Bring on the subtitles: Foreign media surges in popularity


Dex Ezekiel

A variety of Japanese Media are available and popular in the United States.

Heath Rice, Arts and Entertainment Editor


The popular manga Tokyo Revengers has now sold 16.5 million copies in the United States as of 2021. The popular fighting series has over 32 million copies in circulation and has crushed records to be the top selling manga within a year. This manga has gained popularity throughout Japan, and has moved into the United States. 

The anime industry was worth a whopping $19 billion in 2018 globally. This form of media has spread across the entire globe and taken the world by storm. Names like Son Goku and Monkey D. Luffy are iconic not only in Japan, but around the globe. T-shirts, mugs, and collectable blankets are seen in stores worldwide. 

Just like Tokyo Revengers, other shows like Squid Game, a Korean Netflix series, are gaining popularity in the United States. Entertainment appears to be shifting from outside our borders and into a new light.

In the 21st century, many different cultures have been brought to the United States. Things like Japanese clothing and different international cuisine chains are skyrocketing. In an interview with a pleasant valley student, Gabriel Mcconagh, “The way they portray the art is amazing. The shows are perfect and the story lines are always unique” she stated.

Music, gaming and television have all been influenced by other nations. A Japanese form of media, anime, has become increasingly popular among teens and adults. These shows have generated billions of dollars in merchandise and media. These forms of animated television shows are seen all across America. 

Anime has become so popular that studios like Funimation were formed to bring the world’s most popular shows in different languages. A streaming service, Cruncyroll, offers shows in over eight different languages. 

Shows Like Naruto and One Piece are seen all across the globe, with One Piece outselling some of America’s favorite comic heroes. The Dynamic Duo may have met its match against this pirate crew, with the Strawhats being 10 million copies ahead of them. One Piece has sold 490 million copies, whereas Batman is at 480 million.  

Their popularity has led to large profit, according to Cartoon Brew, they generate over “$24.08 billion dollars in 2019, according to the Association of Japanese Animations. This figure, a 15.1% rise in 2018.”

Along with animated shows, live action films and shows are very popular with Squid Game, a Netflix original that placed sixth in the top 10 last week shows. Japan’s influence in today’s culture is quite obvious.  A PV senior, Yousef Younis watched the show this weekend. “It’s an intriguing show because you don’t know what’ll happen and you start to think about the choices you make in those situations,” Younis stated. 

Along with television, a popular form of comic in Japan, manga, has become popular in the United States. Millions of anime lovers buy their favorite series in comic form. Anime is mainly used to promote manga sales and does an impressive job at that. 

According to a survey on manga sales growth over the 2020 year, “the United States revealed that manga sales growth amounted to 44 percent in 2020. This is positive news not only for the manga arm of the book industry but for the market as a whole, and marks an increase of 18 percent over the growth recorded for 2019.”

Even theatres are making money from the Japanese media this fall with the movie My Hero; Secret  Hero Mission hitting American theaters Oct. 28th. The last Japanese film in theatres, Demon Slayer Mugen Train, made over $503 million. 

Every year, the anime and manga industries grow in the United States at a staggering rate. As Americans spend more and more time on entertainment and media the question emerges: is the future of entertainment outside our borders?