This Is Why Anime Became Popular Overseas UK USA Asia And More | https://animemotivation.com/why-anime-became-popular-overseas-mainstream/
Avatar of Theo J Ellis

This Is Why Anime Became Popular Overseas (UK, USA, Asia, And More)

Anime in 2024 and beyond has become so famous that it’s now officially mainstream.

You have celebrities endorsing anime which has happened for some years now, but it happens more than ever today.

You have Western companies wanting a piece of the pie, like Hulu, Disney, Hollywood, etc.

You have creators who know about anime, and may even dabble in it despite anime not being their niche.

And of course, you have people outside the community, including those in educational institutions who are aware of anime and manga’s influence, hence the controversy at times.

Here’s why anime became popular overseas.

Let’s get into it.

 

1. People are attracted to what’s different

Land Of The Lustrous phos face funny | https://animemotivation.com/why-anime-became-popular-overseas-mainstream/

There is a reason why Goku and Vegeta to this day have the most unique designs of any character, or even the anime as a whole.

There is also a reason why anime is attracted to anime across the board. It’s different by design, and it offers something no other medium has been able to replicate or do in the way anime does.

This was true in the 1990s, the 2000s, and the 2010s, and is still true in the 2020s and will continue to be true for a long time coming.

The anime Land Of The Lustrous is one of many examples of why anime is different, and why it’s sp appealing, with Shonen anime being one of the more flashy examples.

 

2. People love realistic characters they identify with

akane tsunemori smiling | https://animemotivation.com/why-anime-became-popular-overseas-mainstream/

Fullmetal Alchemist is an anime that has some realistic characters. They also have characters with relatable characteristics or struggles.

This is part of why the anime became as big and legendary as it did as far as its status.

Psycho Pass is an anime series that showcases society in the future where tech is so advanced, robots clean up the streets, and police guns are able to judge whether someone should be jailed, or killed and whether the trigger should be pulled in the first place.

All are based on a measurement of a person’s mental health.

Re:Zero has realistic designs, and Subaru Natsuki is a strongly relatable character, even too real for some people.

There are many anime shows like this in all kinds of genres. Even when the visuals aren’t as realistic as Psycho Pass, the characteristics and traits and struggles tend to be.

This helped anime become so popular overseas.

 

3. People love visuals that are a breath of fresh air

land of the lustrous gif anime beautiful visuals | https://animemotivation.com/why-anime-became-popular-overseas-mainstream/

Who doesn’t enjoy watching something visually appealing, and different, while still maintaining a sense of realism? (Not always).

Compared to regular TV shows and films, anime has the power to impress with its visual quality that no other medium can compare to directly.

When you’re used to one way of getting your entertainment, it’s only normal for something like let’s say, Violet Evergarden to blow you away and give you something new in the visual department you haven’t seen before.

 

4. People are sick and tired of Hollywood and Disney’s bullshit

hollywood disney meme woke | https://animemotivation.com/why-anime-became-popular-overseas-mainstream/

Hollywood has for a long time been showing the world they’re more interested in playing the game of politics and political correctness, tan they are in creating a genuine product.

This is even more true with DISNEY since the 2010s (which also applies to Hollywood, but to a lesser degree).

Whether it’s Disney changing original characters and making them gay to appeal to that community, or changing races and faces, or playing the trans card – people are sick of the false pandering.

So as people do, they go elsewhere for their entertainment and that entertainment happens to be ANIME and manga.

This is why the 2010s had a flood of anime fans thanks to shows like My Hero Academia, and why there has been so much more controversy in the 2010s thanks to anime’s growth and eventual mainstream status.

This is also why the rise of culture vultures has become more apparent in the 2010s and beyond.

 

5. Censorship made many anime fans curious

Gojo Measurements Marin Kitagawa My Dress Up Darling Korea

In countries like Indonesia, for example, or even India or South Korea, there is censorship when it comes to material, especially anime.

A famous example was shown when South Korea censored Marin Kitagawa from My Dress Up Darling.

They censored her breasts and ass, which then made it look like she was completely naked (she was originally in lingerie), so they in effect made it worse.

My point here is this kind of censorship, especially back in the 1990s and 2000s naturally made fans more curious about anime.

This is what censorship does anyway. You try to censor or hide something, and people become more interested as a result. This is what led to piracy as well.

Related: Why Anime Is Better Than Disney In The Modern Age

 

6. Piracy played a role in sky rocketing anime’s popularity

anime pirate girl peace scaled | https://animemotivation.com/why-anime-became-popular-overseas-mainstream/

I hate to use the term WOKE but those who are considered that won’t ever admit that piracy has played a role in anime’s rise to mainstream status and popularity.

That’s because these types look at piracy like the devil, and assume it to be a thing only bad people do or people who are thieves, criminals and have no moral compass whatsoever (irony).

Piracy because of the internet has made anime, manga, light novels, and hentai by extension much bigger than it would have been without it.

It makes all anime and manga accessible, especially older ones or material that has been AXED by bigger platforms.

As long as anime, manga, or novels is hard to access, especially in the way people want, and as long as it’s hard to watch all anime legally, piracy will exist and will continue to be necessary.

 

7. People don’t like excessive politics in their media

Anime Politics Leave Community Gatekeeping Tweet (1)

When you start with politics, you end with bullshit. That is clear in the current climate of Western media.

People hate it, and that also plays a role in the amount of anime fans coming into the industry and wanting to be a part of it, whether they’re creators or consumers.

A little politics isn’t an issue, it’s when you try to make the entire product about a political ideology that it becomes cringey, a turn off, disingenuous, and disinteresting to those seeking entertainment.

Relevant: The History Of High Guardian Spice Controversy: Where It Stands Today (Full Breakdown)

 

dbz super saiyans and piccolo | https://animemotivation.com/why-anime-became-popular-overseas-mainstream/

In the 1980s there were many anime shows like;

  • Urusei Yatsura.
  • Bubblegum Crisis.
  • Dragon Ball.
  • DBZ.
  • You’re Under Arrest.
  • Gunsmith Cats.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • Fist Of The North Star.
  • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.
  • Golden Boy.

And so much more.

Though in reality, the most popular ones, including DBZ were the ones to take anime to levels it couldn’t have reached otherwise.

For the 1990s this also includes Inuyasha, Pokemon, of course, Slayers, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Magic Knight Rayearth regardless of the role they played.

They opened the gateway and everyone came rushing in.

 

9. Hentai played a role behind closed doors

Exclusive
Get Access To Hentai Movies & Games!

Stream your favourite Hentai and play adult anime games when you gain access to the FULL library of content.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Hentai is the type of thing you hear about, but never admit to seeing. The anime industry, especially SFW platforms has long denied Hentai’s existence and hardly ever talks about it in any meaningful way.

They don’t want to be associated with it even in the slightest.

The truth is though, with how big Hentai has become, and how big it always was, to deny its role in making anime popular even if for the wrong reasons would be foolish.

It may have given people the wrong idea at times, but when something is so big that even regular porn doesn’t compare, or the biggest a star celebrities aren’t as trendy, you know its role is solidified in helping anime spread overseas in a different kind of way.

 

10. Anime like Demon Slayer and My Hero Academia solidified its mainstream status

mha 7 anime | https://animemotivation.com/why-anime-became-popular-overseas-mainstream/

In the 2010s you had anime shows like:

  • Attack On Titan.
  • Sword Art Online.
  • No Game No Life.
  • Re:Zero.
  • Food Wars.
  • Madoka Magica.
  • Love Live.
  • Black Clover.
  • Violet Evergarden.
  • Shield Hero.
  • Goblin Slayer.
  • Psycho Pass.

And many more anime that played a role.

These anime helped the anime industry get closer to mainstream status. But few anime helped the industry more than shows like My Hero Academia (on the back of the others to be fair), or Demon Slayer.

My Hero Academia was consistent and the only NEW Shonen series that managed to pump out new material very often, with each season dominating and being the talk of the town so to speak.

The petty hate only helped with the nonsensical controversies that took place.

Then Demon Slayer came on the scene in 2019 which at first didn’t do much, but once Mugen Train came around, it exploded and went onto be the biggest selling anime movie of all time.

This further pushed Demon Slayer to such heights that it outsold many movies in the US and more.

Of course, other anime (and anime movies) played a role in the 2010s to push anime closer to mainstream status (Your Name, DB Super, A Silent Voice, Darling In The Franxx), but MHA and Demon Slayer’s role can’t be debated.

It also can’t be downplayed how important these anime were in the 2010s.

Recommended Next:

How Anime Has Radically Evolved In The Past 60+ Years