Okay, so the discussion has been going on in a number of posts and shoutboxes, but the subject is interesting so I decided to make one post about it. Blogsome unfortunately doesn’t support the option to move comments, so I’ll instead quote what the different people have said about it. It first appeared in the shoutbox. Unfortunately the shoutbox stores everything in reverse order and the beginning of the discussion has already been eaten, but I’m too lazy to fix it.
8 Jul 09, 22:33
Tracer: Also, PaTRiX’s point on not knowing a lot of the animes from the 80s and 90s is very true. Back then, fansubbing wasn’t as easy as prominent as it is now so the bad shows weren’t subbed and they were
8 Jul 09, 22:28
Tracer: Though regardless, like tealovertoma said, regardless of the low sales, someone will always make some creative and original series.
8 Jul 09, 22:27
Tracer: I’m not trying to say that all good anime sell well (for example, every anime by Yuasa is a failure in terms of DVD sales) but a lot more are successful than what people might think.
8 Jul 09, 22:25
Tracer: Baccano! sold on average about 2000 units per volume (decent numbers). Terra e was selling around 10k per volume. GiTS: SAC was selling near the 20k range. Mononoke was also about 8k-10k per volume.
8 Jul 09, 22:23
Tracer: I don’t think we have to worry about there being less innovative anime because they don’t sell. Believe it or not, some good anime actually sell quite a bit.
8 Jul 09, 21:13
PaTRiX: The thing about the ratio is probably true, but in the late 80’s and the 90’s we didn’t know about the crappy anime. So that makes it feel like there was more good anime.
8 Jul 09, 21:11
PaTRiX: and the animation style. That’s the main “problem” people complaining about “new anime” have even if they don’t even know it themselves. But the same is true form almost anything.
8 Jul 09, 21:11
tealovertoma: There will always be a market for creative and original ideas. Be it in anime, tv shows, movies or music. It’s not like it’ll die out, and I agree with Tracer, the ratio is higher. Great list btw.
8 Jul 09, 21:10
PaTRiX: But I’m going to repeat this, if you have watched anime for 10 – 20 years you have seen allmost all the stories that could possibly happen. The only thing that changes is how they are told …
8 Jul 09, 21:07
PaTRiX: And what people like reverse probably want to say is that some over the top 80’s or 90’s anime is still better than some generic harem anime. It’s a matter of taste probably, but I’m with them.
8 Jul 09, 21:04
PaTRiX: The last thing reverse said is true, the different and more interesting things sell less. So they are produced in lower quantity because they are harder to produce than say a generic harem anime.
8 Jul 09, 20:47
reverse: those innovative idea don’t sell well . so it not surprise, we will see less of them
8 Jul 09, 20:29
reverse: who you referring to tracer. yes we got innovative anime every year, i only disappointed that the anime consumer
8 Jul 09, 20:22
Tracer: It’s not like the ratio of good-to-bad shows is any less lower than befre.
8 Jul 09, 20:21
Tracer: We still get some very interesting and innovative anime every year like Kaiba, Kino’s Journey, Terra e, Nodame Cantabile, Samurai Champloo, GiTS: SAC, Dennou Coil, Baccano!, Mononoke, Gankutsuou etc.
8 Jul 09, 20:16
Tracer: I really don’t see some drop in quality in recent anime. It’s just that instead of the over the top anime of the 80’s and 90s, now it’s a lot of “moe” shows.
8 Jul 09, 20:14
Tracer: For every anime like LoGH, Rose of Versailles, Akira, Touch, you had some equally ****ty fanservice show or some horribly cliche super robot crap.
8 Jul 09, 20:08
Tracer: You’re simply being ignorant if you think the “good, old times” were full with masterpieces or some other ridiculous nonsense.
8 Jul 09, 19:15
tealovertoma: …companies. We still get the character development that old shows focus on, but more experimentation. But yes, there’s also a lot of bad shows.
8 Jul 09, 19:14
tealovertoma: … about old anime better than new anime; we’ve had loads of masterpieces in the past decade. Moreso than any decade before as far as I’m concerned. Plenty of creativity and freedom for production…
8 Jul 09, 19:13
tealovertoma: It sounds like you’ve just been disappointed by 2 (maybe a few more?) anime that seemed promising. Is that all? Cause we get several masterpieces every year. In that case you’re not really talking…
8 Jul 09, 19:11
Howling-kun: Hm, I gotta disagree with you reverse. Specially shows directed by Shinbo Akiyuki tend to have very weak first episodes.
8 Jul 09, 18:58
reverse: Howling-kun every anime nowadays have awesome first episode ( xamdd, eden ) just name it, the problem is their don’t deliver. anyway i will check Bakemonogatari
8 Jul 09, 18:44
PaTRiX: This happens with every kind of hobby you could have, the fact is that people complaining are probably people who have seen too much anime.
