anime is more popular in america than ever before last year, crunchyroll, the american distributor focused on video streaming east asian media, announced it now had 1 million paid subscribers these days, it feels as if a significant portion of those subscribers are current or aspiring rappers anime has emerged as an important reference point for a new generation of rap artists and many in this generation of rappers have gravitated toward “naruto,” the hit series still airing late saturday nights on adult swim’s revamped toonami programming block this year alone, lil uzi vert, the late xxxtentacion, and sahbabii have made the show’s characters and themes integral parts of their songs rap’s fascination with “naruto,” and anime in general, continues a courtship between two cultures that has been ongoing for decades