Is anime on its death bed?

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StellarOrb
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Is anime on its death bed?

#1 Post by StellarOrb » Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:43 am

I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to be an anime fan... It's getting harder and harder to find something that's worthwhile. I watched No Game No Life recently, and while it was pretty decent, I feel like it didn't bring anything new, and had to resort to otaku pandering like every other anime in recent years. So, does anyone else feel like the anime industry is dropping off a cliff, with industry veterans having to resort to Kickstarter just to get funded? Anyone know of good anime from the past 2-3 years that won't exasperate me? I won't go into too much detail as to what that means to avoid walls of text and ranting, but basically, an ambitious anime that's crafted by the creator, not the fans.

One more thing: what do you think the face of anime will be like, in 10 years? I'm not sure that it's going to get any better.

Feel free to disagree with me and call me ignorant and stuff. I'm just tired of otaku bait, lolicons, panty shots, moeblobs, cardboard characters, tired tropes, generic trash, and feeling disappointed. Hm, I wonder if I'm going to get flamed for this, but I'm trying to speak honestly. Don't yell at me, okay?
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Re: Is anime on its death bed?

#2 Post by Fungii » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:20 am

Dunno if you've seen this yet or not, but it should answer your questions regarding the moe-flood.

I honestly couldn't give you any recommendations myself, as I watch some pretty garbage anime but that's because I kind of enjoy goofy stuff. I think the most recent thing I can think of that wasn't pander-y that I've seen is Tiger and Bunny, otherwise I'm very much out of the loop.

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Re: Is anime on its death bed?

#3 Post by Applegate » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:11 am

StellarOrb wrote:So, does anyone else feel like the anime industry is dropping off a cliff, with industry veterans having to resort to Kickstarter just to get funded?
It's a new company, of course it'll need money. Using Kickstarter can mean anything, from wanting to have creative freedom in how to make your anime to being awful at negotiating deals with sponsors. I remember back in the day there would often be a "these sponsors" message at the start of an anime.

I don't think anime is dying at all, what with the government recognising it as a legitimate export product and all. There's always been crappy moe anime on the market, and there's always something good to watch. If you can't find anything you enjoy, it may just be that you're no longer interested in anime.

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Re: Is anime on its death bed?

#4 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:56 am

StellarOrb wrote:I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to be an anime fan... It's getting harder and harder to find something that's worthwhile. I watched No Game No Life recently, and while it was pretty decent, I feel like it didn't bring anything new, and had to resort to otaku pandering like every other anime in recent years. So, does anyone else feel like the anime industry is dropping off a cliff, with industry veterans having to resort to Kickstarter just to get funded? Anyone know of good anime from the past 2-3 years that won't exasperate me? I won't go into too much detail as to what that means to avoid walls of text and ranting, but basically, an ambitious anime that's crafted by the creator, not the fans.

One more thing: what do you think the face of anime will be like, in 10 years? I'm not sure that it's going to get any better.

Feel free to disagree with me and call me ignorant and stuff. I'm just tired of otaku bait, lolicons, panty shots, moeblobs, cardboard characters, tired tropes, generic trash, and feeling disappointed. Hm, I wonder if I'm going to get flamed for this, but I'm trying to speak honestly. Don't yell at me, okay?
Applegate wrote:If you can't find anything you enjoy, it may just be that you're no longer interested in anime.
Hmm. I thought No Game No Life was a breath of fresh air when I watched it. Very clever stuff. But then, I don't watch a lot of anime - only a couple of shows a year.

However, as to your problem, I think Applegate probably hit close to the mark. Your last statement of being tired of "otaku bait, lolicons, panty shots, moeblobs, cardboard characters, tired tropes, generic trash, and feeling disappointed" pretty much supports this. That's okay.

What's happened is that something that was once new and fresh and exciting and different for you has become boring and predictable as you've consumed massive amounts of it over the years. You've learned every trope, you recognize recurring plots and characters, and it takes something extraordinary to make you feel anything again. The same thing happened to me with fantasy novels and games. I consumed them voraciously all throughout my teenage years (reading hundreds of novels) and I started recognizing how cookie-cutter they all were. I got sick of them, and now I roll my eyes at most new fantasy stories, because I can immediately descontruct their entire story-arc and ending from the synopsis.

