It Is Official: Gen Z Loves Anime, and the Numbers Confirms It!

It Is Official: Gen Z Loves Anime, and the Numbers Confirms It!
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Not so long ago, our good friends at Polygon published a very detailed research-based piece about how anime is growing around the world and how the current kids, the Gen Z ones, actually love anime more than any other generation, thus confirming that anime is – indeed – one of the largest and fastest-growing fields in the world of entertainment, as witnessed by its growing popularity in the West.

More and more anime movies are being released in Western cinemas as well (which was not the case just 5-10 years ago), major streaming services are not just picking up anime series (earlier, you had to rely on either Crunchyroll or Funimation, but remember the infamous incident when Disney+ nabbed Bleach off of Crunchyroll?), but they are also producing their own anime series, and there is a growing trend of live-action adaptations of anime works. On top of that, anime culture is more present in the West.

And while Millennials are those who actually helped make anime popular globally – Dragon Ball was shown in the West before Gen Z kids were born, and the golden age of anime, the age of the “Big Three” (Bleach, Naruto, and One Piece), was also a Millennial thing – it is Gen Z that keeps propelling the industry and making it not only popular but quite lucrative. But, alongside this, anime is playing a bigger part in their lives as well, but also in Western culture overall.

Polygon confirmed that a massive 42% of Gen Z watch anime on a weekly basis, which is massive when compared to other generations. Millennials come in second (25%), whereas Gen X (12%) and Boomers (a mere 3%) are not big fans of anime. The Gen Z number is also impressive because when compared to some other surveys (all the data can be found in the above-linked Polygon article), anime surpasses podcasts, live TV, and even the NFL in popularity among Gen Z kids.

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Image Source: Polygon

Of course, the structure has changed. Gen Z prefers the likes of Demon Slayer, Jujutsu Kaisen, My Hero Academia, and even SPYĂ—FAMILY, shows that are different than the shonen series that Millennials had watched 15-20 years ago. On top of that, the culture has also changed. Millennials are used to watching anime throughout the year, with minimal breaks (mostly during the summer), as anime at the time had hundreds of episodes and a lot of filler content. Today, anime seasons usually have 12-13 episodes, with relatively rare exceptions that have 24-26 episodes, after which there is a significant break between a second season. Also, filler content has been practically eliminated.

The numbers in the Polygon article also show that the fanbase is quite diverse and that Gen Z fans are prone to relate and even fall in love with their favorite anime characters. They also find anime to be more emotionally compelling and convincing than other forms of art. Anime also has a more significant influence on various aspects of life, as seen in the following graph:

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Image Source: Polygon

All of this confirms that anime is already a major factor in the world of entertainment but that it is also a growing industry that will become even bigger in the future. Again, thanks ti Polygon for their great article and the numbers we are happy to share with you here.

Credits:

  • Study authors: Edwin Wong, Sebastian Fernandez
  • VP and GM: Andrew Melnizek
  • Illustrator: Christine Lee
  • Senior Creative Director: Will Joel
  • Senior Engineer: Graham MacAree
  • Director, Special Projects: Russ Frushtick
  • Special Projects Editor: Matt Leone
  • Executive Editor: Matt Patches, Chelsea Stark
  • Editor-in-Chief: Chris Plante
  • Publisher and Founder: Chris Grant
  • Senior Copy Editor: Kallie Plagge

Methodology: The Vox Media Insights and Research team surveyed over 4,000 U.S. adults representing the U.S. population in August 2023 with The Circus: an insight and data storytelling consultancy that specializes in original trend research, thought leadership, and strategic brand positioning rooted in a human-data centric approach.

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