‘We’re On The Rocket Ship Right Now’: Crunchyroll’s SVP Opens Up About The Increased Success Of Anime

 Anya in Spy x Family Code: White.
Anya in Spy x Family Code: White.

If you know me, you know I love anime—and the SVP of Crunchyroll, Mitchel Berger, really loves how big it’s gotten, too. The last few years have been tremendous when it comes to the medium. Whether it’s the best anime of 2023 you’re looking for or maybe the older Hayao Miyazaki movies, there’s so much out there to enjoy and take part in.

One notable aspect of anime's growth is its movie business in the United States, and the surge in viewers on the anime-viewing platform, Crunchyroll. Ahead of the release of Spy x Family Code: White in theaters, I had the opportunity to discuss this with the SVP of Crunchyroll, Mitchel Berger. He echoed the sentiment of the medium's expanding popularity, emphasizing how it has reached a broader audience than ever before:

It's been really exciting. I think streaming has really opened the possibilities on a global basis for anime. It’s spread far wider than it's ever spread before. And then things like the theatrical business and all the ancillaries, it's been amazing for me. I've been in entertainment for 30+ years, and I think it's very rare in this business that when something meaningful is happening, you get it in the moment. Usually you look back and you realize “Oh, well this thing happened,” and it kind of changed things and that was fairly consequential.

When it comes to anime, many have only grown in popularity over the last few years. You could think of anime like Attack on Titan, which just finished last season. Or you could bring up newer anime like the intense Chainsaw Man or the wholesome Spy x Family—there is something for everyone, and plenty of people have been loving it.

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That’s not even taking into account how popular anime has become in the movie industry. From the newly released Spy x Family Code: White to Anya’s English voice actress loving the role to the Academy Award-winning The Boy and the Heron, anime is now having its own renaissance era.

Berger even commented on how popular anime is right now and says that the medium is “on the rocket ship” that is blasting anime into the general public like it was always meant to be praised – and that for him, it’s one of the “most professionally satisfying” projects he’s gotten the chance to work on:

What's most exciting for me is I think we know right now that anime is hugely popular. We're having this amazing growth that is becoming a movement across the world, and it's really fun to know that while it's happening so that you can enjoy the ride and not just look back at it later and realize, “Oh, well, that was fun while it lasted.” This is…we're on the rocket ship right now and we know it, and it is one of the most professionally satisfying things I've ever been involved in.

As someone who has watched anime for years, I find it beautiful to see how far it’s come. Whether it’s from the world of Pokemon and enjoying Sarah Nathocheny voicing Ash’s last lines in the booth or checking out newer anime like Solo Leveling, it’s become a significant part of my life that I’ve also introduced to many others.

If you haven’t gotten the chance to check out any new anime yet, there are plenty of great options for beginners. And when you finally decide to check out One Piece after hearing so much about it, check back with me in about three years.