With anime becoming something of a more mainstream force here in the states, we have a younger generation beginning to discover anime and will ultimately be a force that is taking after our own foot steps. Due in part with the rise of anime being more heavily featured by services like Hulu, who have always had more of a focus against Netflix but have started to dive more into the ever growing base that is the anime industry. What is causing this? Surely it is just business minded individuals going about business as usual yes? Well, I would also argue that this is also because of the ever growing demand for access to more anime based streaming sites. With more and more new followers of anime, you then create a new base that wants more, they want to watch the titles that have gained cult followings and the titles that push the limits of what is considered air-able. While the industry had a period of in-sane growth during my younger years with many different channels offering anime as a view able option. However the growth was cut short and ultimately crashed here in the states. The surviving remnants withered or went to a digital streaming focus. Which is why things like Crunchyroll became so much more popular.
We recently saw the inception of Toonami once again yet a few are seeing a similar trend. While the return of Toonami was herald as one of the most amazing things to happen for local American stations, it is starting to slow down once again; at least for a few. The reasoning why Is because a lot of the anime they air are older anime that most have already seen. What about our younger generations? Well, it is providing them a window to anime. They get to see the old anime that we consider to be classics and amazing. They are then able to understand the difference between cartoons and anime; which mind you, is an every on-going struggle… But despite how Toonami is doing, it was us that got it to come back. They teased this as an April Fool’s joke that got enough of a following to push them to bring a service like Toonami back. While obtaining anime license rights are expensive, it is worth while if they receive enough views and advertisement space. That only comes if they have the viewers, which they slowly are getting thanks in part of people like us, who gush about anime and want to share it with others. I mean, it is a great feeling being able to show someone something, they like it and then they become invested and totally engrossed in the anime that they now love. I mean I have had several people discover that they love anime and that they like it more than they ever thought that they could.
Our generation is literally responsible for the rise in services like Crunchyroll and for services like Hulu having such a massive anime based library. I mean when I was a kid, I didn’t have access to things like these. I was lucky if a t.v. network would play a Miyazaki film or maybe an anime. Growing up it was more easier with shows like Naruto, Dragonball Z and Bleach being such popular titles that almost every network had a section devoted to airing English dubbed anime, sometimes the same anime but with different actors and actresses. However because of this it did crash in the early 2000’s and wouldn’t see a rise until the teen years of the 2000’s. These services however gave birth to the above mentioned Crunchyroll and it still continue to power house onward. It has caused many Japanese companies to start preparing subtitles in advance for quick conversions to international markets. It also saves them money on having to lend it out for a dubbing session. I mean while Funimation still is a beast in regards to putting out English Dubbed anime, it still is behind as more and more users are favoring subtitles to the English conversions. The reason being that we have readily available access to these titles literally and hour after airing in Japan. While this is not the focus it is still another affect we are having on the mainstream effect on anime as a whole. We aren’t bothered by them being subtitled.
The more products that we buy it also helps the anime industry. I believe we talked about this in a past discussion point but it does really go a long way by purchasing the products and sharing them with the world. It gives the studio more money and more exposure to a potentially wider audience. They say that children are impressionable and that is so true, especially when it comes to getting them into anime. No, I am not saying I want you to use anime as a hook and lure. Just share it, show others how passionate you are and share it with the younger generations. It is those young minds that might be the next biggest anime production studio or the new Crunchyroll. We can establish websites, products or ideas but it is the younger generations that will come into these subjects and will be deciding how these products and ideas develop and if they will continue to have something like Toonami still floating around. We are literally giving these younger generations a key to the future of anime and how they will influence it with their viewing habits and interests.
Now I know this is a bit of a ramble, heck it is a discussion point after all but after seeing a lot of articles talking about younger generations and anime I wanted to at least give my two cents. It is something that is also of a very drastic controversy regarding kids watching anime. I may cover this in another discussion point as I feel it gets too much flak from those who only see anime as something that is sexual and gory in nature. How do you all feel about the effects our generation has had in regards to making anime more accessible and how we are rubbing off on younger generations? Feel free to leave your thoughts below!