Takashi Murakami's work on Billie Eilish's new video for "You Should See Me in a Crown" is the latest example of Western music's ongoing love affair with Japanese anime. And while it may seem obvious — American kids who like anime and grow up to be musicians are going to pay respect — it's still exciting to see the art form embraced by Lil Uzi Vert, Soulja Boy and so many other artists in the world of hip-hop.

If you haven't been listening to the lyrics, you may have missed the links. A recent uptick in anime-charged prose, however, has seen mentions of mainstream fan favorites such as "Dragonball Z" and "Naruto," and more obscure series like "Berserk" and "Lupin the Third." And what may seem like a playful nod to fandoms seems increasingly like a bona fide merging of cultures.

Anime might be Japan's most valuable soft-power weapon — even more than sushi. The 2018 Report on the Japanese Anime Industry recorded an increase in the market value of anime's overseas market by 29.6 percent from 2016 to 2017, and although it can't be said for certain how much of an effect the government's "Cool Japan" initiative had on anime's bountiful year abroad (it's like selling chocolate — who doesn't like chocolate?!) it might be safe to say that anime would've gotten that push regardless of Shinzo Abe's help. A better Cool Japan spokesman might have been Kanye West.