“Early Japanese Animation” is a thoroughly absorbing five-part word-and-video essay about a local art form that eventually turned into the international anime phenomenon.
At first glance, the very old cartoons you’ll see and read about here look quite a bit like their Western counterparts (the collected works of Max Fleischer, the creator of Betty Boop, come quickly to mind). Keep watching, and you’ll find that the feeling, humor, and overall sensibility are all fairly site-specific, in ways that the essay’s author, Cory Gross, does a fine job of explicating. The whole thing’s currently up on Network Awesome’s eponymous magazine; we found it via WFMU’s Beware of the Blog and were instantly enchanted.
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