Manga: Kobutori (1929)
Article 5528 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Chuzo Aochi and Yasuji Murata
What it is: Animated fantasy
Two men (one industrious, the other lazy and dishonest) both have disfiguring lumps on their heads. When the former has his lump removed after an encounter with an immortal and his bird minions, the other decides to meet them as well in the hopes of having the same fate.
Japan has a long tradition of animation, but this is the earliest one I’ve seen to date. The style is much more realistic than the American animation from the same time period, and it is much more adult in spirit as well. I was quite entertained and charmed by this little tale. One thing I’m very glad has happened with this project is that it’s given me an opportunity to encounter animation from other lands; though I’m a big fan of animation, I really didn’t encounter much that wasn’t American in origin for many years.