A century after its birth, animation continues to evolve. The most exciting developments are found on two distinct fronts: the anime (“animation”) of Japan and the prime-time television cartoons of the United States. An offspring of the dense, novelistic style of Japanese manga comic books and the cut-rate techniques developed for television production in 1960, anime such as Miyazaki Hayao’s Princess Mononoke (1997) are the modern equivalent of the epic folk adventures once filmed by Mizoguchi Kenji (The 47 Ronin, 1941) and Kurosawa Akira (Yojimbo, 1961; “The Bodyguard”). Kon Satoshi’s Perfect Blue (1997) suggests the early Japanese New Wave films of director Oshima Nagisa with its violent exploration of a media-damaged personality.
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