Oh, I don’t know you might have heard of this lowkey underground movie Demon Slayer: The movie Infinity train. I mean did you know this movie exists? It’s not such a big deal. In just one month it grossed $232 Million USD worldwide making it the 8th biggest film of 2020 and the 2nd biggest animated film of 2020 (According to Crunchyroll). Oh, yea and the worldwide here includes Taiwan and Japan that’s it!! It hasn’t even been released in the EU or US yet. No big deal right? You think Netflix, HBO, Hulu or any other multimillion dollar streaming service you can name wants a part of this $232M? You betcha they do. They can basically see the money printing. They have watched the growth of anime and learnt to not miss out on the next Your Name or the next Demon slayer and have started to “invest” in the anime industry.
2020 has changed everyone’s lives one way another. It’s going to be one of the most infamous years of this decade and maybe even this century, but not everything that came out of 2020 was bad. For one the anime community all around the world has grown so much that tech giants and multimedia companies such as Netflix, and Sony are throwing big money into the anime industry. Netflix for one is all in on anime. They have 16 original productions scheduled to come out soon and they already have a large variety of shows available to view on Netflix right now. Sony on the other hand already owns Fuimation but apparently that’s not enough for them they also want to buy its competitor Crunchyroll which might lead to Funimation x Crunchyroll collaborations in the future.
From the Sailor Moon days to the current Demon Slayer days, anime has always been an underground medium. It was not widely accepted, and still isn’t very mainstream (except for some shows) but it has made great headways into becoming a mainstream medium. With everyone sitting at home due to COVID and getting tired of watching the same soap operas, drug addicts/cop, or boring comedy shows on TV they are looking for something new and different to watch. This is where anime comes in. It is an already existing medium with unique content, mysterious world building, and fun character designs which is attracting more and more attention all over the world.
Why does it matter?
Now you might be asking ok that’s cool but why does it matter. This changes nothing for me? It does my dear reader. More money and more demand = more shows being adapted and better animation. With an increase in demand for anime all around the world. Companies are going to be scraping the surface of the manga industry to find a potential winner that can be adapted. This leads to more anime being adapted into films or shows in the future. Most importantly the increase in demand for anime means an increase in demand for animators. We all know the dark side of the anime industry is the exhausting work hours for little to no pay causing physical and psychological issues to animators and ruining their lives in the long run. There is already a heavy demand for creative artists in japan but now with big money coming in, this demand is only going to get higher. I hope that in this process these animators who deserve so much more for their skill and ability also get a chunk of the money and lead happy and successful lives in the future.
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