The history of anime can be traced back to the start of the 20th century, with the earliest verifiable films dating from 1917.
The first generation of animators in the late 1910s included Ōten Shimokawa, Jun'ichi Kōuchi and Seitaro Kitayama, commonly referred to as the "fathers" of anime. Propaganda films, such as Momotarō no Umiwashi (1943) and Momotarō: Umi no Shinpei (1945), the latter being the first anime feature film, were made during World War II. During the 1970s, anime developed further, with the inspiration of Disney animators, separating itself from its Western roots, and developing distinct genres such as mecha and its super robot subgenre. Typical shows from this period include Astro Boy, Lupin III and Mazinger Z. During this period several filmmakers became famous, especially Hayao Miyazaki and Mamoru Oshii.
In the 1980s, anime became mainstream in Japan, experiencing a boom in production with the rise in popularity of anime like Gundam, Macross, Dragon Ball, and genres such as real robot, space opera and cyberpunk. Space Battleship Yamato and The Super Dimension Fortress Macross also achieved worldwide success after being adapted respectively as Star Blazers and Robotech.
The film Akira set records in 1988 for the production costs of an anime film and went on to become an international success. Later, in 2004, the same creators produced Steamboy, which took over as the most expensive anime film. Spirited Away shared the first prize at the 2002 Berlin Film Festival and won the 2003 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, while Innocence: Ghost in the Shell was featured at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
According to Natsuki Matsumoto, the first animated film produced in Japan may have stemmed from as early as 1907. Known as Katsudō Shashin (活動写真, "Activity Photo"), from its depiction of a boy in a sailor suit drawing the characters for katsudō shashin, the film was first found in 2005. It consists of fifty frames stencilled directly onto a strip of celluloid. This claim has not been verified though and predates the first known showing of animated films in Japan. The date and first film publicly displayed is another source of contention: while no Japanese-produced animation is definitively known to date before 1917, the possibility exists that other films entered Japan and that no known records have surfaced to prove a showing prior to 1912. Film titles have surfaced over the years, but none have been proven to predate this year. The first foreign animation is known to have been found in Japan in 1910, but it is not clear if the film was ever shown in a cinema or publicly displayed at all. Yasushi Watanabe found a film known as Fushigi no Bōrudo (不思議のボールド, "Miracle Board") in the records of the Yoshizawa Shōten (吉沢商店) company. The description matches James Blackton's Humorous Phases of Funny Faces, though academic consensus on whether or not this is a true animated film is disputed. According to Kyokko Yoshiyama, the first animated film called Nippāru no Henkei (ニッパールの変形, "Nippāru's Transformation") was shown in Japan at the Asakusa Teikokukan (浅草帝国館) in Tokyo sometime in 1911. Yoshiyama did not refer to the film as "animation" though. The first confirmed animated film shown in Japan was Les Exploits de Feu Follet by Émile Cohl on April 15, 1912. While speculation and other "trick films" have been found in Japan, it is the first recorded account of a public showing of a two-dimensional animated film in Japanese cinema. During this time, German animations marketed for home release were distributed in Japan.
Few complete animations made during the beginnings of Japanese animation have survived. The reasons vary, but many are of commercial nature. After the clips had been run, reels (being property of the cinemas) were sold to smaller cinemas in the country and then disassembled and sold as strips or single frames. The first anime that was produced in Japan was made sometime in 1917, but there it is disputed which title was the first to get that honour. It has been confirmed that Dekobō Shingachō: Meian no Shippai (凸坊新画帳・名案の失敗, "Bumpy New Picture Book: Failure of a Great Plan") was made sometime during February 1917. At least two unconfirmed titles were reported to have been made the previous month.
The first anime short-films were made by three leading figures in the industry. Ōten Shimokawa was a political caricaturist and cartoonist who worked for the magazine Tokyo Puck. He was hired by Tenkatsu to do an animation for them. Due to medical reasons, he was only able to do five movies, including Imokawa Mukuzo Genkanban no Maki (1917), before he returned to his previous work as a cartoonist. Another prominent animator in this period was Jun'ichi Kōuchi. He was a caricaturist and painter, who also had studied watercolour painting. In 1912, he also entered the cartoonist sector and was hired for an animation by Kobayashi Shokai later in 1916. He is viewed as the most technically advanced Japanese animator of the 1910s. His works include around 15 movies. The third was Seitaro Kitayama, an early animator who made animations on his own and was not hired by larger corporations. He eventually founded his own animation studio, the Kitayama Eiga Seisakujo, which was later closed due to lack of commercial success. He utilized the chalkboard technique, and later paper animation, with and without pre-printed backgrounds. The works of these two latter pioneers include Namakura Gatana ("An Obtuse Sword", 1917) and a 1918 film Urashima Tarō which were believed to have been discovered together at an antique market in 2007. However, this Urashima Tarō was later proved to most likely be a different film of the same story than the 1918 one by Kitayama, which, as of October 2017, remains undiscovered.
Yasuji Murata, Hakuzan Kimura, Sanae Yamamoto and Noburō Ōfuji were students of Kitayama Seitaro and worked at his film studio. Kenzō Masaoka, another important animator, worked at a smaller animation studio. In 1923, the Great Kantō earthquake destroyed most of the Kitayama studio and the residing animators spread out and founded studios of their own.
