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Answerman - What Was Anime Like Before World War II Ended?


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fathomlessblue



Joined: 28 Mar 2012
Posts: 79
Location: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:21 pm Reply with quote
So in summary, just go read Jonathan Clements' 'Anime: A History'.

Half the book is basically an answer to this very question (and obviously forms the core knowledge of Justin's response). It's an incredibly impressive work & currently the first stop for westerners with an interest in the history of the medium.
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jsevakis
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Joined: 28 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:53 pm Reply with quote
fathomlessblue wrote:
So in summary, just go read Jonathan Clements' 'Anime: A History'.

Half the book is basically an answer to this very question (and obviously forms the core knowledge of Justin's response). It's an incredibly impressive work & currently the first stop for westerners with an interest in the history of the medium.


I haven't read it (my research for this one came from about 8-9 different articles but no books), but I have read a few other books by Jonathan and can recommend his work without reservation. I should probably add this one to the list.
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Zin5ki
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:51 pm Reply with quote
Justin wrote:
These were short, silent films, often designed to be accompanied by a narrator known as a benshi (which were common in Japanese silent era cinema). The artwork of these early films ranged dramatically from cartoony to very realistic and ambitious.

Thank you for finding this! I note with interest the use of limited animation in the video. I was under the prior assumption that the regimented use of repeated cuts as a time-saving exercise was not commonplace until the 1940s, so the animators had certainly given the logistics of their enterprise plenty of forethought.
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fathomlessblue



Joined: 28 Mar 2012
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Location: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:54 pm Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:
I haven't read it (my research for this one came from about 8-9 different articles but no books), but I have read a few other books by Jonathan and can recommend his work without reservation. I should probably add this one to the list.


Ah, apologies for being a little presumptuous there. His book touches on many of the same points in a similar order (which probably shouldn't be a huge shock, what with history being linear and all ^^) so I assumed you were summarising them. I'd easily recommend the book though, as he references a lot of memoirs and autobiographies to dig into a lot of the early productions, particularly around WW2-era groups such as the illusive Shadow Staff. The post-80's writing is pretty threadbare but if anyone wants to learn about the production of anime before/during Tezuka then it's probably the most comprehensive English-language work to date.
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:00 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
These were short, silent films, often designed to be accompanied by a narrator known as a benshi (which were common in Japanese silent era cinema).


In fact, just off the subject, the benshi may have culturally created the anime and samurai-film trope of the Pompous Overdramatic Narrator, as heard in Leiji Matsumoto series.

Since Western silent films didn't translate the intercards, the benshi had to read the dialogue, but as long as he was on the theater stage, made a dramatic act out of covering all the film's silences, even in the action:
"And so the two foes clashed in their final battle, at the point where life and death met...Who would remain standing?"
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yamiangie



Joined: 03 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:30 pm Reply with quote
I attended a panel on early Japanses animation. Some of it plays a lot like a Max Fleischer cartoon set in japan. Also one of those propaganda one has Micky Mouse attacking Japan.
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TonyTonyChopper



Joined: 12 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:38 pm Reply with quote
Good article though lot's of it i knew already i learned something new !!!
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 3440
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:41 pm Reply with quote
That tengu animation was quite impressive for its time.
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Dr.N0



Joined: 04 Oct 2012
Posts: 91
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:42 pm Reply with quote
fathomlessblue wrote:
So in summary, just go read Jonathan Clements' 'Anime: A History'.

Half the book is basically an answer to this very question (and obviously forms the core knowledge of Justin's response). It's an incredibly impressive work & currently the first stop for westerners with an interest in the history of the medium.
I second that: it really is a masterful book. You should definitely read it, Mr Sevakis.
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Rekishika



Joined: 24 Apr 2014
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 1:11 am Reply with quote
fathomlessblue wrote:
So in summary, just go read Jonathan Clements' 'Anime: A History'. ...

Dr.N0 wrote:
I second that: it really is a masterful book. You should definitely read it, Mr Sevakis.


I hate to say this because Clements' book overall is one of the best histories of anime yet, but on the very beginnings of anime he can only be recommended hesitatingly. You might take a look at my (English) research notes on very early anime and animation in Japan (http://litten.de/fulltext/nipper.pdf; http://litten.de/fulltext/ani1917.pdf; http://litten.de/fulltext/color.pdf), but if you can read German, wait a month or two for my book on animated film in Japan in the first two decades of the 20th century ("Animationsfilm in Japan bis 1917"). This will be the most extensive and up-to-date study on this topic in any language. [self-promotion off]
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Rolando_jose



Joined: 04 Jan 2007
Posts: 235
Location: Ahhhh it's vacation time again!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:57 am Reply with quote
An easier and simpler way to get a fast course on limited animation can be found in "The Osamu Tezuka Story" manga-book, how and why Tezuka decided to use L.A. On his creations. And since it's a manga will be "easier" to read the 900+ pages.
It's from Stonebridge Press and can be found for less than 20.00 bucks in amazon.

Cheers
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Moroboshi-san



Joined: 06 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:26 am Reply with quote
Rekishika wrote:

When you mention here Hakujaden I would have wished to see small footnote on Mogura no Abanchuru too. It is short 9 min movie which apparently is the first color anime TV broadcast, and actually first anime TV broadcast of any kind. It was broadcasted 7 days before Hakujaden premiere.
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Rekishika



Joined: 24 Apr 2014
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:54 am Reply with quote
Moroboshi-san wrote:
Rekishika wrote:

When you mention here Hakujaden I would have wished to see small footnote on Mogura no Abanchuru too. It is short 9 min movie which apparently is the first color anime TV broadcast, and actually first anime TV broadcast of any kind. It was broadcasted 7 days before Hakujaden premiere.

Well, footnote 2 in that research note actually covers it.
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svines85



Joined: 30 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:06 pm Reply with quote
What a great article, thanks, Justin Smile
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SEGAtheGENESIS234



Joined: 19 Jan 2015
Posts: 81
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 1:21 pm Reply with quote
I wish that we can see a lot more of these WW2 cartoons on DVD. Sure, they'll be deemed offensive by today's standards, but these give light to how each each side viewed each other. Plus, these shorts are a part of animation history. At least a quick search on YouTube can find some of them.

Not to mention, some are really, REALLY insane. For example, one that I saw involved Mickey Mouse (representing America), being the head leader of the war. This was common in a lot of these shorts, so it doesn't surprise me too much. The short I'm talking about also had a character with a cup for a head transforming into a tank, which would be the inspiration for Cuphead.
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