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What is Anime?

Video: How to Watch Anime

Well when you really get right down to it, anime is a Japanese word who's English translation is animation. It's used in Japan to refer to all forms of animation just like it's English translation, but it's used in America to refer to only the animation that's made in Japan.  However, there's a lot more to it than simply Bugs Bunny saying "what's up doc" in a different language.

No one really knows for certain when anime first got started.  For a long time, it used to be the consensus that Astro Boy, or Tetsuwon Atom, was the first anime, resulting in it's creator Osamu Tezuka being credited as the creator of anime.

But in 2005, it was discovered that there were other anime that came much earlier than Astro Boy.  However, Tezuka maintained his status as the Godfather of Anime because Astro Boy was still the first anime the way we know it today.

Anime In The Pre - 1960s

The earliest known anime as of the time of this writing dates back to 1907.  It was a three second film about a schoolboy writing on a blackboard.  No one really knows the name of the anime or what it was intended to be.

We only know that, despite it being only three seconds long, it was still an anime.  This was followed a whole decade later by Namakura Katana in 1917, another very short anime.

The animation technique used at the time was called cutter animation.  This was where they would cut out objects and move them around on the screen.

While this did mean that the quality of the animation was a little lacking compared to the animation from other countries who were using cel animation, this did help them keep their production cost down.

Anime of this time had only one copy made to show in theaters, making it very unlikely that any anime made during this time would not have been lost, damaged, or destroyed.  And this unlikelyness was further exaggerated in 1923 as a result of The Great Kanto Quake.

And the years following the earthquake were a real setback because of World War II.  During the war animators were being forced  by the military to have to make all anime be war propaganda films showing the Japanese winning the war, even though they were actually losing.

The only anime of this time that's at all worth noting is Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors because, despite being more war propaganda, was the very first anime that was a feature length film.

After the war, anime production was pretty much brought to a standstill as Japan had to divert all it's resources and energies to rebuilding because of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the fire bombing of Tokyo.  During this time, Japan was being occupied by the US, so the Japanese only had American cartoons from Disney to watch.

But this did give them the ideas they needed to greatly improve their own animation techniques, explaining where the large eyes character designs came from.  And this would be reflected when the anime studio Japanese Animation Studio was founded in 1948.

This same studio would later be bought out by a company called Toei in 1956 and become Toei Animation, an anime studio that is currently celebrating it's 60th anniversary as I'm typing this.

Anime In The 1960s

It wasn't really until the 1960s when anime as we know it today would officially get started.  It was during this decade that anime began moving away from theaters and started airing on TV.

Because of the state of the economy, combined with it having only just gotten started, Toei was forced to have to make their animators work in very bad working conditions.  This caused a lot of the staff to leave the studio, including Hayao Miyazaki and Osamu Tezuka.

The latter would then go on to found his own anime studio called Mushin Productions, which would then beat Toei to the punch at creating the first modern day anime in 1963 known as Astro Boy.

Now I've already mentioned the significance of Astro Boy as having set the standard for all of the modern day anime that we enjoy today.  But the 1960s was also when the whole concept of genres came into being.  And it was in the same year that the anime that started the mecha genre, Tetsujin 28 Go, or Gigantor, came along.

Two years later came Kimba: The White Lion in 1965.  Now there were two main things that made this anime significant. First was that this was the very first anime that was in color.  Yes I know that's no big deal now, but back in those days this was huge.

The other thing that made this anime such a success was that it so closely resembled something that Disney would make.  So much so in fact, that even Disney itself was inspired to remake the story into their own movie.

I believe you may have heard of it, though I've no idea why they waited so long to come out with it.  But my guess is that they didn't want Japan to figure out that The Lion King was a direct plagiarism of Kimba: The White Lion.  Some Whole New World, huh?

Heavily inspired by the American television show Bewitched came Sally the Witch a year later in 1966.  This is the anime that began the magical girl genre.

Unfortunately, Tezuka overspent on Astro Boy's production and the anime did not break even.  This caused Mushin Productions to go into the red.  And the next anime titles that came from the studio all followed suit.

