Column: The History of Japanese Anime

The 'Kawaii' (Cute) Culture Created by Girl Anime

In Japan, there is a genre of anime for girls that started with manga for girls. In the early years, famous examples include ""Sally the Witch,"" by Mitsuteru Yokoyama, ""Princess Knight,"" by Osamu Tezuka, ""The Secret of Akko-chan,"" by Fujio Akatsuka, and the like.

In the mid-1970s, the definitive work of anime for girls was created--this was, ""Candy Candy."" This anime was aired in Europe, enjoying great popularity especially in France and Italy, and in Asia, dubbed versions were aired in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The anime was first aired in Indonesia in 1989. As the first Japanese TV series anime, the original manga was also translated and published, and along with ""Doraemon,"" it was a work that seized the opportunity of the ""birth of the anime and manga generation.""

Girl's anime thus reached its golden age in the 1970s, and in the early 1990s, it enjoyed the limelight once again, with "Sailor Moon." The "Pretty Cure" created a new style with its debut in 2004, and the series is repeating today as well.

Girl's anime have had a great impact not only on anime fans, but also on the fashion and culture of Japanese girls. Especially, there is a close connection in the subcultures of manga and anime with the epicenter of fashion culture that is Harajuku. The fact that you can encounter girls wearing Lolita fashion, Hello Kitty, and beautiful girl character costumes on Harajuku street corners illustrates this point.

As devoted readers already know, Japanese girl's anime are the roots of the "Kawaii (Cute)" culture that is influencing girls throughout the world in the 21st century, precisely as "Cool Japan."