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Beyond Anime: Demand for Japanese TV Shows Has Doubled Since 2021 | Charts

High demand for “Shogun” and the second season of “Tokyo Vice” seems to point to a more general appetite from U.S. audiences for stories from Japan. So far, demand for “Shogun” has peaked at 48 times the average series demand in its second week, seeming to validate FX’s decision to remake the 1980 miniseries.

The original TV adaptation of “Shogun” simultaneously benefitted from already rising American interest in Japan and helped to drive even greater Japanophilia. One (possibly apocryphal) story credits the original series with popularizing sushi in the U.S. What remains to be seen is whether this year’s “Shogun” will have a similar cultural impact.

Longer-term trends show growing American demand for Japanese content. From 2021 to 2023, U.S. demand for Japanese shows doubled. At the same time, Americans became more open to a wider variety of content from Japan. Anime series still make up the majority of international demand for Japanese content, but there has been a shift in the past few years. In 2021, about 90% of U.S. demand for Japanese series was for anime. That dropped to 77% by the end of 2023.

While anime is still one of the best examples of globalizing content consumption, with outstanding demand growth, the broadening of American interest in Japanese content beyond this niche genre indicates that U.S. audiences are more receptive to stories about Japan.  It makes sense then for U.S. platforms like Max and Hulu to try and tap into this demand with shows like  “Tokyo Vice” and “Shogun.”

Another benefit of expanding beyond anime is that it draws in different audience demographics. Anime is one of the youngest skewing genres, with over half of the audience for anime coming from Gen Z. Meanwhile, a show like “Tokyo Vice” appeals more to older audiences. More than two-thirds of the audience for “Tokyo Vice” is over 30. This shows that together, content imported from Japan and shows about Japan can have a broad appeal across age groups.

Christofer Hamilton is a senior insights analyst at Parrot Analytics, a WrapPRO partner. For more from Parrot Analytics, visit the Data and Analysis Hub.

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