Anime has a long and storied history, which naturally leaves many fans wondering What was the first anime? used to be. In recent years, Anime has become a work of popular culture that attracts fans worldwide and is critically successful. However, its origins are much more humble and controversial with many of the original cartoons being lost to time or being disputed. This raises the question of whether the first anime is even remotely interesting to explore. Before discussing what the first anime was, it is necessary to address the actual definition of the word “anime”.
Anime is the Japanese word for animation, so in Japan this question would only revolve around what is considered the first animated film. However, in the West, anime has classified cartoons produced in Japan. Of course, this definition itself is not perfect as many people feel it excludes certain shows that they consider anime. Anime-style Avatar: The Last Airbender is a perfect example as the film is heavily inspired by Japanese anime both in terms of look and story, but is made by an American team with Korean animator.
Blunt Sword is probably the oldest anime in existence
However, these special cases did not exist in the early 1900s, which was when animation was in its infancy. At this time, foreign animation was just being introduced in Japan, which inspired many Japanese artists to try their hand at this field. Many animated films produced are short films that do not tell a story. Based on the material from which they were created, many of these clips have been lost to time, and the few examples that survive are hotly debated by scholars. The first true Japanese animated film with an actual story is considered by many to be called The Dull Sword, created by Jun’ichi Kouchi and following a goofy swordsman as he tests his weapon. me.
The Dull Sword is very different from what modern anime fans might expect. It lacks many of the stylistic features that distinguish anime today, and it’s completely silent. It’s also not entertaining or satisfying on a narrative level. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth a watch for fans of the genre who want to see what Japanese animation looked like more than a century ago. It’s still a fascinating look at Japanese culture at the time and has some humor. However, unlike some older shows that have stood the test of time like Astro Boy or The Legend of the Galactic Heroes, The Dull Sword doesn’t consider itself a good watch.
Of course, as with all discussions of this nature, there are other examples of early Japanese animation that some might call the first anime instead of The Dull Sword. The three-second animation is one such example despite its unorthodox animation technique. The debate over what the first anime actually was will probably never be resolved, but Blunt sword is the best candidate for that title one can find.