Escaping Through Anime
Welcome to the Streaming Ages
Japan’s entertainment industry faced many challenges this year, especially because of the pandemic. Still, with the increasing reliance on streaming video entertainment from quarantine life, the anime scene shows much potential for exponential growth. Check out our video essay below, where we discuss the following questions:
- Who watches anime and why?
- How accessible is anime to the foreign audience?
With its rich and diverse world building, character design, voice acting and animation touched by Japan’s unique cultural sensibility, anime culture had already been gaining global traction long before the pandemic. However, this year’s COVID-19 restrictions boosted its growth when Hollywood studios put their productions on hold and viewers were looking to escape a suffocating reality of isolation. Since voice acting and editing could be done with face masks on, it was business as usual for anime production with minor delays.
Yet, despite the significant international demand, exporting anime to foreign fans has always been a painfully sluggish process. Since the 1980s, international viewers have gone to great and often illegal lengths to keep up with their favourite and freshest anime, as piracy streaming sites such as KissAnime usually upload anime titles much faster than any other legal platform.
Multimedia giants are recognising this pain point and are moving away from waiting on distribution licenses to directly investing in the anime production stage in order to streamline the distribution process.
It’s time to stop the post-series depression! We’ve all felt that indescribable ‘what now?’ type of sadness and emptiness after finishing a really good show, especially during quarantine. Pandemic or no pandemic, the world needs a wider and quicker global distribution system of anime to keep up with the ever-increasing demand where binge-watching is a universal language.
Elaine Wong — Associate (Content Creation), WNJ Ventures