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Thread: What Happened to Anime?

  1. #1
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    What Happened to Anime?

    Maybe I was lucky, growing up in the "Toonami generation" and being exposed to some extremely good, fun, exciting fictional animated universes. People my age had Macross Plus, Gundam Wing, Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop, Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, Big O, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex . . .

    What good anime exists now? Everything I've tried to watch since around 2006 has given me an allergic reaction. It all seems to be terrible. It's either insufferably twee, overly melodramatic (like it was written by emo teenagers that are writing hacks), unimaginative in art direction, cliched stories, and/or has elements that are engineered to appeal to . . . how can I put it on this forum? Perverts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Maybe I was lucky, growing up in the "Toonami generation" and being exposed to some extremely good, fun, exciting fictional animated universes. People my age had Macross Plus, Gundam Wing, Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop, Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, Big O, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex . . .

    What good anime exists now? Everything I've tried to watch since around 2006 has given me an allergic reaction. It all seems to be terrible. It's either insufferably twee, overly melodramatic (like it was written by emo teenagers that are writing hacks), unimaginative in art direction, cliched stories, and/or has elements that are engineered to appeal to . . . how can I put it on this forum? Perverts.
    Your summary of the situation is correct. Donna and I will not deal in Anime in our shop for other than a few trusted adult customers, and even then there are ones we will not handle. We don't have the time to go thru the stuff a page at a time to make sure there isn't something horrific hidden in it. The kocal Barnes and Nonle has 45 feet of shelves 5 fett high of Anime. They're going to get burned.

    Hm, that's observation, theory,and predistion. Now we'll see what happens.

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    I haven't found anything I would really recommend to people for a while either.

    A while ago people were raving on about an anime called Attack on Titan; I checked it out and found it rather meh. Bad computer effects, uninteresting characters and the story felt rather done a million times, nude giant cannibalistic monsters notwithstanding.
    I have been looking through a few anime on (and produced for) Netflix, but nothing so far has gotten more than a passing grade from me.

    But if you find something new worth watching, let me know. I am interested.

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    Anime is a huge multiverse, and we in the US only get exposed to a very limited cross-section of it via mainstream media. Much of what we get on Toonami and other media sources is extended toy/game advertising (Pokémon, etc). But that's largely true of American animation as well.

    There's a lot more out there of tremendously varied quality and type (yes a lot of it is written by/for "perverts", buyer beware and get parents' approval and so forth). A lot more is aimed at a primarily Japanese audience and sometimes cultural translation does not always carry over well.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright
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    I hear the reports of Miyazaki's retirement may have been exaggerated. By him, but still. And this year's Oscar nominee from Studio Ghibli, When Marnie Was There, is quite good.
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    A friend of mine is very into sports-themed anime and posts a lot about that on Tumblr. I'm not one for sports stories, but it is a genre I wasn't aware was so big in that medium. (I would like to find this manga about mountain climbing, though: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Summit_of_the_Gods )

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    I think most anime and manga has *always* been terrible; what becomes popular in the West is the cream of the crop. What we're seeing, IMO, is simply increasing access to both bad and good anime, with the bad anime making more of an impression. Sturgeon's Law in action.

    In sum: What Noclevername already wrote.

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    You assumption that there has ever been 'good anime' is highly suspect....


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    Oh, nonsense. The film Roger Ebert called "the greatest anti-war film ever made" is an anime. Anime routinely gets nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar, despite the category's being dominated by American films for the most part. There is plenty of good anime out there, and claiming there isn't just proves a lack of familiarity with the animation of Japan--which is all the word means.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    I think you're a bit too hard on today's anime. There's been quite a few good anime that have come out since then, such as K-ON, Steins;Gate, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica. It's not that the quality of anime has declined, its that the vast majority anime is the entertainment equivalent of junk food, just like any other form of entertainment. It's works like S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Serial Experiments Lain, 2001: A Space Oddesey, Evangelion (The original one), X-Files, and others like them that are and will be remembered, not the latest generic sitcoms, romcoms, or certain overrated glorified toy commercials.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Oh, nonsense. The film Roger Ebert called "the greatest anti-war film ever made" is an anime. Anime routinely gets nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar, despite the category's being dominated by American films for the most part. There is plenty of good anime out there, and claiming there isn't just proves a lack of familiarity with the animation of Japan--which is all the word means.
    I agree. Even I have seen some good anime, and I'm someone who tends to avoid animation, generally.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Out of curiosity, Grant, what anime have you liked?
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    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Out of curiosity, Grant, what anime have you liked?
    Spirited Away, Grave of the Fireflies. Wasn't that taken with Akira or Ghost in the Shell.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Appleseed. The first one, not the remake. That made me dizzy.

    Edit - the kid in me really liked Area 88. I've never seen them in English. I wonder what that would be like?
    Last edited by Solfe; 2016-Mar-05 at 12:31 AM.
    Solfe, Dominus Maris Pavos.

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    After two episodes of Steins Gate, I had to give up, but I hear a lot of others praise it. I think anime has ALWAYS been "hit or miss" with US audiences.

