Why Anime Is Getting More Popular in The U.S. (Again) -- Who Cares?

Why Anime Is Getting More Popular in The U.S. (Again) -- Who Cares?

...No tentacles here
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In the last couple of years, the consumption of manga and its television counterpart anime has been going up considerably in the United States and the West as a whole. Many people who once saw anime as a weird or niche market are starting to see it in the mainstream entertainment outlets more and more prominently with each passing year.

As a self-professed anime lover, I remember the days when I used to go to the computer room in high school and quietly read the weekly chapter releases of my favorite shounen (anime aimed toward adolescent males) manga. But these days, so very long ago, are largely passed and anyone with a Netflix account can see anime strewn all over the front-page suggestions. This increase in Western consumption of anime is due in large part to the increased accessibility of anime. With streaming giants like Hulu and Netflix, anime is moving more and more into the mainstream and into the forefront as a viable entertainment medium. The advent of manga streaming sites such as Crunchyroll has also brought along an increase in the comic counterpart of anime, manga, giving Western audiences the comic introduction to Japanese animation.

A second reason behind all of the consumption of anime is, in my opinion, due to the recent phenomenon of geek culture becoming mainstream, or even cool. It wasn’t too long ago that it was considered weird for someone to read comics or play video games. These activities were reserved for the “social outcasts” and cave trolls of previous generations. But nowadays, with the rise of triple A titles like “Call of Duty” and recent film adaptations of comics, like “Captain America: Civil War”, nerd culture has risen in prominence and profits which has in turn opened the door for other activities and hobbies that were once only for nerds, for example, anime and manga.

But in looking at the rise of anime in the West, I can’t help but take notice of the Western cartooning industry and, in my opinion, its shrinking relevance in the global entertainment industry. While Western pop culture is going strong around the world, and is arguably America’s greatest export, our cartooning and comics have seen better and more profitable days. In my opinion much of this has to do with the increasing complexity and character driven story telling that one can enjoy in anime, and the lack thereof in American cartoons. One characteristic of anime and manga are the clear defining story markers; beginning, middle and end. No matter how long an anime may be, it is clear that the mangaka (manga/anime creator) has a clear direction for the story, with defined arcs and chapters. This adds an interesting dimension of emotion and advancement to these shows as one can follow a beloved character through numerous ups and downs and changes from childhood all the way until adulthood, watching the character grow alongside you.

This was the case for me with “Naruto”. I remember first watching “Naruto” as a third grader, and following the tale all the way up until I was in my first year of college; culminating in a 12 year story for me, something I look back on with fondness. As I write this article, I can’t help but remember the plethora of memes with the caption “Today’s Kids Will Never Know” referring to the end of a great 90’s or 2000’s American cartoon like “Ed, Edd n Eddy” or “Kids Next Door”.

Much of the magic that captivated many of us as children was the fun and witty humor present in each unique show. None of these shows took themselves too seriously, but the writers and animators crafted shows that appealed to us as children, with interesting and unique characters with interesting plots. Although these shows were silly and fun, they still tackled issues that a parent watching alongside their child could appreciate. Anime and manga still do that.

If Western cartooning hopes to catch up with the popularity of anime any time soon, creators and animators may have to take a serious look at content and design, and stop giving us so much of this:

And give us more of this:

Cover Image Credit: AMW C.S

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11 Things You Understand If You Hate Physical Contact

Please keep your hands and feet away from me at all times.
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We currently live in a world where EVERYONE LIKES TO TOUCH EACH OTHER. People enjoy hugs, high fives, tapping others on the shoulder, pokes, ect. For someone like you and me (I'm assuming you too since you clicked on this article), this is the WORST thing in the world. Whenever I think of someone touching me (even just a poke) without my permission my reaction is like Sofia Vergara in Modern Family.

I mean, when I take that love languages quiz, physical touch is always on the bottom of my preferences. So I thought to my self, you know I can't be the only person in the world that hates physical touching. So here are 11 things every person who hates physical touch will understand:


1. When people tickle you

I don't care that it's just for fun and jokes; I'm not laughing because I want to, you are literally forcing me to laugh. I hate you, get your greasy hands off of me before I make you get them off of me.


2. When people think they need to tap your shoulder to get your attention

As if simply saying "Hey" followed by my name wasn't enough. I don't need your grubby little fingers touching me. Now I'm annoyed with you before this conversation even started, what do you want?


