Global Anime Surge: Market Beyond Japan

Global Anime Surge: Market Beyond Japan

The global anime market has been steadily growing for quite some time now. The question remains: Has the market outside Japan finally overtaken Japan itself?

Last updated: 2024-02-11
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animeGenius
TL;DR
The Japan domestic anime market is still in the lead, but only by a tiny hair of 0.6%. If this trend continues, the overseas market will overtake it for the second time in history.
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213 min read

Current Anime Market Growth

The 2023 AJA (The Association of Japanese Animations) report reveals that the anime industry continued its growth from 2021 to 2022, with a 6.8% increase from 2.74 to 2.927 trillion JPY (approximately 22.17 billion USD). Despite a brief setback during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the anime market has recovered and is continuing to grow healthily.

Japan's Domestic vs Overseas Anime Market Size

2018-2022 anime market size Japan vs overseas.
Anime Market Size Graph (Japan vs Overseas)
Data taken from 2023 Aja report

Out of the mentioned 2.927 trillion JPY in 2022, the anime market was closely split, but Japan still came out ahead. The figures were respectively 1.469 trillion JPY (~11.12 billion USD) for Japan and 1.459 trillion JPY (~11.05 billion USD) for overseas. An interesting fact is that the overseas market had already overtaken Japan in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, as Japan's anime market suffered while the overseas market continued to grow almost unimpeded. However, Japan bounced back after 2020 and regained its leading position in size.

Why is Japan Slowly Losing Its Leading Position?

While the report doesn't mention many detailed reasons for overseas success, some potential factors for the predicted overtaking of the overseas anime market over Japan include:

  • Japan has a decreasing population.
  • The overseas anime market has much more room to grow, with varying estimates suggesting it could potentially expand to four times its current size, reaching 5 trillion JPY (~37.88 billion USD). Other estimates even propose that the worldwide anime market could reach as high as 34 trillion JPY (~257.58 billion USD).
  • Japanese companies like Sony and Nintendo, along with anime movies, are performing well in global theaters. Hits like the Super Mario Bros. Movie, Demon Slayer movies, Jujutsu Kaisen 0, One Piece Film: Red and returning classics like Studio Ghibli "The Boy and the Heron/How do you live?" contribute to this success.

Future of Global Anime Market

The previous graph showing the "Japan versus overseas market" trend continues to display an upward course in both markets, giving anime fans reason to rejoice as anime continues to spread around the world. Furthermore, in the further future Japanese fans might even become a minority in the global market.

However, there's no denying that adaptation will be necessary as changes such as the shift to streaming and the gradual decline of DVD/Blu-ray (predominantly prevalent in Japan) persist. Profits from videograms in Japan hit their lowest point in the last 20 years, reaching 38.5 billion JPY (~291.66 million USD).

Anime piracy valued at ~15 billion USD.
Pirate girl
animeGenius

And, of course, there's the ever ongoing problem of anime piracy. According to Japan Times, it is estimated that in 2021, more than 2 trillion JPY or 15 billion USD was lost due to piracy of anime and manga. The funds might be directed towards the anime companies, with perhaps a fraction making its way to the hardworking animators. Will the industry be able to at least partially tackle this issue in the upcoming years?

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