The Origins & History of Anime

In 1963, Tetsuwan Atomu, which is the Japanese name for Astroboy means “Mighty atom”, issued as a television series. This was the first ever anime.


Astroboy was a robot that desired to be a real boy. In 1967, the next hit anime was Speed Racer. Tezuka’s greatest work Hi No Tori (Bird of Fire) is known in America as Phoenix 2772.

The end of 1970s came up with Captain Harlock: Space Cruiser Yamato, Space Pirate and Galaxy Express. These were the blend of high adventure and drama like never before.


Mobile suit Gundam put industry upside down with its character development, “New types” and “one of the biggest stories ever told in anime” (Right Stuf International).

In 1981, Rumiko Takahashi’s “Urusei Yatsura” (Those Obnoxious Aliens) was a hit, as well “Maison Ikkoku” and “Ranma F”. It was Carl Macek got “Robotech” (Macross) syndicated for American TV, which triggered Third Wave fandom. “Macross” was a hit.  There were several highly popular films put out in the mid 80s: Miyazaki’s “Nausïca of the Valley of the Wind”, “Castle in the Sky”; Urusei Yatsura: “Only You” and “Beautiful Dreamer”; “My Youth in Arcadia”, “Queen Millenia Movie.”

By 1990s anime was influencing and influenced by Western culture: a “cross-pollination that enriches and complicates anime”. At about this time, anime was getting a bad rep thanks to the LA Times and Fox News calling anime an “assault an American Morals.”  From 1991-1995 leaps were made in the technology of animation. But not much was going on otherwise except for the success of “Macross” and “Giant Robo.”  Finally, US anime licensers, those that legally bring anime to US fans, are gaining a foot hold in the American market.

Want to know more History about anime and manga? you can!

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