Anime Is More Popular Than Ever, Who Invented It?

Anime is an animation art style that comes from Japan. The word “anime” refers to all animation in Japan. In this episode of Cozy Rainbow Podcast, we discuss some of the most notable anime artists, the difference between anime and manga, and emaki– ancient Japanese manga.

Who invented anime?

The person usually credited for the anime we know today is Osamu Tezuka. He began drawing anime in the 1960s. Other cartoons that were popular in the 1960s were: Pink Panther, Scooby Doo: Where Are You?, The Batman/Superman Hour, and Spider-Man.

Anime characters have large eyes, bright colors, and dramatic facial expressions.

Tezaku had three brothers and grew up to be a licensed physician. However, he followed his passion for drawing cartoons and his work can be viewed on his YouTube channel: Tezuka Productions. Tezuka lived from 1928 to 1989.

A manga museum was created in honor of Osamu Tezuka, located in Takarazuka, Japan.

Takarazuka, Japan
Dimly lit anime and manga museum in Japan dedicated to Osamu Tezuka, the credited inventor of anime art style
Manga musem in Takarazuka, Japan

Like many other artists, Tezaku created both anime and manga. Manga refers to graphic novels or comics with the Japanese art style. 

Are Anime And Manga The Same?

Anime and manga are similar because they are both types of Japanese cartoon art. However, there is a difference between anime and manga. The difference between manga and anime depends on the story, ink and publisher. Most animes are created from pre-existing stories, while manga can be more original and is often self-published. Manga is often published in black and white to save on ink costs. Due to the cost of colored ink and working with publishing company, the price reflects more workers and colorful product. Typically, it costs more to make an anime than manga.

Studio Ghibli

Image of studio ghibli film my neighbor totoro by Patrick Lauke on Flickr.

Studio Ghibli, a Japanese animation studio can be credited as to why anime is so popular. Studio Ghibli began in 1985. Studio Ghibli has produced popular films such as: My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. After Studio Ghibli began releasing films, the popularity of anime increased. Many people still love and watch Studio Ghibli movies today.

Oldest Manga Ever

Even though The “oldest” manga is hard to say, since manga is a cartoon story, and humans have been drawing cartoons since cavemen times. However, the oldest manga scroll in Japan is called ​​”Scroll of Frolicking Animals.”  The scroll depicts an event from the year 866.

The scroll depicts animals playing and participating in a festival.

Emaki, short for emakimono, is the Japanese word for Japanese illustration scrolls. Emaki is a precursor to manga and anime.

Anime Rises In Popularity

In the last ten years, anime continues to grow in popularity. Netflix stated in 2020 that half of households had watched at least one anime title on the streaming platform.

Anime used to be less popular and even considered taboo, while today it is a mainstream form of entertainment and a buzzing industry. 

Anime can be about all sorts of themes and for all ages. Reading reviews online can help parents decide which anime is good for kids. Some anime is made just for adults, while others are family friendly. Some examples of popular kids anime are Pokémon, Naruto and Sailor Moon.

If you are interested in drawing anime, there are many tutorials on the internet. Remember that art is a skill, not a talent.

Classroom Resources