As it turns out, this year and in 2020, anime has never been more popular in North America. I guess that’s one good thing about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Demon Slayer Mugen Train anime film poster.
Literally the poster child for how popular anime is right now.

A recent Bloomberg report revealed that North American demand for Japanese content is higher than it ever has been. NA audience demand for Japanese shows have gone up by 33% since last year in 2020. It’s not just anime that NA audiences are demanding though. Live action Japanese TV shows like Terrace House and Alice in Borderland have actually doubled in demand from NA audiences since last year. Not bad for such niche shows, although with that kind of a demand, I don’t think we can even call them “niche” anymore.

Also according to Bloomberg, the reason for the overall demand in Japanese shows is due to, no surprise, COVID-19. When you’re sitting at home waiting out a pandemic, you need something to do. And well, you heard that anime is good from some friends, so why not? As for the increase in demand for Japanese live action shows, apparently that’s due entirely to people looking for more Japanese programming after becoming familiar with anime. Yeah, it all ties back to anime. Otaku, unite!

Anime: Not the Only Thing in Demand

Audience demand data for first quarter of 2021, from Bloomberg.
Pie charts do not lie, especially about anime. Photo: Bloomberg.

As it turns out though, it’s not just anime and Japanese shows in particular that have caught NA audience’s attention. Viewership of non-English shows are on the rise across the board. Spanish shows occupy 21% of the demand for foreign language shows, with Korean shows taking up 11.1% of the demand. Even Hindi shows straight from Bollywood are on the rise at 8.6%. Guess when it comes to watching shows, English is not enough.


Welp, there’s one good thing about the COVID-19 pandemic, despite all the doom and gloom it caused. More people are interested in anime and Japanese media than ever before. Us weebs/otaku are growing in number, and soon, we’ll have enough to take over the world! Or something like that.

Source: Bloomberg