Prewar animators faced several difficulties. First, they had to compete with foreign producers such as Disney, which were influential on both audiences and producers. Foreign films had already made a profit abroad and could be undersold in the Japanese market, priced lower than what domestic producers needed to break even. Japanese animators thus had to work cheaply, in small companies with only a handful of employees, which then made it difficult to compete in terms of quality with foreign product that was in color, with sound, and promoted by much bigger companies. Until the mid-1930s, Japanese animation generally used cutout animation instead of cel animation because the celluloid was too expensive. This resulted in animation that could seem derivative, flat (since motion forward and backward was difficult) and without detail. But just as postwar Japanese animators were able to turn limited animation into a plus, so masters such as Yasuji Murata and Noburō Ōfuji were able to perform wonders with cutout animation.
Animators such as Kenzō Masaoka and Mitsuyo Seo, however, did attempt to bring Japanese animation up to the level of foreign work by introducing cel animation, sound, and technology such as the multiplane camera. Masaoka created the first talkie anime, Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka, released in 1933, and the first anime made entirely using cel animation, The Dance of the Chagamas (1934). Seo was the first to use the multiplane camera in Ari-chan in 1941.
Such innovations, however, were difficult to support purely commercially, so prewar animation depended considerably on sponsorship, as animators often concentrated on making PR films for companies, educational films for the government, and eventually works of propaganda for the military. During this time, censorship and school regulations discouraged film-viewing by children, so anime which could possess educational value were supported and encouraged by the Monbusho (the Ministry of Education). This proved important for producers that had experienced obstacles releasing their work in regular theaters. Animation had found a place in scholastic, political and industrial use.
In the 1930s, the Japanese government began enforcing cultural nationalism. This also lead to a strict censorship and control of published media. Many animators were urged to produce animations which enforced the Japanese spirit and national affiliation. Some movies were shown in newsreel theaters, especially after the Film Law of 1939 promoted documentary and other educational films. Such support helped boost the industry, as bigger companies formed through mergers and prompted major live-action studios such as Shochiku to begin producing animation. It was at Shochiku that such masterworks as Kenzō Masaoka's Kumo to Chūrippu were produced. Wartime reorganization of the industry, however, merged the feature film studios into three big companies.
More animated films were commissioned by the military, showing the sly, quick Japanese people winning against enemy forces. In 1941, Princess Iron Fan was made in China, as Asia's first full-length animated feature. In 1943, Geijutsu Eigasha produced Mitsuyo Seo's Momotaro's Sea Eagles with help from the Navy. Shochiku then made Japan's first full-length animated feature, Seo's Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors in 1945, again with the help of the Navy.
In 1948, Toei Animation was founded and produced the first color anime feature film in 1958, Hakujaden (The Tale of the White Serpent, 1958). It was released in the US in 1961 as Panda and the Magic Serpent. After the success of the project, Toei released a new feature-length animation annually.:101
Toei's style was characterized by an emphasis on each animator bringing his own ideas to the production. The most extreme example of this is Isao Takahata's film Hols: Prince of the Sun (1968). Hols is often seen as the first major break from the normal anime style and the beginning of a later movement of "auteuristic" or "progressive anime" which would eventually involve directors such as Hayao Miyazaki (creator of Spirited Away) and Mamoru Oshii.
A major contribution of Toei's style to modern anime was the development of the "money shot". This cost-cutting method of animation allows for emphasis to be placed on important shots by animating them with more detail than the rest of the work (which would often be limited animation). Toei animator Yasuo Ōtsuka began to experiment with this style and developed it further as he went into television. In the 1980s, Toei would later lend its talent to companies like Sunbow Productions, Marvel Productions, DiC Entertainment, Murakami-Wolf-Swenson, Ruby Spears and Hanna Barbera, producing several animated cartoons for America during this period. Other studios like TMS Entertainment, were also being used in the 1980s, which lead to Asian studios being used more often to animate foreign productions, but the companies involved still produced anime for their native Japan.
Osamu Tezuka established Mushi Production in 1961, after Tezuka's contract with Toei Animation expired. The studio pioneered TV animation in Japan, and was responsible for such successful TV series as Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, Gokū no Daibōken and Princess Knight.
Mushi Production also produced the first anime to be broadcast in the United States (on NBC in 1963), although Osamu Tezuka would complain about the restrictions on US television, and the alterations necessary for broadcast.
The 1960s brought anime to television and in America. The first anime film to be broadcast was Three Tales in 1960. The following year saw the premiere of Japan's first animated television series, Instant History, although it did not consist entirely of animation.:90 Osamu Tezuka's Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy) is often miscredited as the first anime television series, premiering on January 1, 1963. Astro Boy was highly influential to other anime in the 1960s, and was followed by a large number of anime about robots or space.
1963 introduced Sennin Buraku as the first "late night" anime and Toei Doga's first anime television series Wolf Boy Ken. Mushi Pro continued to produce more anime television and met success with titles such as Kimba the White Lion in 1965. What is noted as the first magical girl anime, Sally the Witch, began broadcast in 1966. The original Speed Racer anime television began in 1967, and was brought to the West with great success. At the same time, an anime adaptation of Tezuka's Princess Knight aired, making it one of very few shoujo anime of the decade. The first anime adaptation of Shotaro Ishinomori's manga Cyborg 009 was created in 1968, following the film adaptation two years prior.
