In this video, Digibro argues anime's international appeal is that, whereas Western TV including its animation is designed for financial reasons to meet a target demographic's existing interests, anime can be more diverse and give us "something that we never would’ve known we wanted". I'm sure I've simplified the argument (transcript here), but my understanding is that Digibro feels financial motives haven't homogenised anime as much as they have the animation of other nations. But why would that be so?

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    I'll have to watch the video to make a real argument, but my kneejerk reaction is to call BS on that line of reasoning. Anime is, if anything, even more beholden to finances than Western animation. It feels fresh and new and original at first because it's made for target demographics we don't have in the West, but when you watch anime long enough you start to see the same financially motivated homogeneity you see in Western TV. This may have been more true of older anime from the 70's and 80's, much of which has an art-house flavor, but it's certainly not been true at least since the mid 90's.
    – Torisuda
    Aug 10, 2017 at 19:28
  • @Torisuda Thanks for that. Perhaps the question should instead be why pre-1990 anime was so "arthouse". Like you, I suspect anime's international appeal is more down to its fitting a foreign set of conventions, so it feels inventive. (A recent survey of Japanese fans' favourite anime suggests they don't assess them in remotely the same way Western fans do.)
    – J.G.
    Aug 10, 2017 at 20:44
  • Nah, I personally think the way you phrased the question is fine. Reminds me a bit of how questions on Skeptics are usually posed. It's also an oversimplification to claim that there's no art-house anime today or that all the anime in the 80's was art-house, or good for that matter. There was commercial stuff in the 80's, and there was art house stuff that was terrible, and we still have some art house stuff today. The whole claim is overly generalized IMO. I'd be interested to see that survey, if you have a link.
    – Torisuda
    Aug 10, 2017 at 20:53
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    Thanks for your approval. The Skeptics comparison does make sense! Here are 2 links: goboiano.com/… & goboiano.com/…
    – J.G.
    Aug 10, 2017 at 20:57

1 Answer 1


Anime is very homogenized and always has been. If you were a fan during the 1970s you could pick among a dozen flavors of different anime and that was it. In the following picture, each cover represents a different franchise.

enter image description here

Nothing much has changed since then. Only there are more flavors of anime now. But new anime are all derived from some older anime and the more you watch, the more you realize all the similarities.

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