Forecast of the anime industry in the next 5 years

Anime, what an industry! For years the Japanese have been producing high-quality animation that has clearly discerned itself from the likes of Disney and other western animation studios. Often carrying more adult themes, it wasn’t until the early 1990s that a company known as Manga Entertainment began bringing anime movies like Fist of the North Star, Ninja Scroll and Vampire Hunter D to Western audiences. Prior to this mass exodus of Japanese animated films and series, Western audiences, particularly American audiences were only accustomed with Robotech, which in the opinion of some, possibly many, was a Frankenstein concoction of a number of anime series’ known as the Macross Saga; but audiences took to it and the thirst for anime was nurtured.  One does need to discern between the classics and the more recent ones like Netflix’s Castlevania or Batman Ninja. The world’s thirst for anime has grown to such an extent that animators cannot churn them out fast enough. As with all things that eventually come into the space of mass production, anime quality has taken somewhat of a dive, especially when it comes to the series, but the thirst for content remains strong, and so, with all this in mind, let us now take a look at what’s in store for the industry for the next few years to come.

It’s Netflix all the way!

If ever there was a major proponent of anime content, it would have to be Netflix. The streaming giant has even created an anime category where fans can search for new content until the cows come home. Not only has Netflix managed to stock its stables with classics and new favourites, it’s also got its own production house for the production of its own anime films and series. Key amongst such gems would be Castlevania, an anime series based on the highly popular Konami video game which saw multiple sequels on both the Genesis and the Super Nintendo. Netfilx fully capitalised on the popularity of this game and created a series of tremendous scope and breadth. As far back as 2018 the streaming giant was intent on spending $8 billion to make its own anime films.  Is it any wonder then that owning shares in these companies – Mad House, Studio Bones and Kyoto Animation – all key producers of high-quality anime content is a high priority for investors and streaming giants such as Netflix? If your company is in a position to spend that kind of money on animation, then you’ve got the assurance of the audience and the clout to see that the future is bright.  Netflix has gone as far as not to dub many of the Japanese series it showcases as to remain true to the authenticity and to please many fans who often insist on the original Japanese dialect.  However, to dub or not to dub, that is a topic that remains debated.

Where is all this perpetual growth going?

The perpetual growth of anime is really not hard to understand; it’s the old adage of supply and demand. For instance, roughly 5 years ago the release rate of an Anime series was down to one a month, but oh how all that has changed.  Due to immense popularity and demand,  new anime gets released practically every day. However, it’s not just due to popularity, it’s also due to the fact that the industry provides jobs to all with an interest in animation. In fact,  in terms of freelancers, the anime industry has them in spades, and this, in turn, leads to incredible innovation in terms of new story concepts and character development. It’s predicted that in the next 5 years the market will likely increase tenfold. Due to the changing landscape of the art itself, which involves a lot more digitised animation, anime could one day come to compete with the traditional IT and digital industry.  At this point, it’s quite safe to assume that in the coming years, the only way for anime is up.

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