Love it or hate it anime has been growing and spreading it’s influence every year.
But even as it grows it struggles to mark a place within our entertainment industry, the biggest hurdle being that the large majority of anime comes out of Japan and there are significant cultural differences between Japan and the western cultures which could be it’s largest market.
I see more and more of our youth getting into anime, especially with the rise of Netflix and sites such as Crunchy Roll creating a legitimate place for studios to market their shows, but many people still view all anime in the same light as children’s shows such as Pokemon, and even very famous shows such as Naruto and One piece have such a large amount of silliness within them that people never end up delving into the more interesting shows tackling serious content. On top of that lies another problematic issue, which is that Japanese studios tend to include large amounts of nonsensical ecchi and incest themed content in their shows. Now I have no issues with sexual content within a show, real or animated, but at least make it cohesive with the story line. Many times these themes are just dumped into the middle of moments and situations and completely ruin them, they are generally awkward and don’t even lead to some kind of relationship or emotional connection between characters, they are just there to attract horny children to watch, which can cause issues with older people, and women, who want to get into the shows.
Many anime series are never finished as well, being used as simple draws to get people to read the manga, but this leads to people being turned off from beginning series they know will never finish as many are not interested in reading manga. There is also distribution issues..many, many people use illegal sites to watch anime as it is impossible to find legal versions online, as crunchy roll is in a constant fight to get the rights to get shows on their site. Netflix barely has any anime as well. To understand this fully all you need to do is look at studio Ghibli, their movies are world renowned and yet it took until 2020 for netflix to finally get the distribution rights. It makes no sense whatsoever. Many shows come out in Japan years before they are ever released to other markets, and so the only option for those who want to watch these shows is to do so illegally. Personally I want my money to go to these studios producing high quality shows and would appreciate it if big names like Netflix and Crunchy Roll actually carried some of the most famous shows and movies in the business.
It’s a difficult issue and something I hope resolves as more and more people get into this genre and sites like Crunchy Roll grow in size and have the money to push back against stubborn studios who are not listening to what the world wants.
Personally I hope that western studios start producing anime and manga, it’s about time it expands. With shows such as the last airbender having such a huge fan base, we know there is an openness to western studios making anime-esque style shows.
People need to learn that not all anime have to come from Manga! there are thousands and thousands of amazing fantasy, sci-fi and other styles of books which would do fantastically well as anime. We keep getting these trash movie and tv series based off books when we have this incredible medium that lends itself perfectly to novels with large amounts of magic or other types of fantasy.
For now I will just be crossing my fingers and hoping someone with talent starts the ball rolling.