Anime animation: From “Eastern Disney” to the global billion-dollar empire

 Anime, Japan culture  Comments Off on Anime animation: From “Eastern Disney” to the global billion-dollar empire
Dec 012019

A country of visual culture
Japan is a country with developed visual arts, both in diversity and in the meticulousness of the works. The famous wood-carving artist Katsushika Hokusai is one of the pioneering artists to use the term manga (in the “Hokusai Manga” series released in 1814) when referring to sketches of supernatural phenomena. simple things. Manga as we know it today appeared in the early 20th century in the long story pages of newspapers and magazines in Japan.

The anime first appeared in the early 1900s when Japanese artists like Oten Shimokawa experimented in producing short animated films. At that time, however, animation production was obviously very expensive and the Japanese-made work was overwhelmed by Disney’s overwhelming shadow.

During World War II, the anime began to grow when the Japanese military government asked animation producers to create propaganda videos to influence the crowd. Since then, despite Japan having failed after the war, the manga or anime industries have begun to accelerate.

In 1952, “old” Osamu Tezuka released “Astro Boy” – a manga about a peaceful and peaceful robot boy with X-ray eyes. The work was immediately available. The public was so popular that its owner, Mr. Tezuka, was likened to “the father of Japanese comics.” At the same time, it was quickly adapted into an animation in 1963.

The strength of the Japanese animation animation industry lies in the combination of manga and anime, according to Ian Condry, author of “Anime: Japanese Soul”. “Creators use comics as a test for stories and characters. That’s the secret to the success of animated movies. ”

In 1950, Toei Animation Studio (where Tezuka worked before opening his own company, Mushi Productions, in 2961) set a goal of becoming “Disney of the East” and began exporting animation to the United States.

However, while “Astro Boy” really created a fever in Japan, it took several decades for the anime to truly sweep the United States.

Change of perception
In the late 90s, the cooperation of Japanese companies such as Nintendo, Game Freak and Creatures helped promote the Pokemon brand, a game with fictional animal shapes, beyond the Japanese boundary. Ban and go into popular culture.

The Pokemon craze is sweeping the globe, at the same time, promoting franchise activities on the production of anime, toys and trading cards, especially when Pikachu becomes the “brand face” of some broadcast stations in the US. Nintendo sold more than 31 million copies of the “Pokemon Red / Green / Blue” game in 1996 and the animated series were broadcast in more than 100 countries.
The worldwide interest in anime animation has greatly influenced the perception of home audiences for this genre, according to Takako Masumi, the curator at the National Center for the Arts, Tokyo. .

Masumi likens the growing popularity of anime animation in Japan to the transformation of ukiyo-e (woodcarving) from a low-to-high-level art form. Ukiyo-e was originally used as a form of protecting ceramics from breakage when exported abroad in the late 19th century.

Shape the image of a new Japan
After the economy slowed down in the 1990s, Japan decided it was necessary to restructure its national image, from a global business superpower to an exporter of unique cultural products: from hi-tech services in mass marketing, to spread everything from Hello Kitty to sushi. By 1997, the Cultural Agency of Japan was promoting the organization of exhibitions on manga, anime, video games or media arts.

As the anime industry continued its global reach, it no longer belonged only to the Japanese people. “I think we can see diversity in anime-related products that are produced outside of Japan,” Chong said. “The anime has an amazing ability to tell visual stories – and that’s the root of global success.”