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Monday, 30th September 2013
In Japan Entertainment News,

Longest-running cartoon will go digital

The Japanese cartoon Sazae-san will go fully digital this October after a 44-year run on hand-drawn celluloid-based animation, its creators announced on Friday (September 27th ).

In its broadcasting history, the production has amassed a large portion of the Sunday audiences, with one in seven viewers regularly tuning in.

It has also been recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running cartoon in the world, and according to Fuji Television Network, its transition to a digital production process will mean there are no hand-drawn cartoons broadcasted on Japanese television.

Sazae-san follows the antics of its title character, a cheerful but gutsy housewife who lives with her husband, parents, brother, sister and son. Plotlines generally focus on everyday issues in the family's life.

The show started broadcasting in 1969 and initially began making the transition to digital formatting in 2005, following in the steps of fellow Japanese cartoon Doraemon, which is about a robot cat from the future.

Originally produced via a stop-motion animation method that involved painstakingly drawing each character in a slightly different pose to create the illusion of movement, celluloid-based animation is gradually being phased out across the globe, as computer-generated animations make the process quicker and simpler.

Japan is known for producing particularly captivating animations, with its 'anime' cartoons often attracting swathes of fanatics from across the world.

Written by Mark Smith

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