What was the first anime ever made?

The Shochiku Company

The origins of anime can be traced back to the 20th century, with the earliest verifiable Japanese animated film dating from 1907. Even before cinema was invented, the Japanese were world famous for a traditional form of entertainment in which painted figures moved across a projection screen. in a “lantern magic” show that had been around since the 19th century and was reminiscent of European phantasmagorias. In the late 1910s the most famous generation of animators rose to the fore; Ōten Shimokawa, Jun’ichi Kōuchi, and Seitaro Kitayama are called the “fathers” of anime. thirty years later Momotaro no Umiwashi (1943) and Momotaro: Umi no Shinpei (1945) were created, the latter having become the first animated feature film.

Translated into Momotaro: Holy Sailors or occasionally”Momotaro Divine Sea Warriors‘, Mitsuyo Seo’s propaganda feature was a by-product of World War II after Japan’s Ministry of the Navy ordered its creation. It was the sequel to Momotaro no Umiwashi, a 37-minute film (too short to qualify as a feature) released in 1943 – also directed by Seo. interesting way Momotaro: Umi no Shinpei was inspired by Disney Chic (1940) and Seo wanted to inspire hope for peace and prosperity in these difficult times. The film was primarily aimed at children and used anthropomorphism as a means to indoctrinate children and inspire nationalism. Throughout, the fascist propaganda film glorifies imperialism and effectively brainwashes children by encouraging involuntary servitude and loyalty to Japan’s Navy Ministry.

As decidedly harmful as Momotaro: Umi no Shinpei successfully paved the way for Japanese animation, and Seo’s feature film became a revolutionary and monumental springboard for Japanese culture. Osamu Tezuka – the “father of manga” – was a well-known Japanese cartoonist and animator who saw the film in April 1945. Some time later, Tezuka said aloud that Los Angeles Times“I sat in the freezing Shochiku-za theater that somehow survived the bombing and watched the film and was so impressed that I cried uncontrollably.” Tezuka was moved by the film’s allusions to hope and dreams cleverly disguised as toxic propaganda.

Momotaro Holy Navigators 1
The Shochiku Company

Momotaro: Holy Sailors begins with naval training graduates – bear, monkey, pheasant and pup – saying goodbye to their families and preparing to depart and fight for the Japanese Ministry of Navy. Monkey’s younger brother, Santa, is carried downstream to a waterfall after accidentally falling into the river, forcing Puppy and Monkey to coordinate a rescue. The stunning setting of Mount Fuji reminds Monkey of Japanese paratroopers, causing many time jumps; In one of them, Japanese forces build an air force base on a Pacific island with the help of several anthropomorphic jungle animals. At that time, bear, monkey, pheasant and pup were promoted to higher ranks. Along with General Momotaro, the quartet greet the jungle animals, who are utterly awed by the advancing soldiers. From there, the jungle animals learn Japanese from the newcomers, who happily sing the Japanese alphabet, while bear, monkey, pheasant and puppy provide weapons and ammunition to the fighter jets.

Some time later, Monkey, Puppy, and Bear become parachutists while Pheasant becomes a pilot. The following scenes tell how the island of Celebes was acquired by the Dutch East India Company and show Momotaro, Monkey and Puppy negotiating with frightened British soldiers – who eventually surrender. Eventually Celebes and the surrounding islands fall under Japanese rule. At the end, Santa Claus and other children are shown playing “paratroopers” and jumping over an outline of mainland America, presenting the United States as a destination for the next generation, who would in turn serve the Japanese Ministry of Navy.

Beginning in the 1980s, anime became mainstream entertainment in Japan, especially post-war dragon ball Franchise was introduced in 1984. There could have been a lot more early Japanese anime that preceded it holy sailorsBut many early Japanese animated films were lost after the 1923 Tokyo earthquake and were never recovered, hence undocumented. At the same time, Japanese animators competed with Walt Disney Studios, whose animation gained prominence, influencing both audiences and producers. Already before holy sailorsThere were several short animations, like that of Kenzō Masaoka From Kumo to Churippu, a war story about a ladybug being chased by a spider; When the spider catches the ladybug, the rain will come and drown the spider, allowing the ladybug to free itself. Symbolic of a survival-of-the-fittest mindset, the short teaches that prey can outsmart predators, suggesting more subtle propaganda.

In 1948, Hiroshi Takahata bought a studio called Japan Animated Films and renamed it Tōei Dōga, which later became known as Toei Animation and produced many series including Sailor Moon, Digimon, One piece, Toriko and transformers. Additionally, after the formation of Toei Animation and Mushi Production, the studios collaborated to produce the first-ever color animated feature film titled in 1958 Hakujaden (The Story of the White Snake). From there, anime slowly grew into the global phenomenon it is today, all thanks to flimsy wartime propaganda.

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