Anime, short for animation, is any hand-drawn or computer animation originating from Japan. According to Grand View Research, it is also a $20 billion industry that continues to spread and take over the world. In 2020 alone, over 100 million households watched at least one anime on Netflix, which is a 50% increase from the previous year.
The rise in anime popularity can be attributed to several factors, with the main one being accessibility. Japanese anime can be easily watched on several popular streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon and Crunchyroll. For people unwilling to pay for these services, anime is also heavily streamed for free on illegal sites such as KissAnime.
Tying into accessibility is the COVID-19 factor. With many on lockdown throughout most of 2020, people ran out of things to do at home quite rapidly, leading to many trying out anime for the first time and others binge-watching as much of it as possible.
Another reason behind anime’s massive success is its diversity and uniqueness. There is a vast range of genres from drama and romance to action and horror. Many anime are especially famous for beautiful art and design, such as the critically acclaimed film Your Name.
Prior to its massive success outside Japan, anime and people who enjoyed it were heavily criticized, particularly adults who were told that watching anime is for children. Today, anime is part of mainstream television and streaming worldwide, so it is only expected to grow in popularity and revenue.
As someone who enjoys watching anime, I recommend people who are hesitant or critical of anime to give it a chance. Liking anime opens up a whole new world of content to explore along with a passionate fanbase in whom you share a common interest.