This resulted in Mushin Productions having to close down by the end of the decade because of bankruptcy, although Tezuka himself would continue to work on projects on his own.  Meanwhile the now ex Mushin Productions employees went on to found two anime studios in the next decade that are still big names today, Sunrise and Madhouse.

Anime In The 1970s

One of the first things to happen during this decade (aside from the bell bottoms and Disco, which ain't coming back) was the release of the first Lupin the 3rd in 1971.  This anime series was important because it would help jumpstart Hayao Miyazaki's role as director.

As mentioned earlier, 1972 was when Studio Madhouse and Studio Sunrise were founded by the now ex - Mushin Productions employees.

Also in 1972 was when the anime that would set the standard for mecha anime came along, Mazinger Z from Toei Animation.  Even today, a lot of the core features that are used in mecha anime were derived from Mazinger Z.

Heidi the Girl in the Alps was a hugely important anime that came in 1974.  What made this so significant was that it was Hayao Miyazaki and Misao Takahata's first successful work.  In fact, the animators actually traveled to the Swiss Alps themselves in order to made this anime just right.

Also in 1974 came Space Battleship Yamato.  This anime is important to mention because it introduced the concept of solid storylines to anime.  It also lead to the series of space dramas that would continue on through the 1980s.

In 1976 came an anime called Candy Candy.  This is the anime that would kickstart the shojo genre and result in all non - shojo anime to be referred to as shonen anime.

In 1978 came the hugely popular Space Captain Harlock, one of the aforementioned space dramas that was highly influenced by Space Battleship Yamato.

But the most important anime of the decade came at the very end in 1979 with Mobile Suit Gundam.  Now despite how huge the Gundam series is now, it had a very difficult time getting started.  It did so bad in fact, that it had to get canceled a whole 20 episodes early.

But ironically, it was after the cancellation that it's popularity suddenly did a complete 180.  And it wasn't because of the anime itself, but because of the popularity of the line of toys based upon it.  As soon as it was returned to TV, the popularity of the anime's reruns went through the roof.

Now what made Mobile Suit Gundam significant was that it started up the real robot sub - genre, which is a more realistic and down to earth version of the mecha genre.  This also resulted in non real robot mecha anime to be referred to as the super robot genre.

Also in 1979 came the movie Lupin the 3rd: Castle of Cagliostro (Hope I spelled that right.).  Now this was the Lupin where Hayao Miyazaki first took on the role of director.

And finally in 1979 came Galaxy Express 999.  It was hugely popular in Japan and made it's way to the States.  But when it came out in America, they changed the names of the characters and shortened it down by a whole 30 minutes.

This pissed off a lot of Otaku who would've otherwise been fans because they didn't want their anime to be altered in any way.  Now make sure to remember this anime, because there's another one that came along later on that made this same terrible mistake.

Anime In The 1980s

Ah here it is, the decade known as the golden age of anime.  It was during this decade that anime was at the top of it's game and hit it's peak.  (Why couldn't I have been born earlier enough to enjoy this decade?  And I quote from Saitama, "Dammmmmmiiiiiiiittttt!")

// The first thing to happen during the 80s was the arrival of Mamoru Oshii's Yurusa Yatsura (Hope I spelled that right.).  This became the anime that started the harem genre.

Now in 1982 came the hugely popular Super Dimension Macross.  Out of all of the space operas that was highly influenced by Space Battleship Yamato, this one was clearly the biggest and most popular.

But what really makes it important is that this was the anime who's character designer and mech designer introduced the word Otaku to anime fans.

Now it's unclear exactly when, but it was somewhere around 1982, 1983, 1984, -ish when Japanese animators would be used for a number of American cartoons, such as G. I. Joe and Transformers.  So they really were more than meets the eye!  Well now we know, and knowing is half the battle.

In 1983 came the hugely popular soccer anime known as Captain Tsubasa.  This is the anime that would set the standard for all sports anime to follow.

Also in 1983 came Dallos, the very first Original Video Animation (OVA).  Unfortunately Dallos didn't do very well.  But even though Dallos itself was a failure, the concept of OVAs was a huge success.

