New Study Breaks Down Anime's Growing Popularity Overseas

It's a fact that even those who aren't fans can tell you: anime has been growing in popularity outside of Japan in recent years. Now, a new study is breaking down that continued growth and taking a look at what has been most successful and where.

As reported by Anime News Network, the Association of Japanese Animations (AJA) recently published an English-language summary of its "Anime Industry Report 2017", a report that looks at industry trends from 2016, and its findings were interesting.

Anime's total market value saw a nearly 10 percent increase from 2015, marking the third year in a row that the industry has seen an upward trend. However, the report indicated that the industry didn't feel much benefit from the growth, specifically because it was largely attributed to the overseas market. When it comes to overseas sales and consumption, most sales go through licensing management companies as opposed to the more direct path utilized in Japan. That means that some of the revenue from those overseas sales is taken by those licensing companies.

The report also noted that as the overseas market grows, the Japanese market has remained relatively flat with a less than 4 percent growth from 2013. In stark contrast, the overseas market has grown almost 172 percent since 2013 as consumers outside of Japan's demand for anime grows. Of the overseas markets, China topped the list of most contracts with the Japanese animation industry. Chinese companies made great moves into purchasing streaming rights for Japanese anime as well as investing in animation production committees, outsourcing their own projects to Japanese studios. Other countries that were near the top of the list in terms of contracts were South Korea, Taiwan, and the Unites States. United States was the top of the list until 2015.

As for what specific products and sections were showing an increase, movie, Internet distribution, music, overseas and live entertainment all saw growth. Movies in particular saw a 41 percent growth from 2015, something the report attributed to the success of Your Name, a film that has been one of the most successful anime features of all-time.

What do you think about this report? Are you surprised that China has the most overseas contracts? Let us know your thoughts in comments!