use the evil inside him to defeat other demons.