A Look Into Anime’s Growing Presence in Western Pop Culture

If you haven’t noticed in the past couple of years, Japanese anime and manga have made huge impacts on western culture—so much so that it’s surpassed the niche and has become full-on mainstream. 2019 is already, and about to become an even bigger year for anime. So, with that being said, I’m about to drop some OG facts on the history of anime, and how it paved its way into western culture.

1966 TV show, Astro Boy

Since the 1960’s hit series, Astro Boy, anime has caught the west’s attention and has had a huge influence over pop-culture. Due, partially to the fact that it focuses on more mature themes and complex storylines than western cartoons, anime has been an escape for young people that may not feel represented or socially accepted. With this, anime offers its viewers inspiration to be more inventive with their beauty, fashion, and art.

Commes Des Garcons Spring / Summer 2020
Supreme x Akira Fall 2017 Collection

Many fashion designers have been fascinated by anime. Take Supreme x Akira’s Fall 2017 collection, or Comme Des Garcons’ 2018 collection inspired by, and dedicated to, Japanese artist Macoto Takahashi. And, of course, fast fashion brands like Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and Dolls Kill have all jumped on the bandwagon, too.

Billie Eilish By Takashi Murakami

Anime has been awed by musicians as well. Notably, Billie Eilish is heavily influenced by anime, recently covered Garage Magazine with concept and art direction by the famed Takashi Murakami. Murakami also directed and animated her music video, “you should see me in a crown,” as well as designed special edition merch for her brand, “blohsh”.

Whether or not you watch anime, it’s obvious that it isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. So, dig out that Manic Panic hair dye, slap on some winged eyeliner, and break out your platform boots, because if there has ever been a time to embrace your inner anime nerd, now is it.

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