Anime has been capturing the hearts of audiences for over a hundred years. But what is it about anime that has made it so appealing to audiences around the globe? This article delves into the reasons why anime has become so popular and why it continues to grasp our imaginations.
The popularity of anime through the eyes of streaming services
To get a better example of how popular anime is, let’s look at some anime streaming services. Take it with a grain of salt since it’s only estimated, but the visits to these websites should be at least somewhat accurate.
One of the biggest illegal streaming platforms, Zoro.to is ranked #13 in the category “Arts & Entertainment” > Streaming & Online TV (In the United States).
We can see that the total visits on this streaming platform reached over 123 million in December 2022.
On the other hand, the biggest legal anime streaming website is called Crunchyroll. The estimated total number of visits per month is over 80 million. On top of that, they have almost 10 million paying subscribers. There is also a free tier that’s ad-supported, though, so there are, obviously, more visits than paying subscribers. Now, we can’t really say that it’s 80 million unique users but it gives us a rough idea of how popular anime is.
There is also Netflix, a popular streaming platform that had over 220 million subscribers in 2021 and 2022. Now, Netflix doesn’t only offer anime titles but Kohei Obara, Anime creative at Netflix stated that “Interest in anime has grown worldwide, and more than half of our members globally tuned into it last year.” So it’s safe to assume that around 110 million Netflix subscribers watch anime. To put it into perspective, the current world population is over 8 billion as of 2023.
The numbers are pretty impressive considering that anime first started trending sometime in the 2000s. I don’t know many young people who haven’t watched at least one anime in their lifetime, like Naruto or another popular one. It seems like my generation is kind of obsessed with anime, and even more so for younger people who have had access to the Internet from a young age.
Anime has a rich history dating back to the early 20th century and has grown into a global phenomenon. As of 2016, Japanese anime made up 60% of the world’s animated TV shows, reflecting its immense popularity. There are many reasons why we love anime and those reasons might be the basis for the answer to why has anime become so popular over the past years. People of all ages and backgrounds have found something to love in anime, and it continues to be a thriving form of entertainment.
Here are 7 reasons why anime is so popular nowadays.
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7. Anime can teach you a lot about Japanese culture
People often assume that their way of life is the “normal” or “correct” one. We associate certain habits, clothing, foods, and behaviors with specific countries, but often don’t fully understand the bigger picture. Watching anime gives us a glimpse into Japanese culture and its unique perspectives on various things. It’s a valuable opportunity to broaden our horizons and get a different viewpoint. Moreover, it can draw you into the language and culture of Japan.
6. People love good stories
Anime has a unique approach to storytelling compared to other forms of animation, with a wide range of imaginative and fantastical elements that make it a genre of its own. Whether it’s set in a fantastical world, features supernatural abilities, or has characters that defy the laws of physics, anime has something to offer for everyone who loves the unusual.
5. Anime is continuous
Anime usually follows a structured storyline and progresses episode by episode, which makes it different from American cartoons, which tend to lack this continuity in their storytelling.
4. Anime can vary in animation styles
Anime has a wide range of animation styles, making it easy to find something that suits your taste. You can choose to follow specific studios or creators who produce the type of animation that you enjoy. This variety is one of the main reasons why anime is so popular.
3. Anime continues to be released at a steady pace
Whether it’s a manga or light novel, there’s always a good chance it’ll get turned into a short series (around 20 minutes each) or an awesome movie.
Anime is getting more popular as it’s becoming easier to access with the internet. The medium is growing in both quality and quantity, so there’s always something new to check out.
2. Anime has a variety of genres
Anime isn’t just for kids like cartoons, it’s made for a wider audience including adults. That’s why there’s a huge variety of genres to choose from fantasy, comedy, horror, drama, and more. There’s something for everyone, no matter your preferences!
1. Anime is contagious
When you find an anime you really enjoy, it’s easy to get hooked. The art, animation, character growth, story, and sound are often at a whole different level compared to regular TV shows and cartoons (at least, that’s how I feel).
Plus, talking about your favorite anime with other fans only makes your love for it grows stronger.
- Napier, Susan J. (2016). Anime from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation. St. Martin’s Press. p. 10. ISBN 9781250117724.
- Litten, Freddy (2013). On the earliest (foreign) animation films shown in Japanese cinemas.
Good post Mia ?, and that is impressive numbers for kissanime and crunchyroll. I agree anime has become more accessible thanks to the Internet. And with companies like Netflix and amazon bringing animes to the more casual watchers, it only helps it to become more mainstream
Thank you! 🙂
I hope it becomes even more popular because anime is just awsum! 😀
It’s not just anime. Manga is very popular nowadays too. In the case of comics the industry has received a boost because Marvel/DC comics has dipped in quality lately so readers have looked elsewhere for good stories.
True, manga is fairly popular too. I need to start reading some!
I owe it partially to Kids WB and Toonami for introducing anime to our generation. Now it rules the world!
I got introduced to anime by german RTL (I understood nothing because I am Slovak but we had only 4 tv programs back then). Still kept watching! 😀