3. When someone you barely know reaches in for a hug

I don't know who the heck you're thinking you're about to hug because it sure isn't going to be me. Hugs are reserved for people I know well and like, not you. Okay release me now, I am not enjoying this. LET ME GO.


4. When people tell you that you aren't an affectionate person

Are you aware there are ways to show my affection without constantly being all over you like a koala bear? Yes, I'm affectionate, hop off.


5. When someone is in your personal space

We could be best friends, we could be complete strangers. We could be lovers, I could hate your guts. We could be in private, we could be in public. I don't care what the situation is, if you're in my personal space uninvited GET OUT. There is no reason to be so close to me unwarranted.


6. You don't know how to comfort people

When you see an upset loved one, most people think they you should comfort then by pulling them into a long lasting hug. But, that's the kind of things that your nightmares are literally made out of. So, you stand there confused how you should comfort your friend/relative while also not sacrificing your touch moral code.


7. When people say you "look like you could use a hug"

Um no. I never could use one, get off of me. I will let you know when I want one.


8. When you're hugging someone wondering how soon you can release

Please end my suffering.


9. When you arrive at a social gathering and people rush to greet you with hugs

Let's not.

10. When you try to leave a social gathering by just waving to get out of goodbye hugs

Please no one make me hug you.


11. That one person who is allowed to hug you/touch you

This person, typically a significant other or best friend, gets to break all the "no touch" rules and we gladly accept their hugs and cuddles and public displays of affection. But only them, no one can copy them.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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7 Reasons 'Starset' Deserves To Get Big

The main reason they deserve success is that they love everything they do.

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Starset consists of four members, Dustin Bates, Ron DeChant, Brock Richards, and Adam Gilbert. The band was formed in Columbus, Ohio in 2013. Their music has influenced my and several others lives.

Here are a few reasons why they deserve to go down as one of the biggest bands in history.


1. They're the most original band I've heard in awhile.

Starset's content is unlike any other band I've heard or seen before. They classify themselves as "space rock", creating a type of music that many have never heard of before. They use your regular guitar, bass, and drums, but they also incorporate the use of violins, cellos, and synthesizers to create the unique, one of a kind sound. The lead singer, Dustin Bates, even created his own microphone that distorts his voice to use in live shows, so that you feel as though he's speaking to you through a radio in a space station.

2. They're all a bunch of nerds/dorks.

Starset is the kind of band that you'd love to be friends with. Not only are they wicked smart, they also have an amazing sense of humor. They incorporate their knowledge into the songs that they write, leaving you wanting to learn more about what it is they write in their songs.

3. Their songs are lyrically and melodically beautiful.

Ricochet is one of their most impactful and meaningful songs. When you first listen to it you can hear the emotion in Dustin's voice, but as you take a minute to listen to the lyrics, you realize it has so much more meaning than what you assumed. It represents the struggle of a relationship gone sour, the internal struggles within yourself, and the effect it has on both people in the relationship. It's a song that a lot of people can relate to, and I find that amazing.

4. They interact with and care about their fans.

Nyah Kite

Before their shows, they do eat and greets where they hang out with their fans, eat pizza, perform some acoustic songs, and take pictures with them. They have genuine conversations with them, asking us our names, what we like to do, and just keep up small talk. My brother, pictured here, had a conversation with Ron, the bassist, before the show started and they got along phenomenally. I don't know many bands who take that much time to get to know their fans and they even interact with them on Twitter.

5. Have comics with Marvel.

The Prox Transmissions - Marvel Comics

comicstore.marvel.com

Not only does Starset create music, they also have their own comics with Marvel. The comics are based on an alternate world they created through their music. Each album has a story, but now it's come to life through their comic, The Pros Transmissions. How dope is that?

6. Created their own society to inform the world of various things.

The Starset Society is a mission, created by Starset, to inform others of the up-coming technological advances happening in the world today. The main goal of this society is to make sure we're well aware of the things happening in the world, and it's not just aimed for the fans of Starset. It's influenced by the idea of Thomas Jefferson that says the first step toward a guided future is an informed public.

7. They love what they do.

Nyah Kite

The main reason they deserve success is that they love everything they do. They put so much work into making their shows interactive and enjoyable, and they spend years working on albums so that they and their fans are pleased with the final product. Knowing that they put so much passion and effort into their work makes it obvious that they deserve to be one of the biggest bands in history.

After learning more about this amazing, influential band, aren't you intrigued to hear more of their music? To learn more about their society and their comics? They're great people with a great purpose driving them to continue creating some of the most unique, epic rock sounds in history. Check out Starset. You won't regret it.


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