Of all the animation in the world, 65% or more is Japanese. In 1917, Seitaro Kitayama created the animation “Monkey and the Crab” drawn on paper in India ink. Osamu Tezuka turned comics into attractive art and built a foundation of comics and animation in present day Japan. Many excellent works have influenced other genres such as literature and movies and thus, the world’s animation community was established.
In 1963, the televising of “Tetsuwan Atom” began, and was broadcast overseas as “AstroBoy” causing Osamu Tezuka’s audience to grow worldwide. Some notable Japanese animation accomplishments include: “Doraemon” (1969), “UFO Robo Grandizer” (1978) (it had the highest audience rating of 100% in France and Italy and the theme songs were smash successes selling over 1 million copies), “Dragonball” (1986) ( with a rating of 70% which made Akira Toriyama the most popular Japanese in France), Akira (アキラ) (1988), “Pokemon”(ポケモン) (1997) for which the 1999 movie version took first place in United States box offices, and Naruto (ナルト) (2002) which had the highest ratings among Japanese households with boys aged 6-14 (as of 2006). All of these projects are milestones of success in Japanese animation that have taken place throughout the world. Recently, the animated movie “Spirited Away” claimed The Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear in 2002 as well as the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2003.