Interesting Facts about Anime

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Anime’s popularity is at an all-time high. In the past 10 years, Anime has become widely recognized and accepted as a true art form. Almost everyone from every walk of life enjoys anime for different reasons. Whether it be creativity, uniqueness, or even pure simplicity and nostalgia, Anime has something that appeals to everyone.

Anime is unique in many aspects to other forms of entertainment, but perhaps one of its most interesting aspects is the sheer volume of interesting facts about it. Let’s have a look at some of these.

1. Anime is actually an individual subject in Japanese schools

Given the popularity of Anime films and television in Japan, it comes without any surprise that several Japanese colleges now offer courses that can help students get into the field of anime filmmaking. Some examples of these include the Anime and Game Scenario Major offered by the Amusement Media School Sougou Gakuin and the Anime Production Course offered by Tokyo Animation College. [1] However, ‘anime’ in these colleges likely refers to ‘animation’ rather than the study of any specific shows.

Anime voice acting is also a popular subject or course in Japan. Interested students can enroll in around 130 anime voice acting schools in the country. [12]

2. Japan produces more manga than toilet paper

Manga is very common in Japan. Being closely related to anime features, “Manga,” the anime-inspired comics from Japan, are a crucial part of Japanese culture. The anime and manga industries are among the main sources of income for the Japanese. A decent chunk of their economy depends on the manga, anime, and entertainment sector.

The emphasis on manga is so great in Japan that the net value of its industry in 2020 was above 612 billion yen. Some people playfully joke that Japan uses more paper for producing manga than it does for toilet paper. While there’s no hard evidence for this comment yet, it’s probably true; Japanese usually have bidet toilets and don’t use toilet paper too much anyway. [2]

3. The Anime “Space Brothers” actually had a voice-over from space!

One of the astonishing facts about the anime industry is that Akihiko Hoshide recorded his voice-over guest appearance from the International Space Station (ISS). He appeared in the 31st episode of Space Brothers. [13]

4. ‘Spirited Away’ won the first-ever anime Academy Awards in 2003

If you thought that only Disney and Pixar movies got nominated and won in the Academy Awards, then you would have been right before 2003. In 2003, Spirited Away was the first-ever anime movie nominated in the Best Animated Feature category and won. [3]

5. Akira is the most highly technical and advanced anime movie

Since most anime filmmakers avoid shooting in the dark because of extremely high-level technical and animation requirements, Akira emerged as the most technically advanced anime movie in the Japanese anime industry.

The movie entailed about 2,212 shots and more than 160,000 single pictures—these are two to three times more than most other anime movies. It was shot at night, which mainly required animators to use more colors. Animators introduced fifty new animation colors only for this anime movie. They had shot the film with extreme precision to deliver the most advanced anime movie ever. [3]

6. ‘Bleach’ was named after its creator’s favorite Nirvana album Bleach

Kubo is the creator of the anime movie Bleach, and interestingly, he named the show after his favorite music album by Nirvana called Bleach. Also, according to the creator, the name speaks for its storyline: soul reapers cleanse their souls just the way we bleach our clothes to remove stains. [3]

7. Pizza Hut hugely sponsored Code Geass

If you have ever noticed how frequently you can spot scenes in Code Geass where the characters are having pizza, you should know that Pizza Hut primarily sponsored this anime. They used this anime as their prime marketing strategy to reach out to the younger audience, which is why you can spot Pizza Hut’s logo on the pizza box everywhere in the anime. [4]

8. The Pokémon Hitmonchan, and Hitmonlee are actually named after Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan

Does the sound of these two anime characters ring any bells? Famous anime Pokémon characters, Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee, are named after two Kung Fu film stars, Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. Another interesting fact for anime lovers is related to the alternate names of these two characters.

Hitmonchan’s alternate name was Ebiwalar, referring to the renowned Japanese champion boxer Hiroyuki Ebihara. Hitmonlee’s alternate name was Sawamular, which refers to the world’s well-known kick-boxer Tadashi Sawamura. [14]

9. Zuko was never a part of Avatar: The Last Airbender until the very last minute

Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of the most popular anime shows in the history of the anime industry. After running successfully on Nickelodeon for several years, the show is also on Netflix. Research reveals that the show was Netflix’s top most-watched anime series by kids in 2021. [5]

Zuko, one of the main characters of this anime film, was not included in the list till the last minute. He was initially meant to be a ruling antagonist, but was eventually made into a younger and more active character. [15]

10. All the characters in Spirited Away have symbolic meaning

Spirited Away won the first-ever Academy Awards for the Best Animated Show in 2003. It is a fact that all names of the characters in this show were selected very carefully. The creators claim that every character name in this anime feature has symbolic meaning.

