With how popular anime & manga is today, it’s surprising that most people don’t know who inspired the current style of Japanese anime. Osamu Tezuka, creator of Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion and Phoenix is credited for inspiring the current anime style that we see today. His production company, Mushi Productions, was founded as a direct competitor to Toei Animation and even with the competition from a much larger company he managed to revolutionize the industry.
You may be wondering, “Where did the large, sparkling eyes originate from?”. Well, when Tezuka was still a young boy, his mother took him to the Takarazuka Grand Theater which often featured the Takarzuka Revue (An all-female musical theater troupe). The large, sparkling eyes had such an influence on him, that he later portrayed his characters with similar characteristics.
His first big publication came in the form of Ambassador Atom; which also happened to be the first appearance of Astro Boy, Tezukas most popular character. However, Ambassador Atom was only a mild success in Japan yet Tezuka received a multitude of letters from young boys who loved the character. Tezuka was advised to give Atom his own series and so Astro Boy was formed. It took 10 years from the initial creation of the character for Astro Boy to be created, but it proved to be the spark that created anime as we know today. Astro Boy created the first successful model for Japanese animation and would also be the first Japanese animation dubbed in English (Essentially the Henry Ford of Japanese animation).
Tezuka drew over 150,000 pages of manga throughout his lifetime
which is a considerable feat. Even on his deathbed, Tezuka continued to work on his dream; drawing manga which would inspire millions. Tezuka is an example of how one person’s passion revolutionized an industry.
Change Starts With You
While Tezuka is one of those “Once in a lifetime” cases, anyone can have an impact on the anime community; no matter how big or small it may be. Whether it be through art that influences others to draw in a similar style (Bowsette as an example) or something that leaves the viewer with a thought; even the smallest idea can have a large impact.
If you really want to make a difference, you must take initiative. Art isn’t the only way to inspire others, it’s simply the most common method. Writing, actions, pictures and a strong desire to make things happen are all ways to inspire others.
Not everyone is a celebrity who has an audience of millions, but even inspiring one person to think differently or try something new can have an large impact. They may choose to spread that idea, or not but one person is better than none.
You have the power to make a difference and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
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