Anime Sweeps the Streaming World

If you do not watch anime, then you do not know what you are missing. Anime is a style of animated shows and movies that originated from Japan and that is collectively considered its own genre, though the content is wide-ranging. Anime’s roots can be traced to the nineteenth century when performers used lightweight, wooden projectors with multiple mechanical slides to feign movement of characters across a screen. As long as 800 years prior to these projection displays, Japanese storytellers, assisted by the use of images, were quite popular. In the 1980’s, anime became a booming industry and gained widespread popularity across Japan. This climate led way to the birth of occult classics such as Dragon Ball, which has remained popular among audiences for decades, and unanimously beloved masterpieces such as Spirited Away.

Most recently, on September 22, a series of short films released under the name Star Wars Visions entered the catalog of Disney Plus. This ground-breaking, nine-episode animated series consisted of chapters fully created by Japanese anime studios. These individual visions, created and animated by wonderfully talented teams, were released in America, in both English and Japanese, accompanied by English subtitles. The wide-spread popularity of Star Wars accumulated from multiple generations of viewers was the perfect audience for Disney to test how well-received future anime productions would be. This loyal fan base devoured these short films and praised the creativity of such effective storytelling.

Many patrons of Netflix might have been surprised to come across anime while scrolling through the various watch lists. This increase in anime viewing by streaming service users is not unwarranted as there are dozens of anime series and movies now on Netflix. Included among this collection are fan favorites such as FullMetal Alchemist Brotherhood, which has retained such a devoted fan base that it has maintained its high ranking on countless anime ranking charts all over the internet. Other incredibly popular series include Naruto, Attack on Titan, and Demon Slayer, which are also incredibly well received by anime audiences globally.

This incredibly healthy industry has only expanded especially in America in the last few years, and anime fans across the U.S. should be extraordinarily excited. Excitement of Disney fans should already be sparking with the teasing of a new anime series named Disney: Twisted Wonderland that will paint many beloved Disney characters through the lens of a new style. This exponential increase in popularity should also expand anime audiences and grow the widespread nature of the industry, and I, for one, cannot wait to see what is to come from this new frontier.