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Anime has been a popular favorite among people of all ages – especially young people – for the past few decades. Anime characters and series such as Bleach, One Punch Man, Cowboy Bebop, and Sword Art Online have all infiltrated this genre of media as an interesting form of entertainment.

National Anime Day is a holiday dedicated to this form of entertainment and the people those stories have helped connect. Read more to learn about the history of the day and some great ways to participate in it here at Days of the Year.

Get ready for National Anime Day!

History of National Anime Day

National Anime Day first began when anime conventions got started several decades ago. Anime conventions have a long history that spreads throughout the world, but they got their start in Japan, which makes sense because that is also where anime began.

One of the first original conventions for the genre of anime was Comiket, which started in 1975 with around 700 people in Tokyo. Anime has been around a lot longer than that, though, with one of the first considered “animes” to have existed since the early 1900’s.

However, it wasn’t until the late 1970’s and the early 1980’s that anime started becoming a popular show on television–beginning with Astro Boy. Following that, anime began to develop its own unique style.

Today there is a widespread culture of people all over the world who love anime and manga. In fact, there are now multiple conventions around the world, with some of the most popular places to have conventions being in Japan and the United Kingdom as well as the United States.

National Anime Day is all about celebrating the history of anime and bringing people together to enjoy their favorite anime shows and characters. The day even has its own convention, held in multiple convention locations all over the United States in cities such as Orlando, Nashville, Atlanta, and Carolina.

Friends and families that love anime can join these conventions held each year and get an opportunity to see comic book sellers, voice actors and authors. Plus, they can even get a chance to dress up in their favorite character’s outfits!

National Anime Day gives a day for the stories that anime has told and how those stories, voice actors, and creators have helped bring people together. So now it’s time to celebrate the day!

National Anime Day Timeline


Earliest verifiable anime film is released

Called Katsudo Shashin, or “Activity Photo”, this 50-frame film features a boy in a sailor suit and is believed to be a predecessor to anime.[1]


Modern Anime begins 

When anime studios start popping up in Japan, anime develops as a style of animation that starts with hand drawn pictures but eventually moves to computer animation.[2]


Astro Boy makes his debut 

From creator Osamu Tezuka, who is often called the Father of Manga and Anime, comes Astro Boy which is known as “Mighty Atom” in Japan.[3]


Mushi Productions company begins

When Osamu Tezuka founds his company, Mushi Productions, the genre of anime gets a great deal of input from the manga comic book style.[4]


Pokemon gets its start 

Created by Satoshi Tajiri, Pokemon begins in Japan as Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue and becomes the most popular anime in the world. Pokemon also has its own day![5]

How to Celebrate National Anime Day

Observing and enjoying National Anime Day is a fun and delightful opportunity to enter just a bit more deeply into the world of anime, whether for newbies or life-long fans. Try out some of these ideas for celebrating the day:

Attend a National Anime Day Convention

National Anime Day is all about appreciating the art of anime, so why not go to a local convention near you and make new friends? Activities such as readings, showings, talks and autograph signings are just a few of the many ways people can enjoy a National Anime Day Convention. And don’t forget to dress up as a favorite anime character, so everyone can see how much support is being offered to others who appreciate anime as well!

Start Watching an Anime Series

Whether you’re brand new to anime or have been around for a while, some of these series and shows might be fun to watch (or re-watch!) in honor of National Anime Day celebrations:

  • Sol Levante. This is the world’s first 4K HDR anime show that is hand-drawn, making it particularly special. It’s produced by the Japanese animation company, Production I.G.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion. A new take on an older classic, this series also includes two movies, The End of Evangelion and Evangelion: Death (True)2.
  • Cowboy Bebop. This classic show originally ran in 1998 and has been a blend of science fiction and cyberpunk which is beloved by tons of different fans of the genre.
  • Naruto. An anime with the theme of Ninja, this show ran for at least 15 years under two different titles: Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden.

Host a National Anime Day Gathering

Whether it’s hosting a big party or just grabbing some friends to hang out, this is a great day to get together with others who appreciate anime. Share a favorite manga book or magazine, watch some favorite shows, and have a good time with people who know that anime is a great way to pass the time. Have guests dress up as their favorite anime character and make anime-inspired treats and snacks. It might even be fun to create some original anime drawings as part of the fun of the day!

It might even be fun to get a group from school or work together and host a fun event that gathers anime lovers. Perhaps it could be hosted at school, a public library or a local community center. A great idea might be to invite an anime author to speak. Host workshops on how people can draw their own anime. Or arrange for a showing of a well-loved anime feature film. What an exciting opportunity!

Plus, this is also an ideal time to share this day on some favorite social media websites with friends and family to celebrate the exciting fun that is anime.

National Anime Day FAQs

Is there a National Anime Day?

Yes! National Anime Day is one that is set aside for fans of this type of art to observe and celebrate that rich history and bright future of the genre.[1]

When is National Anime Day?

National Anime Day is celebrated every year in early Spring, on the date of April 15.[2]

What to do on National Anime Day?

National Anime Day presents many opportunities, whether getting together with friends to throw a party in honor of the day![3]

Who started National Anime Day?

This day got its beginnings in 1975 when 700 people gathered in Tokyo for an anime convention called Comiket. The idea for National Anime Day grew from there.[4]

How to celebrate National Anime Day?

Of course, the perfect way to celebrate this day is by enjoying watching some popular anime series![5]

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