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Discussion Modern Anime: Thoughts?
#1
What are your thoughts of the curren modern animes coming out these days? Lately, there still to be a lack of diversity from Japanese cartoons, with few gems in between. You think Modern Anime is better than before in comparisonof the 70s/80s/90s Era? You think Modern Anime is losing it's touch? State your thoughts here.
[Image: VTk3W41.png]

"I have made many enemies in my lifetime, many different kind of enemies; however, you know what all of them have in common?"
"Death."

Content: My Art | No More Heroes | Good Days | Kaiju Man | BoogaVerse
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#2
Hm, a tricky question to say in the least. I guess my uneducated and generalized answer would be that there has always been "good" anime and "bad" anime, whether it'd be the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, or even 10s. Now while I say this and its very true at its core, I would personally say that there's two defining traits to anime that definitely do change between each decade, thus creating preferences (other than nostalgia of course).

These two traits are art style and product development. The 70s and prior was a time when anime still had a semblance of influence of American cartoons and art, so the characters had a softer, more cartoony and simplistic look to them. On top of this, if a show was to be made and continued, it would HAVE to be profitable in some shape or form. There was no wiggle room. In Gundam's case, if it didn't make sales, it would've gotten cut short. Oddly enough, this is similar in line with a lot of American cartoons of the late 70s and early 80s.

Now for the 80s. In the early 80s you had characters who were much less cartoony and soft, yet still roughly simplistic in nature. The outlines and art were thin lined and frail looking. later on in the later 80s, they started taking a different general form and style, becoming thicker, fuller, and more vibrant in color palettes. In this era, there actually was some wiggle room here and there for creative projects seeing how OVA's were starting to become a thing, providing studios with the ability to potentially take a gamble every so often with a book adaption and/or show idea. Now people weren't forced to only take the tv airing route, thus making production cheaper on them. This also allowed them to put slightly bigger budgets on animation (thus the thicker and fuller animations)

We're entering the 90s. OVA's are plentiful now, but the economy's bubble had burst recently, so the few shows that were tv aired had even tighter budgets than before. On the other hand though, like in the late 80s, creative projects were starting to frequent more nowadays. Projects that's main focus wasn't necessarily profits (even though wanting profits is a given). Stuff like Bio hunter was given animated life through this era (bio hunter was originally a one-shot manga, nothing more). Also, in terms of art, anime was becoming much more gory and pretty welcoming of seinen or more adult content compared to the slightly more child friendly cartoons of the 70s. (Though that's not to say adult-themed animations did not exist in the 70s or 80s, for in fact they *started* becoming prevalent in the 80s) To clarify, the 90s was a era of hyper-violence and gore compared to normal violence found in previous decades.

the 2000's was a interesting extension of the 90s considering that thanks to things like Toonami and Evangelion, anime became much more relevant across the world and proved that animation projects (creative or other wise) could still prove profitable. In fact, you could even say that Toonami turned anime from a niche and small nerd culture, into a mainstream and common hobby. This new era brought in projects that were moderately creative like what came out of the 80s or 90s, but could also afford a fresh coat of paint (presentation and art has improved generally for animations). OVAs are still around and somewhat relevant, but thanks to things like Evangelion and Slayers, televised anime was becoming a popular route to use again.

Now we're finally hitting the 2010's. The bulk of the quality anime's to have come out in recent yrs was around 2008 and in this new era, mainstream shonens has grown exponentially popular. This is due in part to millennials and other 90s kids showing interest in this shonen thanks to the legacy of shows like Gundam, Yu Yu Hakusho, and DBZ (DBZ most importantly). Because shonens and light novel anime's have shown the most profits and anime has become a very profitable business, these companies have slowly but surely been cashing in on these success' in their attempts to recreate previous success'. At this point, there is still unique and creative projects made every so often like Kyousougiga and Space Dandy, but its not uncommon now for there to be a mostly stagnant year where nothing interesting and new comes out (this is very true considering the stagnancy was all the anime youtube community would ever talk about for a while). Animation quality is now majorly hit and miss with good animation usually being siphoned off towards shonens like SAO and whatever scraps or leftovers are left going to the rest (not always true, but its a thing that'll happen from time to time). It doesn't help that animators are being paid at an all time low while voice actors are getting paid more than ever. This entices companies to include CGI into their animes more and more. OVA's at this point are virtually non-existent, only being released as bonus content to a show and usually never actually adding anything to the show for the most part.





