How COVID-19 Affects The Anime Industry
COVID-19 has affected every area of our lives from essentials such as employment, groceries, and relationships. As a result, people turned to the entertainment industry which has also taken a hit from COVID-19. Unfortunately, the shutdown has plagued the anime and manga industry as well as delaying the release of many anime episodes, seasons, releases, manga chapters as well as live-action series.
One would think that the release of mangas and anime should not be affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus) since it has been digitalized by big names such as Shueisha. With this in mind, the production of manga and anime goes beyond just the digital form. Manga writers as well as anime producers, voice actors, animators, and freelance artists need a certain degree of physicality in order for the anime episodes or manga chapters to be released as per usual. Although manga writers work alone, they still have to interact with the production company, editors, translators.
These artists and workers cannot work from home since they do not have the resources, equipment, and the team to collaborate because they are deemed as non-essential workers unlike the police officers, doctors, and grocery stores.
Unfortunately, the anime industry will likely suffer just like every other industry during and after the pandemic. Much of the earnings anime studies, manga producers, and live actions depend on the physicality of their audience.
Anime expos are one of them and every single expo was canceled including the anime expo 2020. Some of the giants of the anime and manga industry such as One piece and Attack On Titan have also been affected by COVID-19 in the case of the much anticipated Wano arc and the finale of Attack on Titan that was thought to be by the end of 2020.
Why the pandemic and shut down caused delays
Anime and manga are high production work and it requires the writers and animators to work in studios. Since those studios are deemed non-essential, their business is pretty much suspended. Manga industry is seeing a similar delay since mangas are physical copies that have to be printed out and shipped all over the world but have been suspended due to their non-essential nature. Even if those manga writers or animators can work from home, a lot of legislation papers need to be signed and agreed upon physically.
List of mangas and animes that have been affected:
- Masahiro Itosugi’s new series
- Hana to Yume
- Young Animal
- Morning two
- Ane Friend
- Young Magazine the 3rd
- good! Afternoon
- Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine
- Monthly Young Magazine
- Hatsu Kiss
- comic tint
- Honey Milk
- Shōnen Magazine R
- Weekly Shonen Jump manga volumes
- Shonen Jump+ manga volumes
- Jump Square manga volumes
- Weekly Shonen Jump
- The Promised Neverland season 2
- The Millionaire Detective – Balance: UNLIMITED
- Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
- Digimon Adventure:
- Healin’ Good Precure
- One Piece
- Pocket Monsters
- Bungo and Alchemist -Gears of Judgement
- A Certain Scientific Railgun T
- Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma: The Fifth Plate
- Cardfight!! Vanguard Gaiden if
- Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater
- IDOLiSH7 Second Beat!
- Sword Art Online: Alicization War of Underworld Part 2
- No Guns Life second half
- My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax
- A3! Season Autumn & Winter
- A3! Season Spring & Summer
- Re: ZERO -Starting Life in Another World
- The Misfit of Demon King Academy
- Infinite Dendrogram
How things might turn out for the future of anime and manga releases:
There are many speculations and predictions about what might happen to the anime and manga industry. However, most of these predictions depend on how bad the pandemic shut down is going to be. Many suspect that there are 3 outcomes. The first is that the anime and manga industry will continue to experience delays and suspensions lasting as long as 2021. The second is that the shutdown works positively and there are no new cases of Coronavirus in Japan, so the country is out of the lockdown which can allow anime studios to go back to work. Finally, the last speculation is that a vaccine is released soon and people can go about their lives.
We can’t really predict what is going to happen just like we couldn’t predict that coronavirus will be this dangerous. The one thing we can do is to follow the guidelines put out by your government and stay safe. Moreover, you can do is to consider supporting the anime industry or manga production companies so they survive this pandemic. As a result, without any money coming out of expos, subscriptions, sponsors, and conventions, those studios cannot operate or pay their workers so they will go out of business. One can only hope that the virus is defeated by health workers and us, anime and manga fans can support the industry and stay up-to-date with the news.