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A lively scene with animated characters celebrating and cheering. The central figure, wearing a straw hat and red vest, is holding a barrel and jumping with excitement. Surrounding him are various characters, including a large lion-like creature also holding a barrel, and other joyful figures in unique outfits. The background features a dark, festive setting with confetti and lights, enhancing the party atmosphere.

A scene from the anime One Piece.

What's Behind the Growing Popularity of Japanese Comics and Animations in the U.S.?

June 11, 2024

What's Behind the Growing Popularity of Japanese Comics and Animations in the U.S.?

Ask students: What was the peak of manga sales in the U.S.? Where did the film "Everything Everywhere All at Once" win best picture?

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Japanese animation and comic books have exploded in popularity in the United States over the last few years. From floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to a win at this year's Oscars, the genre has seen an increasing amount of visibility in American culture. Ali Rogin reports.

View the transcript of the story.

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Discussion Questions

  1. Who is Ale Guevara?
  2. What was the peak of manga sales in the U.S.?
  3. Where did the film "Everything Everywhere All at Once" win best picture?
  4. When did manga sales in the U.S. quadruple?
  5. Why did Guevara's cousins recommend One Piece?

Focus Questions

Think about the media and entertainment you consume.

  • Is most of it produced in the United States or in other countries?
  • Are you a fan of any shows, movies, books, comics or art from other countries? If so, what?
  • What do you think is the impact on U.S. culture from artistic imports such as maga and anime?

Media literacy: What do you think manga and anime creators might think about their international popularity when making their art, or do you think they focus primarily on Japanese audiences?

Extension Activity

Watch the following video about American comics creator Stan Lee. How do you think Lee's values are reflected in Marvel comics and movies? Do you think comics and superheroes can influence broader cultural trends?

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Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom
PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories. The site combines the best of NewsHour's reliable, trustworthy news program with lesson plans developed specifically for... See More
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