8 Jul 09, 18:42
PaTRiX: It’s not that anime nowadays is bad. In fact it’s probably better than before, but if you have seen, for example, 5 animes about football (soccer) how many new different ways can the story go after?
8 Jul 09, 18:39
PaTRiX: … That’s what I feel now. I need something that I really like (or that I am a fanboy of) or something that is really different to be excited about an anime.
8 Jul 09, 18:38
PaTRiX: … because the stories have not evolved that much. I say this because it happens to me. And even if I’m not searching anything fancy, just want some cool mindless violence I’ve kind of “seen it alll”
8 Jul 09, 18:35
Howling-kun: Bakemonogatari is out subbed. Excellent first episode.
8 Jul 09, 18:34
PaTRiX: I think that the fact is not that anime was better before but that the kind of people who watched akira on the big screen and dragon ball and dr slump on tv when they first aired are becoming bored ..
8 Jul 09, 17:59
PL: whereas, if the industry wasnt profitable, there wouldnt be any anime
8 Jul 09, 17:58
PL: but that leaves plenty of room for more artistic and intelligent shows
8 Jul 09, 17:58
PL: the best way to ensure an artform endures is to make it profitable, which unfortunately means you will have anime which appeals to the masses
8 Jul 09, 17:43
reverse: not to mention most anime fan don’t know what is a good animation even it hit them on the face. example anime fan are happy staring at unmoving pic for 5 second. none complain at that stuff in anime.
8 Jul 09, 17:28
tealovertoma: …anime try out some from the more experimental side. Yes, it’s true that a lot of masterpieces are overlooked and ****ty shows are popular, but it’s like that every where.
8 Jul 09, 17:27
tealovertoma: Easier to be pessimistic than optimistic, right? Stop being nostalgic about a time you weren’t even alive. We get more intelligent anime than ever before — if you’re tired of conventional harem….
8 Jul 09, 17:17
reverse: show like Sengoku BASARA sale like 10000+ dvd in a week. untalented people get pay more. anime industry is doomed i would say.
8 Jul 09, 14:13
Solaris: I also think nowadays anime are nice and flashing but are lacking of contents.
8 Jul 09, 08:54
psgels: I think the “empty of contents and spirit” is a bit vague. What does it mean for a series to have spirit? And isn’t this different for everyone?
The discussion basically began when Solaris claimed that anime nowadays is “empty of contents and spirit”, and reverse claimed that “now almost everything get animated. the standard sure is low.”, from which the above discussion erupted. It then continued in the Aoi Hana post:
“Bakemonogatari: Once you remove all of the fancy filters and confusion that the first episode threw at us, you remain with a story that lacks depth and characters that are just the average stereotypes”
Maybe it was this i sensed when i watched Bakemonogatari’s first episode. It’s a fancy colored box with nohing inside.
Pity it happens more and more often nowadays. Anime’s graphics continues improving but contenents keep decreasig
Comment by Solaris — July 11, 2009 @ 12:02
“Pity it happens more and more often nowadays. Anime’s graphics continues improving but contenents keep decreasig”
Lol @ this being applied to Bakemonogatari, NisiOisin isn’t considered the god of light novels for nothing.
Comment by Westlo — July 11, 2009 @ 12:25
I judge for what i watch to. Anime and novel are related only by topic. One could be utter crap while the other could be plain art.
My first impression on Bakemonogatari anime was negative, as they wanted to keep our interest with that flashing graphics, but that there wasn’t that much of a story to begin with.
Comment by Solaris — July 11, 2009 @ 12:38
Solaris: nah. Bakemonogatari may be one example of a soulless series (which if we were to believe Westlo, doesn’t even seem to be true), but there are plenty of series with a soul this season (Aoi Hana, GA, Umineko, Tokyo Magnitude, Spice and Wolf and Umi Monogatari, not to mention the series from previous seasons).
I agree that the seventies and eighties had some wonderful series, but even those days had their share of disasters, which in most cases were even worse than the crap we see today. Glass Mask, for example, was a really bad series, and there are probably plenty more of those series back then.
Comment by psgels — July 11, 2009 @ 12:47
Well, anime has always been a media for the crowd. Anime production surely grew up since 60’s both in graphic quality and in number of products. It eventually became well known worldwide too. Now after 50 years of anime we are reaching saturation. Crap haw always existed, but why now it looks like we have too much of it lately? Maybe is just a matter of quantity. We have little formats for anime and a huge amount of products now. We have too many products that resemble each other. We’re loosing originality. Soeone just told this before: now it’s no more a matter of creating new stories, but how well you can manage to tell them and how good you let them appear. So, focus is being biased from contenent to appearance. So it’s no more the matter of telling a story that it looks so generic, like in bakemonogatari. The matter is to capture the audience with good graphics, or moe char or whatever mean, but good storytelling. That’s the real issue.
