ANIME VS AMERICAN ANIMATION Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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— only 12% of published material in Japan were books, whereas the majority (38%) were manga! If this does not show anything about Japanese society and literacy, then I don’t know what does. All of this may suggest that the Japanese had a unique style of their own long before the Americans came along, but the truth is that today’s anime and manga does not really bare any resemblance to the prehistoric art form of the ancient Japanese. After World War II, Japan went through an identity crisis; they began stealing stuff like mad from our Western civilization — which still continues to this day. It seems that they have become the “United States wanna-be”. This is fantasized through their animes where they often show Japan as a culturally diversified nation where everyone

accepts each other. In reality however, Japan is almost entirely populated with ethnic Japanese. They seem to find fun by taking things from our culture and playing around with it — perhaps, pretending that if they were a large country like the US, and not a small little island country, they could run things better than we are. Dr. Osamu Tezuka is considered to be the real father of the anime-style and gave birth to the commercial industry of anime and manga as we know it today. Some people call him the Disney of Japan, which is sort of ironic because he copied many ideas from Disney and other American animators of the time. The classic “big eyes” which many people associate with anime were actually popular at one time in American animation and were used a lot by the Max

Fleischer studio. Tezuka himself said: “My career as an animator began when at the age of four. I copied a picture of Popeye. My house was full of comics when I was a schoolboy. Because we were able to obtain a projector and several films, I was able to see Mickey Mouse, Felix the Cat, Chaplin, and Oswald Rabbit at home.” As you can see, it is obvious where he got his inspiration from. Tezuka’s first success was a manga called Tetsuwan Atom. Before Tezuka came along, most manga were short humorous comic strips similar to what one finds in the newspapers. However, Tezuka used techniques similar to those he had seen in foreign movies when he made his manga. He simulated the fancy camera angles seen in movies as well as giving his manga more complex storylines. The result was

a comic book series with cinematic quality. It became an instant hot seller, mainly because it was a cheap way for common folks (who were struggling with a bad economy) to provide entertainment for their children. The generation of children who grew up on this would be hooked on manga and anime for life. When did animation come to Japan? Probably when Toei Production started its animation division in 1958. They hired Dr. Tezuka to make animated films for them. Later, in 1962, Tezuka would leave Toei to start his own company called Mushi Production and produce one of the first animated television shows in Japan. Of course, both animated movies and television shows had already been firmly in place for quite a while in the US. In fact, the first animated film was made by James S.

Blackton in 1906, only four years after Thomas Edison had invented the movie projector. That was many years before Tezuka was even born. But the art of animation is even older than that. In fact, an invention called the magic lantern, which projected animation by moving a strip back and forth, was invented in 1645 by Althanasius Kircher. Around 1915, a technique of using celluloid sheets in animation was established. By painting on these clear plastic cels, they could then transpose more than one cel on a static background. This technique is still used by some animators today. Walt Disney made several breakthroughs by making the first animation with sound (1928) and the first animation in color (1932). It was on December 21, 1937 that Walt made history again with “Snow White

and the Seven Dwarves” — it was the first feature-length animation! Snow White was the top grossing film for its time. Those are the important details to the history of animation, although I have not done justice in explaining the many great works created by the many very talented animators of the time. Japanese anime seems to be this new fresh breed of animation, even though it has its roots in American animation. It boggles my mind how many Americans today prefer a cheap imitation over something that is real and genuine. They say that Japanese anime is of better quality and looks better than our own animation. In doing so, they have overlooked a pearl that is much closer to home. The truth is that American animation has so much more to offer, that anime simply pales in