JIMAA: Learning About the History of Manga and Anime-Helpful Resources

Welcome back to JIMAA! Today I’m giving you some helpful resources to learn about the history of manga and anime.

Which came first? The manga or the anime?

Manga is much older than anime. When it comes to a specific series such, well it depends on the series.  For series such as Sailor Moon or Lupin III, the manga came first. For others such as Cowboy Bebop and Wolf’s Rain, the anime came first. Sometimes a manga won’t be turned into an anime and an anime won’t be turned into a manga.

Below are resources pertaining to the history of manga and anime.


First up, is the fifty-two minute documentary titled Manga World. This film can be found on the educational database Films on Demand. You’ll have to create a free account and login to view the video, here’s the link.

magnaworldReleased in Japan in 2005, the film objectively examines the history of manga, how manga are drawn, and manga’s influence on Japanese life as illustrated by cosplay bars, where people dress up as their favorite characters; manga kissa, 24/7, manga cafés; and Comicket, the twice-annual comics market that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors.

The film also introduces viewers to a cross-section of mangaka icons: Vagabond creator Takehiko Inoue; Naoki Urasawa, author of The Pushman and Other Stories; Jiro Taniguchi; Yoshihiro Tatsumi; and Kan Takahama.

Florida Library Webinars titled “Navigating Japanese Media: Manga and Anime For Your Teen Collection.”

The webinar was hosted by Teen Services Librarian Eden Rassette. While this video was geared towards library staff, I find that it’s also very helpful for general audiences. Topics that are discussed are the following:

  • Difference between anime & manga
  • Publication process for manga
  • Definitions for terms related to Japanese media
  • Types of fan-created works
  • Online sources for anime & manga
  • Staying up to date with new releases & popularity
  • Adult content in Japanese media
  • Additional resources & reading

Anime: Drawing a Revolution (2007)

Discusses the history of anime and its influence in the U.S. There are clips from Ghost in a Shell, Cowboy Bebop, and Afro Samurai among others.

You can watch the video here.

Art of Life-History of Anime

Shows you many of the different styles of anime that various creators came up with.



A Global History of Anime

Rightstuf.com gives a detailed look at the history of anime

Early Japanese Animations: The Origins of Anime (1917-1931)



Anime Project

The University of Michigan has an excellent site dedicated to anime.








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