Comment by Solaris — July 11, 2009 @ 13:43
With “the amount of bad series has increased”, do you mean the total amount of bad series produced each year, or the amount of bad series in relation to the amount of good series? There are of course more bad series out there than twenty years ago, simply because much more anime are produced these days. Today however, there are still plenty of series with good storytelling IMO, also with a bigger quantity.
Comment by psgels — July 11, 2009 @ 14:00
The main appeal of Bakemonogatari is the dialogue and conversations between characters which is never wasted… which is what you expect from light novels.. Hardly something I would classify as a pretty anime with no substance.
“Crap haw always existed, but why now it looks like we have too much of it lately?”
I’ll tell you why, can you name another show that aired in the same season as Evangelion did? You’ve had the best titles cherry picked from the 80-90’s without seeing the amount of crap that aired during the same time.
It’s pointless to say “Anime was consistently better back in the day” when you don’t even know the majority of shit that aired back than.
Here’s a list of what aired in 95
Don’t tell me that’s better than 2006 or 2007 or you’re overdosing on nostaglia. Eva and GITS Movie are the only real notable shows from that year. Majority of 95 ranges from mediocre to crap if you look at it without rose tinted glasses.
Comment by Westlo — July 11, 2009 @ 14:04
I’m not saying that I like the old show better. but i do agree with solaris to some extent, almost everything get animeted now, the standard sure is low.
Comment by reverse — July 11, 2009 @ 14:29
Psgels i didn’t say that. I just say the amount of series overall increased, thus implied the bad series also increased. The question is, did the proportion between good and bad remained stable or not? I think it decreased a lot. That is to say you will find more bad series nowadays with respect to the good ones.
Westlo, if we take that is the real amount of anime produced in that whole year 1995, then notice that that’s average the number of series nowadays produced in a single season.
The question is, are there many more good series now with respect to back then? I think we have less, but luckily that’s my IMHO ;).
Of course whan we speak of good and bad we should make clear what we intend for. “good” is such a subjective matter. But this would generate another full thread, so let us it be by now.
I watched anime since 70’s. I could tell you a lot of what happened back then. The situation of 80’s was very interesting, as it resembled what it’s happening today. Back then the most popular format were Big Robots anime stile (not mecha) and magical girls show. After 10 years they exploited such genres there were a big lack of new ideas. So with the start of the new decade they searched new ideas and format to make anime. The market succeeded in renewing itself back them. New genres were made and the anime “maturity” also evolved. As anime public grew, there was the need of much mature series. It wasn’t anymore just a matter of kids show. Series like Sailor Moon or Evangelion also renewed the old magical girl and robot formats. Lodoss introduced western fantasy style and Tenchi Muyo invented the new harem genre. Now also these formats are coming to exaustion. Will the anime market be able to create new contents genres and stories in the future? From what i see now, the market is closing itself to those genres that are still popular and they know it will sell. There isn’t search for newa, just to wrap up something with a good container and sell that.
Comment by Solaris — July 11, 2009 @ 14:57
That last paragraph is interesting, but at the time of the invention of these new genres, there also was a lot of bad stuff going on. Based on my impressions, if you look at 1995 the ratio of good to bad shows is about 11:27. Based on the same standard, the ratio of good to bad shows of the past spring season is for me 19:17, which is much higher. So I don’t agree that today’s anime lacks sould.
However, if you meant to say that today’s anime lacks originality, then okay, I can see more in that. The only series that really attempted to go beyond genres of the past spring season was Marie&Gali (Eden of the East, though impressive, was just another mystery-series in the end, although it did try). 1995 had Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell, the beginning of CG, Memories and in a way also the Ping Pong Club (raunchiest fanservice ever in a TV-series at least) and Romeo’s Blue Skies (combining WMT with action). I agree that today’s anime should be more experimental, and daring to try out new stuff, but that’s not the same as today’s anime having lost its soul.
Comment by psgels — July 11, 2009 @ 15:35
I personally believe that anime could be more experimental and ambitious nowadays, but it has nothing to do with the quality: there are plenty of anime series with soul, and the ratio of good compared to bad series is much higher than it was twenty years ago. Still, I’d love to see what anime can evolve into.
So, what are your opinions on the matter? Are there too many harems and lazy adaptations of bishoujo games; is there an overload of moe in today’s anime market, or is it all just overly exaggerated and is moe underrated?