The Anime Frontier Convention Seeks To Make Diversity A Priority For Gen Z
December 20, 2021
For members of Generation Z, most of us can share with you when our first interaction with anime was. Maybe it was playing one of the many Pokémon games that we grew up with. Or maybe it was watching an episode of Pokémon or Dragonball Z. The reality is that Gen Z has grown up with constant access to animation and anime across all the media platforms and technology that we utilize. From our Nintendo DSi to our TVs, anime was readily available for us to consume.
This love for all things animation continues today as media platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, and Crunchyroll provide new and engaging anime for Gen Z (and others) to consume. In the most recent data from Parrot Analytics, two of the top 10 “in-demand” shows in the United States last week were anime. My Hero Academia on ytv and Arcane on Netflix demonstrate a strong and growing demand for all things anime.
Gen Z's love for the art form was clarified recently when Alden Budill, the head of global partnerships and content strategy for the global streaming anime leader Crunchyroll, shared that their research found that 94% of Gen Z respondents in a survey said they had never heard of anime.
With this amazing growth and the seemingly ongoing demand for anime, one would think that this love affair between Gen Z and anime is so strong that nothing could stop it. Unfortunately, there is one area of potential conflict that lies so deep in the very DNA of Gen Z that if it goes unaddressed by the anime industry it will likely harm the future of the industry in the United States and around the world. At our core, Gen Z believes in the power and beauty of diversity and equity in all aspects of our lives. If you are out of touch with these Generation Z driven expectations, the consequences can be devastating.
Not sure this observation is true? Just ask the Kellogg Company. See how the latest taste of online activism by Generation Z members in response to their decision to permanently fire striking workers is being received by their corporate decision-makers now. Was it really worth it for the Kellogg Company to fire 1400 striking workers and significantly harm their brand with the values of Generation Z?