[Editorial Tuesday] How the Internet has Enhanced Anime

Technology has come a long way since it's earlier days circa Windows 95. There was a time when popular sites such as Youtube never existed, and our only way of seeing some kind of footage was through geocities uploads with a VHS converter. Being able to watch shows on our PCs back then were close to impossible, so if you missed an episode of your favorite cartoon after school you unfortunately had to suffer dearly and rely solely on friends to explain everything to you. There was of course the video recorder tactic where you'd leave your TV on while you were gone, and had your VHS record almost everything from lousy commercials to other clips of shows you didn't care for.

Now fast forward two decades to where we are and see how much we have grown. The world wide web has become a revolutionary infrastructure that allows you to capture live footage of pretty much anything, search databases that explode into the trillions and so much more. So what's in it for us anime fans? Well now with the evolution of internet broadcasting, watching our favorite anime at any time is not only super convenient but also super free. Our goal at Honey's Anime is to promote anime in the best form possible and without the progression of internet and online broadcasting, we certainly would not be where we are today (maybe we would send you postcard reviews). Hundreds if not thousands of internet anime sites now stream anime at any time for the masses, which not only benefits many of us but is also a great way for some companies to reach out globally to promote themselves. While there are of course good and bad reasons for internet broadcasted anime, in the end it really helps to build an entire community which could never have existed without the rapid progression of media. In our article we are going to go through some reasons why internet broadcasted anime is fantastic, while trying our best to emphasize the more valuable assets surrounding the now popular and growing media.

A new world of entertainment

When we were only limited to television broadcasting via satellite, many of us felt robbed of our freedom to choose what we wanted and how we wanted. Huge corporations created a monopoly around cable which really prevented a lot of shows or even stations to be broadcasted if they were not from your region. Some internet sites still continue with this type of format but compared to before it isn't so bad. Those days of worry and high priced bills are now of the past, and we now seem to have immense control over what we want and don't want. Streaming sites such as Youtube in the west and Nico Nico here in Japan have created such a new world of entertainment that it has triumphed substantially over the more traditional digital broadcasting that still exists today. Television is not dead by any means since many anime are still shown on channels like Cartoon Network and on TV Tokyo in Japan, but just not predominant like it once was. Internet broadcasted anime has evolved into something like no other, with shows dropping weekly even sometimes every few days to please the anime conglomerate.

Over the past decade there has been no shortage of anime that have been released, with new ones sprouting out from the woodwork even as we write this. Most shows are first shown on TV here in Japan and from there are uploaded to such sites as Nico or Crunchyroll, and even Netflix have decided to join the fray. This demonstrates how powerful the sub culture has become and how it can reach out to almost anyone with an electronic device. While many anime companies are still trying to adapt to this new medium, the more experienced such as Kadokawa have learned that progression is now the norm, and so new methods must be put in place in order to generate not only revenue but retention among their fans. We can only imagine what the possibilities are once technology continues to advance in larger disc space, minimizing hard drives and allowing us to keep a library of titles on our devices.

Reaching out to a larger audience

durarara-wallpaper-02-666x500 [Editorial Tuesday] How the Internet has Enhanced Anime

Mark Van Doren once said that:

“Bring ideas in and entertain them royally, for one of them may be the king “

What does this have to do with internet broadcasted anime? Well think about how many people this culture reaches out to, and how many lives have changed because of it. This one quote from Mark Van Doren expresses the fact that when your imagination can reach out to a wider audience, you're bound to change someone's life in a dramatic way. Television can sometimes create boundaries that are only allowed to be seen in various areas of the world, and so many of us lose connection with the entire painting the world has envisioned. Reaching out to a global audience is what helps to build stronger communities not only around the world but also within the domestic environment. Websites now have forums where those who follow the anime scene can share their views on episodes, while major sites like Nico Nico allow you to comment live on new episodes as they happen. This type of new phenomenon is what really encompasses the true essence of community, since we have now created a way to communicate and unite everyone together.

