Everyone at Otaku USA loves anime, but how big is anime around the world? According to a recent TIFFCOM seminar, the Anime Industry Report 2022 shows major growth, especially overseas.
The Anime Industry Report has been around since 2009 and it puts out a report once a year. At the seminar, Masuda Hiromichi (the Anime Industry Report chief editor) and Fujitsu Ryota (the TIFF Japanese animation section programming advisor) told people about their findings.
The report was on industry sales in 2021, and according to Variety, when they say “industry,” they mean “not only animation content for TV, film, streaming and video, but also goods, amusements, music, foreign sales and live entertainment.”
And the final numbers? $18.4 billion. That’s the most the anime industry has ever made. And it’s a 9% increase from 2019, which held the previous record. There was a dip in 2020 because of COVID.
“We initially thought there might be a bigger impact [from the pandemic], but the dip ended up lasting only one year,” Masuda said.
Breaking down the numbers more, $9.6 billion came from purchases outside of Japan, whereas $8.8 billion came from Japan itself, anime’s home country.
While these are great numbers, it doesn’t mean it’s clear sailing for everything in the anime industry. Anime can make quite a bit of money in China, but because of China’s censorship rules (and because it’s not always clear what the Chinese government may want to censor next), this could lead to unexpected financial hits on anime.
And Fujitsu talked about Netflix. Netflix buys a lot of anime, but it’s seen sales drop recently. The company also doesn’t always tell people in the anime industry what its future plans are. “They [Netflix] could change drastically,” said Fujitsu. “People in the industry want to know what they intend to do.”
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.