CMA Stories

6 Fun Facts About Japanese Animation

This Sunday, August 14, we’re partnering with The Japanese Folk Dance Institute to celebrate the culture of Japan through art workshops and dance performances. Workshops will include creating your own Japanese garden inspired by Zen design, an origami tutorial, animation inspired by Hayao Miyazaki, and animal Yokai at the Clay Bar.

Japan has a celebrated history of animation, from world renowned Miyazaki films, to popular anime cartoons. We’ve put together these 6 fun facts about Japanese animation to get you ready for the festival!

1. The word “anime” refers to Japanese hand-drawn or computer animation. When the word is used outside of Japan, anime often conjures colorful graphics, magical or fantastical settings, and spirited characters.

2. While “anime” refers to animation, the term “manga” refers to comics and cartooning. Anime movies are often inspired by manga.

3. Japanese filmmaker and manga artist Hayao Miyazaki, famous for his movies Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and Castle in the Sky, was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2014, and won an Academy Honorary Award at the 87th Academy Awards.

4. The “kodomo” genre defines children’s anime. Popular kodomo anime includes Hello Kitty and Pokemon.

5. Anime filmmakers commonly exaggerate the eye size of their characters. This practice can be traced back to Osamu Tezuka, an anime and manga artist who was influenced by early animated characters such as Betty Boop, according to Anime Essentials: Everything a Fan Needs to Know.

6. Anime character’s hair is often wildly colorful or unusually styled. Its movement is exaggerated and “hair action” is used to illustrate the actions and emotions of characters.

This program is supported, in part, by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. 

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