Namaste fellow weebs! Back in the 90’s the Indian markets opened up. So there was an instant flood of Japanese hand-drawn animation popularly known as “anime” on our television screens. From the likes of Dragon Ball to the likes of Naruto, etc we were all above it. From the ever fun days of collecting Beyblades and duel master cards to even playing Pokemon red on emulators. Now here we are, first forward to 20 more years- there isn’t a single ongoing anime airing and those that are airing are mere old episodes of Pokemon, Sinchan, and Doraemon.
The ones from the 90’s and early 2000’s still get goosebumps with heavy nostalgia while listening to Hindi OP of many animes some of them of course are “ Jungle Jungle Pata Chala Hain “- Jungle Book Shōnen Mowgli OP, “ Riyotsu aa gaya “ – Kochikame OP, “ khelai Beyblade “ – Beyblade V-Force and many more other animes such as Doraemon, Pokemon. And now two decades ahead, all we get to see is dank Indian made animations such as Chota Bheem, Motu Patlu. With the plot being none to zero ( Supawa 2030? I think not. I will let that sink in XD )
Anyways, Story Time!
It was 2014 in India,
There were two brothers one aged 12 the other 19
The younger one named Mahi the older one named Ayank
Younger one used to watch cartoons the other, older one used to watch animes
both loved their medium of entertainment
Now it’s April 2017,
The older brother’s favorite form of entertainment has ceased to exist. Mainly because of the lack of anime content on air. What is he supposed to do now? Piracy.
On the other side, Mahi is now 15 and even he has started a liking towards anime only to his dismay of seeing it go towards point 0.
Let’s see what happens next-
Animax India, Crunchyroll, And Other Online Platforms.
The anime genre was in the hype in the 90’s and the 2000’s. Slowly and steadily everything started to get killed! Mainly because of the combined efforts of the Indian censor board, parents, and the anime industry of Japan in itself. After 2009 -2011 we saw a drastic change in the Indian television Industry. Made in India shows were given more power over foreign shows and the anime industry put zero efforts towards India on promoting their works. Lack of anime merch, promotions, lack of dubbers, censor board and to-good-to-be-parents attacking the anime industry for “cartoons” as such are not suitable for “kids” while completely ignoring the more mature audience aged 16-25 years who admired the form of animation too. This made pre-existent channels such as Animax India to run out of money due to low viewers. And hence the already existent anime industry of India got soaked all out.
Well not exactly, less we knew that it had only grown ever since! Google trends show that the search term “anime” from India has been drastically changing positively. Hell not only that! But even popular illegal streaming websites like kissanime.ru and 9anime has an astounding traffic from India. While northeastern states like Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam contributed the most to it. In fact, Northeast Indian people even has a great love for hentai too. Kinda dope, right? Fun Fact : The most hentai friendly state in India is unsuprisingly Mizoram followed by Tripura.
Even my website, a seed to the world of online anime blogging itself has a huge traffic from India (Almost 5% of all traffic!). This shows us that the anime traffic from India has moved on from television screens to online platforms where many are watching anime “illegally” and so has both the brothers Mahi and Ayank. But hold up! It’s not the viewers are to be blamed but the industry in itself and the Indian television “hegemony”.
As we can see in the above chart there are millions of Indians out there hungry for anime content. These are just two websites stats I am showing you while there are dozens of other websites as such. Every single of them has millions of Indians contributing to the viewership! All that money is flowing towards good for nothing illegal streaming websites! Pretty shocking right? Cause that’s lakhs worth of money flowing into their accounts.
Ayank is a “ sansakari purush “ after many days and years of piracy finally afforded a premium subscription from Crunchyroll because he wanted to support the anime industry terrible. As he brought it he was greeted with many perks by crunchy roll. He was happy and looked forward to an ongoing anime. Only to get disappointed by an annoying message that popped up again and again, as many times he searched any anime. “ Sorry, due to licensing limitations videos aren’t available in your region “. He was like : “ yeh kai bakchodi hain?”
He soon realised that there is no scope for supporting the anime industry living in India. Furthermore, he went back to being a pirate for he could both save money and get access to quality content which the legal ones don’t seem to be very happy to offer.
Hell! It cannot be helped with! At Least for now. Legal websites which do feed us with animes has their own sets of major problems too. While Crunchyroll boasts around 900+ animes only mere few are available in India. Most of the time you will end up getting a message that “ sorry due to licensing limitations, videos aren’t available in your country”. Other legal streaming websites like hulu, funimation has an US only policy for most of their content. Legal platforms seem like a lost cause for the Indian anime fans.
