What Was the First Anime Ever Made?

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Much like movies, video games, and general television, anime has reached the point where it is so popular that no one really has any questions about where it came from, as it has been for over a century. But what was the first anime ever made? Here is everything you need to know.

The answer to this question really depends on a number of different variables, including exactly what you consider an anime. As such, we are going to break it down to specify a few different distinctions what the first anime ever made.

What Was the First Anime Ever Made?

According to the 2017 book “Animated Film in Japan Until 1919. Anime of Western Animation and the Beginnings“By Frederick S. Litten, The History of Anime Can Be Traced Back to 1907. Before the invention of film, Japan used magic lantern shows, with the first animated film ever made by Katsudō Shashin (Activity Photo).

In sync with the first anime inspired by this style, the pre-recorded voices (a “talkie”) in 1933, titled Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka (Within the World of Power and Women). More war-based propaganda anime were also created a few years later, with Momotarō: Umi no Shinpei (1945) becoming the first anime feature film ever.

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First Color Animated Film & TV Series

In 1958, Toei Animation and Mushi Production produced the first animated feature film Hakujaden (The Tale of the White Serpent), which was released three years later in the US. When it comes to the television series, the Otogi Manga Calendar (Instant History) premiered in 1961 and became the first color-animated TV series, what many argue is becoming the first anime ever created.

Since the Otogi Manga Calendar didn’t consistently of animation (According to Anime: A History. London: British Film Institute), some consider Astro Boy to be the first anime ever created, especially since it was the first TV series ever debuted in the US.

So what do you think of as classifies first-ever anime ever madeWhat? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. And while you’re here, check out all of the other great features, guides, news, and quizzes we’ve had in the related articles section at the bottom of the page.

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Featured Image Source: Toei Animation

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