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“The Dull Sword” (Namakura Gatana) holds a significant place in anime history as one of the earliest known anime films. Produced by Junichi Kōuchi and released on June 30, 1917, this short silent film marks a crucial milestone in the evolution of Japanese animation. It tells the comedic tale of a rōnin, a masterless samurai, who acquires a dull sword. The film humorously portrays his futile efforts to test the sword’s effectiveness on an unsuspecting passerby, resulting in repeated and comical failures.

While “The Dull Sword” is recognized as a pioneer in the anime medium, a couple of earlier films that preceded it, including “Dekobō shingachō – Meian no shippai” and “Bumpy new picture book – Failure of a Great Plan,” were also created in 1917. However, these films, directed by Ōten Shimokawa, are considered lost, adding an air of mystery to the early days of anime.

The concept of lost media refers to instances where original copies of media have been misplaced or destroyed over time. In this context, both “Dekobō shingachō – Meian no shippai” and “Bumpy new picture book – Failure of a Great Plan” fall under the category of lost media, as their whereabouts remain unknown.

Interestingly, a copy of “The Dull Sword” resurfaced after being lost for decades. An antique shop employee in Osaka, Japan, discovered the film in March 2008. This rediscovery shed light on the historical significance of the film and its contribution to the early development of anime.

In summary, “The Dull Sword” is recognized as one of the earliest anime films, released in 1917, with its comedic narrative revolving around a rōnin’s humorous attempts to wield a dull sword effectively. While a few earlier films exist but are lost, “The Dull Sword” remains a remarkable piece of anime history, showcasing the ingenuity and creativity of early Japanese animators.

The Second Anime Ever Made: Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka/The World of Power and Women (April 13, 1933)

During the pre-World War II era, a wave of animators embarked on endeavors to create animated films or cartoons that could stand up to the stature of Disney’s works. This concerted effort eventually yielded an anime milestone: the emergence of voiceovers in animation. This development was marked by the release of a short film titled “Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka” (translated as “The World of Power and Women”), directed by Kenzo Masaoka.

Released in April 1933, this black-and-white film marked a significant step in the evolution of anime. “Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka” revolved around the story of a father with four children who becomes entangled in an affair with a typist. The film unfolds as his wife confronts him about the affair, leading to a dramatic narrative centered on personal relationships and their complexities.

Although no existing prints of the film have been found, relegating it to the status of a “lost film,” “Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka” managed to achieve success upon its original release. Its storyline resonated with audiences, and the film’s accomplishment can be attributed to the implementation of cel animation technology and multiplane cameras. These technological advancements paved the way for the creation of subsequent anime films such as “The Dance of the Chagamas” in 1934 and “Ari-Chan” in 1941, expanding the realm of anime storytelling and visual expression.

In summary, the pre-World War II era witnessed determined efforts by animators to rival Disney’s achievements, resulting in the emergence of voiceovers in anime. This evolution is exemplified by the 1933 short film “Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka,” directed by Kenzo Masaoka. Despite being a lost film, its success spurred advancements in animation technology, contributing to the growth of anime and the creation of subsequent works in the field.

Are you a fan of anime and looking for the best place to shop for all your favorite merchandise? Look no further than WaifuWorld! Our online store is packed with all the latest and greatest anime products, from clothing and accessories to collectibles and figures. Whether you’re a fan of popular series like Naruto, Attack on Titan, or My Hero Academia, or prefer lesser-known gems, we’ve got you covered. So why wait? Head over to WaifuWorld today and start browsing our amazing selection of anime products. With our competitive prices, fast shipping, and top-notch customer service, you’re sure to find everything you need to express your love for anime!

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Find the Perfect Item for You

As an anime fan, you may know that finding the perfect merchandise can be a challenge. This store offers a wide range of anime and manga merchandise, including figures, trading card game (TCG) products, hoodies, wall scrolls, snacks and much more.
Whether you’re looking for budget-friendly or high-end items, our huge selection of figures from top manufacturers like Kotobukiya and Good Smile Company has you covered!

For trading card game enthusiasts, we offer an extensive collection of TCG products from popular card games like Yu-Gi-Oh!, Digimon, and Pokémon. This includes booster packs, sleeves, playmats, and special products that are only available here. We even have our own custom crossover decks such as Yu-Gi-Oh! x Dragon Ball and Yu-Gi-Oh! x Bleach for a unique game experience. As a waifu shop, we also sell Waifu Collectible Cards like Goddess Story and many other custom Waifu sets exclusively made by us. We are also planning to introduce the One Piece & Dragonball TCG soon.

Waifuworld is not just a store for collectors. We also offer cozy Hoodies based on your favorite anime series. Additionally, our Wall Scrolls feature the most popular anime characters and waifus, in a very high-quality print to ensure your love for anime is beautifully displayed.

We even sell snacks 😊 Try our Japanese import snacks like Mochi, a sweet treat that has been a popular dessert in Japan for centuries and will be a delicious and unique addition to any snack collection.
For those looking for something more mature, our store has a section dedicated to spicy products directly imported from Japan, as well as exclusive items that are only available here.

Have Fun Shopping

You can combine any products you like and only pay shipping once for the whole order. All of our products are stored in a german warehouse and we generally do not dropship. Orders within the EU are exempt from customs tax and customs control.
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