Anime is Pop
It’s no secret that anime, as a genre, is officially part of the pop culture zeitgeist. The most recent example of this would of course be the success of Jujutsu Kaisen: 0, an anime movie with a theatrical release, and a box office standing of $150 million currently. Before this of course would be the Demon Slayer [movie] Kimetsu No Yaiba, which left the box office with a whopping $500 million. To be clear, these numbers would be serviceable for blockbusters, with blockbuster budgets, and these are CARTOONS people.
Well how’d we get here? During quarantine, I would say most people found themselves struggling to find new entertainment. It’s extremely easy to catch up on shows when you can’t leave your house, and the general populace became a black hole for content. This is where things get interesting. For a while, the only places to get anime were your CrunchyRolls, Funimations, etc.. That’s where me, along with my other handsome, anime loving, friends, were usually found. Eventually however, Netflix began dipping their toes in the oasis, and boy, was the water just right. Bringing classics like FullMetal Alchemist, InuYasha, even Pokémon. That, along with some quick teases of longer standing series’ like Naruto, and One Piece. They even dropped some new gems, originals, like their rendition of Castlevania. It was clear demand was building.
To me the true catalyst though, was Netflix conveniently placing Avatar the Last Airbender into the pot. Not quite a regular cartoon, yet not ‘officially’ anime, it was the perfect gateway into the world. Once quarantine hit and people saw this, they ravaged their way through the series and when they reached the end, they looked around for more content; similar in aesthetic and tone, and BAM! It starts with maybe a little Cowboy Bebop here, a little One Punch Man there, maybe take joy in some Magi, and you’re hooked! But wait, HBOMax struck a deal with CrunchyRoll and Studio Ghibli, so you can get all the shows plus the award winning movies (I recommend Princess Mononke) you can handle. Meanwhile, Hulu also holds down their end with all sorts of Shonen anime like HunterxHunter.
It’s really a renaissance of the genre and I cannot wait to see where it goes from here. What’s your favorite anime right now, new or old? Let me know @theB985 as always. (: