How Popular Is Anime in Japan? New Report Sheds Light on the Question

These days, it feels like anime has never been bigger in the West than it is now. Following its major push outside of Japan in the '90s, the anime industry has waxed and waned abroad. In 2012, the global anime market only grossed .24 trillion yen, but tech has changed the profession. The industry has more than quadrupled its revenue globally as 2021 estimates confirmed anime raked in 1.31 trillion yen. But if you look at anime's growth within Japan, you will see an interesting picture emerge.

As noted by Unseen Japan, data has been pulled on anime's popularity within its home nation, and the figures aren't what you may expect. Anime is a major channel for Japanese culture outside of Japan, and it has created a skewed view of anime's popularity overseas. The medium is incredibly popular, don't get us wrong, but research from companies like Famitsu Intelligent Strategic Marketing have said less than 35% of the population watches anime. In 2020, this figure rose according to Kadokawa Game Linkage as its data showed 37% of the population watched anime.

Now, it seems data for manga consumption is similar in Japan. In October 2019, Nippon Research Center held a poll overseas to learn how many people read manga or watch anime. The results said 33% of responders admitted to consuming such content while 41% said they did not. And in a report by f-ism, data showed the biggest consumers of anime by age were those 5-19 years old.

As you can see, the consumption of anime and/or manga is not as widespread in Japan as you may have thought. The mediums are certainly popular, there is no denying that much. However, the so-called truth about Japan's obsession with anime is largely a misconception. However, there are some anomalies in the industry that do become household names. Shows like Sazae-san are as ubiquitous in Japan as The Simpsons is in the United States. Other franchises like Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and Spy x Family have become top performers with daytime general viewers.

As the anime industry continues to grow, fans can expect more and more focus to be shown on global fans thanks to these figures. Japan has an aging population, and in the past, anime executives have voiced concern the nation's low birthrate will impact its domestic revenue. Thanks to social media and streaming services, it has become easy for studios to market anime titles overseas as seen by My Hero Academia and Chainsaw Man. Soon, the expectation in anime will be global domination, and the industry's revenue forecast anticipates these hits will come along sooner rather than later.

What do you think about this latest anime report...? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.