It’s no secret that anime has found fans around the world . Here we take a look at the growing global demand for anime and which markets are seeing the most growth in demand for the genre. Also we consider two recent examples that show how finding storylines that resonate with local audiences can be a winning strategy for the genre.
Global audiences’ share of demand for anime content has been on a multi-year upward trajectory. From 2017 through most of 2019, global audiences gave a relatively stable share of attention to anime content, hovering around 3.5-4% during this time. At the end of 2019 we began to see an upward trend in the share of demand for anime content that has continued to this day. In fact, in August 2021, this measure hit a new high when global audiences gave a 5.5% share of demand to anime content.
A 5.5% share of demand may not seem like a huge amount, but for context the above chart shows the top ten most in-demand subgenres globally in August. Anime was the third most in-demand subgenre behind only the hugely popular sitcom and crime drama subgenres.
Of the top ten most anime-loving markets, over the past year European markets have seen the largest growth in their demand for anime series. Germany led the pack, where demand for anime series more than doubled (+107%) from September 2020. In France and Russia, demand came close but did not quite double over the same time. The UK rounds out the top four. Demand for anime series in this market was up 59% from September 2020.
In Japan and The Philippines, demand for anime did grow, but much more slowly (+11.4% and +4.8% respectively). Japan is original market of most anime series and The Philippines has been one of the most anime-loving markets for a while so these countries were starting from a higher baseline of demand.
Two recent anime series from Netflix illustrate how demand for anime can pop up in surprising places. First we consider Yasuke, which had its global premiere on Netflix on April 29th. Yasuke had the most successful first month following its release in Germany where it had 8.47 times the average series demand. The US was the market with the second highest demand for this show in its first month (3.58x).
Also notable were two African countries that were among the 10 markets with the highest demand for this show - Kenya and South Africa. The show is based on the historical figure of the same name, an African warrior who was a samurai in 16th century Japan.
Trese, an anime influenced show based on a Filipino comic also had notably high demand in Germany. Unsurprisingly, The Philippines had the highest demand for this show in its first month, but Germany had the second highest demand for this show with 11.23x the average series demand. Both of these series show how as anime expands its global fanbase, seeking out new storylines that resonate with local audiences is a winning strategy that will continue to grow the genre.