By Majella Mark
- The Japanese anime market is valued at $11B, with $9.4B coming from abroad
- 5% of all animators in Japan are non Japanese, which is up from 2% just five years ago
Black people have expressed their love for Japanese anime for decades with many prominent culture figures like RZA from the Wu Tang pushing for black representation since the early 2000s. Japan has over 150 anime companies in the country with a revenue market of $11 billion, with $9.4 billion earned outside of Japan. With further globalization and streaming services such as Netflix, popular titles like “Beastar” and “Sturgill Simpson Presents Sound and Fury” have dominated viewership. Mainstream viewers are really getting into the genre and it would be wise to put some money down on the growing phenomenon.
Why This Matters: Pokémon card collecting has always been popular, as evidenced by the 43.2 billion cards now in circulation. The majority of their Japanese anime revenue is made overseas mostly in the western world at 46%. However, one of the most recognized non Japanese anime studios to see tremendous success is a Black owned studio called D’ART Shtajio. They’ve worked on top animes such as “Bleach”, “Pokemon” and “Gintama.”
A Black owned studio called D’ART Shtajio has worked on top animes such as “Bleach”, “Pokemon” and “Gintama
Currently non Japanese animators make up only 5% of all animators in the nation, but with the international demand and increasing presence of other cultures presented in the genre, this is changing. Not to mention, there is a significant Black cosplay community across the world, “Afro Samurai” is an Emmy award winning series and even Soulja Boy made a song called “Anime”.
Situational Awareness: Besides becoming a potential investor in anime studios such as D’ART Shtajio, there are other ways of getting into the industry. You can start your own anime shop buying products directly from manufacturers such as Kotobukiya. Streaming services are picking up market share for niche content, where license programming can reach untouched geographical markets. With a start up cost of $10,000 to $50,000, a streaming service may be a lucrative option. Finally, if you are an animator yourself, it may be satisfying to start your own production studio and build a reputation in the genre with as little as $3,000.
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