What Was The First Anime Ever?

The first anime ever was “Dekobo Shingachou: Meian no Shippai”. It is a part of Dekobo’s New Picture Book – Failure of a Great Plan. That is the official version according to Japanese Animation Industry.

Hekoten Shimokawa created the first anime ever in February 1917 in Japan. With attention to fine details, Shimokawa created his artwork using white chalk. It was a black wall-slate that gave these Japanese art frames its intrigue.

Furthermore, there is a great mystery surrounding the first anime movie ever. Even though it created the foundations of Japanese art genre, there is no copy of it in any Japanese cartoon art collection.

various faces of the first anime movies
Various styles of drawing an emotion in Japanese anime and manga artwork.
By Erachima assumed (based on copyright claims).
Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0.

Who Created The First Anime Ever?

Miyako-Jima is the birthplace of Hekoten Shimokawa, the father of the anime art. Shimokawa, also know as Ōten Shimokawa, was born on May 2, 1892, in Okinawa Prefecture in Japan.

Consequently, while being an intern of Rakuten Kitazawa, Ōten Shimokawa became fascinated by manga art. Despite just being 14 years old, Shimokawa learned fast.

For instance, can you imagine how hard it must have been to produce Japan’s early anime movie in the 19th century? As a matter of fact, even then – you needed connections to succeed in the animation industry.

As a matter of fact, fans around the world have Rakuten Kitazawa to thank for helping Shimokawa succeed. Ultimately, it was Kitazawa who introduced Shimokawa with Tennenshoku Katsudou Shashin in 1916.

This has resulted in producers inviting Hekoten to work on first-ever Japan’s animated film. During his career with Tennenshoku, Shimokawa produced five animations.

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Shimokawa’s most notable early Japanese cartoon art films are

  • Magic Boy (1959), 
  • Alakazam the Great (1960), 
  • The Littlest Warrior (1961), 
  • The Adventures of Sinbad (1962)
  • and The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon (1963).

Even though wildly good at creating anime films, the father of Japanese animation, Shimokawa left Tennenshoku Katsudou Shashin. As a result of his illness, unfortunately, not choice.

Unfortunately, he never truly returned to the animation industry and died in 1973. However, some urban legends say that Shimokawa continued to work on his art. Hence creating numerous unpublished Japanese cartoon movies. He died at age 81 and rests peacefully in Tokyo, Japan.

History Of Japanese Animation

In the first place, we must mention Katsudō Shashin, early anime film from 1907. Moreover, anime fans consider Katsudo Shashin as the oldest piece of anime history. It is a filmstrip.

However, Natsuki Matsumoto discovered Katsudō Shashin by accident. Furthermore, this earliest piece of anime history was found in a Kyoto household.

Different from today’s anime series, Katsudō Shashin consists of a short series of images. Above all, each cartoon image lasts for three seconds.

As a result, Katsudō Shashin depicts a young sailorman. In like manner, this young sailor creates kanji characters. However, the real title of this historic anime film remains unknown.

The standard duration of early Japanese anime movie features by Katsudo Sashin was three seconds long.

The Boom Of The Anime Industry

In light of World War II, the Japanese government tried to enforce its nationalism. In order to do that, it used Japanese officials supported animation art industry.

Henceforth, Japanese movie art strengthened cultural nationalism in the 1930s.

Markedly, Momotaro Umi No Shipnei was the first anime feature-length propaganda film ever. After that, Mitsuyo Seo created Momotaro Umi No Shipnei in 1945.

early Japanese anime movie showing two drawn animals
The frame from the first feature-length anime film Momotaro’s Divine Sea Warriors (1944)
By Shochiku / directed by Mitsuyo Seo – Screenshot from the film., Public Domain.

What Inspired Anime Artists in 1970s?

In other words, the world has become a global village and, industries started to cooperate. For instance, one of those examples was Walt Disney and Japanese cartoon art.

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In particular, Walt Disney has inspired Japanese animators during the late 20th century. As a result, Japanese animation authors created Astro Boy, Lupin III, and Mazinger Z.

In conclusion, Japanese anime artwork has changed the world of the animation industry.

Additional Facts about the First Anime Ever Made

In today’s world, anime is now a very popular worldwide phenomenon. There are so many people who are fascinated by this type of entertainment and most people, especially teenagers, want to know what are other first animes ever created.

The answer to this question is the famous anime series from Japan that is called “Macross”, “Sailor Moon” and “K-On”.

“K-On” is the first anime to have been aired on television in the United States. There are many other types of anime, but these are some of the most well known and are the first anime that has been aired in America.

More Popular Anime Films

Another popular anime that is one of the first to have been aired on television is “Cowboy Bebop”. This anime is set in the future in the galaxy of the stars.

There is a ship called the Bebop and it is piloted by an anime character named Spike Spiegel. The main character is named Spike and is a member of a special group called the Jazz band. They are also called the crew of the Bebop.

“K-On” First Anime Aired on Television Network

“K-On” is the third anime to be aired in the United States and it was the first anime to be aired on a television network. The show was created by a studio called Kyoto Animation.

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This studio is well known in Japan for its quality anime productions. In this anime, one of the main characters, Aika Ibuki, is in the middle of school life and is also a first-timer at school. She lives with her mother and younger sister. One day, Aika gets a phone call from an unknown girl.

The name of this anime series is “K-On”. It is based on the famous Japanese anime series called “Macross”. “Macross” is a series of Japanese spaceplane anime that was first aired in America in 1969 and has been rerun for over twenty-five years.

“K-On” is the first anime ever made on television and is now known around the world. It is the first anime ever made by a studio in the United States and is a very popular anime series.

Anime is something that people love to collect and watch. The most important thing to remember about anime is that you are never too old or too young to enjoy it. There are a number of very popular anime films that are being produced all over the world and you can enjoy watching them as well as a hobby.

Now go and check out who was the first superhero ever.