A sweeping journey through the history of Japanese animation, tracing this cultural phenomenon from its origins in traditional art to the present day. A dominant force in its home country since the 1970s, Japanese animation has become a global phenomenon in recent years. But far from being a contemporary invention, anime draws on the same centuries-old artistic traditions that form the basis of manga. Widely disparaged when it first appeared in the West, today the real value of Japanese animation is recognized, and it has inspired international film directors. Fairytale, romance, adventure, fantasy, science-fiction: anime encompasses many genres and its current creativity knows no bounds. The author studies the evolution of Japanese animation through the centuries, retracing its history from painted scrolls to woodblock prints, to animated films, first in black and white, and then in color. A number of prominent artists are showcased including Tezuka Osamu, the “godfather of anime” and Hayao Miyazaki, founder of the world-renowned Studio Ghibli and creator of films such as Spirited Away-the first anime film to win an Academy Award. Illustrated with over five hundred images, many rarely seen in the West, this book bridges the gap between art history and pop culture.