Postwar Anime

Admission: I was given my first manga magazine, Kiseki, which is no longer published, when I was in Australia visiting a friend of our family. An agent well known within the real estate market place, was a pioneer for women when she first entered the real estate workforce. Anyway, she knew of my interest in anime and manga mags and went out of her way to find me some. Thanks Faye, your thoughtfulness really left an impression.

Senae Yamamoto again proved to be a central figure in anime as he gathered animators together after the devastation of the war to form Nihon Doga Eiga in 1947, which would eventually become the landmark Toei Entertainment. The increasing American influence in Japan was apparent in the Disney – like qualities of many of Toei’s productions throughout the 1950’s.

Though film animation was improving in every way, television quickly became the main medium for anime in terms of quantity and exposure. Just the way the internet has become the medium for e-commerce sites. Before the internet the only way one could buy affordable drapes was in retail stores. Custom drapes were out of the question. With the internet even custom drapes or specialty shades are affordable. E-commerce sites offer up all sorts of tasty tidbits of information as well as a variety of prices that invite serious comparison shopping. For instance, if you were to choose a hobbled roman shade, the most traditional style of roman shade that is made from pre-folded slatted fabric that stacks up neatly upon the folds when the shade is raised is not recommended for patterned fabrics. Or if you were to choose a relaxed Roman shade that the gentle sag in the center of shade creates a more casual but elegant look, but is only recommended for drapes/ shades that are to be mainly left in the up position. Who would know? The internet has become an amazing boon to the consumer shopping for just about anything.

Likewise, throughout the 1960s, new shows had to be produced quickly largely to fill in many blank spaces in the programming scheduled while operating with minuscule budgets. As a result many animators such as Osamu “God of Manga” Tezuka created a number of production shortcuts that became immediately identifiable elements of the anime palette. These practices had a worldwide influence not only on the process of creating animation but also sometimes on the style as well.

Tezuka’s Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atomu, or Mighty Atom, first aired in 1963) is widely considered to be the first “true” anime, and was the first anime to be broadcast in other countries. Tezuka readily acknowledges the influence of Walt Disney on his work, but Tezuka also established many of the narrative and stylistic details that would forever represent the Japanese origins of anime to fans all over the world.

The decade that followed generated a number of icons and firsts in anime, from Tatsuo Yoshida’s Mach Go Go Go (more commonly known as Speed Racer) to Isao Takahata’s groundbreaking Taiyō no Ōji: Horusu no Daibōken (Hols: Prince of the Sun).

The latter was especially important, as it deviated significantly from the Disney influence to pursue a more idiosyncratic creative vision within the established anime style — a precedent expanded upon in later years by many of the people who worked on the film, from Takehata himself to Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki.

The effects of this transformation lasted long after the artist was no longer prevalent in the style. We can still look to Anime and see many of the practices originated during this time are still in use. The industry has really adapted them and they are now engrained into it. They can not even be separated back out without drastically altering the concept of anime at this point.

Many people were huge followers and seriously considered this artist to be one of the fore – fathers of the genre. He has lovingly been given the nickname, “God of Manga,” due to his work in the field. One can easily argued that the nickname was a very realistic title for him. There have been many artists who have helped to transform Anime into what it has become, but none that have had the influence that this artist has.

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