Author: Gabriel Persechino-Forest Published: March 12th, 2018
In light of recent events which have vindicated my earlier warnings concerning western influence on the anime market, I decided to revisit the topic and shed light on the current situation. In this 5 part series of articles, I will explain current events, analyze the situation and detail the phases the ongoing attack on our medium will go through.
Phase 1: Normalization
Image Source: People.com
To be able to compromise a hobby or a subculture, they must first infiltrate it. By normalizing the hobby, or mainstreaming it, they establish a justification for sweeping changes that will alter the very fabric of said hobby under the guise of making it “for everyone”. To do this, they usually use celebrities to push the hobby to the forefront of mainstream culture. Obviously, celebrities are people and a number have expressed their passion for anime in the past. However, we are now seeing a concentrated push by multiple celebrities in conjunction with the mainstream media; which indicates something more is afoot. Many celebrities have already come out recently with their “passion” for the hobby; these include: Michael B. Jordan, Olympic athletes and most notably, Kim Kardashian. I think having Kim Kardashian say that she likes something is a prime indicator of it becoming mainstream. Bear in mind, I am not claiming that these celebrities do not like anime, since obviously Jordan has been a fan for a long time now. What I am saying is that the celebrities’ love for the medium, whether real or fabricated, is being used.
Image Source: Google News’ Feed (Search term “anime cool”)
After the celebrities comes the media, who usually start of by talking about the hobby and encouraging people to participate. This has not yet begun. Although it is showing signs of starting, as seen by the many recent mainstream articles talking about the topic and these recent Anime News Network and Kotaku articles attempting to get the fanbase used to the idea of a mainstream shift.
Image Source: knowyourmeme (Modified version of the image)
Up until now, you might be wondering what the problem is. Isn’t anime becoming mainstream a good thing? Don’t we want more people sharing our hobby? Ideally yes. But the popularity of anime was already on the rise for some time now with neither the media nor celebrities caring about it in any way. This recent push is not an acknowledgement of the medium, it is a prelude for the next phase. The recent meteoric rise of anime in popularity over the last half a decade has proven that anime does not need a mainstream push to reach a larger audience. And precedents have proven that mainstream attention either hides an agenda or results in the medium becoming politicized. For the mainstream establishment rarely pays attention to anything that does not serve their political purposes.
The next article will cover Phase Two: The attack on the medium and its fans.
Source: Article Image: knowyourmeme (Modified version of the image)