National Anime Day

National Anime Day is a holiday that’s observed every April 15th and celebrates a very special type of hand-drawn and computer-generated animation that originally began in Japan. In English-speaking countries outside of Japan, anime refers to all animation that is produced in Japan, but in Japan itself, anime refers to all animated works no matter where they began or their particular style.

Regardless of how a person defines anime, one thing is certain. This is the holiday during which they can celebrate it. And they can celebrate it in a number of different ways, from enjoying their favorite works to sharing them with others.

The History Of National Anime Day

Experts widely agree that the art forms that were the precursors to Japanese anime were kagee and Emakimono. Kagee was very popular during the Edo period and uses an ancient form of storytelling that features shadow puppetry.

Emakimono was an illustrated horizontal narration system of illustrated handscrolls that was very common during the 11th century. Traveling storytellers would narrate anecdotes and narrated legends while the emakimono was unfurled from the right to the left as a sort of moving panorama.

During the 12th century, the popularity of kamishibai skyrocketed and would remain popular in street theater until the 1930s. Now that we’ve discussed the pioneers of this genre, let’s quickly turn our attention to the modern era of anime. Many people attribute the origins of modern anime to animator and manga artist Osamu Tezuka.

He adapted and simplified the animation techniques employed by Disney to limit frame counts and ultimately reduce animation costs. Many of these animation limitations would end up defining the entire medium’s style. One of the first anime broadcast on television was Three Tales (1960), and Instant History (1961-1964) was the first anime TV series.

During the 1970s, manga would take its seat at the table and its popularity exploded. This resulted in genres such as the giant robot genre (mecha), the super robot genre, and the real robot genre. Gundam and Super Dimension Fortress Macross would grow out of these genres and subgenres and become extremely popular during the 1980s.

During the 1990s, Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995), Ghost in the Shell (1995), and Cowboy Bebop (1998) would go on to mark the anime of the day. Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z would also attract an international audience during the 1990s and become mega-successful.

The 2000s have continued to define the anime genre with works such as Spirited Away (2001). One of the major successes of this era was Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train. It would become one of the highest-grossing Japanese films and one of the world’s highest-grossing films of 2020.

It should be no surprise to anyone that this holiday began in Tokyo, Japan in 1975. At this initial event, over 700 anime fans showed up. Of course, over the years, the event celebrating National Anime Day has grown significantly and features thousands upon thousands of people and hundreds of different anime production companies.

The Best Anime Series For Beginners

People who have no experience with anime often look at the wealth of anime that currently exists and wonder where to begin. Fortunately, we have an answer to that question. We want everyone to be able to enjoy anime, especially on National Anime Day, so we gathered together a list of some of the anime titles that we would like to suggest to anime beginners. Let’s look at them below.

  • Cowboy Bebop (1998)
  • Bleach (2004)
  • Death Note (2006)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009)
  • Attack on Titan (2013)
  • Demon Slayer: ​​Kimetsu no Yaiba (2019)

Observing National Anime Day

This is a day for everyone to share their love of anime. This can be done by attending in-person or virtual anime events, by dressing up as your favorite anime character or watching an anime movie. It’s also a good day to go old-school and check out some of the Manga books from back in the day. And people can spread the news about this holiday using the hashtag #NationalAnimeDay on social media.

When is it?
This year (2023)
April 15 Saturday
Next year (2024)
April 15 Monday
Last year (2022)
April 15 Friday
Art & Entertainment