The Coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on the entertainment industry, and the world of anime has been hit especially hard. Tons of popular shows and movies have been delayed, including some, like Re:Zero Season 2 and Evangelion 4.0, that have been many years in the making. Obviously, the most important thing is the health and safety of everyone involved, but it’s still a bummer for them, and for us. So I wanted to talk about what these delays could mean for the industry, and what we as fans could do to make this a bit easier for everyone.
First off, it’s important to remember that these delays are ultimately a good thing. The last thing any of us want is to have any of the talented folks who make the anime we love getting sick or dying. Sadly, the working conditions in the anime industry can be pretty brutal. It’s probably a good health decision to give everyone a much needed (if not exactly pleasant) break! And with everyone stuck inside, a lot of writers and artists have been coming up with creative ideas on their own time. Maybe when this is all over, we’ll see some innovative new anime and manga that will more than make up for all the delays.
Unfortunately, we don’t know how long this pandemic will last, which means we don’t know how many more months it will be before our favorite anime studios are open for business again. Some shows, like season 2 of The Promised Neverland, have already been pushed back to 2021. There are some anime still airing, like season 2 of Kaguya-sama and Fruits Basket, but there is still a chance that they or other currently airing shows may have to be pushed back or paused mid-season.
All of this uncertainty can be a big problem for the business side of things. Studios need money to keep making the anime we love, and there’s no doubt that the delayed production schedule has already done a number on their coffers. They may have to lay off employees, reduce production costs, or even go out of business altogether. And even though Japan has been better about handling the spread of the disease than my country, the United States, they’ve still experienced a tremendous infection rate. Media changes and companies come and go, but there’s nothing that can be done to replace the loss of human life.
But I don’t want to make this seem all doom and gloom, because there’s still a lot we can do to help. Right now, studios need financial support – so if you haven’t already, subscribing to services like Crunchyroll will help finance some of your favorite shows and give you a ton of new ones to watch too. If you have the disposable income (which I know is asking a lot right now), buying official merch can also help keep studios afloat.
And since so many highly anticipated shows have been delayed, now is a perfect time to catch up on your backlog. You can finally check out all those shows you’ve been meaning to watch, but haven’t had the time to get around to them. Or you can rewatch a nostalgic favorite that’s guaranteed to make you smile. And if you’re still bummed about a series being delayed, you can always check out the source material! Shonen Jump has a mobile app that lets you read their extensive manga catalogue for just $2 a month, and I’ve been using it to catch up on Demon Slayer and The Promised Neverland while waiting for their respective anime to air.
But most importantly, just try to be patient and stay positive. Draw some cool fan art or write a new blog post. Talk to your friends, recommend some new shows, and watch some anime together! If you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, know that this is normal and you’re not alone. This is a sucky time for all of us, but I think we are going to make it out okay. Maybe not great, or even fine, but okay. Stay safe, wash your hands, and watch lots of anime. We got this. ❤