The long-running Sazae-san anime also began in 1969 and continues today with excess of 6,500 episodes broadcast as of 2014. With an audience share of 25% the series is still the most-popular anime broadcast.:725
During the 1970s, the Japanese film market shrank due to competition from television. This reduced Toei animation's staff and many animators went to studios such as A Pro and Telecom animation. Mushi Production went bankrupt (though the studio was revived 4 years later), its former employees founding studios such as Madhouse and Sunrise. Many young animators were thrust into the position of director, and the injection of young talent allowed for a wide variety of experimentation. One of the earliest successful television productions in the early 1970s was Tomorrow's Joe (1970), a boxing anime which has become iconic in Japan. 1971 saw the first installment of the Lupin III anime. Contrary to the franchise's currently popularity, the first series ran for 23 episodes before being cancelled. The second series (starting in 1977) saw considerably more success, spanning 155 episodes over three years.
Another example of this experimentation is Isao Takahata's 1974 television series Heidi, Girl of the Alps. This show was originally a hard sell because it was a simple realistic drama aimed at children, and most TV networks thought children needed something more fantastic to draw them in. Heidi was an international success, popular in many European countries, and so successful in Japan that it allowed for Hayao Miyazaki and Takahata to start a series of literary-based anime (World Masterpiece Theater). Miyazaki and Takahata left Nippon Animation in the late 1970s. Two of Miyazaki's critically acclaimed productions during the 1970s were Future Boy Conan (1978) and Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979).
During this period, Japanese animation reached continental Europe with productions aimed at European and Japanese children, with the most-pronounced examples being the aforementioned Heidi but also Barbapapa and Vicky the Vikings. Italy, Spain and France grew an interest in Japan's output, which was offered for a low price.
Another genre known as mecha came into being at this time. Some early works include Mazinger Z (1972–1974), Science Ninja Team Gatchaman (1972–1974), Space Battleship Yamato (1974–75) and Mobile Suit Gundam (1979–80).
As a contrast to the action-oriented shows, shows for a female audience such as Candy Candy and Rose of Versailles earned high popularity on Japanese television and later in other parts of the world.
By 1978, over fifty shows were aired on television.
The shift towards space operas became more pronounced with the commercial success of Star Wars (1977). This allowed for the space opera Space Battleship Yamato (1974) to be revived as a theatrical film. Mobile Suit Gundam (1979) was also unsuccessful and revived as a theatrical film in 1982. The success of the theatrical versions of Yamato and Gundam is seen as the beginning of the anime boom of the 1980s, and of "Japanese Cinema's Second Golden Age".
A subculture in Japan, whose members later called themselves otaku, began to develop around animation magazines such as Animage and Newtype. These magazines formed in response to the overwhelming fandom that developed around shows such as Yamato and Gundam in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
In the United States, the popularity of Star Wars had a similar, though much smaller, effect on the development of anime. Gatchaman was reworked and edited into Battle of the Planets in 1978 and again as G-Force in 1986. Space Battleship Yamato was reworked and edited into Star Blazers in 1979. The Macross series began with The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1982), which was adapted into English as the first arc of Robotech (1985), which was created from three separate anime titles: The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeada. The sequel to Mobile Suit Gundam, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985), became the most successful real robot space opera in Japan, where it managed an average television rating of 6.6% and a peak of 11.7%.
The otaku subculture became more pronounced with Mamoru Oshii's adaptation of Rumiko Takahashi's popular manga Urusei Yatsura (1981). Yatsura made Takahashi a household name and Oshii would break away from fan culture and take a more auteuristic approach with his 1984 film Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer. This break with the otaku subculture would allow Oshii to experiment further.
The otaku subculture had some effect on people who were entering the industry around this time. The most famous of these people were the amateur production group Daicon Films which would become Gainax. Gainax began by making films for the Daicon science fiction conventions and were so popular in the otaku community that they were given a chance to helm the biggest-budgeted anime film (at that time), Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (1987).
One of the most-influential anime of all time, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), was made during this period. The film gave extra prestige to anime allowing for many experimental and ambitious projects to be funded shortly after its release. It also allowed director Hayao Miyazaki and his longtime colleague Isao Takahata to create their own studio under the supervision of former Animage editor Toshio Suzuki. This studio would become known as Studio Ghibli and its first film was Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986), one of Miyazaki's most-ambitious films.
The success of Dragon Ball (1986) introduced the martial arts genre and became incredibly influential in the Japanese Animation industry. It influenced many more martial arts anime and manga series' including YuYu Hakusho (1990), One Piece (1999), and Naruto (2002).
The 1980s brought anime to the home video market in the form of original video animation (OVA). The first OVA was Mamoru Oshii's Dallos (1983–1984). Shows such as Patlabor had their beginnings in this market and it proved to be a way to test less-marketable animation against audiences. The OVA allowed for the release of pornographic anime such as Cream Lemon (1984); the first hentai OVA was actually the little-known Wonder Kids studio's Lolita Anime, also released in 1984.
