This is one of the more ‘out there’ topics I’ve chosen to write about. Like I can imagine two 13-year teenaged boys getting really heated about whether Captain America can take on All Might. And both of them think the opposite is true. It’s borderline hilarious and so, so stupid to compare the two. But it’s so bizarre because I get the comparison, somewhat. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is possibly one of the most profitable franchises out there. And anime technically stems from the comic industry as well, but instead of Western comic books, it’s Japanese manga.
But can you really say all anime is better than a carefully curated fictional universe? Well, no. But you can claim that there is some anime that do better world-building during a couple of seasons than an entire shared multiverse. And that just speaks about how good the writing is for those anime. Plot lines so engaging, that you just can’t help but be immersed.
Of course, comparing the two is still odd, like apples to oranges. Some people just prefer the opposite of what you do, and that’s okay. And really, comparing an entire medium to one media franchise is really not fair, considering how one is a type of animation and the other is just a fictional universe. It’s out of place and the kind of debate you have when you don’t have enough knowledge on either subjects.
Still, there is something to be said about how variety in anime and its popularity now is surpassing big-budget movies at the box office. Now, I’m not saying a Dragon Ball movie would pull the same numbers as, say, Avengers: Endgame. But it is amazing how the Demon Slayer movie went on to dominate international markets. A decade ago, that would’ve been unthinkable. Now, it’s a reality. But why is anime getting so big that people are comparing it to Marvel? Let’s discuss.
The Variety In Anime Makes it Appealing To the Masses:
One of the biggest reasons anime has gotten so big in the media industry is because of how there is an anime out there for everyone. Not everyone I know is a Marvel stan. And that’s okay, some people just don’t like superhero flicks. (whitejasmine.com) But I know multiple Marvel fans who are also anime fans. Let me explain.
There is an anime out there for everyone. If you like comfort watches, Studio Ghibli has your back. Do you want something cute and romantic? There are plenty of rom-coms, such as ToraDora! and Horimiya, to sink your teeth into. What about a more serious watch? Monster and Perfect Blue are equally thrilling.
Hell, you’re in the mood for a superhero thing but not the usual fare such DC Comics? Then you might enjoy My Hero Academia, an entire anime based on superheroes. There is just so much to pick and choose from, with each anime having its own distinct style so you’re never pressed for options.
Multiple Streaming Platforms Means Better Accessibility:
Anime’s boom in the 2010s is mostly because of its spread on the internet. It gained notoriety on forums, and was illegally available on pirated sites but when streaming services such as Crunchy Roll came in, it became a legitimate phenomenon.
Back when your only options were badly created fan translations in 240p, these services were able to provide HD anime on multiple platforms, without pesky ads. And in a way, you could support the original creators of said anime. It was both ethical and smart. Clearly, there was a market for anime consumers, and it only skyrocketed from there.
Soon, you had subscription services such as Netflix and Hulu getting in on the action. And in Netflix’s case, they even went on to create their own animated originals by setting up animation studios across countries and buying up popular franchise IPs (Intellectual Properties). That’s exactly how we got Saiki K and Castlevania.
With anime being so readily available, it’s no wonder it’s such a huge part of the pop culture collective. Anime has become a worldwide trend, with active international interest and investments being put in to push it further forward.
You Can’t Compare Animation To Live Action:
And really, that’s the crux of it. Anime is compared to something such as WandaVision because they aren’t even the same medium. And not all anime is connected, but all Marvel stories are.
It’s just an absurd hill to die on, personally. I’m a fan of both superhero flicks and anime, so I never understood the debate around them. Anime is special to me for different reasons and can’t compare to anything. I know cried during Tony Stark’s sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame just as much as I cried during Ash Lynx’s scene in Banana Fish.
But the two are not comparable. And it’s okay for you to enjoy both though. Because in the end, both are media meant for all the geeks out there. So, just enjoy what you like without thinking too deeply about it!