The rising popularity of anime

By Gabrielle Terez, Staff Writer

The appealing characters, the intriguing storylines, the variance in genres, the fandom culture; what do these things have in common? The answer is this: they are all elements that have the world hooked onto anime.

Anime, also known as Japanese animation, is a part of Japanese pop culture that started in the 20th century and has since then gradually gained popularity over time.  

This idea of popularity can especially apply to this past year, as people have been able to use their streaming services more frequently and find a good series to watch, even trickling into types of shows that they have yet to explore.

Particularly, streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu have taken this into consideration and have been gradually adding anime into their collection of content.

Both of these services have added into their pool of shows some of the most well-known anime as of now such as “Naruto,” “One Piece,” “Attack On Titan,” and “Haikyu!!”

However, they also contrast in terms of their overall collection of anime content.

In the case of Netflix, the service decided to take their own spin on anime and created some Netflix Original Series as a result. Some notable ones that have come from this development include, “Kakegurui” and “Violet Evergarden.” They have also made sure to gather up a decent amount of anime series for varying genres such as fantasy, romance, action, comedy, and sports to cater to everyone’s preferred type of genre in anime.

Meanwhile, Hulu has taken a different approach and instead covered anime from old to new. The service has included some ‘90s anime classics such as “Sailor Moon” and “Cowboy Bebop.”  They have also added recent favorites like “My Hero Academia” as well as simulcasts, which are live streams that give fans the chance to watch anime the same way it’s aired in Japan.

Despite these differences in anime content, they have made anime easier to access as well as help people find the right anime series for them.

But online streaming services are not the only reason anime has gotten so popular.

Another reason anime has gotten so popular over time is the culture surrounding it. In the age of social media, anime fans have been able to interact with each other more through multiple platforms and have even been able to create an online community centered around anime. Twitter is the main platform in which this can be seen, as anime fans that use Twitter have even coined the term “ant-twitter” and names similar to this to apply to users who are fans of a specific anime. 

There is also the activity of going to anime conventions that have spread the popularity of anime as it gives the opportunity for fans to participate in cosplay, which is to wear costumes that showcase a specific character.

 According to Anime Central, the website for the anime and manga convention in the Midwest, the number of total member attendance for a certain event between 2010 and 2019 went from 19,511 to 33,084.

Overall, anime has stood its ground over the years. Even with the struggles of the pandemic, it still proves that it will continue to thrive even if the world goes through changes. With that said, its popularity will bloom as well, keeping people hooked to their screens as the stories anime bring unfold in front of them.