Anime is far from niche.
What originated in Japan has transcended borders to become a global entertainment phenomenon. Anime’s appeal is vast — from die-hard fans who thrive on rich worldbuilding to gamers seeking an escape from intense play sessions — and more. Anime is a rising star in the global entertainment landscape (though often misunderstood in its depth and impact).
Fans gather at the Los Angeles Convention center during Anime Expo 2019. Photo: Rob Pereyda.
Anime fans are deeply invested in the worlds they love. They express their passion through cosplay, creating fan art, singing anime karaoke (in Japanese!), attending conventions, and other activities. More than just a hobby, anime is a way of life for many fans, which is why a well-stocked “anime shelf” — filled with figures, boxed sets, manga, plush toys, and trinkets is so important.
In 2022 alone, the anime industry reported revenues of 2.9 trillion Japanese Yen (approximately $20.5 billion USD). This figure spans various sectors, including streaming services, video games, toys, apparel, food, and live entertainment, just to name a few.
Despite its mainstream success, anime is still “counterculture” in many ways to fans. Anime’s unique storytelling constructs and directorial aesthetics rooted in Japanese culture make anime feel fresh around the globe year after year, and its popularity continues to rise.
While getting started in the anime industry requires a certain level of expertise, it’s an exciting sector of the entertainment business ripe with opportunity. Companies who are prepared to spend time to gain knowledge and enter the market strategically will find there is a lot that anime has to offer.