What made OVAs so great was that they were an excellent way for anime studios to test the waters so to speak and find out if a particular anime would be a success or failure before spending the money to fund an entire anime series.

1984 was when Studio Gainax was founded.  This would go on to become another hugely important anime studio.

Also in that same year came Dragonball.  This is hugely important for two reasons.  (I never noticed until just now, but I sure use the word "hugely" a lot.)  First off, Dragonball is the anime that started up the martial arts genre.  This genre would go on to be one of the biggest and most popular anime genres ever.

And second, the Dragonball series itself would go on to become one of the most popular anime series of all time and continues to be so up to the present day with Dragonball Super.

Also in that same year and from the same genre came Fist of the North Star, the anime that's all about being the manliest manly man that you can possibly be.

Finally in 1984 came Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind.  This would be the very first experimental anime, as well as the anime that showed that everything doesn't have to be a space opera to be successful.

It would also give Hayao Miyazaki and Misao Takahata the funding they needed to found their own studio a year later in 1985 as Studio Ghibli.

1985 was also when the sequel to Mobile Suit Gundam came along.  Known as Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, it became the most successful real robot anime of all time.

1985 also saw the release of Megazone 23, the very first successful OVA.

In 1986 came Studio Ghibli's first film, Laputa: Castle in the Sky.  While not quite as successful as Nausicca, it still made for a very good starting point for the Studio.

Gainax finally got around to their first release in 1987 with Royal Space Force.  Highly inspired by the runaway success of Nausicca, Gainax poured a huge amount of money into this baby, making it one of the most skilled and most talented experimental anime ever made.

(There I go again, but at least I left out the "-ly" part this time.)  But unfortunately, Royal Space Force went the way of Astro Boy, but at least this was not enough to cause Gainax to go bankrupt.

Heavily inspired by the huge amount of skill and talent that went into Royal Space Force, Akira came along in 1988 and was triple everything that Royal Space Force was.  This made Akira the most expensive anime ever, and continues to hold that title today.

But this also meant that Akira followed the same path of failure as Royal Space Force triple.  As a result of Akira's failure, anime studios stopped making high budget experimental films with the exception of Studio Ghibli and went back to safe projects.

But despite being a huge failure in Japan, Akira came to America and was a huge success.  (There I go with them "huges" again.  I really need to add more words to my vocabulary don't I?)  Even though it still wasn't nearly enough for Akira to break even, it did succeed in accomplishing a different goal.

It became the anime that would throw the doors wide open to America as a whole new market for anime as Americans loved what they saw and were demanding more.

Kind of like that hungry kid at the dinner table with a fork in one hand and knife in the other and pounding on the table for more food, only they had a TV remote in one hand and VCR remote in the other and was pounding on their couches for more Akira.

And for the majority of Americans at the time, Akria was their very first anime.

1988 also saw the release of Studio Ghibli's two anime films Grave of the Fireflies and My Neighbor Totoro.  It was here in 1988 when the anime industry hit it's peak.

The one blemish of this decade is it's negative ending.  Because of the release of high budget experimental anime films that all became failures with the sole exception of the ones from Studio Ghibli, a lot of anime studios had to close down.

Also the Japanese economy went into a recession around this time causing many companies, including more anime studios, to have to close down as well.

The man known as the Walt Disney of Japan, Osamu Tezuka, lost his battle with cancer.  And finally Otaku lost it's good name because of a psycho serial killer who was discovered to have been a fan of anime when he was arrested.

All of these negatives would greatly impact the next decade, and not in a good way.  (Hmm, maybe it was better that I wasn't born earlier enough for this decade after all.)

Anime In The 1990s

And now we have the 90s,  or as I like to call it, the Cool Daddy decade.  That's how you know you're a 90s kid after all, you still think you're a cool papa.  Now to remove my shades and get back to the anime.

The very first thing to happen during the 90s was the super robot genre tried to make a comeback.  In 1990 came an anime called Brave X Kaiser and in 1992 came Tesujin 28 Go FX.  (They sure took their sweet time to come out with the sequel to an anime from the 60s, didn't they?)

