Column: The History of Japanese Anime


"Tetsujin 28-Go" (Iron Man No. 28) Pioneer of Giant Robot Anime

Following the success of the blockbuster "Astro Boy," a great many TV anime shows started airing in 1963. Among these, "Tetsujin 28-Go" was popular with children. The original work was made by Mitsuteru Yokoyama, a leading figure in the world of manga, along with Osama Tezuka and Shotaro Ishinomori.
Centered on the story of a giant robot that could be "good or evil," depending on how the remote control was used, which was used by a boy detective to fight the guys, Tetsujin 28-Go pioneered giant robot anime. The style of humans controlling the robots evolved into the piloted robot, Mazinger Z, in the 1970s, eventually leading to the giant robot anime boom including "Mobile Suit Gundam," "Neon Genesis Evangelion," and the like.

There was a resurgence of the "Tetsujin 28-Go" boom in 2000, with as its 50th anniversary approached, and in 2009, an 18-meter monument of Tetsujin 28-Go was created on the south side of the JR Shin-Nagata Station in Kobe, which is the hometown of the author. If you are a Tetsujin fan, you will want to visit this spot.

Among the giant robot anime that followed

Among the giant robot anime that followed, the most popular in Asia was "Mobile Suit Gundam," which has run for more than 30 years, and which continues to gain fans in Japan, as well. The reason for this popularity is that it breaks from the common practice of conventional robot anime, with revolutionary stories and robots that have beautifully molded forms known as "mobile suits."
In 2012, a leading edge entertainment space known as Gundam Front Tokyo was created in Odaiba, where participants can experience Gundam World first hand. An 18-meter full-size statue of Gundam greets Gundam fans from around the world at the Festival Plaza in the DiverCity Tokyo Plaza.

Fourth episode: "The 'Kawaii' (Cute) Culture Created by Girl Anime"