For instance, Kamaji refers to “old boiler man’, while Zeniba means “money witch,” and Boh means “little boy.” [16]

11. All the episodes of Bakugan Battle Brawlers have musical references

The director of this very popular Japanese anime is Mitsuo Hashimoto. He claims that all the episode titles of this series are named after super hit 1970’s Japanese songs. The fans of this anime have also noted several other music and film references throughout the series. [10]

12. Katsuki Bakugo was thought of as a good character

Katsuki Bakugo is the arrogant villain we all know and admire as big anime fans. It is a fact that the creator of this anime, Kohei Horikoshi, intended Bakugo to be a noble character. However, that rendered the anime quite dull and lacking thrill. Horikoshi then changed Bakugo’s character into a villain that we all admire. [10]

13. Sophie actually has her superpowers in the novel

Howl’s Moving Castle portrays Sophie as the only character without any magical powers. She cannot respond to magic with her magic as she lacks superpowers. However, it is not the case in the book. The book portrays Sophie possessing a Fire Demon that fights and defeats the Witch of Waste. [10]

14. Princess Mononoke ended E.T’s monopoly in the Japanese anime industry

Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial had always been the most watched and loved anime in Japan. It earned billions in Japan and became the highest-earning anime film in the country. However, with the release of Princess Mononoke in 1997, the monopoly of E. T. was shattered as Princess Mononoke became the most popular and watched anime in the country. [10]

15. Beloved Naruto was a chef before he could turn into a giant fox

The creator of Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto, admitted that Naruto’s original character was a chef. He was supposed to be a chef under training. However, the creator changed his character to a young boy who had the powers to transform into a giant fox! Naruto’s name remained the same, but his character changed before the release. [10]

16. Fire Lord has Mark Hamill’s voice-over

If most anime fans did not recognize the iconic voice of the Fire Lord Ozai in Avatar: The Last Airbender, then here is a big surprising fact for you. The voice-over of Fire Lord was given by none other than the very popular Luke Skywalker! [10]

17. Haikyuu!! brought kids closer to volleyball

The sports-based anime “Haikyuu!!” revolves around volleyball, and it is not unintentional. The creator of this anime openly stated his goal to introduce volleyball among young kids and spike their interest in this game. This anime did not fail its creator, as there was a noticeable increase in the volleyball enrolment in schools after the release of Haikyuu! [10]

18. Naruto’s favorite hangout place Ichiraku is real

This anime fact is for all Naruto’s diehard fans out there. Do you know that the anime’s ramen place Naruto loves to visit is real? Ichiraku is a famous ramen shop in Kyushu. The author of this anime used to love going to this place, so he made it a permanent part of the anime series [10]

19. Pokémon Actually Means Pocket Monster

Pokémon is originally a Japanese anime. However, its name is inspired by two words in English, pocket and monster. The name suits the storyline and the characters. [10]

20. Anime characters have more than one voice-over artists

Some anime characters have more than one voice-over artist, such as Eucliwood Hellscythe, a popular character from Kore wa Zombie Desu ka. This character had about 22 different voice-over artists for various scenes in the anime. [8]

In the anime, she is a silent character who writes her thoughts in her notepad. However, the several segments where she enters a fantasy world required more than one voice overs.

21. Sazae-san is the longest anime series going on since 1969!

Other than anime series such as One Piece, which was too long to handle (sometimes!), the longest-running anime series in Sazae-san. It started airing in 1969 and is still running. People from all age groups are familiar with this anime, and most know it by heart. [9]

22. Death Note is banned in China

Though anime features and series are a significant part of the Japanese culture, China has banned some popular animes, such as Death Note, Assassination Classroom, Sword Art Online, Attack on Titan, Black Butler, and Tokyo Ghoul.

