Monday, December 31, 2012

Welcome to The Golden Ani-Versary of Anime!

A Happy New Year to you, weary traveler.

Look to your left. Look to your right. Remember everything you see around you. That is the current landscape of what you as an anime fan know as the current state of the industry. Remember it as firmly as you can, as there is no way of telling how it will look fifty years from now.

First of all, let me, as editor of this large-scale production, welcome you to what I have dubbed "The Golden Ani-Versary of Anime". While animation as a medium has been thriving in Japan for much longer than 50 years, many of the shows that you watch now can be traced back to one larger-than-life show.

It was back on January 1, 1963, fifty years ago to the date tomorrow, that Tetsuwan Atomu, known as "Astro Boy" in the English-speaking world, debuted on national TV in Japan. The show ran on Fuji TV for a total of four years, but influenced generations of Japanese citizens to strive to be animators, mangaka, directors, and producers, spawning a multi-billion-yen industry that has reached into businesses around the world.

Since 1963, when the number of running televised anime shows could be counted on two hands, anime has exploded into a juggernaut where the number of shows produced on a yearly basis easily hits triple digits. There have been memorable moments, disappointing climaxes, embarrassing endings, and unheralded successes for the past five decades, and as fans and writers, we all have our input as to which shows have made a lasting individual and collective impression.

That's where this blog comes into play.

Over the next six months, we will take a journey through everything that history has recorded in anime, pausing on our way at each year to look at what shows our panel of fifty bloggers and writers consider solid milestones and landmarks. The entries will come in various formats, whether they be essays on the state of the industry at that time, articles on the one show that changed the playing field, or rankings of what the writer considers the important shows of the year.

As the editor, I leave it up to each blogger and writer to present their thoughts, and hopefully by the end of the half-year we'll look back at an encyclopedia of knowledge and appreciation for what we all have embraced as a form of art and entertainment that has quite possibly changed our lives.

A Happy New Year to you, weary traveler. Let's enjoy what the next journey has in store.