The impact of anime on American culture

Due to the influx of Japanese immigrants in America in the early years of the twentieth century, it becomes rather obvious that they would have their culture imported with them. The evolution of the manga and anime culture in mainland Japan meant that manga was introduced to America as early as the 1960s, with one of the first ones being Astroboy.

anime influence on american culture

The chief reason as to why manga and anime has garnered so much popularity and why anime has impacted American culture is due to its wide appeal towards people of all genders and age groups. American grown comics by DC and Marvel have mostly been targeted towards boys and men. Anime however has impacted men and women, apart from children as well, due to their vast list of possible stories ranging from science fiction ( Gurren Lagann) to the supernatural (Death Note) to even just parodies of other anime which are well established (Gintama).

anime impact on american culture

However, looking back at the past, one could not have even guessed how grand an impact anime would have on American culture. Back when anime culture in America was not as well established as it is now, various studies on people’s views on them showed that a high percentage of the population believed them to be only for children. Studies conducted recently however show that these misconceptions have been cleared. This clearly proves how well the assimilation of anime has been in mainstream American culture.

In terms of impact on American culture, it can be seen very clearly in American media, how they have taken inspiration from anime to create their own media. Nickelodeon, a famous American TV channel, has had two shows based on anime, not only in terms of the art style, but also in terms of various types of values and traditions that are usually believed to be very Japanese. Avatar: The Last Airbender and The legend of Korra have taken a divergent route from standard shows produced by Nickelodeon and yet have amassed a massive fan base, which just shows how much the impact of anime has been on American culture.

With the advent of the internet and various platforms on which people can share their views and experiences with other people, the impact of anime has only been able to spread across the country and not just remain isolated groups of people scattered all across their fifty states. Scores of people have made scores of groups on websites like Facebook, 4Chan and Reddit to share their favorite anime, have discussions about various themes and motifs as well as a larger understanding of Japanese culture and also to just have fun.

This has helped bring in more anime based concepts into America and their culture such as that of Cosplay. Every single Cosplay convention which you see in America, most of the characters would be from something anime or manga related. In fact, even in music, especially that of the black community, there are quite a few references to anime; more specifically Dragon Ball Z, which on its own, has become cultural phenomenon of its own.

The amalgamation of anime into American culture and its impact on it, clearly has been incalculable. A large part of every new media released nowadays in America has had some or the other influence from anime. The very fact that purely anime phrases and contextual elements like “It’s over 9000” and running Naruto style seem so common and widespread is proof enough that the impact of anime on American culture has been huge and will always somehow be an influencer on American culture and media.

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