The 1980s also saw the amalgamation of anime with video games. The airing of Red Photon Zillion (1987) and subsequent release of its companion game, is considered to have been a marketing ploy by Sega to promote sales of their newly released Master System in Japan.
Sports anime, as it is now known, made its debut in 1983 with an anime adaptation of Yoichi Takahashi's soccer manga Captain Tsubasa, which became the first worldwide successful sports anime. Its themes and stories were a formula that would be used in many sports series that followed, such as Slam Dunk, Prince of Tennis and Eyeshield 21.
The late 1980s saw an increasing number of high-budget and experimental films. In 1985, Toshio Suzuki helped put together funding for Oshii's experimental film Angel's Egg (1985). Theatrical releases became more ambitious, each film trying to outclass or outspend its predecessors, taking cues from Nausicaä's popular and critical success. Night on the Galactic Railroad (1985), Tale of Genji (1986), and Grave of the Fireflies (1988) were all ambitious films based on important literary works in Japan. Films such as Char's Counterattack (1988) and Arion (1986) were lavishly budgeted spectacles. This period of lavish budgeting and experimentation would reach its zenith with two of the most-expensive anime film productions ever: Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise (1987) and Akira (1988). Studio Ghibli's Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) was the top-grossing film for 1989, earning over $40 million at the box office.
Despite the commercial failure of Akira in Japan, it brought with it a much larger international fan base for anime. When shown overseas, the film became a cult hit and, eventually, a symbol of the medium for the West. The domestic failure and international success of Akira, combined with the bursting of the bubble economy and Osamu Tezuka's death in 1989, brought a close to the 1980s era of anime.
In 1995, Hideaki Anno wrote and directed the controversial anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. This show became popular in Japan among anime fans and became known to the general public through mainstream media attention. It is believed that Anno originally wanted the show to be the ultimate otaku anime, designed to revive the declining anime industry, but midway through production he also made it into a heavy critique of the subculture. It culminated in the successful but controversial film The End of Evangelion which grossed over $10 million in 1997. The many violent and sexual scenes in Evangelion caused TV Tokyo to increase censorship of anime content. As a result, when Cowboy Bebop was first broadcast in 1998, it was shown heavily edited and only half the episodes were aired; it too gained heavy popularity both in and outside of Japan.
Evangelion started a series of so-called "post-Evangelion" or "organic" mecha shows. Most of these were giant robot shows with some kind of religious or complex plot. These include RahXephon, Brain Powerd, and Gasaraki. It also led to late-night experimental anime shows. Starting with Serial Experiments Lain (1998), late night became a forum for experimental anime such as Boogiepop Phantom (2000), Texhnolyze (2003) and Paranoia Agent (2004). Experimental anime films were also released in the 1990s, most notably the cyberpunk thriller Ghost in the Shell (1995), which had a strong influence on The Matrix. Ghost in the Shell, alongside Evangelion and the neo-noir space western Cowboy Bebop, helped further increase the awareness of anime in international markets.
The late 1990s also saw a brief revival of the super robot genre that had decreased in popularity due to the rise of real robot and psychological mecha shows like Gundam, Macross, and Evangelion. The revival of the super robot genre began with Brave Exkaiser in 1990, and led to remakes and sequels of 1970s super robot shows like Getter Robo Go and Tetsujin-28 go FX. There were very few popular super robot shows produced after this, until Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann in 2007.
Alongside its super robot counterpart, the real robot genre was also declining during the 1990s. Though several Gundam shows were produced during this decade, very few of them were successful. The only Gundam shows in the 1990s which managed an average television rating over 4% in Japan were Mobile Fighter G Gundam (1994) and New Mobile Report Gundam Wing (1995). It wasn't until Mobile Suit Gundam SEED in 2002 that the real robot genre regained its popularity.
By 1998, over one hundred anime shows were aired on television in Japan, including a popular series based on the Pokémon video game franchise. Other 1990s anime series which gained international success were Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, and Digimon; the success of these shows brought international recognition to the martial arts superhero genre, the magical girl genre, and the action-adventure genre, respectively. In particular, Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon were dubbed into more than a dozen languages worldwide. Another large success was the anime One Piece, based on the best-selling manga of all time, which is still ongoing.
In 1997, Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke became the most-expensive anime film up until that time, costing $20 million to produce. Miyazaki personally checked each of the 144,000 cels in the film, and is estimated to have redrawn parts of 80,000 of them.
The "Evangelion-era" trend continued into the 2000s with Evangelion-inspired mecha anime such as RahXephon (2002) and Zegapain (2006) – RahXephon was also intended to help revive 1970s-style mecha designs.
The real robot genre (including the Gundam and Macross franchises), which had declined during the 1990s, was revived in 2002 with the success of shows such as Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (2002), Eureka Seven (2005), Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (2006), Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (2007), and Macross Frontier (2008).
The 1970s-style super robot genre revival began with GaoGaiGar in 1997 and continued into the 2000s, with several remakes of classic series such as Getter Robo and Dancougar, as well as original titles created in the super robot mold like Godannar and Gurren Lagann. Gurren Lagann in particular combined the super robot genre with elements from 1980s real robot shows, as well as 1990s "post-Evangelion" shows. Gurren Lagann received both the "best television production" and "best character design" awards from the Tokyo International Anime Fair in 2008. This eventually culminated in the release of Shin Mazinger in 2009, a full-length revival of the first super robot series, Mazinger Z.