    CJSF
    "I found my mind on the ground below. I was looking down, it was looking back.
    I was in the sky, all dressed in black.
    See the constellation ride across the sky. No cigar, no lady on his arm.
    Just a guy made of dots and lines."
    -They Might Be Giants, "See The Constellation"

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Spirited Away, Grave of the Fireflies. Wasn't that taken with Akira or Ghost in the Shell.
    Akira and Ghost in the Shell definitely require you to be into their genre, and I don't mean anime. But yeah, Spirited Away and Grave of the Fireflies are good.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Oh, nonsense. The film Roger Ebert called "the greatest anti-war film ever made" is an anime. Anime routinely gets nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar, despite the category's being dominated by American films for the most part. There is plenty of good anime out there, and claiming there isn't just proves a lack of familiarity with the animation of Japan--which is all the word means.
    Smile means joke Gillianren. I dislike the style. I wont admit to a real familiarity, but neither am I ignorant of the genre. I have friends who have been trying for a couple of decades to get me to watch anime, and I do try to watch. I just really really dont like it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by korjik View Post
    Smile means joke Gillianren.
    "Joke" implies funny.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hieda no Akyuu View Post
    There's been quite a few good anime that have come out since then, such as K-ON, Steins;Gate, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
    You're proving my point.

    Just looked them up and the art styles are insufferably twee--gives me hives. That's the nicest thing I can say. The characters are a bunch of middle or high school girls? Oh [Venus] no!

    I'm looking for the opposite of this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hieda no Akyuu View Post
    It's not that the quality of anime has declined . . .
    Possibly, but it doesn't seem to be borne out by the available evidence. All the anime that I mentioned in the OP was produced during a span of 11 years: 1994-2005. I haven't seen one good new series in ten years*. I've certainly seen great anime that was made before '94--the '80s made some great ones. I don't know how else to account for it other than anime quality did indeed take a serious nose-dive after the mid '00s.

    I mean of course series, not movies. Studio Ghibli obviously still makes great films.

    *No, it can't be nostalgia-goggles, because I own a few of those listed, and still re-watch them on occasion. I even have the soundtracks to Macross Plus, Cowboy Bebop, Big O, and Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C.--the music is that great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Just looked them up and the art styles are insufferably twee--gives me hives. That's the nicest thing I can say. The characters are a bunch of middle or high school girls? Oh [Venus] no!
    So what you're saying is that your own favorite styles of anime were formed during that time period, you got used to it, and now times have changed.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright
    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    So what you're saying is that your own favorite styles of anime were formed during that time period, you got used to it, and now times have changed.
    I don't know about SkepticJ, but I would say that applies to me. I like my old Bubble Gum Crisis and Appleseed.
    Solfe, Dominus Maris Pavos.

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    Shhh, you can't say that! Some things aren't better than other things.

    Breaking Bad and My Little Pony are equivalent; it's all down to different but equally-valid tastes.

    Anyone who complains about the lack of any Breaking Bad in a My Little Pony world is just living in the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Shhh, you can't say that! Some things aren't better than other things.

    Breaking Bad and My Little Pony are equivalent; it's all down to different but equally-valid tastes.

    Anyone who complains about the lack of any Breaking Bad in a My Little Pony world is just living in the past.
    Ah, such a convincingly well-reasoned argument.

    Some things are subjective, and some aren't. This is one of the areas that's very subjective.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright
    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Ah, such a convincingly well-reasoned argument.

    Some things are subjective, and some aren't. This is one of the areas that's very subjective.
    What makes anime any different in this regard than live-action shows, movies, novels etc.? If 99.75% of all novels were Twilight, if all movies looked like they were made by Michael Bay, if all TV was Full House would you just chalk it up to subjectivity or would you be irritated?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    What makes anime any different in this regard than live-action shows, movies, novels etc.? If 99.75% of all novels were Twilight, if all movies looked like they were made by Michael Bay, if all TV was Full House would you just chalk it up to subjectivity or would you be irritated?
    The only way that would happen would be if everyone liked the same thing. Which they don't. At which point subjectivity creeps in.
    You can argue productively (sometimes) about whether something is well-executed or not, since there are (fairly) objective criteria about good writing and good film-making. But I've seen well-made, critically acclaimed and successful films that just aren't to my taste. They're clearly to someone's taste though.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    What makes anime any different in this regard than live-action shows, movies, novels etc.? If 99.75% of all novels were Twilight, if all movies looked like they were made by Michael Bay, if all TV was Full House would you just chalk it up to subjectivity or would you be irritated?
    Hey! Full House is way better than Twilight or Michael Bay movies!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    What makes anime any different in this regard than live-action shows, movies, novels etc.?
    Nothing.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright
    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    If 99.75% of all novels were Twilight, if all movies looked like they were made by Michael Bay, if all TV was Full House would you just chalk it up to subjectivity or would you be irritated?
    "I don't like apple juice. What if every juice was apple?"
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright
    "It is the duty of the writers to seduce me into suspending my disbelief!" Paul Beardsley

  29. #29
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    I used to love apple juice. Why don't they make proper apple juice any more? 99.75% of this new stuff just isn't like the old stuff at all.

    Grant Hutchison

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    I also like a lot of the Ghibli stuff. Maybe Totoro is my favorite. But there are also some really good anime that are only broadcast on TV, and I think they are a bit tough to understand outside the Japanese cultural context. Like Sazae-san, Chibi Maruko-chan, and Crayon Shin-chan. They're sort of like the Peanuts genre in English. But they're old as well.

    By the way, I was reading the Japanese Wikipedia page and it says that in English, people pronounce it like ey-nim or Ah-nim. Is that really true? It's supposed to be Ah-knee-may.
    As above, so below

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