China considers some of the content in these anime series as against public morality, which adversely affects the young mind. It is speculated that children had started writing their teachers’ names in the notes after watching Death Note. [10]

23. Anime makes up about 60% of the animated content in the entertainment industry

Anime films and features are extremely popular globally. They have major fan-following worldwide, and kids study this as a subject in their schools. In the entertainment world, anime films rule about 60% of the market of the whole animation industry.

Disney might be the only name you have heard regarding the animation industry, but anime is larger than that. Anime films have a huge fan-following and are super hit worldwide. [11]

Conclusion

Anime is a word that refers to hand-drawn or computer animation originating in Japan. It is often characterized by vibrant colors, stylized features, and exaggerated emotions and actions. If you like watching anime series or movies but don’t know what it’s all about, we hope the above list of interesting facts about anime has helped you.

References

  1. Top 20 Animation Schools in Japan. (2021, July 6). Leverage Edu. https://leverageedu.com/blog/animation-schools-in-japan/
  2. Gintoki. (2021, October 8). In Japan More Paper Is Used For Manga Than Toilet Paper. https://animegalaxyofficial.com/in-japan-more-paper-is-used-for-manga-than-toilet-paper/
  3. 12 Shocking Facts About Anime You Need To Know. (2020, July 3). News Landed. https://newslanded.com/2020/07/03/12-shocking-facts-about-anime-you-need-to-know/
  4. Squires, B. (2021, September 28). The Real Reason Everyone In Code Geass Loves Pizza. Looper.com. https://www.looper.com/618463/the-real-reason-everyone-in-code-geass-loves-pizza/
  5. Wit, A. D. de. (2021, February 15). Report: “Avatar: The Last Airbender” Was Netflix’s Most Popular Kids’ Animated Show In U.S. Last Year. Cartoon Brew. https://www.cartoonbrew.com/streaming/report-avatar-the-last-airbender-was-netflixs-most-popular-kids-animated-show-in-u-s-last-year-202052.html
  6. Top 10 Random Anime Facts You Didn’t Know | Listly List. (n.d.). Listly. https://list.ly/list/1gvu-top-10-random-anime-facts-you-didnt-know
  7. 6 Fun Facts About Japanese Animation – Children’s Museum of the Arts New York. (2016, August 9). Children’s Museum of the Arts New York. https://cmany.org/blog/view/6-fun-facts-japanese-animation/
  8. 10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Anime But Need To. (n.d.). Postize. https://www.postize.com/10-things-you-probably-dont-know-about-anime-but-need-to
  9. Interesting Anime Facts You Never Knew! (n.d.). Geeks. https://vocal.media/geeks/interesting-anime-facts-you-never-knew
  10. 15 Crazy Anime Fun Facts You Never Knew | Beano.com. (n.d.). Www.beano.com. https://www.beano.com/posts/anime-fun-facts
  11. Reyna, L. (2019). 16 Random Facts About Anime That Might Just Blow Your Mind. Ranker. https://www.ranker.com/list/things-you-didnt-know-about-anime/leo-reyna
  12. Voice Acting | Anime Amino. (n.d.). Anime | Aminoapps.com. Retrieved October 21, 2022, from https://aminoapps.com/c/anime/page/blog/voice-acting/3YtB_uGPxGjjBewzDqJjYZ6ZEbRBZ0
  13. Garcia, C. (2020, August 15). Space Brothers: Don’t Give Up on Those Childhood Dreams. OTAQUEST. https://www.otaquest.com/space-brothers-anime/#:~:text=One%20of%20the%20most%20interesting
  14. Did You Know Facts : The Pokémon Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan are named after Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, respectively. (n.d.). Shortpedia. Retrieved October 21, 2022, from https://www.shortpedia.com/en-in/did-you-know/did-you-know-facts/the-pokmon-hitmonlee-and-hitmonchan-are-named-after-bruce-lee-and-jackie-chan-respectively-1639570445
  15. Avatar: The Last Airbender (TV Series 2005–2008) – IMDb. (n.d.). M.imdb.com. Retrieved October 21, 2022, from https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0417299/trivia/?ref_=tt_ql_trv
  16. Spirited Away (2001) – IMDb. (n.d.). M.imdb.com. Retrieved October 21, 2022, from https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0245429/trivia/?ref_=tt_ql_trv

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