2017 was anime's 100th Anniversary, and it is exciting to think that what once started as as small shadow puppet recreations and stop-motion shorts would spark a global phenomenon a century later features all sorts of diverse projects and tones.
The Association of Japanese Animation celebrating anime's 100 years of existence with a video retrospective going all the way back to anime's first inception to its current life and popularity.
The video shows footage from such series as Gigantor, Astro Boy, Cyborg 009, Speed Racer, Ashita no Joe, Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Mobile Suit Gundam, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, Cowboy Bebop, Digimon, Naruto, and One Piece, to even more recent hits like Bungo Stray Dogs, Tiger and Bunny, and Mr. Osumatsu.
The retrospective also includes anime films like Akira, Kimba the White Lion, your name., and Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale, but fans will surely recognize that one major player is missing from the retrospective. It most likely is due to licensing restrictions, but the fact that none of Studio Ghibli's works are represented here definitely leaves a void.
But many series, both young and old, deep cuts or highly popular, are given time to shine here otherwise and will surely be a great 15 minute look back into anime's long history for any fan.
The retrospective video is backed by the Association of Japanese Animation's special theme, "Tsubasa wo Motsu Mono - Not an angel, Just a dreamer," which features 23 different musical acts including i☆Ris, Azumi Inoue, Wake Up, Girls! singing group, Maaya Uchida, Akira Kushida, GRANRODEO, Isao Sasaki, Hiro Shimono, JAM Project, Konomi Suzuki, Kenichi Suzumura, Ayana Taketatsu, Minori Chihara, TRUE, Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Shoko Nakagawa, Wataru Hatano, Mitsuko Horie, Minami, Ichiro Mizuki, Suzuko Mimori, May'n, and Chihiro Yonekura.
The Association of Japanese Animation is also celebrating the monumental anniversary with a New Year's Eve special in Japan that will focus on voice actors in the anime industry discussing how things have changed over the years and also reveal the results of a poll they ran for the most popular character in anime.
They also held a film festival in Shinjuku last October as part of their plans for the next 100 years to "spread the power of anime to the world." The festival celebrated by screening new anime projects, older classics, holding live anime theme performances, a collaborative cafe, and even a character parade.