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Why is anime so popular?

Everyone has heard of Anime at this point. Some people enjoy watching it occasionally, some are obsessed with it, while others despise it and are annoyed with its popularity, but very few are left feeling neutral about it. Japanese animation is an undoubtedly extensive and popular medium that has amassed a large following, notably not just in Japan but worldwide. There are multiple reasons for this, and it is no surprise that Anime has grown such a following, from its appealing visual style to the range of in-depth themes and topics they explore.


While Anime may not seem very popular from a purely statistical perspective, in America, the percentage of people that watches Anime ranges between 30% and 40%. It is still a notable reach. Because it managed to get, those ratings abroad shows that there is something to be said about its appeal to the broader audience. It is also notable that anime fans formed a subculture of their own, with many sites and places dedicated to talking about Anime and manga, as well as conventions for their fans to meet. 


It is worth exploring the possible reasons why it has grown so popular. Anime is distinct from Western animation by such elements as the art style and a wider range of themes. Notably, Anime’s art style causes reactions from extreme distaste to appreciation and even adoration. Anime art style is simple but also allows characters to express a wide range of emotions, as known by their often-used exaggerated faces. It also draws human characters in a unique, even other-worldly way, highlighting features such as big eyes. This makes it very clear why the art style is so divisive, but also why Anime fans enjoy it, as it allows for the sense of escapism, the media presents. It’s also quite universal and supports various ratings; Anime can depict anything from child animation to outright gore.


Another important reason is the variety with which Anime treats its themes. It is common to have an anime series explore existential and socially prominent themes through fantasy and high imagination, further supported by the art style. For example, “Death Note,” a famous anime, deals with a supernatural being called Ryuk. Still, through him, the writers explore the psychological change in a human character, as well as what is the inevitable outcome of one person taking on incredible power. Another example, “Attack on Titan,” is also hailed as an anime with a deep and existential narrative, some of which causes debates among its fans today. This article explores some of the Anime notorious for their profound writing.



Another interesting reason for Anime’s popularity is the opportunity for cultural exchange and enrichment. In this article, Lan Nguyen explores the topic, calling anime conventions a place where the East meets the West. Anime is a staple of Japanese society and will inevitably carry themes and elements that represent it. High exposure to the western audience will allow them to become more acquiesced. Cosplay has also become a staple of anima that is shared between Japanese and Western conventions, even though it can be quite different in presentation, with western cosplayers being more lax and freely roaming the convention areas. In contrast, Japanese ones usually work together for a photo collage. This connection also allowed the people of Japan to expose themselves to Western culture, creating a stable exchange between the two.



An essential element of some anime is the feeling of power fantasy, which is likely another reason why it is appealing. For example, “One-Punch Man” explores the story of a super powerful being that can annihilate every enemy in a single hit while still having him to be a complex and, on some level, relatable character. The relatability allows an average viewer to feel a reflection of themselves as a character, which makes it easier for them to imagine a scenario where they have such powers. This allows people to use Anime as a source of escape and an ability to imagine the world where they can be their idealized selves. 



Finally, it is an opportunity to socialize. Anime is one of those genres with regular conventions in various places, allowing it to act as a common hobby like gaming or comics that can bring “nerdy” people together. It’s an opportunity to meet with like-minded individuals and discuss your favorite genre and exchange ideas with each other. Often conventions like this would result in friendships blooming from the basis of those conventions. Those can also serve to extend the hobby itself as people would recommend new Anime to each other from the vast range that exists, allowing everyone to find something they will enjoy 



Overall, it’s clear why Anime amassed such a considerable following both in Japan and outside. To summarize them all, it is very engaging. Anime combines elements that will appeal to different types of people, such as unique art style and mobile animation while mixing it with profound themes that encourage people to contemplate various topics. No doubt its popularity will continue co tongue to grow in time.




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