Is Western culture affecting Japan Anime & Manga?

Commonly when we watch Anime, there are some scenes and environment settings from Western and the European culture. However, are they helping the growth in Anime? Or is something bigger happening behind the scenes, where western culture might be affecting Japan’s Anime in the most subtle way, slowly but surely.

Looking at statistics, the viewership for anime has increased over the years, marking a 23.56 billion USD market with an annual CAGR growth rate of 9.5%. When cross tallying with American movie broadcasting companies such as Netflix, there are also more animes being streamed on these platforms, and anime viewership in the U.S. is the highest when compared to the world. It is no wonder that some anime titles are now trying their best to cater to the western viewers, and here are some examples that are in anime.

1) Sports based Anime depict the physical capabilities of athletes in the States rather than athletes in Japan itself

Watched Haikyuu/ Kuroko no Basket/ Yowamushi Pedal? These sports anime who have athletes competing in competitions rarely show us the reality of Japan’s true athletes. However, this can be understood as Animes try their very best to add more action/ to give the Anime more dramatization. In my opinion, there isn’t much of a problem here, but some minor changes could definitely be done to add more realism into the anime. (e.g. character progressions and how specific sports moves were executed after training.)

The over-exaggerated air time in the Basketball anime (Kuroko no basket) helps build emotions and adds drama/ everything in slow motion.

Definitely, some of the Basketball moves featured in the anime are fun to watch, however when comparing it towards real life examples, we realize where the anime creators got their ideas from. (p.s. it’s from NBA)

2) Animes are made with 2 versions, 1 dubbed and the other is english sub

For most of you weeaboos/ otaku out there, maybe you might have already realized long ago, that most Animes come in two different versions in your streaming provider. One main example is how the popular anime title: Naruto Shippuden is created with 2 different voice actors. One made for the English community. There is nothing left to chance, and most of the English voice actors have to go through trainings and a tough selection process, before being able to voice act for their particular animes.

Popular anime series Naruto has as much as 5 different voice actors for just Naruto alone. This adds on more realism in the person’s voice during voice acting and thus the popular title.

Languages for this anime include English, Japanese, German, Italian and French. The most popular of which is Maile Flanagan who is a lady, and has a unique voice when voice acting for Naruto.

However, not all anime are catered for the international community/ don’t have enough finances to hire twice the number of voice actors for the anime series.

3) Openings and endings now have an english name, so that viewers can easily find the songs on Youtube

NARUTO opening (CLOSER), by INOUE JOE
Jujutsu Kaisen opening (Kaikai Kitan), by Eve
Kekkai Sensen Ending (Sugar Song and bitter step), by Union Square Garden

The list continues, and there are too many examples for this. I think you guys as otaku’s/weeaboo’s will understand.

4) Fantasy animes with Magic in them are very similar to western based movies

For those that have watched reincarnation based anime, where the protagonist gets into another world outside civilization, dragons and knights based of anime. Popular series: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, Overlord, … … and many more … …

Magic circles that look like voodoo/ a witches spell
Popular scene from the anime Mushoku Tensei features magic that is similar to western culture

5) Western countries being more involved with the production of Animes

Ever heard of Netflix/ funimation. Those popular American media streaming companies are trying their best to get more anime out into the market, and trying to get a piece of the pie in the anime market. Popular anime titles such as: Naruto, My hero Academia, Demon slayer, Black clover and Haikyuu are also being streamed by Netflix.

In addition to the western communities trying to get a pie on the anime market, most western countries started to get involved with the production of the anime too. Visual effects teams, voice actors and even animes made entirely out of the Japan market/ completely made in America (Title: castlevania), can be seen around the states, with the trends spreading like fire.

There is nothing wrong with the western community affecting the market, and it is pretty welcomed by the world too. For otaku’s/ weeaboo’s out there who wishes to watch more Anime with more of the Japanese context in it, there are many titles out there for you. Here are some of our main recommendations.

  • Jujutsu Kaisen
  • Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon
  • Saiki Kusuo no Κ Nan
  • Naruto Shippuden
  • Noragami
  • Ansatsu Kyoushitsu
  • Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san

Happy animation, happy otaku’s. Hope you guys enjoyed the anime recommendations and started to look at anime in a new light. Please consider subscribing, it would help out a lot.😀

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