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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Tagged Akira Toriyama, Anime, Asao Takamori, Astro Boy, Attack on Titan, Bible Black, Captain Harlock, Captain Tsubasa, Cardcaptor Sakura, Case Closed, Castle of Cagliostro, CLAMP, Cowboy Bebop, Death Note, Detective Conan, Doraemon, Dragon Ball, Fate/stay night, Gainax, Gatchaman, giant robot, Go Nagai, Gosho Aoyama, Gundam, Hajime Isayama, Harenchi Gakuen, Hasbro, Hayao Miyazaki, Hideaki Anno, Hiroyuki Imaishi, Hokuto no Ken, isekai, Jerry Whitworth, Leiji Matsumoto, Lupin III, Macross, Magic Knight Rayearth, Makoto Shinkai, Marvel Comics, Marvel Productions, Masami Kurumada, Mazinger Z, Monkey Punch, Mushi Production, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Naoko Takeuchi, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Osamu Tezuka, Paranoia Agent, pokemon, Puss 'n Boots, Rankin/Bass Productions, Reki Kawahara, Robotech, Rumiko Takahashi, Sailor Moon, Saint Seiya, Satoshi Kon, Satoshi Tajiri, Shinichiro Watanabe, Shonen Jump, Shotaro Ishinomori, Space Battleship Yamato, Studio Ghibli, Studio Nue, Sunrise, Sword Art Online, Tatsunoko Production, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, TMS Entertainment, Toei, tokusatsu, Topcraft, Tsugumi Ohba, Urusei Yatsura, Yoichi Takahashi, Your Name
Power Rangers and the Rise of Anime in America by Jerry Whitworth
Anime (Japanese animation) has made its way to the United States for decades. Astro Boy, Gigantor, and Speed Racer paved the way for Battle of the Planets and Star Blazers which lead to Voltron and Robotech. Series trickled in slowly until the 1990s where it seemed like a veritable explosion lead to anime becoming staples of programming blocks like Fox Kids, Kids’ WB, and Toonami. The rise in popularity of anime is generally attributed to the cultural phenomenon of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Debuting in 1993, Power Rangers was created by Haim Saban and Shuki Levy using footage from Japanese production studio Toei and its super sentai series. The relationship between America and super sentai predated Power Rangers, super sentai owing a fair deal of its life to a relationship between Toei and Marvel Comics. Super sentai toys were even produced in the United States by Mattel as part of their Shogun Warriors line (itself bringing anime to the US in Force Five), the line which created Marvel’s initial arrangement with Toei. By the time Power Rangers captivated America, super sentai existed for nearly two decades in Japan inspiring content there over that time (aforementioned series like Battle of the Planets likely helped inspire super sentai where Voltron was produced by Toei and aired the same year as Marvel and Toei’s final co-produced super sentai series). The first anime series to come to America based on the popularity of Power Rangers was Ronin Warriors in 1995.
Top 10: Favorite Articles at CAC by Jerry Whitworth
Hey Stranger Rangers, I told you I’d be back and here we are. As I said in my last post, ComicArtCommunity.com and I have parted ways and over my five year career with the site, a few of my 267 articles have stood out. Previously we covered the most popular articles on CAC where now we’ll examine my favorite. The criteria for my favorite articles largely encompass one prevalent component: hard work. While I tend to invest a lot of time and energy into many of the pieces I write, some I have really needed to pore over and research. As such, many of these projects I’ve needed to care a great deal about in order to bring to completion (as I assure you, not every article I begin crosses the finish line). Of course, some of the most popular articles were also my favorite (like “Destroy All Monsters! Tokusatsu in America”) but for the sake of this list, there will be no repeats. Without further ado, my favorite articles I’ve crafted for CAC.
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Tagged Anime, Captain Marvel, Comic Books, comics, Jerry Whitworth, Martian Manhunter, Marvel Studios, Top 10, Wrestling