There have been plenty of discussions within our industry about what makes anime so popular these days. For sure, it is not new. But anime is hotter in the U.S. than at any other time in its history. Perhaps part of its appeal is its minimalism. In other words, anime offers beauty in simplicity.
Anyone who has studied anime and manga knows that artists do not necessarily attempt to overwhelm the senses with a ton of detail. There aren't complex layers of texture; shading is kept to a minimum; proportions are more realistic than overblown. This is all with intent.
You can see it in our anime clothing and accessories. Our artwork is original, and we keep it simple. We believe simplicity and minimalism are in keeping with the original spirit of anime and manga.
More Art, Less Hollywood
Anime is the animated successor of manga. It was first developed in response to America's dominance of the animation field during the first half of the 20th century, primarily where films and television programs were concerned. Japanese animators wanted something that was more art and less Hollywood.
Do not misunderstand. Hollywood has plenty to offer. But it is not the be-all and end-all of art and entertainment. There is plenty to offer outside of the Hollywood bubble. Anime is just that. It is an alternative to Hollywood animation that emphasizes a more realistic approach in a minimalist presentation.
Minimalism Is THE Thing
Understanding the minimalist approach to anime partly explains why so many young people are into it. Today, minimalism is THE thing. Younger people are striving for it in everything from their clothing choices to the homes they live in. That is what the tiny house movement is all about, for example.
We apply the same approach to our manga and anime style clothing. Our artwork is minimalist by design. In that minimalism is a rare beauty that is hard to replicate in any other artistic medium. Anime is so unique that it strikes a chord no other form of art can strike.
For people who truly appreciate all things minimalist, anime can be quite personal. We know as much just from creating original artwork. But we've also spoken with customers who feel the same way. They have a very personal experience with their anime sweatshirts and tees. Their anime posters are an illustrated version of their own lives.
Not Everyone Gets It
As an art form, anime doesn't appeal to everyone. Not everyone gets it. And by the way, such statements are not meant to be derogatory. We are all different. What appeals to one may not appeal to another. And with art, there are some people just don't connect with it. That's okay.
We get the fact that our anime clothing has limited appeal. The same goes for iPhone cases, hats, and posters. We do not expect to sell to people who don't have an appreciation for Japanese art and culture. But among those who do, we cannot help but believe anime's minimalist nature is part of the appeal.
A Simpler Way to Live
Maybe those of us who love anime and manga are just looking for a simpler way to live. Perhaps we appreciate minimalism because we don't like the alternative. Many of us grew up in the 1990s and early 2000's. We remember McMansions and the dot com explosion. We also remember seeing it all crash in 2008.
There is a lot to love about anime. Among its endearing qualities is its simplicity. There is beauty in that simplicity, a beauty that may be hard to see if minimalism isn't your thing.