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10 times anime changed the world

It might be hard to remember now, but there was a time when anime was just a niche interest with a cult following. Just a few years ago, anime was an underdog in the entertainment world, and it seemed like this was going to be the norm for the foreseeable future. Instead, being an anime, all it took was a select few titles to change things forever.


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These series and films have made history not only because they excelled in their specific genres and in the field in general, but also on a global scale. Without these shows and films, anime wouldn’t be as respected or popular as it is today. One could even argue that anime wouldn’t even exist if these shows were never made.

10 Attack on Titan completed anime mainstream status

For a long time, anime was considered a pastime for outsiders. At best it was just another nerdy interest and at worst it was a niche interest that came with a lot of negative stereotypes. Lifelong fans have been trying for years to get anime recognized by mainstream viewers, and they got their wish in 2013.

attack on Titanpremiered in 2013 and, thanks to the boom in streaming services, reached a global audience that even the most popular anime could only dream of a few years ago. attack on the Titans Its greatest lasting legacy wasn’t its fan base or imitators, but how it made anime a mainstream hobby and passion almost overnight.

9 Spirited Away’s Oscar win solidified anime’s credibility on the global stage

While anime’s popularity and ubiquity increased in the West in the 2000s, it had yet to be taken seriously by critics and the general public. This changed in 2002 when spirited away became the second film to win the then newly created Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. That being said, there’s a lot more to this Oscar win than just recognition.

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Aside from being the first anime to win an Oscar, spirited away was also the first (and currently only) non-English language and traditionally shot animated film to do so. Anime has always been a unique art form with a passionate fan base, but that’s just it Spirited Aways big night at the 2002 Oscars that it was considered artistically believable. As the only non-English animated film to win an Oscar, spirited away single-handedly revolutionized the category.

8th One Piece continues to break and set world records

One piece started in earnest in 1999 and thanks to the controversial dub by 4Kids Entertainment, no one took the Straw Hats’ journeys too seriously. However, about a decade later and thanks to better localizations from Funimation, One piece reemerged not only as a great anime, but as one of the greatest animes of all time.

Whether through the sales figures of his manga or the box office numbers of his films, One piece broke countless records and set even more impressive ones. One piece It might have taken about ten years to take over the anime industry and the world, but all the hard work and passion that its creators put into it was worth the wait.

7 Ghost In The Shell changed anime and filmmaking as a whole

The 90’s were some of anime’s most important formative years and no other film showed why than the 1995’s ghost in the shell. Based on a generic cyberpunk manga that had more action and fanservice than substance, Ghost in the Shell The feature-length animated adaptation was surprisingly cinematic in every sense of the word.

ghost in the shell was not only a landmark film that further cemented Westerners’ respect for anime, but a giant step forward for science fiction. In short, the film showed how cyberpunk and animation can work together perfectly. Out of The Matrix to many more science fiction stories, Ghost in the Shell Influence on the genre is felt everywhere.

6 Sailor Moon brought shojo anime & representation into the spotlight

Like almost every other form of popular entertainment, the early years of anime resembled an exclusive boys’ club. Although it is arguably not the first shojo anime, Sailor Moon was an undeniable shojo trendsetter, bucking this male-dominated space by introducing anime and manga made for and by women. needless to say Sailor Moon was an instant hit.

Sailor Moons The success not only pioneered the Magical Girl subgenre and made it one of the longest-running shojo franchises, but also legitimized the shojo anime. Even if Sailor Moon got off to a rocky start with a loose adaptation and a hilariously bad localization, its legacy as an empowering and feminist pop culture landmark will live on forever.

5 Akira legitimized anime among Western viewers

One of the biggest challenges for anime in gaining an international audience was that most westerners dismissed the entire art form as just another form of children’s animation. This condescending notion was finally reversed in 1988 Akira made it to America where, after failing in Japan, it became a box office hit.

Thanks to its impeccable animation, a fully realized cyberpunk dystopia, relevant social commentary and more, Akira proved to westerners that anime was capable of “adult animation”. Akiras The success led to a rush for localized, edgy, and ultra-violent OVAs of dubious quality, but this imitation trend in no way diminished its quality and legacy.

4 Dragon Ball Z was one of the first global anime hits

Although the original dragon ball always popular, it only became the cultural phenomenon it is today when its sequel, dragon ball z, beat the air waves. It’s impossible to overstate how monumental it is Dragon Ball Z was. It not only codified almost all modern tenets of shonen anime, but also solidified anime’s place on American television.

Dragon Ball Z aired on Toonami, and its popularity helped normalize anime in American homes and paved the way for future Toonami hits like Cowboy Bebop and FLCL. since 1989, Dragon Ball Z’s The popularity grew with each passing year, so much so that it’s still going strong today, with new installments and endless tie-in sales.

3 Pokémon: The series immortalized Pokémon as the mainstay of childhood

There is probably no media franchise as ubiquitous as Pokemon. While his games for the Game Boy were already popular, Pokemon only became a cultural institution after its loose anime adaptation aired in 1997. Pokemon The status was further cemented by the English dub, which, despite some obvious flaws, did its job perfectly.

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Pokemon The English dub embedded Ash Ketchum, his Pikachu, his friends and foes, and the original 150 Pokémon into the memories of a generation, and their influence is still felt today. Pokemon surpassed its source material and took over the world in the ’90s, and its dominance over nostalgia and sales hasn’t waned since day one.

2 Mobile Suit Gundam popularized real robots and merchandising

Today, the real robot subgenre and anime’s seemingly endless supply of merchandise are commonplace, and both trends can be traced back to the original gundam For most people gundam popularized mecha anime with a realistic slant, but was also responsible for the merchandising. In short, toy sales saved gundam from the termination.

Despite its current legacy, Mobile Suit Gundam was actually a flop in 1979 and was only saved by reruns and Gunpla model kit sales. Since gundam Franchise was saved by massive toy sales, Gunpla and other official merchandise became a staple not only of Gundams Business model but also all anime franchises.

1 Astro Boy (1963) created anime as an art form and industry

Anime as a storytelling medium and as a business wouldn’t even exist without the original AstroBoy. Aside from being the first anime ever to be televised and codifying the art style that would become synonymous with anime, AstroBoy was also responsible for the business practices and status quo of the industry. However, the latter was not good.

Since there were no cartoons in the 1960s, AstroBoy Creator Osamu Tezuka agreed to a low budget and promised to repay it through merchandising. Thanks to Astro Boys With success and Tezuka’s legacy, this was accepted as the norm, and anime became a notoriously demanding industry that paid very little for extreme work.

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