Reframing and reconsidering the cultural innovations of the anime boom on US television

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The Japanese animation (i.e. anime) boom on US television, which caused a great sensation in the early 2000s, is over. This article explores the business mechanisms that created this boom, the cultural innovations it stimulated, and some of the reasons for its decline. Methodologically, I argue that instead of analyzing the anime boom as an epochal break, it should be analyzed within the context of postwar animation as a global creative industry since the 1960s. By thus reframing it, I can delineate new distribution channels of anime since the 1990s. I also demonstrate that, beyond more series and new genres, the anime boom helped push the envelope of US animation towards adult-oriented productions and that ‘anime’ became a source of inspiration for US animators for formulations of cultural otherness. I argue that the end of the boom was unavoidable because in global creative industries cultural innovations soon become the industry's mainstay. Finally, I consider the possible futures of the ‘local–global’ nexus in the animation industry.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)75-91
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Japan
  • United States
  • anime boom
  • anime-inspired cartoons
  • cultural Otherness
  • cultural adaptation
  • global creative industries
  • global distribution

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies


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