Kobu-tori – anime from 1929

Today is one year anniversary for this blog. And I wanted to give you something special for this occasion. And what could you possibly like better than an anime from the first half of the previous century? Well, if I were to believe statistics, most of my readers like to read about new stuff, things that just came out. But not you, right? You would like to read about this super old anime that was made before your parents were born. I know you would ^_^

Kobu-Tori - Tengu leader

One of the characters from the movie

Kobu-tori is an animated fairy tail, based, I believe, on some Japanese story or legend. It tells us a little story of a man with a lump on his face (which looks quite bad and not healthy at all, by the way). He went to a forest to gather wood. And being caught there by a storm he decided to hide in a hollow tree.


This is the protagonist. He is covering his face here, so you won’t see how badly it i sdeformed

Then, when the storm ends he heard music and went to see what is going on. And thus he meets Tengu, human-bird-like creatures from Japanese folklore. They play music and he dance for them. And I guess as a thanks they tear off that awful lump from his face. So now he is healthy again. Then there is a second part of the movie, where he guy tell his story to another man, who also has a lump on his face. And what happened next, I will leave you to discover by yourself =)

Kobu-Tori Tengu


This anime is 10 minutes long, it doesn’t has voiced dialogues, instead they use panels with text that tells as what is going on. Sort of like what people did with silent films. But the anime is not silent. It has music and sound effects.

Kobu-Tori dialogues-intertitles

That is what you get here instead of voice acting (that is called intertitles, right?)

Also as you can see from the pictures it is black and white (or rather black and yellow). There are no subtitles, but the plot is fairly simple and you only need a little bit of imagination to watch and enjoy it. The art style is definitely unique. It look like nothing you can find in later anime. Kobu-tori is sort of anime from the era before anime was born. I doubt it had much influence on the later animation works, because the time gap between it and the time when anime started to appear is way to large.

So, I guess it is interesting to see animation from so long ago. Check it out! I will embed a player here, so you won’t have to search for this one. And because this movie is more than 80 years old watching it on YouTube is perfectly fine.

See you next time (^_^)/

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8 thoughts on “Kobu-tori – anime from 1929

  1. I watched the movie. It was surprisingly nice :O
    It was easy to guess what was going to happen to the second guy with the lump though =) It would have been awesome if I could read the text too (i.e Intertiles. I learned something new today :3)

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