A Brief History of Anime (DUBBED)

The One True Weeaboo Origin Story

Japanese Animation otherwise known as “Anime” was first conceptualized in the early 1900’s used for commercial-advertisements and more interestingly war propaganda. It wasn’t until after the second World War (1948 to be exact) that we saw the rise of production companies, such as Toei, creating anime for entertainment purposes. While Toei had some very early-on anime movies released in the west it wasn’t until the television boom of the sixties that we saw more and more anime’s coming to the United States. In 1963 we got our first Japanese anime export to the west in the form of Tetsuwan Atomu (Astro Boy) later followed by by 1968’s Mach GoGoGo (Speed Racer) thanks in large part to the help of a one Peter Fernandez who basically put the anime community on his back before there was even a community by translating all scripts for the show into English and also re-writing the theme song for American audiences. Most early anime exports had to be heavily reworked to fit the censorship criteria of American Television, it wouldn’t be until much later down the line that we got the uncut OG versions of our favorite anime’s here in the states. The 70’s brought a large amount of experimental and obscure anime’s to the table due in large part to most animators moving from the big screen to television, as the medium was growing much faster and gave the creators more freedom. The 1970’s also brought us one of the most iconic and important styles of anime, that being Mecha (anime based around giant robots, usually fighting each other or some form of monster.) Most anime tropes we know as common place today were first established during this era, which is very interesting yet makes so much sense to me. Moving to the 1980’s we were introduced to two of the most titular animation studios, that being Studio Ghibli (my personal fav) and GAINAX, the studio behind Neon Genesis Evangelion (another favorite of mine.) While the 80’s produced some banger animation studios it also introduced a new banger way of watching your favorite anime(s) in the form of Home Video (The VHS for those not in-the-know.) For anime nerds (known as Otaku) this meant being able to re-watch your favorite anime whenever you wanted, not having to wait for re-runs from the broadcasters. This also sparked a wave of anime that would release directly to video, not meant for broadcasting on TV, giving animation studios many more creative liberties. These Original Animated Videos (OAV for short) also gave way for a more x-rated anime content to be released, that’s right I’m talking about Hentai babayyy. Moving away from that topic as quickly as possible, the 1990’s were HUGE for anime fans across the globe. Things like DVD’s and the internet made watching anime massively easier for audiences outside of Japan; But before it was this easily accessible you were forced to watch anime late at night, this was done in attempt to keep children from watching the mature content(?) {idk didn’t seem to work that well imo, i digress} But then, in 1995 the world was flipped on it’s head with the release of Hideaki Anno’s groundbreaking hit Neon Genesis Evangelion. NGE took the world by storm, it was a massive hit and really put anime at the forefront of popular culture. From it’s core rooted in the ever so popular mecha-style anime, to the perfectly confound conclusion leaving just about anyone confused and in dire need of a hug, Evangelion truly has everything and I can’t gush about it enough. The 2000’s gave us Toonami on Adult Swim, a time block late at night dedicated to strictly anime. Toonami is staple of my childhood and gave us great shows like Samurai Jack and motherfucking Cowboy Bebop (shout out all my space cowboys.) 2010’s brought us into the streaming era, places like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime all have tons of anime for anyone to watch, hell there’s even a streaming service dedicated to anime in Crunchyroll. With all this being said I think anime has a very bright future and is will be around for a long long time. Sayonara !


Yegulalp, Serdar. “Brief History of Anime From Origins to Today.” LiveAbout, 27 Apr. 2019, http://www.liveabout.com/brief-history-of-anime-144979.

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