Announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Young Justice was renewed for a fourth season. With the majority of scripts completed and the show well into production, the season’s subtitle in Phantoms was announced during the second day of DC Fandome. Few details have been released about the season save that it would focus more closely on the show’s founding cast. Speculation has begun on what the season could entail with the latest nugget of news. With the tease of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the final moments of the previous season Outsiders, some have suggested Phantoms could allude to Legionnaire Phantom Girl. However, it’s challenging to fathom what role Phantom Girl could play to warrant the entire season being based around her. It makes about as much sense as focusing around the Freedom Fighters’ Phantom Lady. Instead, it may make more sense to consider the Phantom Stranger.
A year ago, Netflix released a documentary entitled Enter the Anime (2019) which purported to define anime and its origins. However, in practice, it was a glorified advertisement for the streaming service’s available Japanese animated series. Recently reminded of the film and the frustration from its lack of educational content, inspiration arose to try and, albeit briefly, discuss anime’s origins and history. Japan’s line from its remarkable and prolific breadth of animation is drawn primarily from one source before blooming into a vast forest (the current landscape dominated by the genre of isekai). Referred to as the God of Anime, Osamu Tezuka was born in Osaka Prefecture in 1928, mere years before Japan’s invasion of the Asian mainland that lead to its alliance with Germany and Italy as part of the Axis faction during World War II. Born into an affluent, educated, liberal family, Tezuka became enamored at a young age with French cinema and American animation, characters like Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Betty Boop, and Felix the Cat a great influence on him. Whereas manga had existed for years prior to Tezuka’s life (the Toba scrolls dating back to the 12th century), the creator blended cinematic impressionism with the expressive nature of American animation to produce a new form of art that became the standard for both manga and anime.
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