Not all anime can reach out however as there are still companies who have strict licensing policies that prevent episodes from being broadcasted online. While this might hurt those who follow that particular series, it is important for us to understand that the culture has grown into a global business and so if we want to continue seeing more growth, more revenue must be accumulated over time. We often take broadcasting anime online for granted and forget to realize how much work goes into our favorite shows, so it is best to put ourselves into a realistic perspective to understand both worlds to really truly enjoy the things we love most. Dragonball is a great example of a show that has stood the test of time and has really outshined the rest with regards to embracing both the online and offline aspects of broadcasted anime. While there are still some kinks that need to be ironed out regarding legal restraints, Dragonball has really emphasized how important it is to reach out to a larger audience. Toriyama grew up on Walt Disney and even credits him as being the inspiration behind many of his works. If the progression of technology had been stagnant, where would many of the newer franchises stemmed from? We must give credit where it is due and the larger audience is what inspires our favorite creators to continue creating more.

Spreading a wonderful message through animation

durarara-wallpaper-02-666x500 [Editorial Tuesday] How the Internet has Enhanced Anime

Anime has become a worldwide hit ever since titles such as Houkuto no Ken (Fist of the North Star) and the classic Sailor Moon made waves on western television in the late 80's to early 90's, inspiring thousands to learn more about the sub culture. Not only has the growth of internet broadcasted anime brought people together around the globe, it spreads an important message that all of us and it is that imagination can take us anywhere.

One thing that separates Japanese style anime from most western based cartoons is that a lot of diversity is formed around plot, and overall design. This isn't to say that western anime doesn't cover a broad range of characteristics that stand out, but Japan has really come to master the art and we can see it through hundreds of thousands of shows released every year. Anime gives us an inside view of how cultures differ and how it can affect the story throughout the entire series. Even more fascinating is that with so many genres there tends to be a lot more color and variety which can lead to some form of education for the viewer. While you may not learn everything you need to know about Japan through anime, it most certainly shows us that there is a strong work ethic to ensure that quality stays way above the rest, and that having a very dedicated team of artists can really make all the difference.

Internet anime provides a network that connects you not only to a community of fans but the artists themselves, as now fans can reach out to these companies to send in creative ideas to really close the gap and establish stronger relationships. Nico Nico does a great job of this since live comments can be displayed while watching an anime, and because of this unique function, developers can see how fans respond to certain scenarios which can aid in creating better content for future releases.

A deeper understanding about the popular sub-culture

Internet anime can really provide you with a lot of information about Japan that we can take with us. Since anime delivers a wide assortment of genres to choose from, we get to explore various realms that lie within the infrastucture of the sub culture. A lot of the ideas we discover through anime are all just exaggerations of what we would find in modern day Japan, which is what make them so exhilarating to watch. There are, of course, anime which embrace that of the earlier times of Japan, such as Basilisk, whose story takes place in the feudal era of Sengoku, when Tokugawa was feared by many and ninjas were seen as extreme threats throughout the nation.

The diversity Japan offers in their menu, make it such a delicacy in the world of entertainment. Seeing it from the outside entices you to wander inside and see what make it so delicious. Being a fan of anime can make living here a wonderful adventure, since you're always greeted with something unexpected just like a story plot in your favorite series. There are always twists and turns along the way when gallivanting around the outskirts of Tokyo, coming across very intriguing people but also architecture.

One great anime example is the very popular Durarara! which takes place in the very upbeat Ikebukuro, a great spot for many young and hungry teenagers looking for a hangout spot. The uncanny resemblance in Durarara! to that of its actual location is simply astounding, as it shows great attention to detail and further cements the truth about anime can really influence our lives. This inclusion in the anime give viewers a fantastic view into the real world of Tokyo, while still maintaining its anime distinction. One other great example is Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 which gives viewers a glimpse of what the nature of Japan is like under severe conditions. Without internet broadcasting most viewers wouldn't have an opportunity of having an in depth look at what we experience here, so we can only tip our hats off to this unique and special opportunity and wish that it continues to evolve into something more profound.

Concluding paragraph

There are so many reasons as to why broadcasted anime on the internet is so fascinating and with the progression of technology, the way we watch our favorite shows will most certainly change. Growth is imperative when it comes to reaching out to a wider audience and so more sites dedicated to anime should be produced, but more so working with these popular creators would bring everything together. With Netflix now bringing a lot more of the anime culture over to the west along with other major companies like Hulu, the universe is only expanding and Honey's Anime will be there right along with it all.

We hope you found this to be insightful and informative, and that you too can someday experience the true essence of what Japan has to offer in the world of anime. Leave your comments down below and share some of your own internet broadcast anime suggestions!

As always, keep it locked here for more anime entertainment. Leave a comment below and discuss your passions with everyone! Take care.

durarara-wallpaper-02-666x500 [Editorial Tuesday] How the Internet has Enhanced Anime


Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!

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