Anime: The billion dollar industry you are NOT paying attention to


Kyle Woodruff, Staff Writer

Anime. What comes to mind when you think of it? Loud, bright characters; or dark, gloomy ones (both of which are unidentifiable with many Americans)? Epic battles; or just worthless animated movements? The stigma of anime that students have is often one of premeditated judgement. But why is anime seen through this lens in the eyes of many teens?

As seen in an article on BellaOnline, anime is nothing more than Japanese animation. Although here in America it is seen as a genre all its own, it actually includes all genres of cinema.

It is unbelievably huge in the world. According to an article on The Hollywood Reporter, the anime industry itself is worth a total of 17.7 billion USD; which is fueled by its average of more than 2 billion annual viewers across the world.

The harsh judgment that it often receives can almost be seen as a bit hypocritical; there are many “Americanized” versions of what comes from Japan. Anime (for the most part) start as mangas, which are basically the Japanese equivalent to comic books that are here in America that many kids grew up on. Or the popular American kids television show The Powerpuff Girls. The characters in that show are loud, bright, cute animated characters almost exactly the same as would be seen in a Japanese anime.

So, if Americans can love their versions, why do they give Japanese anime such a harsh stigma?

Kelly Walsh junior Bastian Hansen said, “Sometimes the plots of the shows can be hard to follow and relate to because they are from a different culture. It can be hard for people to enjoy something they’re not familiar with.”

But many people are too ignorant to even give Japanese anime a chance because of their ‘unfamiliarity’ with it.

But why? What is it in particular that keeps people from watching it?

Kelly Walsh junior Fletcher Parrish said, “Because when I was a child, Spongebob and anime was what I had to choose from, and I wanted to watch the life and adventures of Mr. Squarepants more than I wanted to watch Monkey D. Luffy try to find one piece to a puzzle. And to this day I just can’t bring myself to watch it over something else.”

Of course, there are people that do enjoy anime. But what about it is compelling to them? Do they get hate for liking anime?

Kelly Walsh Junior Hector Moreno says, “I think that the battle scenes are cool, and I find them funny, so I can watch them easily.”

Although anime is huge in the rest of the world, it holds a stigma of weird plotlines accompanied with annoying characters, but it is growing rapidly. Could anime one day become as big in America as it is in the rest of the world?