Anime has been a popular form of media in Japan for many decades. However, this was not always the case in the west, with anime only gaining popularity in the 1990s.
Today however, anime is a multibillion-dollar industry with a market value of $23.5 billion in 2020 alone. But how did this media phenomenon take over the world? And why can’t everyone get enough of it?
In this article, we’ll talk about the rise of anime and why it resonates with so many.
Though you can trace anime’s origins as early as the beginning of the 20th century, it wasn’t until 1960, when cartoonist Osamu Tezuka developed a characteristic style that would define anime as we now know it. Tezuka was attempting to adapt Disney animation into a simplified process that can work with limited staff and resources.
Well, as they say, some of the best things that happen in life started as accidents. And with that, Tezuka’s Astro Boy was born, which is perhaps the most iconic and pioneering anime ever created.
Some anime are ingrained into our childhood, like Pokémon, Dragon Ball Z, or Yu-Gi-Oh. They were translated, sometimes censored, and shown as part of the regular TV programming.
But there is one thing all they have in common: they were catered towards children. Shows that are not live-action were seen as something for kids. More mature ones were not aired, because what adult would want to watch a cartoon?
Well, it turns out, there are many. Not all anime are made for kids. In fact, there are a lot of it dealing with very mature themes. Titles like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Berserk, and Fullmetal Alchemist are being enjoyed by adults everywhere.
Slowly but surely, the stigma surrounding anime as being childish or nerdy is disappearing. And today, people of all ages and genders around the world watch anime. It is so far-reaching that it has become a global community of passionate fans.
Why we love Anime
Liking anime is not only normal – it is cool. Everybody has grown up watching at least one series that they absolutely loved. Whether it’s Pokémon or Sailor Moon, we all look nostalgically back into our childhood with an anime in mind.
But what is it about this form of entertainment that resonates with so many?
At first glance, it can’t have been everyone’s cup of tea. In this day and age of 3D graphics and ultra-realistic animation, why is a this 2D form of media still so popular?
It could only be a combination of a couple of things that, put together, has managed to strike everyone’s inner child and continue to leave us enthralled.
It gives us a glimpse of worlds outside of our normal day-to-day lives. We get transported in different fantasies with diverse and rich storylines. Nothing is impossible, and it is perhaps this unadulterated unrealistic quality that resonates with us so much.
This is why anime is no longer just a thing you watch in television. It is part of pop culture. From fashion to music, it has become a phenomenon that is here to stay.
A cultural movement
There’s no denying it. Anime has become so big, that it has now become a global cultural movement. You’re bound to see influences of it in your every day life.
Even references are becoming more common in songs, especially in rap. Some notable artists that have done so are Doja Cat, Lil Uzi Vert, and Migos. Many people also proudly wear shirts with their favorite characters on it, and fan art can be found everywhere. These types of shirts can now be found in big chains like H&M and Bershka, whereas a few years ago they were not as easy to find.
As the popularity of anime grows, mostly amongst teens and young adults, so does the quantity and quality of merchandise. Recently, more and more clothing brands have been popping up that specialise in anime-style clothing and merchandise. Meanwhile, existing brands do collabs with popular shows, for example Adidas with their Dragon Ball Z collaboration, and even Gucci, that made a collection inspired by Doraemon.
Difuzed x Anime
At Difuzed, we are creative rebels with a mission to bring nothing but the best and most fashionable collections inspired by anime. Since our designers are huge fans themselves, our premium apparel and accessories are fan-focused and captures the spirit of this movement.
From fun and bold designs featuring titles like Aggretsuko to hip and fashion-forward styles for Pokemon, we create items that every anime fan will love.
Are you a retailer or distributer with anime-loving customers? Then you’ve come to the right place! Check out our expansive catalogue of officially licensed anime clothing and accessories here. We’ve got the best products out there, with a trendier and fan-focused take on the best anime brands in the world. Send us a message now to start a collaboration!
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