So with this lay out of all the different decades of anime, I still have yet to answer the question "Do I think modern anime is losing it's touch?"

Yes, definitely. If I had to point a finger at a few eras for us to take example of what to return to for achieving quality content consistently, I'd pick the mid 90s to late 2000's. They were era's with many options for creators and the companies were humble enough to not think as much about maximizing profits and instead embrace personal projects more often.

Many ppl of different eras whether they'd be 80-90s otakus, or modern day fans, will often look over the 2000s because shonens were starting to popularize then, but funny enough, a lot of the best anime came out pretty frequently back then. I genuinely don't remember a stagnant year in that decade. There was always up to three good shows to look forward too that year.


man, maybe I should take this comment and turn it into a video, lol
If your either a fan of older anime, cult anime, or you like yourself  some anime analysis/reviews, check out my channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoqEj7c...hhVcLD_u1A
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#3
^^^^ Sure is enough here to be one lol. The aspect of what animators in Japan are being paid is actually pretty fascinating because right now there are barely enough animators to get projects done which is why seasons get shorter and shorter and even mega hits like Attack on Titan get short episode counts and put on the backburner for years. With anime being as profitable as it's ever been globally and a need for more animators I find it pretty astounding that the animators get WORSE slave labor kinda treatments in Japan than they had been in the past. And that's saying something because Japan used to be a big outsourcing region for cheaper animation production, especially in the 80s (the original Transformers was done by Toei, the studio behind DBZ, Sailor Moon and One Piece). Sort of like Korea is these days, but that's insane. Last year in between animators made about half what a full time  fast food worker in Massachusetts would make.  Didn't know voice actors were getting paid a lot more these days though, that is interesting. Wonder if there's  a relation there, although voice actors tend to have big fan followings in Japan. I kind of think in  general the anime industry in Japan has to embrace streaming as a revenue source since the target buyer of anime in Japan for a long time was the video rental store and even in such a market as Japan where change isn't always embraced those are going the way of the dinosaur. 


As for whether or not I generally think there's been a general loss of diversity in anime or if a touch has been lost since the turn of the century, yes and no. I do think that creatively it's fallen into a bit of trendiness of late. A lot of veteran creative minds in anime have said that they feel the MOE aesthetic has taken over and dominated too much of it. Hayao Miyazaki has often said he thinks the industry is too largely run by "Otaku" who are out of touch with reality, but as a curmudgeonie old man I don't know how seriously to take that.  I tend to feel like there's been less of that in the last couple of years though. Personally I don't quite care for a lot of the kinds of fetishism in anime but that's always kind of been an issue. Production quality for previously stated reasons tends to dip at times, although I would point out despite manpower and funding problems the fact that almost everything is at least colored on computers does aid the process of animation quite a bit. In general creatively while you do see a lot of dumb things made there are a lot of series like Watamote for example that probably just wouldn't have been made before, I do see more freedom creatively, but it's not always taken advantage of. It's a give and take I guess.

Another factor here though is the internet, before the internet was what it was unless it was a notable title nobody in the English speaking world would know it in the 90s. Now there's no curation to anime and we basically get everything, including the bad stuff that we'd never have known about 20 years ago
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#4
Finding a GOOD anime series these days is a bit difficult, and I often find myself gravitating toward older anime from the pre-2010s and late 90s. 

For me, it isn't that there isn't enough anime, but there's... too much of it? Like, the past 2 years or so, I've seen the most obscure niche things ever, and I mean NICHE af premises/genres. There's just endless amounts of uninteresting stuff that has only a teeny amount of general interest that essentially overwhelms me. How tf can anyone watch all the anime of the season when there's so much shit to sift through just to find a diamond among the mud? I'm sure SOMEBODY appreciates it, but personally i have seen far too many obscure light novels or visual novels get poorly adapted anyway and/or don't even have that interesting a premise by itself to even warrant an animation. 

