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Updated: April 2, 2018
Though animation first came to Japan in the early 1900s, it didn't boom until the mid-century. In the 1970s, influential manga comic book artists such as Osamu Tezuka inspired a unique giant robot genre known as "mecha," which focuses on detailed mechanical designs, complex sci-fi plots, and themes recalling Japan's nuclear past and the implications of technology on future humanity.
Starting with the likes of Tezuka's Astro Boy, the Tokyo Polytechnic University Suginami Animation Museum provides a comprehensive look into anime's past, present, and future, while also curating hands-on workshops, talks from industry professionals, and screenings in the museum theater. Though smaller than the renowned (and incredibly difficult to reserve) Studio Ghibli Museum, Tokyo Polytechnic University Suginami Animation Museum is free to enter, and even offers an audio tour in English.
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