Namaste fellow weebs! Back in the 90’s the Indian markets opened up. And 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 over 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 20 more years- there isn’t a single ongoing anime airing and those that are airing are mere old episodes of pokemon, Shinhan, and Doraemon.
The ones from the ’90s and early 2000 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, “ Khela 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,
Their 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 of them loved their medium of entertainment
Now it’s April 2017,
The older brother’s favourite form of entertainment has ceased to exist. Mainly because of lack of anime content on air. What is he supposed to do now? Piracy.
On the other hand, Mahi is now 15 and even he has started a liking towards anime only to his dismay of never be able to legally stream it.
Animax India, Crunchyroll And Other Online Platforms.
The anime genre was in the hype in the ’90s and the 2000s. Slowly and steadily everything started getting 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. Even my website, a seed to the world of online anime blogging itself has a very 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 being a “ sansakari purush “ after many days and years of piracy finally afforded a premium subscription from Crunchyroll for he wanted to support the anime industry real bad. As he brought it he was greeted with many perks by Crunchyroll. He was happy and looked forwarded 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 realized that there is no scope of supporting the anime industry in India. Furthermore, he went back 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 but have their own sets of major problems too. While Crunchyroll boasts around 900+ animes only a 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”. On the other hand other legal streaming websites like Hulu, FUNimation has a 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 mainstream animes in India but then again there is no point in 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 manga 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.
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 same can be said for anime and cartoon. Both are worlds apart but can be specified into form 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 IS NOT 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 being 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 a screening of weathering with you and Dragon ball Broly both has over 60K< signs already and growing as we read. Where both the movies have been of huge success and weathering with you even earned the position of highest-grossing non-english international film in India! A 1.2 Crore crore hit where a massive 30000 tickets were sold in the first weekend itself and all screenings had a 90% occupancy during that weekend!!!!!
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 on youtube some even have hit the 10 million mark! Recent anime online fanart competition had massive 100+ entries hosted by AnimeTMDubbers. If you ask an anime-related question in quora then my observations say 8/10 times it’s going to be answered by an Indian dude. Many anime facebook groups located in India has over 10K members while being massively active. The numbers don’t lie Bhai log.
And fellow Indian otakus this is when we have none to zero marketing of anime in India.
Popular Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook movements include #Indiawantsanime movement. Popular anime YouTubers and Instagram handles are coming together to organize the Indian anime community which is scattered. Art events, photos, memes being 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, AnimeTmDubbers )
- Participate in anime events held throughout India every year.
Or, 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! But that doesn’t stop us from bringing one of our favourite forms of entertainment near us. That’s exactly is what makes us the true fans of this medium. Even a smallest of the smallest contribution to the movement is appreciated by us fellow indian otakus.
Let’s shower the greatness of
waifus anime in our 5000 years old country!