An art movement started by Takashi Murakami that combined Japanese pop-culture with postmodern art called Superflat began around this time. Murakami asserts that the movement is an analysis of post-war Japanese culture through the eyes of the otaku subculture. His desire is also to get rid of the categories of 'high' and 'low' art making a flat continuum, hence the term 'superflat'. His art exhibitions have gained popularity overseas and have influenced a handful of anime creators, particularly those from Studio 4 °C.
The experimental late night anime trend popularized by Serial Experiments Lain also continued into the 2000s with experimental anime such as Boogiepop Phantom (2000), Texhnolyze (2003), Paranoia Agent (2004), Gantz (2004), and Ergo Proxy (2006)
In addition to these experimental trends, the 2000s were also characterized by an increase of moe-style art and bishōjo and bishōnen character design. There was a rising presence and popularity of genres such as romance, harem and slice of life.
Anime based on eroge and visual novels increased in popularity in the 2000s, building on a trend started in the late 1990s by such works as Sentimental Journey (1998) and To Heart (1999). Examples of such works include Green Green (2003), SHUFFLE! (2006), Kanon (2002 and 2006), Fate/Stay Night (2006), Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (2006), Ef: A Tale of Memories (2007), True Tears (2008), and Clannad (2008 and 2009).
Many shows have been adapted from manga and light novels, including popular titles such as Yu-Gi-Oh! (2000), Inuyasha (2000), Naruto (2002), Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), Monster (2004), Bleach (2004), Rozen Maiden (2005), Aria the Animation (2005), Shakugan no Shana (2005), Pani Poni Dash! (2005), Death Note (2006), Mushishi (2006), Sola (2007), The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006), Lucky Star (2007), Toradora! (2008–09), K-On! (2009), Bakemonogatari (2009), and Fairy Tail (2009); these shows typically last several years and achieve large fanbases. Nevertheless, original anime titles continue to be produced with the same success.
The 2000s marked a trend of emphasis of the otaku subculture. A notable critique of this otaku subculture is found in the 2006 anime Welcome to the N.H.K., which features a hikikomori (socially withdrawn) protagonist and explores the effects and consequences of various Japanese sub-cultures, such as otaku, lolicon, internet suicide, massively multiplayer online games and multi-level marketing.
In contrast to the above-mentioned phenomenon, there have been more productions of late-night anime for a non-otaku audience as well. The first concentrated effort came from Fuji TV's Noitamina block. The 30-minute late-Thursday timeframe was created to showcase productions for young women of college age, a demographic that watches very little anime. The first production Honey and Clover was a particular success, peaking at a 5% TV rating in Kantou, very strong for late-night anime. The block has been running uninterrupted since April 2005 and has yielded many successful productions unique in the modern anime market.
There have been revivals of American cartoons such as Transformers which spawned four new series, Transformers: Car Robots in 2000, Transformers: Micron Legend in 2003, Transformers: Superlink in 2004, and Transformers: Galaxy Force in 2005. In addition, an anime adaptation of the G.I Joe series was produced titled G.I. Joe: Sigma 6.
The revival of earlier anime series was seen in the forms of Fist of the North Star: The Legends of the True Savior (2006) and Dragon Ball Z Kai (2009). Later series also started receiving revivals in the late 2000s and early 2010s, such as with Studio Khara's Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy (2007–), and new adaptations of Masamune Shirow's manga Appleseed XIII (2011) and Ghost in the Shell: Arise (2013–2016).
The decade also dawned a revival of high-budget feature-length anime films, such as Millennium Actress (2001), Metropolis (2001), Appleseed (2001), Paprika (2006), and the most expensive of all being Steamboy (2004) which cost $26 million to produce. Satoshi Kon established himself alongside Otomo and Oshii as one of the premier directors of anime film, before his premature death at the age of 46. Other younger film directors, such as Mamoru Hosoda, director of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) and Summer Wars (2009), also began to reach prominence.
During this decade, anime feature films were nominated for and won major international film awards for the first time in the industry's history. In 2002, Spirited Away, a Studio Ghibli production directed by Hayao Miyazaki, won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and in 2003 at the 75th Academy Awards it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. It was the first non-American film to win the award and is one of only two to do so. It has also become the highest grossing anime film, with a worldwide box office of US$274 million.
Following the launch of Toonami on Cartoon Network and later Adult Swim, anime saw a giant rise in the North American market. Kid-friendly anime such as Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Digimon, Doraemon, Bakugan, Beyblade, and the 4Kids Entertainment adaptation of One Piece have all received varying levels of success. This era also saw the rise of anime-influenced animation, most notably Avatar: the Last Airbender and its sequel The Legend of Korra, Ben 10, Chaotic, Samurai Jack, The Boondocks, RWBY and Teen Titans.