Animation is expensive, time-consuming, and incredibly taxing on animators who are paid pennies to pump out hundreds of frames to meet deadlines (this can also be said for manga artists at certain places). I almost feel like their underpaid efforts are going to complete waste animating things that are so niche, they aren't a reliable form of getting revenue past just buying the manga (and as one can know, animes essentially are big adverts for you to buy the manga and enjoy the full story). If you're gonna overwork animators, at least have them do it on something worth it. Sailor Moon Crystal looked quite bad in some places visually, but still did fairly well financially with a lot of merchandise being sold as well as a markedly improved Blu-Ray distribution.

It might just be me, but I have been seeing more shows with promising premises or content get shafted by having only 12 episodes and take FOREVER to get another season greenlit (COUGH ONE PUNCH MAN... but to be fair, Murata only now is beginning the 2nd portion of the Garou Arc/Monster Association Arc and the anime seems to clearly be following his designs/redraw), but stuff I don't think is really worth getting greenlit for more than 20 episodes gets another season of 26 episodes :l (ofc this is purely subjective on what I think is getting shafted in favor of dragging cash cows like Sword Art Online out far longer than they need be).

Idol girl anime, I understand there being at least 1 love live season each time, because it makes money from otaku culture and overseas. It's a big audience to market to. Maybe we need to have less anime being pumped out, and have the most promising ones be greenlit with at least 12-20 episodes for the first season depending on things. Or, have more anime start out with 8 episodes rather than 12 so we know what not to waste our time with. lol

But yeah, originality is bound to be a problem, as with anything else-- more and more reskins of older classics show up while the more creative stuff is approached with apprehension because they don't know if it's guaranteed to sell. The rest just has the misfortune of not offering much to my tastes. A lot of it can be chalked up to a matter of taste, but when it's becoming a noticeable problem among people who enjoy anime, I think there really is a problem with the industry. 

The youtuber Digibro did a video with lots of insight on the matter, maybe some of you share the same thoughts as he does, or disagree?
His channel in general is pretty insightful for reviewing anime and critiquing topics relating to it. At least some of his stuff from a few years ago. This is the only recent digibro video I watched in recent years.
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#5
I have to agree with Loopy on the basis that there simply too many animes throw out every year as if it was a factory shitting out films. On this basis, there will be a wall where originality, animation quality, and overall workload would be proven too much.

Quote:Animation is expensive, time-consuming, and incredibly taxing on animators who are paid pennies to pump out hundreds of frames to meet deadlines (this can also be said for manga artists at certain places). I almost feel like their underpaid efforts are going to complete waste animating things that are so niche, they aren't a reliable form of getting revenue past just buying the manga (and as one can know, animes essentially are big adverts for you to buy the manga and enjoy the full story). If you're gonna overwork animators, at least have them do it on something worth it. Sailor Moon Crystal looked quite bad in some places visually, but still did fairly well financially with a lot of merchandise being sold as well as a markedly improved Blu-Ray distribution.

Another problem is that certain franchises became cow-cash franchises where fans adamantly and foolishness demand more content of a series that already concluded for the sake of baking in their nostalgia and get irrationality angry when it does not conform to their liking. Dragon Ball is a prime example - which Dragon Ball GT got the balls to properly show the old characters having their last hurrah and conclude the series - where it will keep on running and milk dry until it can no longer prints money. Certain franchises can fall into this category where that's the intended purposes (such as Pokemon), but series such Dragon Ball or Sailor Moon with the potential to rake in the dough and all means, both of these RAKE IN DOUGH, they will keep putting out animes regardless of the quality of the animation. 

And money talks. If certain animes with love and passion don't get enough money, it won't ever be capitalized or see a continuation for years. Yet, you will have your typical shonen or harem anime popping up every few months.
[Image: VTk3W41.png]

"I have made many enemies in my lifetime, many different kind of enemies; however, you know what all of them have in common?"
"Death."

Content: My Art | No More Heroes | Good Days | Kaiju Man | BoogaVerse
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