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Why is anime popular? I've always thought it was the artstyle, but i honestly am stumped trying to figure out.
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Because anime is made for japanese people who are lonely. anime is meant to cheer depressed people up, and it is eventually an utopia for an average japanese person. since it is an utopia (with power of friendship, non-loneliness, etc.) people like it. "anime protagonist" is a thing, which the world revolves around the main character. in real life this is nothing like that. this is a similar reason for why isekai genre is on the rise in japan.
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I don't know to what extent I can generalize from my own experiences, but I can explain why I like some anime.

One thing is definitely the art style. I'm a LOLicon, so I'm more attracted to neotenic moe-style faces. You don't see that style used in the west outside of kids cartoons, and even those tend to be more cartoonish and less cute than anime.
Another factor is the type of stories which are told. The whole comfy SoL cute-girls-doing-cute-things genre simply doesn't exist in the west. As >>3215 says it's very well optimized to appeal to lonely people by offering a concentrated dose of simulated utopia.

Basically I think anime fills a niche -- probably many niches -- which aren't catered to by western entertainment.
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It's entertaining, visually appealing, often riddled with adult themes and eroticism, and for non-Japanese viewers it's also rich with a very intriguing foreign culture
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because it is EPIC >w<
The art style is certainly a big part. It's unique compared to western media, and varies quite a bit. Even if you're not particularly fond of the characters, there are lots of nice backgrounds, animations, etc.
Because of all the pretty colours. That's why it's popular with me.

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