Home » history of design » Anime


Looking at the history of anime we see that anime only started in the beginning of the 20th century.  Japanese filmmakers experimented with animation techniques that were first explored with in the West.  In the 1970’s, anime developed further and separated from the Western roots by developing unique genres such as Mecha.  In the 1980’s anime was accepted in the mainstream of production and in the 1900’s and early 2000’s anime had an increased acceptance in the world’s markets.  The earliest known anime was produced in 1907. It consists of fifty frames drawn onto a strip of celluloid.  The creator is still unknown and it doesn’t have a title.  The first popular anime series was Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy in 1963.

Anime can be defined in many different ways in terms of how people interpret it.  Anime is a Japanese style of motion-picture animation, characterized by highly stylized, colorful art, futuristic settings, violence and sexuality.  It is also defined as a style of animation originating in Japan that is characterized by colorful graphics depicting vibrant characters in action-filled plots with fantastic or futuristic themes.  What is important is that the Japanese use the word Anime to refer to all animation and this makes it easy to understand how Anime still has an influence on Western design today.  Anime is Japanese-inspired but not necessarily Japanese.  Japanese see “Beauty and the beast” and “Flinstones” as anime which brings me to how I see anime in our lives today.


As far as I am concerned anime was only popular in Japan when it was discovered and first designed.  Today anime is famous all over the world and even though it is in the Japanese language they are now designed with sub titles so that anyone can follow the story.  Anime is not only the Japanese form of designs and stories it can also be seen as all the other animation that is going on. Anime is the root of animation.  Today animation is clever designed because for children it is nice to look at and to see all the characters and funny things they do but the humour in animation story telling is sometimes very clever and makes it interesting for adults to watch animation with their kids.  Animation is not only in cinema, I-max or on television, it is part of books, gaming and advertising.  Animation is used all over the world for great entertainment and will remain a part of our present lives and will also form the future.

Japanese animation has its roots in Manga or Japanese comics which I will discuss in my next post.


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