At the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, directed by Mamoru Oshii, was in competition for the Palme d'Or and in 2006, at the 78th Academy Awards, Howl's Moving Castle, another Studio Ghibli-produced film directed by Hayao Miyazaki, was nominated for Best Animated Feature. 5 Centimeters Per Second, directed by Makoto Shinkai, won the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2007, and so far, anime films have been nominated for the award every year.
By 2004, over two hundred shows were aired on television.
In 2012, the Toonami block in the US was relaunched as an adult-oriented action block on Adult Swim, bringing uncut anime to a far wider audience. In addition to re-releasing older shows, the block (as well as Adult Swim itself) oversees the premiere of English dubbed releases for various new shows, including: Durarara!! (2010), Deadman Wonderland (2011), Hunter x Hunter (2011), Sword Art Online (2012), Attack on Titan (2013), Kill la Kill (2013), Space Dandy (2014), Akame ga Kill! (2014), Parasyte -the maxim- (2014), One Punch Man (2015), My Hero Academia (2016), Boruto: Naruto Next Generations (2017), Black Clover (2017) and Cells at Work! (2018) 
On September 6, 2013 Hayao Miyazaki announced that The Wind Rises (2013) would be his last film, and on August 3, 2014 it was announced that Studio Ghibli was "temporarily halting production" following the release of When Marnie Was There (2014), further substantiating the finality of Miyazaki's retirement. The disappointing sales of Isao Takahata's comeback film The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) has also been cited as a factor. Several prominent staffers, including producer Yoshiaki Nishimura and director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, left to form their own Studio Ponoc, premièring with Mary and the Witch's Flower (2017). Both Ghibli and Miyazaki subsequently went back into production for the up-coming film How Do You Live?, while Takahata died on April 5, 2018 of lung cancer.
Additionally, various international anime distribution companies, such as ADV Films, Bandai Entertainment, and Geneon Entertainment, were shut down due to poor revenue, with their assets spun into new companies like Sentai Filmworks or given to other companies.
Both Attack on Titan and The Wind Rises reflect a national debate surrounding the reinterpretation of Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan, with Miyazaki's pacifism in the film coming under fire from the political right, while Attack on Titan has been accused of promoting militarism by people in neighboring Asian countries, despite being intended to show the haunting, hopeless aspects of conflict. The mecha anime genre (as well as Japanese kaiju films) received a Western homage with the 2013 film Pacific Rim directed by Guillermo del Toro.
In 2015, an all record-high of three hundred forty anime series aired on television.
|First...||Native language name||English name||Released||Type||Broadcast|
|Anime (oldest known)||活動写真||Katsudō Shashin||Unknown[a]||short film||Unknown[b]|
|Confirmed film release||凸坊新画帳・名案の失敗||Bumpy new picture book – Failure of a great plan||February 1917||short film||Unknown[b]|
|Anime publicly shown in a theater||芋川椋三玄関番の巻 or 芋川椋三玄関番之巻||The Story of the Concierge Mukuzo Imokawa||April 1917||short film||Unknown[b]|
|Talkie||力と女の世の中||Within the World of Power and Women[c]||April 13, 1933||film||Unknown[b]|
|Entirely cel-animated anime||茶釜音頭||The Dance of the Chagamas||1934||film||Unknown[b]|
|Feature film||桃太郎 海の神兵||Momotaro: Sacred Sailors[d]||April 12, 1945||film||Unknown[b]|
|Appearance on television (non series)||もぐらのアバンチュール||Mole's Adventure||July 14, 1958||short film||Yes|
|Color feature film||白蛇伝||The Tale of the White Serpent||October 22, 1958||film||Unknown|
|Television series||インスタントヒストリー||Instant History||May 1, 1961||series||Yes|
|Late night series||仙人部落||Hermit Village||September 4, 1963||series||Yes|
|Giant robot series||鉄人28号||Tetsujin 28-go||October 20, 1963||series||Yes|
|Color television series||ジャングル大帝||Kimba the White Lion||October 6, 1965||series||Yes|
|Magical girl series||魔法使いサリー||Sally the Witch||December 5, 1966||series||Yes|
|Adult-oriented (animated) film||千夜一夜物語||A Thousand and One Nights||June 14, 1969||film||Unknown|
|Hentai with an "X rating"[e]||クレオパトラ||Cleopatra||September 15, 1970||film||Unknown|
|Space opera series||宇宙戦艦ヤマト||Space Battleship Yamato||October 6, 1974||series||Yes|
|Real robot series||機動戦士ガンダム||Mobile Suit Gundam||April 7, 1979||series||Yes|
|OVA||ダロス||Dallos||December 12, 1983||OVA||Yes|
|Hentai OVA||ロリータアニメ||Lolita Anime||February 21, 1984||OVA||Yes|
|Fully computer animated anime||A.LI.CE||A.LI.CE||February 5, 2000||film||No|
Anime () (Japanese: アニメ, Hepburn: anime, [aɲime] (listen), plural: anime) is hand-drawn and computer animation originating from or associated with Japan.
