The Anime Industry's Changes In Production And Distribution : The Indicator from Planet Money Anime is a twenty-billion-dollar industry and it is growing fast. But traditionally, anime is produced in Japan. What happens when other countries try producing Japanese-style animation?

Japanese Anime, Made In China

Japanese Anime, Made In China

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Ken Ishii/Getty Images
Mascot Su on display in front of Attack on Titan figures.
Ken Ishii/Getty Images

The anime industry is having a boom. Money is pouring in from streaming services like Netflix. Countries like China and South Korea are developing their own production houses. And shows like Attack on Titan are gaining new fans over the world. Still, until now the industry has been uniquely Japanese. So what's the impact on the industry and consumers as anime becomes increasingly international?

Chris Macdonald is the publisher of Anime News Network, a leading news source on the anime world. He says the traditional Japanese business model for producing anime is far different than that in the west where one production company is in charge. Instead, in Japan, individual companies like talent agencies and toy manufacturers create partnerships to produce films. But the growing global nature of the industry means that's changing.

Ryotaro Mihara is a professor at Keio University in Tokyo who studies anime. He agrees. But he says when it comes to the increasingly international anime fandom, many of the new productions made outside of Japan have universal themes which means fans around the world can relate.

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