Anyone who gets passionately involved in the industry is almost inevitably also a filmmaker, or at least close to one. The love of entertainment in the film and movie industry is great. Hollywood continues to deliver the biggest blockbusters, especially to Western markets, but in the meantime Europe is gradually following suit. What many lose sight of, however, are other “distant” markets that impress audiences much more with national productions.
China: Since the 2010s, there has been a significant increase in Chinese films, they have long earned more than Western films. In India too, Bollywood has long ceased to be just dance and song, it can be serious serious. With “Brahmastra”, which debuted in theaters this year, an Indian version of the Marvel universe is even introduced, its success remains open. But a common denominator remains the same: almost all are with “real” actors. It’s different in Japan: what follows is an excursion to the land of the rising sun.
Japan has undoubtedly always been one of the most culturally unique countries, with its Shinto shrines, simplicity and cuisine. At first glance, it was a kind of social shock in a positive sense with the first step of the plane. Like many countries, however, Japan is also plagued by instances of corruption and cultural neglect, with the Yakuza influencing society. If you look at the lists of the most successful “Made in Japan” films, you will find titles such as “Spirited Away” (WW box office: $400 million), “Your Name” (WW box office: $380 million dollars) or “Demon Slayer” (WW box office: 500 million US dollars). Among the 20 most successful films are 17 anime.
To understand this, you have to dive into the J-culture between neon and cosplay. Anime is the Japanese equivalent of Western cartoons and is currently probably the Asian country’s biggest cultural export. The first historical anime is a few seconds animation from the early 20th century, which was rediscovered and restored only a few years ago. Many things have changed since, we remain in tune with the times. Hardly anyone has shaped the industry more than director Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli, who won the Best Animated Feature Oscar in 2003 for his film “Spirited Away.”
Thanks to him, anime has established itself more and more in Europe and America. There were also early contacts via television series such as Sailor Moon, the Pokémon video game series from video game maker Nintendo or the MMO Genshin Impact. We often talk about different phases of anime, precisely because some genres that attract many viewers today did not even exist a few years ago.
Currently, “One Piece: Red” shows with impressive numbers that the medium of anime should not be ignored or underestimated. It should not be seen as a kid’s thing or as a competitor to the usual film, but also much more as an addition to bring the young audience of the TikTok generation to the cinema, because it is popular there like never before.