It might go without saying, but the pandemic did a number on the entertainment industry. From film to television, no sector was spared in 2020 as COVID-19 continued to spread. While the virus still lingers all over, sectors like the anime industry are making up ground from their 2020 lows, and a new report is breaking down how Japan is rebounding already.
The update comes from Anime Japan courtesy of Hiromichi Masuda, the editorial supervisor of the Anime Industry Report which is released annually overseas. It was there Masuda spoke of how the industry has shifted following the pandemic's arrival in 2020, and while specific numbers for 2021 are not yet public, he can say the sector is rebounding in a good way.
"The numbers from 2021 are coming in right now, and it's clear that they're better than in 2020. I believe they will keep going up in the year 2022. As a closing remark, I believe that Japanese anime will keep spreading its wings all around the world. Please keep an eye out for future developments in Japanese anime," Masuda told attendees and industry experts during his panel.
As the editor went through his presentation, Masuda mentioned how the industry's 2020 earnings were saved by Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – Mugen Train. The film debuted in late 2020 and grossed nearly $315 million USD to become anime's highest-grossing movie of all time. The sector still dipped significantly in 2020, but this box office rally prevented a worst-case scenario.
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As 2021 came into view, the year brought a variety of popular shows that raked in the money. The saturated market came about in part because several titles slated for 2020 premieres were pushed to 2021. Masuda says the reduced number of show delays helped the industry rebound from 2020 last year, and he expects 2022 to see that recovery period through.
However, there is one element of the industry suffering something fierce, and it is live events. Masuda says the category dipped by nearly 66% in 2020, and these live events are pretty popular in Japan. Virtual offerings helped ease the bleeding, but the anime industry is hurting without its live events. But now as social distancing guidelines are easing, these events are becoming easier to host two years after the pandemic's arrival.
What do you make of this editor's comment? Are you keeping up with anime's newest releases...? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.0comments