The word anime is the Japanese term for animation, which means all forms of animated media. Outside Japan, anime refers specifically to animation from Japan or as a Japanese-disseminated animation style often characterized by colorful graphics, vibrant characters and fantastical themes. The culturally abstract approach to the word's meaning may open up the possibility of anime produced in countries other than Japan. For simplicity, many Westerners strictly view anime as a Japanese animation product. Some scholars suggest defining anime as specifically or quintessentially Japanese may be related to a new form of Orientalism.The earliest commercial Japanese animation dates to 1917, and Japanese anime production has since continued to increase steadily. The characteristic anime art style emerged in the 1960s with the works of Osamu Tezuka and spread internationally in the late twentieth century, developing a large domestic and international audience. Anime is distributed theatrically, by way of television broadcasts, directly to home media, and over the Internet. It is classified into numerous genres targeting diverse broad and niche audiences.
Anime is a diverse art form with distinctive production methods and techniques that have been adapted over time in response to emergent technologies. It consists of an ideal story-telling mechanism, combining graphic art, characterization, cinematography, and other forms of imaginative and individualistic techniques. The production of anime focuses less on the animation of movement and more on the realism of settings as well as the use of camera effects, including panning, zooming, and angle shots. Being hand-drawn, anime is separated from reality by a crucial gap of fiction that provides an ideal path for escapism that audiences can immerse themselves into with relative ease. Diverse art styles are used and character proportions and features can be quite varied, including characteristically large emotive or realistically sized eyes.
The anime industry consists of over 430 production studios, including major names like Studio Ghibli, Gainax, and Toei Animation. Despite comprising only a fraction of Japan's domestic film market, anime makes up a majority of Japanese DVD sales. It has also seen international success after the rise of English-dubbed programming. This rise in international popularity has resulted in non-Japanese productions using the anime art style. Whether these works are anime-influenced animation or proper anime is a subject for debate amongst fans. Japanese anime accounts for 60% of the world's animated cartoon television shows, as of 2016.Asread
Asread (アスリード, Asurīdo) is a Japanese animation studio established in November 2003 by ex-Xebec members.Bridge (studio)
Bridge Inc. (株式会社ブリッジ, Kabushiki gaisha Burijji) is a Japanese animation studio founded in 2007 by former staff from Sunrise.C2C (studio)
C2C Co., Ltd. (株式会社C2C, Kabushiki-gaisha C2C) is a Japanese animation studio established on 3 April 2006.ENGI
ENGI Inc. (Japanese: 株式会社エンギ, Hepburn: Kabushiki-gaisha Enjin), also known as ENtertainment Graphic Innovation, or Studio ENGI, is a Japanese animation studio founded by Kadokawa, Sega Sammy Inc. and Ultra Super Pictures, and is a subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation.Ezo'la
Ezo'la Inc. (Japanese: 株式会社Ezo'la, Hepburn: Kabushiki-gaisha Ezo'la) is a Japanese animation studio.Geno Studio
Geno Studio, Inc. (Japanese: 株式会社ジェノスタジオ, Hepburn: Kabushiki-gaisha Jeno Sutajio) is a Japanese animation studio subsidiary of animation production company Twin Engine.GoHands
GoHands, Inc. (Japanese: 株式会社ゴーハンズ, Hepburn: Kabushiki-gaisha Gōhanzu) is a Japanese animation studio established by Satelight's former Osaka studio in 2008.Hoods Entertainment
Hoods Entertainment Inc. (Japanese: フッズエンタテインメント株式会社ト, Hepburn: Kabushiki-gaisha Fuzzu Entateinmento) is a Japanese animation studio that was established in 2009.Kitayama Eiga Seisakujo
Kitayama Eiga Seisakujo (Kitayama Movie Factory) was the first true animation studio in Japan. It was founded by Seitaro Kitayama in 1921.Larx Entertainment
LARX Entertainment Co., Ltd. (Japanese: 株式会社ラークスエンタテインメント) is a Japanese animation studio founded in June 2006. The studio is based in Nerima, Tokyo and is a subsidiary of Studio Hibari.NUT (studio)
NUT Co., Ltd., (Japanese: 株式会社ナット, Hepburn: Kabushiki-gaisha Nutto) is a Japanese animation studio founded in 2017.Original net animation
An original net animation (ONA), known in Japan as Web Anime (Web(ウェブ)アニメ, Webu Anime), is an anime that is directly released onto the Internet. ONAs may also have been aired on television if they were first directly released on the Internet. The name mirrors original video animation, a term that has been used in the anime industry for straight-to-video animation since the early 1980s. The Internet is a relatively new outlet for animation distribution that has been made viable by the increasing number of streaming media websites in Japan.
A growing number of trailers and preview episodes of new anime have been released as ONA. For example, the anime movie of Megumi can be considered an ONA.
ONAs tend to be shorter than traditional anime titles, sometimes lasting only a few minutes.
