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Japanese AnimationEast Asian Perspectives$
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Masao Yokota and Tze-yue G. Hu

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617038099

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617038099.001.0001

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A Bipolar Approach to Understanding the History of Japanese Animation

A Bipolar Approach to Understanding the History of Japanese Animation

(p.25) A Bipolar Approach to Understanding the History of Japanese Animation
Japanese Animation

Nobuyuki Tsugata

University Press of Mississippi

The first animated film in Japan was produced in 1917, but it was only in the 1960s that Japanese animation actually took off. Over this ninety-year period, several different epochs, marked by two distinct opposing forces, can be identified. The cross-pollination between these opposing forces has contributed to the development of Japanese animation. In order to gain an understanding of the history of Japanese animation, this chapter discusses these two opposing forces. It begins by looking at the 1910s–1920s, when cartoonists and entrepreneurs clashed over the production of Japanese animation. The chapter then considers how animators during the 1930s–1940s attempted to achieve artistic expression through individual rather than collective production, as well as the competition between animated feature films and TV serials in the 1950s–1970s. In particular, it examines the technique of TV animation created by Tezuka Osamu. Finally, the chapter describes the polarization of two kinds of works in Japanese animation in the 1980s–1990s: those produced for mass markets; and those that targeted a limited fan base only—the so-called “mania.”

Keywords:   mania, Japan, Japanese animation, cartoonists, entrepreneurs, artistic expression, animated feature films, TV serials, Tezuka Osamu, mass markets

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