Insights

ANI-MAY: Exploring the demand for Anime in Asia

30 April, 2021

Anime - a genre so popular, it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t watched at least one series. It’s one of the few examples of an Asian cultural export that is mainstream worldwide. Anywhere you go on Earth, you can find people interested in the Japanese culture, and even learning the language, because of anime. And even if you are not a current fan, the chances are that you watched one or two anime shows growing up.

Considering its widespread popularity, you may think you know how in-demand Anime is in its continent of origin, Asia. But, looking at Parrot Analytics data, the results might be surprising.

The demand for Anime in Asia: How big is it?

Anyone who guessed that it was big would be correct, but let’s look at the breakdown.

In East Asia, anime is the second most in-demand genre. It comes in behind only the Superhero category, and just ahead of Science-Fiction. By looking at the past 90 days, we find that the demand for Anime is 0.40x higher than the average title in the market. Asia is a giant continent, however, so it doesn’t suffice to look at it as a monolith.

Within the region, the popularity of Anime is not the same everywhere. Predictably, it’s most popular in East Asia, where the genre’s demand is 0.84x the average title, while in Southeast Asia it’s 0.32x, and in South Asia, it’s 0.27x the average.

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If we break down the data even further, to see which countries express the most demand for this genre, we can see that some countries show a higher demand for the genre than others.

In Japan

Being the country that created and produces it, naturally, anime is exceptionally loved in Japan. One of the few Japanese cultural exports, the genre that is so popular worldwide is certainly so locally too.

Anime was the genre with the most demand in the country in the last 90 days: it recorded 2.73x the average demand for a title in the market.

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This may not be shocking, but other countries show some surprising stats.

In South Korea

For instance, South Korea - a country geographically and culturally close to Japan - had lower demand for Anime than some Southeast Asian countries.

In the past 90 days, the demand was 0.30x the average in South Korea, which is lower than the demand for Action (0.36x), but higher than that for Comedy (0.24x). In contrast, the demand for Anime in the Philippines was 0.72x the average, 0.34x in Indonesia, and 0.31x in Malaysia.

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In China

During the same period, the demand for Anime in this market was 0.55x the average title. Beyond South Korea, the numbers here are higher than the ones in cosmopolitan territories, such as Hong Kong (0.32x) and Taiwan (0.29x).

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Which shows are most in-demand?

According to the data, two Anime series - My Hero Academia and Attack On Titan - haven’t left the top ten most in-demand shows in Asia for over a year.

In fact, following the launch of its fourth season at the end of 2020, the demand for Attack on Titan soared. In April 2021, the series still recorded the highest monthly demand in the region.

From the time when the newest season was launched - in December of 2020 - up until May, the show consistently had the highest monthly demand. During that period, it registered 19.87x the demand of the average title in the Asian market. It also had the highest monthly demand in December and January.

The streak was interrupted by the debut of Disney+’s WandaVision in February. It was a competitive month, as the new show registered 22.44x the average demand, while the anime dropped to second place with 22.16x.

However, the anime quickly resumed its place, jumping back to number one in March with 21.21x.

Furthermore, Attack on Titan remained the most in-demand show in Asia until mid-April, when Disney+’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier finally overtook it. The show recorded 21.56x the average demand, surpassing the anime. Even so, Attack On Titan continued strong the rest of the month, at times dueling for first place.

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Meanwhile, My Hero Academia also saw a big surge in interest when the fifth season started airing in March 2021. It was the ninth most in-demand series in February, but jumped to fifth in March, and kept that place in April, demonstrating stability.

Demand in the Philippines

In the Philippines, Attack on Titan impressively recorded 45.94x the average demand in the past 90 days, making it the most in-demand show in the country for that period - an exceptional feat.

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The latest season of the series has been, by far, the most successful. The eighth episode recorded 65.12x the average demand, an exceptional number. The earlier seasons of the show were successful but never recorded such high numbers.

In fact, Season 2 was more popular than Season 3: its most in-demand episode recorded 16.89x the average, while the one in the following season recorded 12.97x.

Meanwhile, My Hero Academia recorded 9.97x the average demand in the same period, coming in seventh place as the most popular show in the country.

Demand in other countries

The demand numbers for these shows are impressive across Asia.

For instance, in Taiwan, Attack on Titan had 16.52x the average demand in the past 90 days, making it the most in-demand show in the country for that period. Meanwhile, My Hero Academia recorded 6.41x the average demand as the ninth most popular show in the same period. Both showed impressive numbers that are well above the average.

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Another example is Indonesia, where Attack on Titan had 24.64x the average demand in the past 90 days, making it the second most in-demand show in the country for that period. And while My Hero Academia did not make it into the top ten most popular shows in this period, another anime did. Jujutsu Kaisen recorded 9.19x the average demand, coming in tenth place as the most popular show in the country.

Undeniably, anime is a genre that overcomes all barriers. Cultural and geographical proximity to Japan are relevant factors in the demand for it but, in the end, Anime is a greater phenomenon than that. The same way it captured the different corners of Asia, it will continue to take over the world.

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