The power of the Kamehameha Wave returned in 1993 with the sequel to Dragonball, Dragonball Z.  Now this anime will play a very important role later on this decade, so make sure to remember it as well.

The real robot genre also tried to make a comeback as well in 1994 with Mobile Fighter G Gundam, which was basically a Dragonball Z wannabe Gundam.  Naturally this meant that this Gundam would be a flop.

Now you have to remember that all this time, the anime industry was in some deep shit.  Because of the Japanese economy, virtually no anime was coming out at all.  And the ones that were coming out were all failures.  This meant that there were hardly any sales and very low funding.

Of course, the sole exception to this was DBZ, which I'm sure was a big help.  But with no funding to export it, explaining why it took so long for DBZ to come to the States, it was all DBZ could do to be the cushion preventing the total collapse of the industry.

But 1995 was the year that all of this changed when Section 9 got locked and loaded.  Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell was hugely popular in both Japan and America, and put the anime industry on the road to recovery.  (The real Ghost in the Shell, not that garbage we saw recently in theaters.)

So successful in fact, that it was the biggest inspiration of all for the American film The Matrix.  The directors and writers of The Matrix themselves were actually quoted with saying that all of their ideas for the movie came directly from Ghost in the Shell.

Like Akira, it was a very expensive experimental film, but what made the 90s different from the 80s is that this time high budget experimental films were successes.

But even though The Major got the ball rolling in a very big way, she ultimately couldn't do the whole thing alone.  But later on that same year was when The Major got the back up she needed in the form of Hideaki Anno's Neon Genesis Evangelion.

This was a highly controversial anime that kept fans talking about it for a long time, essentially making Evangelion the 90s equivalent of what Macross was in the 80s as it clearly followed in Macross's footsteps in pushing the Otaku community.

Both Ghost in the Shell and Neon Genesis Evangelion together revived the anime industry after it had been struggling for nearly half a decade and staying alive only because of Dragonball Z holding it's own.

Ah, 1996.  This was the year that Naoko Takeuchi graced us with our most beloved magical girl of all time, Sailor Moon.  And apparently fighting evil by the moonlight became a favorite pasttime for the Japanese as this baby was hugely popular in Japan.

The sales of it's merchandise alone made over a million dollars.  Now that's what I call some Moon Prism Power!

But unfortunately for my gateway anime, Sailor Moon ran into a number of huge problems when it was brought over to the US that, despite it still being a huge success initially anyway, ultimately doomed it to failure.

First off, remember Galaxy Express 999?  Well they made those same mistakes with Sailor Moon.  So just like Galaxy Express 999, a lot of Otaku who would've otherwise been fans were turned away.

This meant that pretty much all of Sailor Moon's popularity came from outside the Otaku community.  This became a crutch that the clutsy Usagi would fall flat on her face without, and it was only a matter of time before that crutch would disappear.

Second was that Sailor Moon had very bad timing.  It was one of those pre - Adult Swim anime shows, so it was subjected to very heavy editing to cut out all the nudity and upskirt panty shots and so on to make it safe for babies to watch.

Not only did this heavily Americanize it, but those heavy edits also tricked anyone who watched it into thinking that unisex Sailor Moon was some kind of girls only feminist show.  This resulted in Sailor Moon mainly being watched by feminist girls.

As far as I know, there were only two exceptions.  There were guys like me, who was a baby at that time.  So not being old enough to know anything about sexism, I had no way of knowing that I was not supposed to like Sailor Moon because I'm a boy.

(And for the record, there is only one type of sexism that I exercise now that I am old enough.  If you want me to be your boyfriend, you had better be a girl.  And I'm not saying that I have a problem with gays, just that I'm not one of them.)

And then there were the dirty naughty types of guys where anything with a female cast is porn to him.  The former I know about because I was me obviously, the latter I know about because that's what I would get accused of by feminist girls when they would see that I like Sailor Moon after I got older.

Apparently, there was some kind of understanding that there can never exist any other reason for why a guy would be interested in anything that's supposed to be girls only.  Clearly it never crossed their minds to look at my age and do the math.

