Japanese Anime Popular Culture, Essay Sample for You

Published: 2022-04-14
Japanese Anime Popular Culture, Essay Sample for You
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Culture
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1131 words
10 min read

Japanese animation or "Anime" as is popularly known has taken the United States by a storm. It is an animation style characterized by exaggerated features such as oddly colored hair and big eyes. Anime originated from Japanese cultures. Popular anime movies and cartoons portray fantastic stories mostly about supernatural power which has made it attractive and beautiful to watch hence gaining enormous popularity throughout the entire United States population. In fact, anime has become popular culture in America. The widespread popularity of anime from Japanese culture in the United States has been favored by its attractiveness and persistence in the mainstream media including internet and television both for young people and adults, and this popularity has resulted in people changing their perceptions towards Japan even choosing the country as a tourist and educational destination.

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Japanese animations began to rock the world during the 1960s as they became popular on the televisions. One way to account for the emergence of anime is to look at the industry of producing animations during the early 1950s. According to Ruh (2012), the rapid growth of Japanese animation industry was attributed to the fact that majority of the United States cartoon animations were being outsourced to Japanese. The outsourcing practice allowed the Japanese to establish their expertise in animation and produced their now popular culture of anime which had constantly been improved since 1910. The founders of the Japanese anime had concentrated on developing a content that would be easily exportable to a global one and allow the world to consume it. The nature of ease of exportation of the Japanese anime allowed it to integrate within the American cartoons and majority of the commercial entertainment (Ruh, 2012). This way anime became common in America.

The ease of integrating Japanese anime into the American popular culture can also be explained by the fact that the United States and Japan share proximate economic systems. Both Japan and American economies are built on capitalistic ideas which make them more similar than distinct (Ruh, 2012). As a result, for instance, if an American was taken to Tokyo and left there with money, he or she would survive by looking for an accommodation and buying food to live. This is because capitalistic nature has made the two countries look more similar in their cultural behaviors. Thus, the economic proximities between the United States and Japan influence how people interact and create their fantasies which shape their culture to be so similar. Such similarities account for the ease with which Japanese anime was incorporated into American popular culture.

Also, the popularity of the anime gene among Americans can be explained by its existence from childhood which eventually inspired the young Americans to see and experience their local environments in new ways. As observed by Ruh (2012), anime was integrated into American cartoons such as the Disney which was attractive for young children. The youthful interest among the Americans, who are now adults, shaped their interests in the mainstream anime culture which would have been otherwise dismissed "backward" and "foreign" cartoons or animations characterized by unusual hair-colors (Rich, 2011). The presence of the culture in the childhood media allowed young individuals to domesticate the culture from the early age and embrace it. As the young people grew up, the anime became a shared participatory platform that made them to experience and sees themselves and their local surroundings in unique new ways. Such interests formed the foundational inspiration among the Americans to shape the complete trajectory of their adult life (Rich, 2011). This is how Americans have come to embrace the anime as their popular culture.

Undoubtedly, the anime culture has been strengthened by the media, both internet, and television. In 2010, Google ranked a site called "onemanga.com" among the 1000 world's most visited sites (Rich, 2011). This site is filled with Japanese content including manga and anime among others. Its existence had allowed Americans to access the content of the attractive anime movies. But even before the internet, there were the common television shows airing Japanese popular culture from the 1990s. These shows included Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, Naruto and Cowboy Be-Bop among others (Rich, 2011). Dragon Ball Z began airing in the early 1990s and persisted in the cable Channel Cartoon Network to date. Also, Pokemon, which began in 1998, is still running to date. Also, there are Japanese culture television shows with mature themes such as the Cowboy Be-Bop. The availability of the Japanese anime popular culture on the internet and the television shows ensured that the content is accessible to many Americans who consumed and even owned making it part of their culture.

The popularity of the Japanese anime culture has resulted in the change of perceptions among the people from other parts of the world regarding Japan. According to Rich (2011), anime and manga have since become a motivation by many Americans to learn more about Japanese history, culture, and language. In this study, the author found that about half of the subjects interviewed and aged 18 years and above have advanced their love for Japanese culture to seeking for more ways through which they can experience more of the Japanese content outside the anime and manga popular culture (Rich, 2011). Consequently, many Americans have sought for education opportunities in Japan with the aim of getting close to their popular culture. Others have chosen Japan as their favorite tourist destination as others consider the country when selecting abroad programs. Others have preferred to learn the Japanese language to further associate with the culture (Rich, 2011). Therefore, one can conclude that popularity of Japanese culture in America has made people love Japan as a country, and enhanced ties with the United States as many citizens opt to visit the country for education or even work there.


The popularity of Japanese anime popular culture in America has been motivated by the existence and persistence of the content in the mainstream media including internet and the television both for children and adults. Anime has been integrated into the American cartoons which made it a choice for children. As these children grew up, they strongly identified with the culture. Also, the introduction of television shows airing adult anime content attracted most of the Americans to follow the Japanese culture throughout their lives. The internet further enhanced the popularity of anime culture through access to anime movies. As the people embraced the Japanese popular culture, they established affectionate feelings for Japan, and many of the youths aspire to attend Japanese educational institutions to learn their language and complete their studies there. Others have since loved Japan as their tourist site.


Rich, D. L. (2011). Global fandom: The circulation of Japanese popular culture in the US. The University of Iowa.

Ruh, B. (2012). Adapting anime: Transnational media between Japan and the United States (Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University).

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