Anime: a timeless form of art

How many of us grew up watching the “cartoons” (as we ignorantly used to define them) of “Dragon Ball”, “Captain Tsubasa”, “Sailor Moon”, “The Rose of Versailles” and how many more!? Now that we are a few (many!) years older we can delve deeper into the concept and understand what they really represent for the Land of the Rising Sun.

These animated series feature a wide range of genres, styles and themes and it is a true art form that has deep roots in Japanese culture and has evolved over time, becoming a mainstay of entertainment both at home and abroad. They are not just a means of entertainment, but often deal with complex and universal themes, offering reflections on society, politics and human relationships. Their importance lies in their ability to convey emotions, tell engaging stories and explore complex concepts through an accessible and visually stimulating medium.


Global heritage

Internationalization is a significant phenomenon that has made anime an integral part of global popular culture. In recent decades, they have gained large audiences outside of Japan, with an increasingly large fanbase around the world. This was facilitated by several factors:

  1. platforms like Netflix, Crunchyroll and Funimation have made it easily accessible in many parts of the world, allowing viewers to watch the latest series with subtitles or dubbing in different languages.
  2. social media and online communities have played a vital role in expanding the anime fanbase. Reddit, X and Discord have given fans a space to discuss, share fan art, theories and news, helping to create a sense of global community.
  3. Dedicated conventions are held around the world, offering fans the opportunity to meet in person, participate in panels, cosplay competitions and purchase exclusive merchandise.

Merchandise per tutti i gusti

The international success has also generated a vast market for products such as toys and action figures that reproduce iconic characters; clothing and accessories such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, caps and home gadgets: mugs, posters, cushions and many other objects.
We must also not forget the thriving videogames market: many anime have inspired videogames for consoles and mobile devices, which allow fans to further immerse themselves in the worlds of their favorite series.


Support from the national government

The Japanese government has played a significant role in supporting the anime industry through policies and financial incentives, recognising the economic and cultural importance of the industry by providing direct funding and tax breaks to anime companies in order to promote the production and distribution of high quality content, and the government itself works with entities such as the Japan Foundation and the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) to promote anime abroad. No less important is the strong commitment to the protection of intellectual property through which the government works to protect copyright and combat piracy by ensuring that anime companies and artists receive fair compensation for their work.


Growth without borders

Unique style and rich storytelling make anime a global treasure that must not, however, lose its roots: this is a constant challenge, especially culturally. In our country, anime that is normally broadcast on television is censored; violent expressions or satire are included in the original version, which can raise open debates. Despite this, however, anime production companies must find a balance between artistic freedom and cultural sensitivity and continue in their unique and inimitable style.

What do you think about this special topic?

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