Let’s Talk About Why People Like Anime So Much
Many people have strong obsessions with anime. To those not privy to the industry, anime seems like Japanese cartoons catered for children (and children at heart). While there are certain shows and movies meant for children, many aspects of anime motivate adult otakus’ enthusiasm.
Contrary to misconceptions, the animation is designed for people of all ages. Anime has many different genres too, in order to appeal and cater to a much wider audience outside of Japan. Although anime and manga have long been key players within Japanese culture, their widespread reach continues to influence North Americans.
Over the years, animated shows and films have cemented themselves as true contenders against Western counterparts. As a matter of fact, in 2017, the Japanese anime industry bagged an all-time high of more than 2.15 trillion yen. Growing expansion and demand outside of Japan, especially in the West and in China, contribute greatly to its success.
Many other factors also influence the popularity and continued success the industry. For example, some people enjoy watching the storylines improve from one episode to another. Meanwhile, others have grown attached to their favorite characters’ journeys.
Taking the World by Storm
Studies say that West-centric creations have also led to the industry’s success. As the population of Japan continues to decline, so do the number of viewers and company profits within the country. Partnerships with Western companies allow Japanese creators to produce shows and movies that are palatable to a broader audience. Additionally, they can create animation that requires fewer expenses.
Other scholars who have studied the craze surrounding the Japanese world of animation say the collaborative efforts and creativity from various sectors all factored in the rise of anime. From the input of the artists down to the feedback and reception from fans, each niche contributed greatly to shaping the world of anime today.
It’s no surprise that most people stay for the vibrant sense of energy that animated shows and films impart. One of the main reasons people like anime so much is that it offers a wide range of perspectives on life, culture, and everything in between.
The storylines are engaging and thought-provoking primarily because they provide social commentary on past, present, and future landscape, even touching on political notes that resonate with viewers around the globe. Adult themes such as wars, destruction, and death leave viewers with a devastating yet realistic view of life. Other topics and storylines also revolve around the concepts of morality, acceptance, and friendship.
Despite their colorful and animated style, most of these shows and films present challenging themes difficult to discuss in real life. Through these avenues, viewers have a more solid grasp of what these topics and themes are like. By extension, viewers are able to identify these issues in real-life situations. And, therefore, identify and examine how they feel about these ideas.
Take for example of one of the most harrowing animated films in existence, Grave of the Fireflies. Created by none other than Studio Ghibli, the movie follows two siblings who desperately try to navigate their way and fend for themselves during the Second World War. This creation took viewers along on an emotional and engaging journey. Spoiler alert! Look up and you’ll see that the lights in front of your very eyes are not fireflies at all.
Engaging and enthralling storylines abound if you know where to look. From keeping you entertained with hilarious antics to drawing you in with heartbreaking scenes, anime invites you to look deep within yourself and connect with the story.
The animated characters in and of themselves are definitely works of art. Come to think of it, most, if not all of the characters are created with such finesse and detail that you’re hard-pressed to find one that doesn’t live up to expectations in terms of visual impact.
Although it may be quite unfair to compare one industry to another, there’s no denying that hours of hard work go into creating a single scene, much less a single sequence or even a whole movie. Just thinking about the whole creative process and design is exhausting, to say the least. Despite the painstaking and laborious undertakings of artists, each character, movement, and background present one work of art after another.
In the end, the vibrant and colorful visuals draw viewers in, especially when providing a realistic worldview. Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away and Kiki’s Delivery Service perfectly capture the landscapes and countries they were originally inspired from. If you look closely, you’ll find that the bathhouse in Spirited Away is largely inspired by a tea house found in Jiufen, Taiwan. Even the array of food featured in the classic Hayao Miyazaki creation was seemingly inspired by the abundant offerings found in the charming mining community.
Whatever the story might be, it’s undeniable that the distinctive styles and approaches by artists and directors alike help add visual interest to their world of anime.
Apart from the moving storylines and the detail-oriented illustrations, another reason why people like anime so much is that it provides perfect soundtracks to each and every one of its episodes or films. While some disregard the musical scoring of a series, most believe soundtracks help bring the world to life.
The right choice and placement of music can lend a deeper and more emotional aspect to the storyline. After all, music serves as an underlying component that furthers the scene and makes it more resonant with the viewers.
Animated series and films undergo a lot of thought; this includes finding a great and suitable soundtrack to match the message of the show. Often, the music found in these series and movies elevates and shapes new meaning for viewers. Some of the music-laden series and movies that found their way to the hearts of viewers and fans today include Cowboy Bepop directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, Fullmetal Alchemist with its orchestral songs, and Kimi No Na Wa with its heartbreaking soundtrack.
Watching animated shows transports viewers into a magical realm that allows them to temporarily escape their current mindset and landscape. More than this, animated series and films allow viewers to expand their imaginations and encourage them to cross boundaries. Anime otakus are thrust into a world where they can easily break barriers; they know that the draw of the endless possibilities presented on-screen is the best part of watching anime. At the same time, anime allows individuals to test and construct their notions of what’s real and what’s magical.
The list could go on and on, but we think we’ve managed to explain the main reasons people like anime so much. With witty humor, excellent visuals, and unique storylines, it’s no wonder this industry remains supreme.