If they did, they would have discovered that the oldest I could've been by the time Sailor Moon was old and over and done with and all was somewhere in the middle of that age group where girls are gross and have cooties and all that.

So while I certainly do see the Sailor girls as cute now that I am old enough, I did not become old enough to see anything "interesting" about girls until after Sailor Moon was no longer a thing.

And finally came what I believe was the final deathblow for Sailor Moon a few years later, Dragonball Z.  First off, the boys almost immediately saw DBZ as their equivalent of what everyone thought Sailor Moon was for the girls.

But after a while, the boys began to realize that they were being duped.  As I recall one guy saying, and I quote, "Man, there ain't no way that nobody can get THAT mad and not cuss, man!"

So the boys began demanding to see the real Dragonball Z, not that watered down "cleaned up to be safe for babies" garbage.  When the boys got what they wanted, the girls began doing the same for Sailor Moon.

And I'm guessing the girls said the same thing about Sailor Moon, with some modifications.  "Woman, there ain't no way that nobody can get THAT mad and not cuss, woman!"  (Ok I'm having too much fun here and getting carried away.)

And did it ever become a case of be careful what you wish for because you just might get it, because all of those feminist girls DID get it and that's when SHTF.

They were PISSED upon seeing that all this time, they were being tricked into liking and wanting to be like and looking up to and all like that, hoochies.  (The girls' words, not mine!  Just a heads up before someone goes in the comments below to shoot the messenger.)

And so they angrily abandoned in droves the porn for little boys not yet old enough for the real thing.  (Again, the girls' words, not mine!)

So with only the male minority of Sailor Moon fans left and no new guys coming because of Sailor Moon having been so heavily branded as "Girls Only No Boys Allowed," and because of them no longer having to pay attention to Sailor Moon anymore anyway now that they have DBZ, Sailor Moon was pulled from TV after the end of the Pure Hearts saga for low ratings.

And while the next season, the Dead Moon saga, DID come out in America, it was never shown on TV.  So only those who were already within the Otaku community at the time even knew about it, and we already know their problem with Sailor Moon.

So with the Dead Moon saga living up to it's name by being dead on arrival, the final season, the Sailor War saga, never saw a North American release at all.

In 1997 came Studio Ghibli's Princess Mononoke.  This was another very expensive experimental film that was a huge success.  Both in the box office and on DVD.  (At least I think DVD was around by then.  If not then it was the very tail end of VHS.)

Also in 1997 came the megahit anime that defined the 90s.  You know you're a 90s kid when you've still gotta catch em all!  Based upon the bestselling Nintendo video game series ever, Pokemon was an instant hit!  And it continues to be a huge success to this day as this year marks it's 20th anniversary!

Pokémon was always a bit strange to me.  No matter how hard I tried, I could never find the video games interesting at all.  But everything else Pokémon I loved every minute of it.

I still play the card game right now, I love the anime and the movies, I love everything except the video games.  The only video game that I played and actually enjoyed it was the Pokémon Trading Card Game that came out on Game Boy Color.  And alas, there has yet to be a sequel.

1997 was also when Anno had the chance to remake the ending to his 1995 hit Neon Genesis Evangelion.  Entitled The End of Evangelion, this film was a big success and was just as much controversial as the anime series itself.

I seem to recall seeing this in a magazine somewhere and thinking to myself, "Ok that's nice, but what ever happened to The Beginning of Evangelion, and what about The Middle of Evangelion?"  Remember, anything before Sailor Moon was before my time.

1997 also saw the start of Cartoon Network.  This American television studio would go on to play a huge role in helping to bring anime to the American public.

Finally in 1997 came Perfect Blue, the anime that would be Satoshi Kahn's debut as director.  It was a big success because it deviated away from the conventional way that movies were made at the time.  (I didn't say "huge" that time.  Aren't you proud of me for getting better?)

The Real Folk Blues came along in 1998.  But despite how big Cowboy Bebop is today, it was singing the blues when it first came out in Japan.  Like Mobile Suit Gundam, Cowboy Bebop had a very hard time getting started.

