The Popularity Boom of Anime

by Student Submission

It starts with a flurry of blows from both sides. The characters become indistinguishable from their attacks, creating what can be described as a slurry of colours across the screen. As the characters face off in their final showdown, the audience becomes fully immersed in a story of good versus evil.

Even the untrained individual can tell the animators put all their soul into their work. Individuals like Colby Bowie, whose father teaches a Japanese class, recognizes the reasons behind the popularity boom of anime.

“I think it’s popular because there have been a lot of really well made and popular anime in the last few years and so I think they spread from word of mouth from those that have watched anime to those that have never seen it before,” said Bowie.

According to an analysis in 2020 by the Association of Japanese Animators, “the overseas market, which attracts attention every year, has finally reversed from the domestic market” (translation provided by Google), in other words, for the first time ever, anime earned higher grosses in the west than it did in Japan.

Anime is normally adapted from popular manga, the comic book of Japan if you will, and Bowie says that this plays a big role in the popularity of the medium in the west.

“They already have really well-made stories that people liked a lot and so they can just put all their time into good animation and make it look really nice. They don’t really have to worry about storyboarding or anything like that because it was all done beforehand for them,” he added.

Anime enthusiast and enjoyer, Noah Araman, says the popularity of anime in the west is great to increase diversity in animation style.

“As an American I’ve grown up on normal American animation but with this [Anime] I can experience a different style of animation, which is good, I like it” said Araman.

The style and themes of western animation and Japanese animation are vastly different and Araman thinks that is the main reason why anime became so beloved in the west.

“I think people have been really used to the conventional ideas of what animation was, each [animated] movie is a kid’s film, but usually with anime they just have the most out-there concepts known to man, which is quite refreshing to watch” said Araman.

Araman recommends starting with any anime animated by Studio Trigger while Bowie suggests Demon Slayer.

Sources: Cartoon Brew, Association of Japanese Animators; SPI Information, Inc

Written by Keiran Emard, Lethbridge College

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