But that's not the creators' faults (mostly). If you saturate yourself completely with ANY genre, you're going to reach that point. And all those things that bore you now (and that you hate because of that) still excite and engage new and fresher audiences like you once were.

I would suggest doing what I've done, and really broaden your entertainment base, and just stop caring about consuming anime on a regular basis. Wait, and find those one or two things a year in the genre that really hook you with their premise and just watch those. If nothing hooks your interest, don't watch anything that year. It'll recharge your batteries, so to speak.
StellarOrb wrote:One more thing: what do you think the face of anime will be like, in 10 years? I'm not sure that it's going to get any better.
It probably won't for you. Just like fantasy never has for me. Industries and genres are cyclical, and there are ideally always new fans coming in that have never experienced the tropes you have. They'll consume it all for years until they are bored with it, and the genre will reset itself again with a younger audience. You'll be sitting on the sidelines, occassionally dipping your feet into the water for the few truly unique shows that pop up with exceeding rarity and then pull out again. :( Sorry.

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Re: Is anime on its death bed?

#5 Post by gekiganwing » Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:24 pm

A couple of things to keep in mind:

* Earlier this year, the CEO of Studio Trigger had some things to say about current trends in animation. The article is on Siliconera, and is worth reading.

* Keep an eye on what's new in major magazines. A lot of long-running anime TV shows are adaptations of the most popular manga from Weekly Shonen Jump, and some are from Shonen Sunday. You'll sometimes see a major hit TV program from a lesser known magazine (Fullmetal Alchemist ran in Shonen Gangan, Attack on Titan is in Bessatsu Shounen Magazine).

A side note: Yes, it's easy to look down on series that are defined by lengthy fighting scenes and competitions. However, because they are commercially viable, it's easier for creators to make niche shows.

* Sturgeon's Law is always applicable. Ninety percent of everything is crud. Doesn't matter what type of media, or when it's made, or how it's made, or where it's made.

* Everything looks better in retrospect. In my opinion, anime fandom in 2013 was defined by Attack on Titan, Kill la Kill, and Free! Iwatobi Swim Club. There were some lesser hits the same year, some shows that I wanted to like (the first half of Samurai Flamenco had so much promise...), and quite a few that I just ignored. What about 2012? Looking at lists on TVTropes, I see some series that are well-regarded (including Psycho-Pass, Humanity Has Declined and Space Brothers), some interesting ones that have been almost ignored (Natsuyuki Rendezvous and Hyouge Mono), and plenty that didn't get my attention.

* No trend lasts forever. There were many super robot shows in the '60s and '70s, but as far as I can tell, they started dying in the '80s.

* If creators follow a trend and stop making money, then you can expect that a specific genre / style / format will die.

* There will always be follow-the-leader series that try to riff on and imitate a popular show.

* One last thing to keep in mind... some series have regional, era-specific, or language-specific fanbases. Here's a relevant TVTropes article on the topic.
LateWhiteRabbit wrote: What's happened is that something that was once new and fresh and exciting and different for you has become boring and predictable as you've consumed massive amounts of it over the years. You've learned every trope, you recognize recurring plots and characters, and it takes something extraordinary to make you feel anything again. The same thing happened to me with fantasy novels and games. I consumed them voraciously all throughout my teenage years (reading hundreds of novels) and I started recognizing how cookie-cutter they all were. I got sick of them, and now I roll my eyes at most new fantasy stories, because I can immediately descontruct their entire story-arc and ending from the synopsis.
Very true. I spent a bunch of years reading nearly every fantasy novel in my local library, and slowly lost interest. I spent even more years renting / buying just about every console RPG and slow-paced game, and slowly lost interest. The lesson I learned was "find new hobbies and interests. Return to old fandom after a while, but take it easy, to avoid getting burned out again."

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Re: Is anime on its death bed?