There are many examples of an original net animation (ONA), such as Hetalia: Axis Powers, which only last a few minutes per episode.Passione (company)
Passione Co., Ltd. (パッショーネ株式会社, Passhōne Kabushiki-gaisha) is a Japanese animation studio.Remic
Remic Co., Ltd. (Japanese: 有限会社レミック, Hepburn: Yūgen-gaisha Remikku, stylized REMIC or R E M I C) is a Japanese animation studio notable for producing the anime series Renkin 3-kyū Magical? Pokān and Dōjin Work.Seiyu Awards
The Seiyu Awards (声優アワード, Seiyū Awādo) are award ceremonies for the recognition of voice acting talent (known as seiyū in Japan) for outstanding performance in anime and other media in Japan. The first Seiyu Awards were held on March 3, 2007 at the 3D Theatre of the Tokyo Anime Center in Akihabara.The Great Adventure of Horus, Prince of the Sun
The Great Adventure of Horus, Prince of the Sun (太陽の王子 ホルスの大冒険, Taiyō no Ōji Horusu no Daibōken) is an anime film released in July 1968. The directorial feature film debut of Isao Takahata, it is also the first major film by Hayao Miyazaki. Horus marked the beginning of a partnership that would last for the next 50 years across numerous animation studios.
The core production team for Horus, Prince of the Sun included Takahata (Director), Yasuo Otsuka (Animation Director), Miyazaki (Scene Design, Key Animation), Yasuji Mori (Key Animation), Reiko Okuyama (Key Animation), and Yoichi Kotabe (Key Animation). This group contributed to designs, story ideas and storyboards; all but Takahata (who is not an animator) contributed to character designs. Akemi Ota, Masatake Kita, and Sadao Kikuchi were the remaining Key Animators, but did not contribute many ideas to the film.
Vivid, visceral and violent, yet charged with kinetic energy, Horus introduced a number of technical and stylistic innovations, and established a new paradigm of Japanese animation: adult storytelling, psychological realism, visual complexity, overt political and social themes, and stylistic violence. This is the first Japanese animated feature to successfully disrupt the Walt Disney paradigm, and greatly expanded the possibilities of the medium beyond "children's cartoons." Unsuccessful in its original 1968 theatrical run, Horus, Prince of the Sun is today recognized as a milestone in the history of anime.
The movie was released straight to television in the United States by AIP-TV under the title The Little Norse Prince.Triangle Staff
Triangle Staff Co., Ltd., (Japanese: 有限会社トライアングルスタッフ, Hepburn: Yūgen-gaisha Toraianguru Sutaffu) was a Japanese animation studio established in 1987 from former Madhouse staff, producing series such as Macross Plus, Serial Experiments Lain, and NieA_7. The studio ceased operations in 2002, when they were set to do the animation production on WXIII: Patlabor the Movie 3.Ultra
Ultra was the designation adopted by British military intelligence in June 1941 for wartime signals intelligence obtained by breaking high-level encrypted enemy radio and teleprinter communications at the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park. Ultra eventually became the standard designation among the western Allies for all such intelligence. The name arose because the intelligence thus obtained was considered more important than that designated by the highest British security classification then used (Most Secret) and so was regarded as being Ultra secret. Several other cryptonyms had been used for such intelligence.
The code name Boniface was used as a cover name for Ultra. In order to ensure that the successful code-breaking did not become apparent to the Germans, British intelligence created a fictional MI6 master spy, Boniface, who controlled a fictional series of agents throughout Germany. Information obtained through code-breaking was often attributed to the human intelligence from the Boniface network. The U.S. used the codename Magic for its decrypts from Japanese sources including the so-called "Purple" cipher.Much of the German cipher traffic was encrypted on the Enigma machine. Used properly, the German military Enigma would have been virtually unbreakable; in practice, shortcomings in operation allowed it to be broken. The term "Ultra" has often been used almost synonymously with "Enigma decrypts". However, Ultra also encompassed decrypts of the German Lorenz SZ 40/42 machines that were used by the German High Command, and the Hagelin machine.Many observers, at the time and later, regarded Ultra as immensely valuable to the Allies. Winston Churchill was reported to have told King George VI, when presenting to him Stewart Menzies (head of the Secret Intelligence Service and the person who controlled distribution of Ultra decrypts to the government): "It is thanks to the secret weapon of General Menzies, put into use on all the fronts, that we won the war!" F. W. Winterbotham quoted the western Supreme Allied Commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower, at war's end describing Ultra as having been "decisive" to Allied victory. Sir Harry Hinsley, Bletchley Park veteran and official historian of British Intelligence in World War II, made a similar assessment of Ultra, saying that while the Allies would have won the war without it, "the war would have been something like two years longer, perhaps three years longer, possibly four years longer than it was." However, Hinsley and others have emphasized the difficulties of counterfactual history in attempting such conclusions, and some historians have said the shortening might have been as little as the three months it took the United States to deploy the atomic bomb.The existence of Ultra was kept secret for many years after the war. After it was revealed in the middle 1970s, historians have altered the historiography of World War II. For example, Andrew Roberts, writing in the 21st century, states, "Because he had the invaluable advantage of being able to read [General Erwin] Rommel's Enigma communications, [Field Marshall Bernard] Montgomery knew how short the Germans were of men, ammunition, food and above all fuel. When he put Rommel's picture up in his caravan he wanted to be seen to be almost reading his opponent's mind. In fact he was reading his mail." Over time, Ultra has become embedded in the public consciousness and Bletchley Park has become a significant visitor attraction. As stated by historian Thomas Haigh, "The British code-breaking effort of the Second World War, formerly secret, is now one of the most celebrated aspects of modern British history, an inspiring story in which a free society mobilized its intellectual resources against a terrible enemy."
History of anime
|Anime programming blocks|