The average anime shop worldwide is experiencing a renaissance of sorts, and partly so due to the increased time that young people have on their hands, these days. Dabbling between using social media, video conferencing, and texting on their electronic devices, watching Japanese-inspired animation during the pandemic offers a tremendous release as well as creative stimulation.
Anime is a throwback to the time when Japan dominated car making, electronics production, and the world economy. Of course, all this hegemony has come to pass. And that’s why the Japanese art of animation carries with it such a poignant sentimental value. It is being passed from one young generation to another, and outside of Japan, of course.
It’s one of the few bestselling exports of a country that used to be the world’s second-biggest economy. So what’s the reason why Japanese animation has become so popular outside of the country? Television is one of the big reasons. Anime is alive and well in the medium. This is how kids get an early start.
From then on, the Internet takes over as a conduit for the art form characterized by colorful graphics, memorable characters, and fantastic plots. And there’s no end in sight.
For one, the supply is steady if not overflowing. Even public libraries and bookstores have sections devoted to anime and its first cousin, the manga. As you might expect, there are low-quality as well as high-quality to be had from the extremely popular and highly influential genre. It’s the one that just keeps on giving while possibly inexhaustible.
No doubt, every anime shop worldwide knows only too well to be well-stocked. And there are no signs of waning as far as demand is concerned. In fact, it looks like it’s here to stay.
Now there are good and bad animes. And whether you like them or not, they are now a part of the public psyche. From singers to actors to movie producers, Japan’s tradition is now very much part and parcel of the global economy. It’s a case study about how one country’s culture affects those of other countries. Like karate, yoga, and social media, the word does get around until it ultimately affects everyone else.
And when you come to think of it, the whole process isn’t so different from the way a virus becomes an epidemic and eventually, a pandemic. It’s a benign kind of infection, but one that is even more powerful because there’s no resistance to it from the global village.