Because of the violence, TV Tokyo was reluctant to show anything more than certain episodes here and there resulting in it getting pulled from the air for low ratings.  A completely different studio acquired it a year later and showed the whole entire thing from start to finish.  But even then, Spike still couldn't catch his bounty.  "All that work and no reward."

Instead, all of Cowboy Bebop's success came exclusively from America when Cartoon Network used it as the debut show for what was supposed to have become their second anime block alongside Toonami in 2001, Adult Swim.  It was such a huge success, that it continues to air off and on to this day.

And speaking of, 1998 was also the year that Cartoon Network made the smartest decision ever in their history when they brought us Toonami.  This anime mothership would continue to serve anime fans with all the best of the best anime on a silver platter all the way up to the present day.

Also in 1998 came Serial Experiment Lain.  This was clearly the most experimental anime this decade.  It refused to follow in the footsteps of other anime by not having a story line to follow.  Normally this would be a recipe for disaster, but instead the ingredients came together nicely anyway to make this anime into a very delicious and fulfilling meal.

And to close out this decade, Disney made the very wise decision to bring over to America the hugely successful Princess Mononoke from Japan in 1999.  Walt Disney having it's back lead to many people deciding to give it a spin figuring correctly that it must be good if Disney put their name on it.

As a result of seeing just how good Princess Mononoke was, it did so good that it became the movie of the year.  The only reason it eventually stopped being the movie of the year was because of the release of the Titanic.  And naturally, Disney did not hesitate to make the smart decision of continuing to negotiate with Studio Ghibli for more of their work.

Anime In The 2000s

Ah, the first decade of the new century, complete with all of the crazy conspiracy theories.  "Y2K!"  "The world's coming to an end!"  "Everything's going to shut down!"  We're going to become extinct like the dinosaurs!"  "And all this crazy shit!"  "And all that crazy shit!"  "And all this other crazy shit!"

Needless to say, all of which never happened.  (Weirdos, weren't they?)  So I guess we'll call this the Crazy Shit Decade.  Now let's get back to the anime, shall we?

The 2000s started right off the bat with the most experimental anime of the decade in 2000 with Studio Gainax's FLCL.  This six episode show gave the new millennium one hell of an explosive start.

I remember that I could not make heads or tails out of what in the actual hell was going on with this show when I saw it on Adult Swim years later.  I have never had that many WTF moments back to back to back like that before.  Clearly some kind of Guinness book world record!

And speaking of, 2001 was when Cartoon Network showed off their smarts once again.  Tired of all that hard work they had to go to for every anime they wanted to show to make it safe for babies to watch, they took a major load off when they brought us Adult Swim.

I remember clearly turning on my TV that night expecting Toonami the Midnight run, but instead I'm looking at Faye Valentine's switching butt walking through a store and getting her cigarette lit by the cashier.  Like WTF?  What happened to DBZ?  Where's Tom and the Absolution?  But luckily Midnight Run was back on the next night.

I soon learned that Adult Swim's pattern was for Sunday and Thursday nights.  They were most likely just testing the waters to see how Adult Swim would be received, and needless to say it was received very well.  So they eventually began airing Adult Swim every night, but it was never meant to be a replacement for Toonami.

I specifically recall Cartoon Network saying that the two anime blocks were meant to work together like partners.  While Toonami would continue to show the kids stuff like Pokémon, Adult Swim would show the big boys stuff.  But alas that was not in the cards.

Returning to the Land of the Rising Sun, 2001 also saw the release of Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away.  This baby took the box office by storm as it went on to become the most successful Japanese film of all time.

And when it came to America, it was the first anime film ever to win an academy award!  And for a very long time, it maintained this status.  In fact, it was only just recently in 2017 that Spirited Away finally lost it's crown to Makoto Shinkai's Your Name.

2001 also saw the release of Satoshi Kan's Millennium Actress.  This film was highly praised by critics for the unique way that it was produced.  But while this was another hugely successful anime film, it didn't become nearly as successful as Spirited Away.

One interesting thing to note about this decade is that the anime studios no longer had to follow any kind of special pattern to get the money they needed.  Anyone was free to make any film they wanted at any time on the condition that they can make something good enough.

