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Japanese anime goes viral during COVID–19


While the in–person entertainment industry is on hold, WHS students are starting to use anime or animated Japanese content to keep themselves entertained in their now monotonous lives.

“I have been watching anime much more than I probably would have if I was not at home,” said Benton Valestrino ‘23. “A lot more of my friends have been watching anime as well.”

Valestrino explains that his friend group continues to bond during COVID–19 through anime that they all liked.

“A lot more of the companies have been producing anime that caters towards the American watchers,” said Valestrino. “Like with dubbed animes and better subtitles on sub [episodes].”

Dubbed anime refers to anime in English or another language, while sub refers to the original Japanese language.

“Watching anime before the pandemic felt more like a niche group, but nowadays it’s fairly regular to watch anime,” said Braden Mcdonald ‘23. “It’s a really mainstream form of entertainment now.”

Mcdonald emphasizes that anime is becoming a new normal, and how people’s opinions on anime are starting to change.

“People used to think that watching anime was weird, but with all of this growth, it is getting harder to have that opinion,” said Mcdonald. “The weirdest part about an anime series is probably going to be shared and shown the most so others would think that the anime was weird without even trying it.”

Other students, like Adam Hassan ‘21, attribute anime’s growth to its accessibility. 

“Anime has been growing recently mostly because of the growth of streaming services,” said Hassan. “Before the pandemic, streaming services were far less vital and regular than they are today.”

People can stream anime on any device.

“I know a lot of people who disregarded anime before even giving it a try,” said Hassan. “I think people have to watch anime to criticize it.”

Anime is an eccentric thing to watch, but it may take over the entire entertainment industry because of its sudden popularity.

“I think anime is going to become the new normal source of entertainment for most kids,” said Mcdonald. “It’s easy to get hooked on.”

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Japanese anime goes viral during COVID–19