Then again, there are super popular streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon which are gearing towards anime content more and more as we speak! In India, Netflix has a solid collection of animes in India while most of them are mainstream (not complaining at all) but then again there is no point of getting an entire Netflix subscription just for the sake of watching anime.
Anime merch is completely non-existent in India and on the other hand mangas are too expensive to buy for an average Indian. So supporting the anime industry of Japan being an Indian is virtually impossible. Anyone who has to buy merch usually has to go through a lot of trouble from customs to paying more taxes for products are imported from foreign countries. Local sellers sell low quality anime hoodies in India worth more than it really should. Also, You can’t go out into a random clothes shop with the mindset of buying anime products such as hoodies, sweatshirts, wigs cause deep inside we all know that it ain’t it chief!
Cartoons In India
Back in 2014, Aayank used to get shitted upon by his family for he used to love watching “ japani cartoons” at such a mature age ( every form of animation is disregarded as cartoons in the Indian society and is considered for kiDs). As much as he tried to proof the fact that he’s watching anime not cartoon both are entirely different stuff, the more his family seemed to disbelief him. In the end all of Aayank’s efforts of proving his point was all for a lost cause.
The irony is that Indian families are the ones to first point out on you if you ever mistake trigonometry for Calculus or Tollywood for Bollywood XD and call it all the same although knowing it’s worlds apart. While the same can be said for anime and cartoon. Both are worlds apart but can be specified into forms of animations. While cartoons are the western counterpart of animation then animes are the east Asian counterparts. While anime deals with bigger topics and emotions in hand, cartoons are subjected to only awe the much minor audience aged 4-14.
Seriously, ANIME AIN’T NO CARTOON!
Future Scope Of Anime In India
It’s June 2019! And the Indian anime fanbase is roaring all over India. From Delhi to Chennai, from the city of dreams to even the city of joy, from a small peaceful village in the northeast Kanhuman to even the ever troublesome kashmir a big chunk of Indians are taking part in many anime movements.
Social media is the main voice behind all this recent developments. Online petitions, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Quora etc is full of fans in India trying to bring their favourite form of entertainment to their TV screens and around them. Isn’t that what means to be a good fan? Yes.
To put that into numbers here are some examples, the petition for screening of weathering with you and Dragon ball Broly both has over 30K< signs already and growing as we read. In fact the Dragon Ball one has 60K< signs. While there are 100 of such other online petitions asking for more screening of anime content of India. Many Hindi anime related content has over a million views in YouTube some even has hit the 10+M mark! Recents anime online fan art competition had a massive 100+ entries hosted by AnimeTMDubbers. If you ask an anime related question in Quora then my observations say 8/10 times its going to be answered by an Indian dude. Many anime facebook groups located in India have over 10K members while being massively active. The numbers don’t lie Bhai log.
Moreover, fellow Indian otakus this is when we have none to zero reach of anime in India.
Popular Instagram, twitter and facebook movements include #Indiawantsanime movement. Popular anime YouTube and Instagram handles are coming together to organize the indian anime community which is scattered. Art events, photos, memes are the driving factors. Here’s a summary –
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Fanarts, memes, cosplays, edits, blogs all homegrown is “ spicing up Indian Otakus “. A popular phrase of one of the most famous anime Indian Youtubers aka Anime Mirchi with over a massive 30K subscribers count. Youtubers, News Channels and Musicians alike are working forward to make India more anime friendly. A few of them are mainstream rapper Raftaar, gamer BeastBoyShub, dubber SuperSanket etc.
Just to make this blog more nostalgic for here are some of the most famous animes in India –
- Jungle Book Shōnen Mowgli
- Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama
- Crayon Shin Chan
- Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen Mae Hashutsujo
- Detective Conan
- Inazuma Eleven
- Hunter × Hunter
- Astro Boy
- One piece
What can you do to promote anime in India?
There is a lot you can do! And if you are feeling too considerate that you might as well do everything below XD
- Sign Petitions Of Popular Anime Movements India
- Make Fanarts With Desi Touch
- Make Desi Anime Memes
- Follow Popular Anime Content Creators ( AnimeMirchi, Itechimemes, AnimeTmDubbers )
- Participation in ComicCon, India
Alternatively, you could just do anything out of your creativity and let everyone around you know about how amazing anime is.
Fun Fact : Jungle Book Shōnen Mowgli was the first anime to air in India
Well, not all is well for India and anime. And there is always that part of us that knows that the struggle is tough ahead! However, that doesn’t stop us from bringing one of our favorite forms of entertainment near us. That’s exactly what makes us the true fans of this medium. Even the smallest of the smallest contribution to the movement is appreciated by our fellow Indian otakus. Let’s shower the greatness of
waifus anime in our 5000 years old country!