Technically speaking, “anime” is simply animation that has originated in Japan. The roots of anime are in “manga,” which are Japanese comics. Interestingly, manga originated on temple walls, and then eventually was compiled in comic books. Here are some of the most popular anime cartoons in history:
1. Astro Boy
The original manga series was published in 1952, and then was broadcast as a TV series in 1963. In Japanese, the name of the series is literally “Mighty Atom.” The story is based on the adventures of Astro Boy, a robot. Astro Boy was groundbreaking, as the style of animation used epitomized what would later became known throughout the world as “anime.” An American 3D movie based on the original manga series was released in October of 2009.
Doraemon is an anime series based on the original Japanese manga series. The story is based on Doraemon, a robotic cat. Doraemon travels back in time to the 22nd century, to help a schoolboy named Nobita Nobi. The manga series was originally published from 1969-1996. Meanwhile, the most recent TV anime series originally ran from 1979-2006. Interestingly, the first Doraemon anime series ran in 1973. However, it failed to become popular.
3. Dragon Ball Z
Both “Dragon Ball,” and “Dragon Ball Z” were anime series that were broadcast from 1986-1996, in Japan. The franchise also included 17 animated feature movies, and three TV specials. The anime TV shows were based on “Dragon Ball,” the original Japanese manga series. The series was published from 1984-1996. These comics were actually inspired by “Journey to the West,” a Chinese folk novel. “Dragon Ball” is about Son Goku’s search for seven magical objects that are referred to as the “Dragon Balls.” During his journey, Son Goku meets friends and foes, the majority of whom are also searching for the Dragon Balls.
The Pokemon anime series is based on the Pokemon video game series-which itself is part of the umbrella Pokemon franchise. Although the Pokemon TV series was originally aired in Japan, it has since been released in other markets, including North America, Europe, and Australia. Also, the original series has spawned three different series.
- The name “Pokemon” is actually an abbreviated name of “Pocket Monsters,” a Japanese brand name. Pokemon also refers to the nearly 500 fictional creatures that have appeared in the Pokemon franchise.
- The basis of the Pokemon universe is a childhood interest of Satoshi Tajiri-Oniw. Tajiri-Oniw, the franchise’s executive director, enjoyed collecting insects as a child.
5. Speed Racer
This adaptation name is based on the original anime show “Mach GoGoGo.” Mach GoGoGo became a series in 1968. The Speed Racer TV series lasted in the United States, from 1967-1968. A total of 52 episodes were produced during that timeframe. Certain chapters from Mach GoGoGo manga were released during the 1990s. Then in 2008, the American film “Speed Racer” was released.