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How Was Anime Created? | The Ancient Origins of Anime and Manga

Anime today is a beloved Japanese icon. With a unique style, good music, and incredible stories, anime has captivated millions around the world. But where did it come from? What does manga have to do with it, and where does it come from? All of those questions will be answered in this post about the ancient Origins of Manga and the difficult History of Anime.


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What Exactly is Anime? And What Does It Have To Do With Manga?

Anime is simply an evolution of manga. Manga came first as Japanese cartoons. Then, when animation was developed, manga was animated. And that’s how anime was born.

Manga means "humorous pictures," and the word originated in the 1700s to describe little illustrated books. Today, manga is much more than that, and it is adored by people all over the world, not just in Japan.

The best comparison to Japanese manga is American comic books. Like a comic book, manga is made up of panels with cartoons drawn inside. However, one thing to note about manga is that it is read backwards. And typically, manga characters have more exaggerated emotions than traditional comic book characters, making for a more fun read.

The Early Origins of Manga (Ancient Era-1900)

The first evolution of manga that we see is from around the 1100s. In a temple outside the ancient capital of Kyoto, the Chōjū giga were housed. The Chōjū giga is an emaki (or emakimono) which means it's a scroll illustration of a text. Typically, the text being illustrated would be written on the same scroll as the illustration.