Student Opinion – Japanese Anime Is Growing In Popularity

When it comes to watching movies and TV shows, there are a variety of genres to choose from. Some people watch action movies, some watch romance and some just want to watch a comedy. Then, there is the group of people who like the foreign genre – specifically Japanese anime. 

Ten years ago, anime shows and movies were seen as a taboo form of entertainment and not very popular with general society. However, anime has become more popular. Top streaming services such as Netflix have begun investing in the production of anime due to its skyrocketing popularity.   

According to Netflix, from October 2019 to September 2020, “Over one million households chose to watch at least one anime title on Netflix … growing (the category) by 50% year-over-year.” 

Within the past month, a new anime movie premiered in American theaters. “Jujutsu Kaisen 0” is the prequel to the popular anime series “Jujutsu Kaisen.” The story follows a young man being haunted by the spirit of his childhood sweetheart. He decides to attend a special high school to become a jujutsu sorcerer and break the curse of his first love. 

This movie nearly broke the box office with its highly successful opening weekend. stated that the movie made an estimated amount of $17.6 million – giving it the second-place seat to the latest Batman movie. Another film, “Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train,” had a highly successful debut back in 2020, making a record setting $19.5 million the first weekend. 

For anime history, the success of multiple anime movies in cinemas is a major breakthrough.

Anime is unique for its art style and the above and beyond storylines. Even though it’s animated, these shows typically carry heavy themes, ranging from lighthearted to more mature, making them relatable to all audiences. 

Many people find themselves watching anime as a source of comfort as well as entertainment. American business magazine Forbes wrote an article listing the top eight soothing anime films to help people relax during quarantine. It went on to describe a subcategory in anime, iyashikei, that is designed to have calming themes for viewers. 

Anime is deeply different from other genres. The characters are relatable, the visuals are stunning and the storylines are on a whole new level in comparison to adult American cartoons. Whether you want to watch an action anime – “Jujutsu Kaisen,” “My Hero Academia” and “Fairy Tail” – a romance anime – “Fruits Basket,” “Snow White with the Red Hair” and “Your Lie in April” – or maybe a comedy anime – “The Millionaire Detective: Balance – Unlimited,” “Kaguya-sama: Love is War” and “Spy x Family” – there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

Since middle school, I have watched over 50 animes. When I started, they were a source of fun and entertainment. Now, they give me comfort and the blissful feeling of nostalgia. I’ll always hold the memories of waiting for new episodes of my favorite series to drop with my friends close to my heart.

So really, is anime worth the hype? Absolutely.

Gambino is the web manager. Follow her on Twitter

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