The global reach of anime has been increasing every year, and the effect can be seen on everything from distribution to production. The way anime is perceived can vary from country to country, too, which has Japanese otaku wondering if overseas fans need to be kept in mind when considering the political correctness of anime.
Should anime be made with a western audience in mind? And if so, does that mean it needs to be changed to meet different levels of social acceptance? One Japanese Twitter user, @poepoeta01, responded to this line of thinking with one of the key aspects of anime that makes it special around the globe.
In their tweet, they said that some believe the reason anime is popular overseas is because of the level of technical skill on display. However, as SoraNews24 translates, they continue with the point that “Japan’s manga and anime are interesting because, compared to other countries, they’re made under wild, limitless freedom of expression, without any restrictions.”
@poepoeta01 goes on to say that anyone anime won’t expand its overseas market if it isn’t more conscious about being politically correct is totally off the mark.
Many other fans agreed with this assessment, but some pointed out that anime isn’t always made in a distinctly Japanese bubble. In fact, productions have increasingly international teams behind them.
To that, @poepoeta01 said they “hope Japan becomes a bastion of free expression that will welcome artists from overseas who feel like their creative efforts are being stifled by regulations in their home countries.”
So, should Japanese creators continue doing what they do without taking too much of the overseas societal expectations into account when producing anime? Is there any benefit to looking at one’s work through a more politically correct lens when attempting to gain more popularity in a specific region? The question remains, and it should be interesting to see how anime evolves as it becomes even more of a global art form.