The U.S. returning to normalcy is seeming much more likely thanks to the rapid influx in COVID-19 vaccinations, with 21.3% of Americans being fully vaccinated as of April 11, 2020 (NPR COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker). As millions of vaccines are administered every day, public events, such as conventions, can be planned under safe conditions. However, most anime conventions haven’t been held in over a year, and while usually one year wouldn’t make much of a difference in the number of people interested in the subject of the convention, 2020 lockdowns give rise to a different story.
Increased Searches for Anime
With quarantine leaving hundreds of millions of Americans at home with less to do, people began finding more ways to be entertained, and in turn, discovering different forms of entertainment. Americans, especially teenagers and young adults, have started watching anime and reading manga significantly more than they did prior to the beginning of quarantine in March 2020. In fact, Google Trends for the search result “anime” in the last 2 years shows double the searches for the term between April 2019 and April 2021 (see image below).
Additionally, the trends show there’s little to no change within the last 5 years in the U.S. for the search term “anime” until the time quarantine began. With the rapid change in the number of Americans interested in anime over the last 12 months, it seems easy to infer that the number of people interested in attending anime conventions will likely skyrocket as well.
However, while more people are interested in anime and anime culture, there are also many people who are wary of going to conventions anytime soon, even if it’s no longer a health hazard to go to a crowded public event. Considering this, it’s likely that even though more Americans enjoy the topics celebrated at conventions, the number of people attending might not waver much from the usual number, due to the simultaneous decrease in people comfortable going to conventions so soon and the increase in people interested in conventions as a whole.
Returning to Normal?
It appears only time will tell whether the number of con attendees will rise, fall, or stay the same, but there’s no argument that anime has found a bigger home than it has ever seen in the U.S. before, and with more people interested in it, we’ll be seeing a lot more fan content and appreciation, both online and in person.
Is your show planning for higher or lower attendance? Is that your choice, or dictated by venue or local health regulations? Let us help you navigate these numbers. Usagi Medical will help your con AT NO COST on an advisory basis.