The growing popularity of the Japanese anime brand
In most parts of the world, Japan is considered a futuristic nation with the rarest technologies. On the other hand, Japan is happy to present its mix of technology and media culture, defined mainly by its cartoons and popular games.
Beyond the borders, anime is considered a style created by the Japanese, even though it is actually a shorter form of the word animation. Yet, some experts claim that the term anime also resembles the reduction of the form of animation.
The anime is central to Japan’s global media fan base, thanks to its uniqueness. Today, Japan accounts for a significant share of the global film market.
But such success is achieved through consistent branding, which is evident in various aspects explained here.
how it started
The importance of Japanese anime first gained worldwide attention in the 1960s, although the form began as early as the 1910s. Its founding was inspired by various cartoonists, painters, and political cartoonists curious about anime images.
But the boom of the ’60s can soon be traced to Osamu Tezuka, who drew inspiration from Disney’s success in the ’30s to create masterpieces like Princess Knight and Astro Boy. Tezuka defined the modern Japanese and global anime space.
Later in the 70s, various successes initiated the perception of anime from a subcultural fashion to a complex art with endless possibilities. The influence has captured a massive following across different demographics including different ages.
Although the industry declined in the 80s due to Japan’s economic downturns, a resurgence after the release of Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1995 would redefine it and inspire a new approach.
Build the brand
The branding of Japan began as a stereotype, where Western nations imagined Japan as a modernized nation with playfully designed technological and media spaces. A vision that started in the west later became a program of the government and its foreign agencies, who decided to promote it as a market identity.
In the UK, for example, Cross Media promotes Japanese cultures through anime, fashion, music, lore and games, etc. Its HyperJapan festival encourages attendees to engage with Japanese cultures while selling the brand as an asset for profit. The lively style of play is also gaining popularity in online spaces and physical casinos, with animated slot machines taking the top spot as a fan favorite.
A few years ago, the Japanese weren’t very focused on western stereotypes. But in the global village, the Internet has become, they have now owned the identity.
The importance of technology
Unlike most countries that inherited characteristics from the colonizer, Japan was born out of original ideas, which played a big role in its early technological dominance. It was not settled, although there were significant cultural changes during the post-World War II occupation. This may have allowed the country to retain most of its unique culture while its tech and animation industries took over.
Realizing the power of its playful global image, it became government property and expanded the approach to its electronic and media production.
The dominance of the Japanese electronics market in the 1980s complemented the Western idea of a nation rich in robotics and designed as a game. In addition, its rapid recovery during the post-war period portrays the technological stability. Some old negative cultures faded as the nation embarrassed its new place as a global technology leader.
Impacts of culture
Anime culture has become so massive that you will most definitely come across its symbols, shapes, and images in random places and objects, including school buses and train stations. The culture is no longer associated with children’s entertainment, but rather a tradition that stems from diverse productions according to specific demographics.
But before the industry took off, the early producers heavily marketed their products while selling at low prices to conquer global markets after failing to gain mass in Japan.
By catching hotspots such as Spain, South America and Italy, the style evolved into a culture.
Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games
Japan’s efforts to promote its image were amplified during the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The official trailer was an intricate masterpiece that encapsulated Japan’s contribution to media production. Various aspects including music and graphics brought their anime culture together.
The brand extended to the actual event where even the races had an anime twist. The placard bearers wore cartoon-like costumes and held signs showing the athletes’ country names in animated speech bubbles.
Their musical selection also included popular manga themes related to the majority of the audience. The opening of the 2021 Olympics features hints of “Born Anew”. The athletes’ entrance was supported by a mix of various sounds from some of Japan’s greatest role-playing games, such as Kingdom Hearts and monster hunter.
Japan’s anime brand has been integrated into its home cultures and sets its path regardless of the influence of other cultures. But just as people from other nations don’t share a unanimous view of their most beloved cultures, not all Japanese are for anime representation. Yet government efforts will slowly facilitate the encroachment of this idea in the population over time.