A Short History Of Anime And Manga Everyone Should Read

What is Anime?

Anime is a style of cartoon animation originating from Japan, with a characteristic way of creating characters and backgrounds. While some anime movies are completely hand drawn, computer-assisted in the creation of anime is usual. Stories of anime are usually imagined. Anime is broadcast on television, distributed on media such as VHS or DVD, and via games for consoles or computers. Many anime works were created under the influence of Japanese comics known as manga, and some anime titles are converted into feature films or series.

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Anime has many genres, as well as traditional films and series. These genres include adventure, science fiction, children’s stories, love stories, medieval fantasy, erotica, horror, action, and drama.

Most anime contains elements from several different genres, as well as variations of themes, and it makes tough sorting several genres. Anime can have a seemingly simple action, but at the same time may contain much more complex, deeper plot, and character development. It is not unusual that anime oriented primarily to action include humor, love, and even sharp social comment. The same may apply to the anime-oriented love stories that may contain strong action elements.

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Short History Of Anime And Manga

Moving pictures and other animated features began to emerge during the early twentieth century. Japanese artists and authors have not started to experiment with animation until 1914, primarily because American animation studios began to dominate the market. The participation of Japan in creating the animation was flowing very slowly. One of the reasons was probably the long-standing self-imposed isolation from the rest of the world.

After the war World War II, a man named Osamu Tezuka worked in a factory and was impacted by the early works of Walt Disney. While trying to draw original characters modeled after the Disney style, he has gained great popularity. However, the work that has defined the animation in Japan was a world successful animated series Astro Boy from 1963. His interest in animation crowned him as the creator of the anime and graphic novels, known as manga.

Osamu Tezuka in 1951: Wikipedia
Osamu Tezuka in 1951: Wikipedia

Tezuka and his studio have paved the way to Japanese animation; in the 1970s appeared a change and growth of this form of entertainment. Different trends by various authors began to develop. These trends are passed down through generations and are present in the anime today. Instead of the usual struggle of good against evil, writers have begun to apply the compelling twists and turns and new concepts to make the story more interesting. E.g. anime Lupin III shows the “good” protagonist with a somewhat mischievous personality. Mobile Suit Gundam is a story about the interstellar war between the Earth and its first stellar colonies. From these concepts were born ideas and components for future anime.

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During the 1980s, Japanese artist Go Nagai began to create an anime for adults, breaking concept that animation is only for children. From satire to full nudity and sexual engagement, brilliant ideas has attracted the attention of a greater number of fans and admirers of anime. In 1988, he created a work that transcends all boundaries and was deemed to have been ahead of his time.

Go Nagai Tokyo 1987 :Wikipedia

Go Nagai Tokyo 1987 :Wikipedia

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The film “Akira” is set in an apocalyptic and futuristic Tokyo, where the motorcycle gang faces numerous obstacles as they learn that one member has ominous psychic abilities that can destroy the world. This anime in the eyes of many fans was the trigger for opening the eyes of the true potential of anime movies. In 1995, he made a step towards even better works. Anime “Ghost in the Shell” explored the depths of the human mind, displaying elements of psychological manipulation, conflicts between life and machines.

Ghost in the Shell 1995 Anime
Ghost in the Shell 1995 Anime

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That same year, two studies have teamed up to create an anime that will be very famous in the animation industry. Gainax and Production IG have been working hard to create the “Neon Genesis Evangelion“. This epic anime series of 26 episodes placed events in the year 2015, where “angels” from a parallel universe come to planet Earth and attacked the human race. As an act of self-defense, bio-mechanical machines were created, called “Evangelion,” which are managed by three candidates to defend the planet.

Neon Genesis Evangelion Anime
Neon Genesis Evangelion Anime

Series itself contains everything its predecessors did not have, at the same time involves a great amount of depth of the characters, and twists in the story, breathtaking action, and historical, scientific and biblical elements. This unique anime led to the emergence of “Evephenomenon in Japan and was considered to be highly appreciated by the critics.

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Anime, as a medium of escape from reality, allowed the Japanese viewers to sink into worlds that are entirely different, with different cultures and people. Even anime in which the place of events is the Japan of today, unique appearance and character design continues to create a sense that this is something more wild and adventurous than Japan in reality.

The fact that anime characters initially looked like westerns, but acted as Japanese and have Japanese names, helped to create a bond between the characters and the Japanese audience. The Japanese audience was able to see the characters as the Japanese, but with a little more worldliness, freedom and diversity in them.

Artistic techniques in anime are very sophisticated and are the main factor in making this genre had so much influence on Western pop culture. One very important aspect of the anime is attention to detail. Tezuka drew Astro boy`s eyes large and rounded on purpose to reflect the expression of the face that will allow him to present a wide range of emotions.

Display of various emotions is different in the anime and is quite distinctive in relation to the American cartoons. In addition to facial expressions, the artists will also draw foreign physical elements that will emphasize an emotion, which makes it more spontaneous and anime more unique as a genre. E.g. Elements such as noticeable veins in the form of crosses on the left or right side of the head of a character, when irritated, or an abnormally large drop of sweat on his head, when the character is in trouble. Blush is another element that is overstated. Rough red lines under the eyes of the character will appear when they find themselves in a romantic or unpleasant situation.

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Unlike American cartoons, in which the proportions of the body are of the excessive size and at odds with the rest of the body, the proportions of the body of anime characters are identical to proportions of genuine people. This highlights the real aspect of the anima as the characters are created to be like real people.

Unlike Disney cartoons, where bright details on the characters almost do not exist, in the anime, an important role have an adequate lighting, shadows, and shading. The characters must have appropriate lighting and shade on their clothes, face and most tangled hair which is one of the most difficult elements of the drawing.

Since it is almost impossible to get out almost every piece of hair (unless it comes to computer-produced model), the artists draw the hair with thicker threads, which enable them to maneuver with shading and lighting. The light in the eyes of anime characters is also very lively and vividly. The reflection of the cornea is very bright and large in relation to the eye. Glare tends to increase when the character is about to cry, or when there is a feeling of envy toward someone or something.

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