The Real Folk Blues decided to join in on the fun in 2001 as well with Cowboy Bebop the Movie.  Despite the trouble the series had trying to get started, the movie was a big hit right off the bat.

I remember when I picked this baby up at my local FYE.  Think I might have reserved it if I remember correctly.  But this was one of my most favorite anime movies of all time alongside the Inu Yasha films.

I later on found out that the movie was never intended to be a movie at all.  It was meant to be just another TV episode that was just about Ed and Ein going off somewhere and hanging out.

And speaking of, Rumiko Takahashi's feudal fairy tale was released the following year in 2002.  As I recall, this was Japan and America's first attempt to release an anime in both countries at the same time, showing the same anime episode.  While things did not quite work out this way unfortunately, it was still a very intriguing experiment on both their parts.

One thing that I really enjoyed about Inu Yasha was how beautifully it blended together both hand - drawn and CG animation.  While there have been several attempts to do this already, Inu Yasha was the first real success.

After trying and failing to make a comeback in the 90s, 2002 was when Mobile Suit Gundam Seed brought back the real robot genre to stay for good.  It was a huge success in both Japan and America, and it paved the way for other real robot anime shows to be released this decade as well such as Code Geass and Eureka Seven.

The anime adaptation of the eroge Kanon was first released in 2002, and then rereleased again in 2006 by a different studio to even bigger success.

The first time I heard about Kanon was in an article of Anime Insider magazine where they were making fun of it.  Their jokes about it were so hilarious that I went out and bought the show expecting it to be a laugh out loud comedy.

While I was disappointed that it wasn't a comedy, I still enjoyed it anyway from the simple fact that the characters were so cute and adorable that I got several hand cramps from trying to reach into my TV screen to give them all hugs.  (Now I know how Barney feels!)

Fortunately the other two anime titles from this moe trilogy did not disappoint in the comedy department.  Clannad kept me laughing the majority of the time, but it was Air that really brought home the bacon.

The hero of the anime industry dove back in in 2002 as well with Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.  The Major would also be very busy in 2004 with the sequel 2nd Gig, the sequel movie to 2nd Gig Solid State Society, and the sequel movie to the 1995 original Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.

2006 saw the release of Lucky Star and the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, two anime series that were this decade's equivalent of Macross and Evangelion in pushing the Otaku community.  Of the two though, it would be Haruhi Suzumiya that would take the cake, but Lucky Star was not that far behind in second place.

Haruhi Suzumiya was so popular in fact that I am amazed that it has yet to have a run on Adult Swim.  Maybe they're afraid that a girl would steal Goku's throne!

Exploring more into the Otaku community came Welcome to the NHK in the same year.  This anime focused more on the problems with Japanese society such as hikikomoris and suicide.

And speaking of the hero of the anime industry, her back up partner Neon Genesis Evangelion, also made a comeback the following year in 2007 with the movie releases of The Rebuild of Evangelion as released by Anno from his new studio, Studio Kara.

2007 also saw the arrival of the world's cutest pop star, Hatsune Miku.  I only found out about this from the fact that she just released a new music video this year where she's celebrating her 10th anniversary.

And to close out this decade, the super robot genre finally got around to making it's comeback to stay as well in 2008 when it was brought back by the highly successful Gurren Lagaan.  Gotta love that power of the spiral!

Anime Today

And this is where I'm going to have to end things as the next decade is the one that we're currently living in at the moment.

So it wouldn't be right to start on this decade since no anime that came out here would've had a chance yet to make it's mark in anime history unless it happened instantly, such as Makoto Shinkai's Your Name stealing Spirited Away's crown.

Naturally it would've been impossible to name every single anime ever made as there's just way too much, so I simply stuck with only the ones that etched their names into anime history and their sequels.

Image of The Great Kanto Quake
What was The Great Kanto Quake?

And as anime continues to grow and evolve, I can certainly say that our favorite pastime will only continue getting more and more awesome!  And I for one can hardly wait to see this amazing awesomeness that the future has in store! Skimlinks

1 comment:

Minako Aino said...

What a nice way to end it.