#6 Post by kitsubasa » Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:43 pm

I can't remember where I read it or who said it, but something I ran into recently with regards to the 'everything now is moeblob crap' argument: when looking at the present state of any industry, you see all the products within it, whereas once you're looking back on the past, only the good, popular or unique stuff rises to the top. Right now, we look at anime and see dozens of harem shows or moe friendship shows or vapid shonen shows-- but in five, ten years time, we'll forget the less prominent ones and only remember the standouts. Industries and mediums always seem to have more quality in hindsight.

However, that said, I feel like it's been years since something came out that met my particular tastes. Outside of my genre/plot tastes, I'm not a fan of really visibly 'anime' art so I tend to stick with shows that go with more realistic proportions and muted colour schemes... like Fungii, the last show I watched start-to-end that I can remember is Tiger and Bunny, since it hit that intersection of plot/art that appealed to me. My favourite show ever is Gankutsuou, and I think it'll be a while until I run into something like that again. :c Come on Japan, do another sci-fi reimagining of a classic European novel. Like, sci-fi Les Miserables or something. That would hit the spot. ;O
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Re: Is anime on its death bed?

#7 Post by kukiko-tan » Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:52 pm

Oh dear! I'm so happy I'm not the only one who believes the anime industry has gotten into the cheap side (morally speaking) of the commercial world, where they put so much fanservice, "cuz it sells". The last good anime I watched, as far as I remember, was Ano Hana! And that was years ago. That and Kuragehime (about this one I'm not sure when it was made). I really long to see a decent anime with a good plot. At times I can't help but re-watch the old ones, since I don't see any good new animes. Though it makes me sad to see the reality behind the anime studios, struggling to get enough money. I wonder, is it the same situation with the animations in the west?

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Re: Is anime on its death bed?

#8 Post by PyTom » Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:33 pm

Are there even a lot of moe shows anymore?

Just looking at http://www.crunchyroll.com/videos/anime/updated , I'll try to list the ones I think have the remotest potential of being moeblob shows, just looking at the cover art.

* Sabagebu
* Magimoji Rurumo
* Invaders of the Rokujima
* Locodol
* Ai-Mai-Miu Mousou Catastrophe
* Momo Kyun Sword
* Magica Wars
* Monogatari Second Season
* HaNaYaMaTa
* Bladedance of the Elemenstors
* Himegoto
* Sailor Moon Crystal

I think the number of these that are actually moe is much smaller - I think people would have a lot of trouble considering many of these moeblob shows, in the model of something like K-On! or Lucky Star. I mean, Rurumo, Rokujima, Bladedance, and Himegoto all seem to have male protagonists. Magica Girls and Sailor Moon are magical girl shows. And so on.

But let's use my outside number of 12 shows - out of 52. Take a look at the CR page yourself, and see how many are "trash" - and realize "trash" is in the eye of the beholder. Just because someone isn't making anime _you_ like, doesn't mean it's trash. (That's a hard lesson to learn - It took me years to figure out out. In the EVN community, many of our best games are ones I'm not interested in playing - and that's fine. My lack of interest doesn't make them trash, by any means.)

Also, Space Brothers is the show that busts all anime tropes. Of maybe 3 dozen fleshed out characters, I can think of one that's under the age of 25.
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Re: Is anime on its death bed?

#9 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:15 pm

kitsubasa wrote:I can't remember where I read it or who said it, but something I ran into recently with regards to the 'everything now is moeblob crap' argument: when looking at the present state of any industry, you see all the products within it, whereas once you're looking back on the past, only the good, popular or unique stuff rises to the top. Right now, we look at anime and see dozens of harem shows or moe friendship shows or vapid shonen shows-- but in five, ten years time, we'll forget the less prominent ones and only remember the standouts. Industries and mediums always seem to have more quality in hindsight.
It's also important to remember that, at least in the West, we used to only get anime shows that were proven hits and had already gained a massive audience in Japan. Anything else was considered too large a commercial risk. Western audiences used to get NOTHING but old, proven, anime series that had a track record of success. But the Western appetite for new anime outstripped the "successful classics" collections, and more and more we are getting simultaneous releases of shows along with Japan (due to sources like Crunchyroll).

Our filter has disappeared. As gekiganwing brought up, Sturgeon's Law means 90% of anything is crap. But in the past, in the West, we only got to see the 10% that was good. Japanese audiences filtered out the 90% of crappy shows for us.

