Anime Popularity Exploded In The 1990s
While anime popularity certainly owes a lot of its initial rise to the 1980s – and even earlier in some instances thanks to the likes of Tetsujin 88, or Gigantor – the 1990s are when it hit its full stride. Like it or not, it largely comes down to a popular daily programming block on Cartoon Network called Toonami. This was not the first taste of anime in the United States by any means; Sci-Fi channel had been playing dubs of the likes of Akira and Project A-Ko for several years, and the 80s were full of imported shows, but Toonami was the first laser-focused package of anime shows that were regularly available and widely advertised.
Relatively kid friendly shows (after some editing, naturally) such as Dragon Ball, Gundam Wing, and Sailor Moon became staples of the “after school” routine for many American children during the late 1990s thanks to Toonami, and the burgeoning availability of the internet allowed anyone jumping on the bandwagon to research and find out plenty about the rest of the anime spectrum for themselves. Many anime die-hards who may have been interested in the genre before hand like to (more…)
Western Anime Popularity Of The 1980s
Anime popularity in western countries such as the United States owes a lot to the 1980s. Whereas American properties such as Star Wars and Blade Runner influenced plenty of anime of the time, it all found its way right back. There was already something of a market for Japanese imports in the US thanks to properties like Ultraman having found success on syndicated television a decade prior. The growing action figure market of the 80s – which was once again propelled by Star Wars a few years early – blew the doors wide open.
Thanks to a time where cartoons could be made based on toys, it became lucrative for American toy and media production companies to license materials already made and simply repackage them in product and on their website. Voltron and Robotech exist as notable examples, where existing Japanese properties like Dairugger, Dougram, Macross, and GoLion were cobbled together into new franchises and edited together for American tastes. Gatchaman was also brought over in the mid-80s as G-Force. The massive hit show The Transformers is also worth noting; while its cartoon was comprised of original material overseen by Hasbro and Marvel Comics, it was based entirely upon mecha toys initially designed and released in Japan.
So, the Japanese flair of anime was already infiltrating the western market in full swing by 1985 or so. From there, the advent of VHS and its corresponding rental chain stores slowly gave even more access to anime properties, and the entire genre began getting a word of mouth acceptance among circles invested in the likes of sci-fi, comic books, and animation in general. It wouldn’t be long before notable Hollywood figures like Steven Spielberg could be found praising the likes of Hayao Miyazaki’s Lupin III film, Castle of Cagliostro. Anime was very much on its way in, and it wasn’t long before its western popularity hit critical mass in the 90s.
Looking Closer at Anime Popularity
Why is anime so popular? This is a question that actually has a variety of different answers to it. There are many different types of anime out there, and it comes both in the form of television as well as full-length movies. While the art form has existed for several decades now, with the movie Akira being a great example of early anime that gain the attention of millions of people who previously hadn’t known about the art form, there’s no question that in the past 10 to 15 years the sheer number of people who love this animation has increased drastically.
One of the major forces behind increasing anime awareness in the United States has been Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. For nearly 15 years now this series of animated shows has been aimed at a more mature audience and allowed for the development of shows that otherwise would not have reached an audience. Since college students in particular really jumped aboard watching Adult Swim, the explosion of technology and social media with that group resulted in many people being exposed to anime for the first time. (more…)
What Can Explain the Popularity of Anime?
There’s little question that anime has gained a massive surge in popularity over the past couple decades and there are multiple reasons this is the case. For one thing, a much larger part of the population has been exposed to this very unique animation style. After all, someone cannot be a fan of anime if they have never actually experienced watching any of it.
One of the advantages of anime is that it has a much sharper series of graphics to it the conventional cartoons, often with extremely fast-paced action that cannot be matched or equally measured with a different type of TV or movie style. Going hand-in-hand with this is the fact that many anime shows are created for an adult audience, or at least a more mature audience, and that means more plots, better storytelling, and a wide array of different types of stories to choose from.
Inuyasha, for example, has sort of a soap opera vibe to it while still providing a large amount of Japanese action and demon fighting. Cowboy Bebop, on the other hand, has a strange combination of science fiction dystopia mixed with film noir and is considered an incredible classic to this day. (more…)
Anime Has Become More And More Popular Over The Years
How popular would you say anime is currently? Its popularity grows every day, and there are always more types of anime coming out and being produced. My introduction to anime came in the late 90’s, when Dragonball Z was one of the top cartoons. I remember I would always watch it every afternoon with my best friend, right before Batman Beyond came on television.
Dragonball Z is still popular years later, but the shelves have been flooded with anime. Anime is also online everywhere. One of the kids that used to be in the youth group that I helped run was all about anime. His friend was also interested in anime and was an artist. Then there is my sister, who really likes anime as well and has for years.
Those are the people in my life that really enjoy anime, as I’m not a big fan myself to be honest. It’s not that I don’t like it, but it’s just that there are other things that are more culturally aligned with what I enjoy. I did enjoy Dragonball Z when it was mainstream though. I think that’s what has to happen for me to enjoy anime. It has to be mainstream, meaning a show that everyone watches.
I’m not currently watching any anime shows that I like, but I run into anime all the time online. Some people even like to try and create their own anime cartoons and comic strips. There are many types of anime, such as hentai and manga. Which do you prefer?
There are also many different ways these days to enjoy anime. You can buy figures, decorations, wall hangings and more. So you’re not relegated to just watching anime. You can enjoy your favorite characters in so many different ways.
What’s up Anime fans?
Hey – Dash here. I’m a huge fan of anime – especially the Japanese style. Manga is like a religion to me. Anyway, I’ve been asked by more than a few to give a basics lesson on the field. I’ve always liked teaching, and need to improve my blogging skills as well, so here goes. I hope you learn some things about my passion. Stay tuned!