Celebrate Anime’s 100th Birthday

Image: Courtesy of the National Film Centre

This year marks the 100th year of Japanese animation. 100 years is a long-*ss time, with the earliest record of Japanese animation is all the way back in 1917. In case you were wondering, this means that Japanese animation is even older than the first Disney cartoons (take that, Mickey Mouse).

It all started with a title known as The Dull Sword. No fan service, no sci-fi or giant robots; this short is about a samurai that buys a sword that’s just too dull to use (been there). If you’re feeling nostalgic, can check out a small clip of it on BBC.com.

Many original anime were considered lost and forgotten until someone (a holy anime figure, in my book) discovered them in an antique shop. In order to commemorate animation’s big birthday, loyal fans can view the goods thanks to the National Film Center at the National Museum of Modern Art. It’s all in Japanese, but apparently a multi-lingual version with subtitles is on the way.

So, how can we celebrate a century of anime?

  • Share your favorites with someone who doesn’t know much about it. It isn’t just up to the creators and artists to keep anime alive – it’s up to fans to keep the community alive for another 100 years!
  •  Reach out to your favorite creators; send a tweet or post telling them Happy Birthday for the medium they create in. Never know… You might be lucky enough to receive a retweet or response.
  • Throw an anime themed party (any excuse for cake, am I right?). Our girl Kelsey has the lowdown on some killer Japanese snacks that would pair perfectly with a few birthday candles.

Hell, you could even work on a “special-edition” cosplay, or just finish that Naruto fan-fiction you started forever ago. The world of anime has come a long way since The Dull Sword; let’s celebrate it, shall we?

Sound off below on how you’ll be ringing in Anime’s 100th Birthday!



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