Famous manga artist claims famous character designer was the perky pioneer, but not everyone is convinced.

A meticulous attention to detail is often held up as one of the distinguishing characteristics of Japanese animation, and the most celebrated anime are full of little environmental and biomechanical details that come together to help its creators realize a thoroughly conceived aesthetic effect.

Which is why, of course, so many anime include noticeable breast bounces.

OK, maybe the motivation isn’t always quite so lofty. Regardless of the reason, though, mammary motion in anime is now common enough that a chest bounce hardly warrants an eyebrow raise-level of surprise. But nothing happens in anime without someone drawing it, and manga artist Hiroya Oku (best known for Gantz), recently tweeted a claim as to who was the first anime animator to include a breast bounce in their work.

“The first anime animator to include a breast bounce was Yoshiyuki Sadamoto,” claims Oku. “He told me so himself.”

Today, most anime fans likely know Sadamoto as the character designer for Evangelion or a number of Mamoru Hosoda-directed anime films (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, Wolf Children). Back in the day, though, Sadamoto was a member of an amateur animation group called Daicon Film that produced a pair of anime shorts for the opening ceremonies of two iterations of the Nihon SF Taikai science fiction convention. The second of these shorts, known as the Daicon IV Opening, was screened in 1983 and consisted of a lavishly animated action sequence centered on the bunny-suited woman shown in Oku’s tweet. At one point, after she hurls a giant robot into the sky, the woman flexes her arms in triumph. The associated torso motion makes her chest noticeable jiggle, and Oku’s tweet implies that it was Sadamoto who animated the sequence.

Japanese commenters responded to Oku’s tweet with reactions including:

“I’d heard a rumor that one of his nicknames was ‘Breast Bounce Sadamoto.’ Looks like it was well-deserved.”
“It must have given everyone who was there for the screening a mysterious sensation.”
“A historic moment.”
“The legendary bounce!”
“I’d thought Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind was the first, but that didn’t come out until a year after the Daicon IV Opening.”
“So Sadamoto is the father of the breast bounce?!?”
“Wow! He really is an icon!”
“Well, that’s the Gunbuster animation director for you.”

As alluded to in the last comment, the Daicon IV Opening quickly acquired a legendary status (for its overall passion and quality, not just the chest bounce), and several members of its production team would go on to from professional anime studio Gainax. Sadamoto is credited as animation director for Gainax’s 1988 OVA series Gunbuster. Gunbuster’s opening sequence features an even more pronounced chest bounce as its main character walks towards the camera, which played a major part in the phrases “Gainax bounce” and “Gainaxing” forming in the lexicon of 1990s anime fans in English-speaking territories.

And yet, not everyone is convinced that Oku’s claim is correct. Among the replies were a few dissenting opinions with half-faded memories of seeing anime breast bounces in Lupin III, which began airing in 1971, or Xabungle, which premiered in 1982, neither of which Sadamoto was involved in. One commenter even claimed that he’d looked into the matter and found claims that the first instance of a breast bounce in anime came all the way back in an episode of Sennin Buraku (also known as Hermit Village), an anime TV series that aired in 1963 and 1964 known for its risqué humor, and that the first example of breast bounces in animation in general were in a 1928 Disney short called Bright Lights.

However, no commenter was able to point out a specific anime episode or sequence that predates the Daicon IV bounce, so it’s probably safe to say that even if Sadamoto my not have animated anime’s first breast bounce, he animated the first one that people really remembered.

Source: Twitter/@hiroya_oku (1, 2) via Otakomu
Top image: Pakutaso
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