What Was The First Anime Ever Made? A Detailed Analysis

What Was The First Anime

Indeed, it is the most complex question with the most divisive opinions that what was the first anime in the anime community. The opinions are based on a variety of factors, such as what you believe to be an anime, whether it is a film or a full-length anime series.

However, there definitely be a single answer of what was the first anime, and we will try to find out this answer. Meanwhile, you might be interested to know what anime is Astolfo from and why is she so popular?

What Was The First Anime?

What Was The First Anime

The first-ever known anime is Katsudo Shashin, a Japanese animation, created somewhere between 1907 and 1911. Interestingly, the creator of this anime is unknown and it is claimed that Katsudo Shashin was created just for home entertainment, not for a commercial showcase.

This was just a 3-second clip with 50 frames but very impressive one in which a boy wrote 活動写真 in Japanese, open his hat, and then bows. I have attached the video below so that you can watch the world’s first-ever created anime.

In the above clip, you can see a mechanism for producing magical lamp pictures was used to emboss the frames in red and black, and the filmstrip was connected in a circle for free play. Unlike typical animation, the blocks were created by stenciling the visuals onto microfilm instead of filming them.

Other Claims On What Was The First Anime

What Was The First Anime

Some other experts claim, Namakura Gatana which means An Obtuse Sword, was the first anime, a 4-minute long film, developed in June 1917. This 4-minute wordless film depicts the story of a warrior who makes the mistake of procuring a dull-edged sword.

The warrior, anxious to understand how and why his old weapon didn’t cut into anybody he did strike, attacks unsuspecting civilians who fight themselves and take him down. This full-length video can easily be viewed and downloaded from below as well as available in the public domain.

What Was The First Anime In Modern Anime World?

In the modern anime world, Hakujaden is considered the first anime, a colored anime, created in 1958 in Japan. The term Hakujaden means “The White Snake Enchantress” and is also known as “The Great White Snake” and “The Tale of the White Serpent.”

It’s the drama of a young lad in West Lake who used to have a pet snake but was obliged to give it up by his family. Ages elapse, and the snake morphs into the gorgeous queen during a terrible storm.

Apart from all these, the first anime series ever created is Otogi Manga Calendar in 1961-64. It is also the first anime that is highly televised across Japan. The first OVA anime series broadcasted ever is Dallos in December 1993.

What Was The First Anime In Modern Anime

Many anime lovers think Momotaro: Sacred Sailors the first anime which is completely wrong. It is not the first anime but the first full-length animation of a total of 74 minutes long, telecasted in Japan and was released in April 1945.

It depicts the journey of young Japanese folks from early school years and committed to serving in the military and combat over Japan’s adversaries, as well as how the woodland critters deal with it.

So, When Did Anime Comes To Existence?

While you knew what was the first anime, let’s track a bit of anime history. The oldest authenticated anime flicks are dated from 1907, and the origin of animation may be traced all the way back to the beginning of the twentieth century.

Japan has a long heritage of theatre prior to the invention of cinema, with vibrantly colored drawn images moving all over a display panel. With the rising popularity of animation such as Gundam and Macross in the 1980s, anime had become ubiquitous in Japan, resulting in a development explosion.

Recently, owing to the various medium’s broadening and accessibility on streaming platforms, anime’s global reach, and consumption skyrocketed during the 2020 pandemic outbreak.

Closing Words

I hope your confusion got cleared over what was the first anime. The answer to what was the first anime depends on the context you are asking. In general terms, the first anime was Katsudo Shashin, a short 3 seconds clip created with 50 frames, however, some claim it was Namakura Gatana, a 4-minute silent film.

On the other hand, if we talk about the first colored anime then it was Hakujaden, created in 1958, and considered the first modern world anime. The first-ever anime series was Otogi Manga Calendar, broadcast from 1961 to 1964.

However, the first full-length anime was Momotaro: Sacred Sailors which was released in 1945 in Japan while the first OVA anime was Dallos. So, what do you think about the first anime, share your opinions in the comment section?