The global audience for anime has also accentuated the niche markets as well, since they are bigger and thus more profitable. With internet distribution, there is one less filter that network television might apply. Thus, the "otaku bait, lolicon, and fanservice" can be more profitable than ever. The anime buyers have proven they will buy expensive Blu-ray releases just to see uncensored shots of fanservice, so the more fanservice a company puts into their anime (that they censor on initial release), the more sales of the show on disc they can make (which is wildly more profitable than broadcast revenue). It is the same reason "moe-blob" characters became so popular. It is easier to fund a show when fans are willing to drop cold hard cash on figurines, posters, and pillows of a cute character.

I just partake sparingly now. It's hard to get sick of tropes when you only encounter them once or twice a year.

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Re: Is anime on its death bed?

#10 Post by Tyrantauranox » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:31 pm

I don't think you've seen the worst of it. On daytime TV in Tokyo, I saw a show about magical girls that had to fight a CALENDAR MONSTER. I'm not joking. It was a big walking calendar with a lock on it. It kept the same day repeating over and over.

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Re: Is anime on its death bed?

#11 Post by Asceai » Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:09 pm

LateWhiteRabbit wrote:Our filter has disappeared. As gekiganwing brought up, Sturgeon's Law means 90% of anything is crap. But in the past, in the West, we only got to see the 10% that was good. Japanese audiences filtered out the 90% of crappy shows for us.
I don't feel it worked that well. There's so much awesome 80s and 90s stuff that I never even knew existed until recently. Far from being just a quality filter, for all intents and purposes it was also a censorship filter. You may have missed out on 'moeblob', but you also missed out on Legend of the Galactic Heroes.

Personally I think anime is fine. Part of the perceived problem with quality is that in the past you got to look back on the entire history of anime and watch the best of the best. Nowadays you're watching anime seasonally and expecting the same average level of quality when watching everything that comes out and you're not getting it.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to Girls' Work.

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Re: Is anime on its death bed?

#12 Post by Laniessa » Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:31 am

Ah, well, everyone else seems to be covering things about why anime seems less fresh as before, so I'll just put in examples of shows that really impressed me!

As people have been saying, Space Brothers is nothing short of amazing, haha. It's a long show - 99 episodes, but it's all good and different.

Otherwise, there's always around 2-3 every year that's pretty good for me.

Recently - Kyousougiga, Uchouten Kazoku, Ping Pong the Animation, Barakamon, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Chihayafuru are good ones. I really liked Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi when it came out, but it has a bit of fanservice and one really really weird arc, so less so for that.

There's, of course, a lot more probably, but I try to limit the anime I watch per season, so this is all I can really recommend from this year and last year. If you want to find more, try looking out for certain directors, since they tend to have similar styles. For example, Yuasa's work on Ping Pong made me watch The Tatami Galaxy, which was really good as well.

So, yeah. There's always going to be bad shows, boring shows, and bland shows. But, well, there's still good work around and being made.
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Re: Is anime on its death bed?

#13 Post by Green Glasses Girl » Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:38 pm

I always thought it was because we're all getting older. Each generation seems to despise the next, haha.
StellarOrb wrote:One more thing: what do you think the face of anime will be like, in 10 years?
Well, it's interesting to note from the 1990s to now:
anime 90s and now.png
While anime art has been simplified over time, I don't think anyone can predict where the next 10-20 years will take us, much like architecture or fashion.
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Re: Is anime on its death bed?

#14 Post by PyTom » Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:30 pm

I suspect that in 10 years, most of what we watch is going to be 3d to 2d conversions. The basic technology you see in Sidonoa, Arpeggio of Blue Steel, and every anime with a large dance or crowd scene in it. The technology will improve to the point where it's more acceptable than it is today, but a lot of the cheating we see in anime will be gone. (Things like eyes over hair.)
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Re: Is anime on its death bed?

#15 Post by TheChris » Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:50 pm

I thought Psycho Pass (2012-2013) was a surprisingly good show.

I know what you mean though. I've become tired of the stereotypical too, so I've just become more selective about what I watch. Also, creating a visual novel takes up so much free time, so I don't spend as much time watching anime anymore anyways.

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