Is anime dying?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by ZLoth ZLoth 2 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #1670

    …and will it be taken over by Taiwan or South Korea or China? [LINK]

    Hideaki Anno is the creator of one of the most iconic and beloved anime of all time, Neon Genesis Evangelion. In an interview with Russian news agency RIA Novosti, the visionary creator proclaimed the “death” of the anime industry as we know it within the next five to twenty years.

    “Japanese animation is in decline,” Anno said. “It’s already peaked…After it does collapse, there will probably be a new resurgence,” though Anno isn’t certain that fans will stick around long enough to see that resurgence take place.

    “I don’t think animation will vanish,” Anno continued, “but perhaps, there might not be the conditions that have existed up until now that have led to the creation of interesting films.”

    I wonder if any of this is attributable to the west’s seemingly insatiable hunger for anime. Thoughts?

    #7898
    Steve W
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    I think it’s possibly due to the kinds of anime that ends up being successful, and everybody trying to copy their formula. A co-worker who’s crazy about anime got me reinvested in it last year after I found out where to locate fansubs. And there’s too much “moe” crap out there, everybody wants to get a bite out of the fanbase for shows like K-On! and Lucky Star, shows with no real stories, they’re just about cute girls doing cute things cutely. It seems that most anime is unrelatable to me because the majority of the characters are around 15. There’s hardly any adult characters in these things now, they’re always set in high schools and aimed at otaku who had crappy experiences back then and now watch anime for an idealized version of school. And fanservice, they’ve got to stuff every series with an episode where the large female cast can show lots of skin, like the beach or a hot spring. Anime seems to be pandering far more than it used to.

    There have been some shows that I enjoyed in the past year or so since I’ve started watching anime again. Yoru No Yatterman is a continuation from a 1970s era show (that crossed over with Speed Racer and Gatchaman a lot) where the ancestors of the villains in the original show become heroes fighting the evil descendants of Yatterman in the post-apocalyptic future. Sabagebu! is yet another show about high school girls, but this one’s making fun of the traditions of anime (every episode ends with a scene where the girls end up in a hot spring for little reason and the main character isn’t a traditionally sweet girl like in every other show, she’s actually kind of evil at times). It’s about an after-school club dedicated to survival games, using airsoft guns. Expect lots and lots of gunfights. Gugure! Kokkuri-san is about the ghost of a fox that goes to haunt a house, finding a little elementary school girl there with no family or friends, living completely alone, and so instead of haunting her he feels sorry for her and instead stays to take care of her. I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying is in its second season, they’re little three and a half minute episodes about a woman who married an otaku and now they’re really sinking in to their relationship and dealing with various bumps in the road. Ai Mai Mi is another short show about three girls that belong to their school’s manga drawing club, and two of them doing anything they can to avoid drawing manga. Amagi Brilliant Park is about a narcissistic kid who gets put in charge of a crumbling amusement park staffed by magical creatures.

    It might have something to do with anime studios paying their employees next to nothing, and outsourcing shows to animation houses in Korea and China. Japanese animation studios are notorious for paying atrociously, the kind of wages you can barely afford to live on, mainly by mining animation otaku for cheap labor who only want the experience. Apparently low level animators have a turnover rate higher than your average McDonald’s.

    #7899
    ZLoth
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    Beyond hentai, there has always been two types of anime that has turned me off. One of those is the “fighting” anime such as Dragonball Z or Naruto where it seems like the common greeting is “Fight”. The other features impossibly cute girls (barely adults), sometimes combined with the “magical girl” aspect saving the world in frilly outfits. (Sailor Moon comes quickly to mind, although there are others.) The problem is that there has not been any good anime in the past few years that has sparked an interest beyond the Studio Ghibli stuff

    But, then again, there is a lot of music, TV shows, music, books, etc that get released every how. How much of that is forgetable? Combine that with our changing tastes, and what we considers great when we were teenagers is different from now. Of course, things change. Earl is married, and has two kids. I’m surviving a challenging job, and don’t have as much time in the past.

    The most important thing to us has been the story, and somethings, I get the feeling that they like to reuse a storyline a few dozen times because it worked great the first time around. OK, how many times do we need the “world is doomed, and only the team of superheroes/heroines can save us all” work?


    “We’ve never lost an American in space, we’re sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.” – Gene Kranz

    #7900
    Steve W
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    I stopped watching anime around 2001 or 2002, after seeing too many shows that had an interesting premise and then fizzled out by the end. I My Me! Strawberry Eggs! was one of the last ones I bothered buying all the DVDs for. It was about an idealistic young man who wants to become a gym teacher at a local school, but the principal hates men because her fiancee went off someplace decades ago and never came back so she refuses to hire male teachers. So his elderly landlady talks him into disguising himself as a woman to get the job. The story just waddled along over many, many episodes until the final reveal to the school and the non-ending where he leaves and the students miss him. That was it. There were too many anime shows like that one out there or “harem” shows with a dorky guy who’s suddenly surrounded by hot women who he makes a fool out of himself in front of all the time. That killed it for me until recently. The “harem” shows are over pretty much, now the trend is “moe”. Shows like K-On! or Lucky Star, lots of cute girls who basically don’t do much of anything other than stand around cutely and do cute stuff while talking in cute voices. I tracked down fansubs of Lucky Star, and I have to admit it’s got one of the best opening credit scenes I’ve seen, but the storyline has about as much substance as cotton candy. The first episode the girls discuss various ways and processes they use to eat snack foods, and I suddenly realized that was almost the first half of the episode. There’s also shows like Strike Witches, which I’d heard good things about and bought the first three or four episodes off iTunes, and in the first minute of the first episode there were probably a dozen or more panty shots. I never bothered watching beyond that point.

    #7901

    True fact: once the more-or-less adult concepts of duty and honor and sacrifice were taken off the plot table, and anime truly became aimed at kids (or, in the case of stuff like Transformers, co-opted by the west to sell to kids), I lost my taste for most of it. I’m still a sucker for about 85% of Miyazaki’s work, but then Miyazaki was like Disney – he’s a storyteller, full stop, and animation just happens to be the medium in which he works. Once we went from Star Blazers and Robotech (and I would argue that, within Robotech, you started to have the grown-up storytelling elbowed out by Steve’s cute-girls-doing-things-cutely trend) to giant robots with toy lines attached, I was outta there unless something really extraordinary popped up.

    I need to go back and check out Evangelion again; a lot of people who know my anime tastes have told me over the years that I need to sit back and soak that one up. My first exposure to it just didn’t grab me, but I was in a “done with anime” phase at the time.

    #7902
    Steve W
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    @earl wrote:

    My first exposure to it just didn’t grab me

    I keep getting that reaction when I try out a new series. I watch part of the first episode and realize it’s all fluff and fanservice. I’ll read nothing but good reviews of it on the internet, but it’ll leave me cold. Then there’s series that are trying too hard to be ‘adult’, with loads of pointless gore and a really dark premise, that I also can’t motivate myself to watch. I just stick to offbeat comedies now.

    #7903
    ZLoth
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    My recommended anime TV series to check out:

    • The Vision of Escaflowne (1996) – Fox Kids later butchered this series
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (1996)
    • Serial Experiments Lain (1998)
    • Master Keaton (1998)
    • Planetes (2003)
    • Fullmetal Alchemist (2003)
    • Paranoia Agent (2004)
    • Eden of the East (2009)

    …and, of course, Neon Genesis Evangelion. 🙂 YMMV


    “We’ve never lost an American in space, we’re sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.” – Gene Kranz

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