It’s getting harder to differentiate between anime and anime-influenced animation these days, highlighting how massive the impact of this style has been on the world. The former, of course, refers to animation that originated in Japan, while the latter is about animations that have been made in that now-famous mold. Anime has always been popular in the West, disproportionately more so than cartoons from other countries. But there are still ways that the unique and intriguing design concept for animation could gain more followers.
More Anime Versions of Popular Television Series
Anime-influenced animation could be the best way to get more Western viewers into the genre. The reasons why some people may not have developed a love for anime yet could be because they don’t want to watch content in Japanese, or they don’t relate to the storylines and characters. One method to stoke a passion in these viewers would be to take media that is relatable to them and give it an anime-inspired version.
This has been done with the upcoming The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, which is due to be released on Netflix at the end of August. It remains to be seen how well received it will be, but the premise of taking a popular series and releasing anime-related content is a bold idea from the streaming platform. If the Kwang Il Han-directed dark fantasy film is a hit, it could lead Netflix to commission several other anime series based on its most-loved shows.
Games and Entertainment Have Always Worked Well
Video games have always been a good way to make Western audiences aware of anime. Indeed, it could be argued that offerings like Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda franchises have been the main driving forces behind spreading the word about the genre in Europe and North America.
Final Fantasy is a Square Enix series, and is the 12th-most successful game franchise of all time, with more than 159 million copies sold, while around 120 million copies of The Legend of Zelda have been shipped.
Certain branches of the entertainment industry, such as iGaming, have helped spread the word about anime to people who may be unlikely to discover it under any other circumstances.
Of course, mobile is another way to get anime in front of a vast number of players. There are 2.2 billion mobile gamers in the world, making this the most popular way to play. Some of the top-rated anime mobile games include Dragon Ball Legends, The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross, and Fire Emblem Heroes.
Anime Inclusion Within Live-Action Films
Rather than try to have non-anime-loving people decide to watch or play anime-related content themselves, another way to get them into it could be to slip it into something that they want to watch. This would come in the form of crossovers in which live-action films include some aspects of anime.
This was famously done by Quentin Tarantino in Kill Bill. The award-winning director decided to give Lucy Liu’s character, O-Ren Ishii, a backstory using an anime cut scene. It was a unique and interesting way to give viewers more detail about her history and it was appropriate seeing as she was originally from Tokyo.
Despite Tarantino professing love for anime himself, he hasn’t used it like this on many occasions. There has been talking that the Pulp Fiction director will create something more anime-focused in one of his future projects, though.
Using a multipronged approach across different sections of the entertainment industry is the best way to get more people into anime in the West. By infiltrating content that viewers and gamers already know they like, they may stumble across anime and develop a love for it.