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Answerman - Is There Too Much Anime Being Made?


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Valhern



Joined: 19 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:43 pm Reply with quote
That was a very interesting point about the memorability of modern anime. But we do have at least one issue with that and it's basically how wide the reach of anime can be in TV. The fact that a lot of anime was in the runtime of typically children/preteen channels made a huge difference, at least here in Latin America but probably so in the States. Now the direction is totally different, making anime extremely niche in TV.

In that case, the channel itself made you interested in anime because there was a lot of it and you would catch anything that you would have liked since TV was the major and almost sole entertainment medium, now it's the Internet, but the Internet is incredibly wide and less focused compared to it, and the person themselves have to be interested in any anime they watched as a kid to be interested in anime and eventually looking up for more similar anime.

While streaming services made easier to watch anime for everyone and it's one of the best things that has happened, it still can't replace the "seed" that TV anime planted on almost everyone that got them potentially interested in anime.

On the other hand, the production side of anime has become less healthier throughout the years, not just because a lot of shows can be made, but because the stretch of such productions is weighing heavier, especially for the persons themselves, as if the animation industry was not hard enough, it's becoming so crowded that it's starting to leak a little. Breaks, recaps, unfinished production, and so on and so on. There have been ways to solve or prevent that, but they are still sadly the exception.
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BodaciousSpacePirate
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:51 pm Reply with quote
I'm not sure I completely agree on the "we still celebrate shows from the 90s and early 2000s" bit. For every Cowboy Bebop, there are four Saber Marionette's (in that franchise's case, literally), and it's the same with shows today. I think this site's own "how many of these shows do you remember from X decade" features illustrate just how much forgettable stuff has gotten made by the anime industry.

Last edited by BodaciousSpacePirate on Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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HeeroTX



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:52 pm Reply with quote
I don't think you can really know "in the moment" what will endure. I think it really can only be known at least a decade from now depending on what media people really look BACK on with fondness. 80s cartoons like Transformers, GI Joe & He-Man were terrible in terms of "quality" but they're what kids of that era grew up on. While I know it struck a chord, I think Evangelion endures partly by being the show that helped launch the 90s-00s anime boom. Same with Dragonball and Sailor Moon, which hold NOSTALGIA value for the fans that really remember them as pivotal to their fandom.

I think Attack on Titan has a chance to be a title like that, even though Trigun might have gotten more views "back in the day". But AoT might have INTRODUCED more people after the 05-08 "bust". Or been a title that helped people find other fans. Bebop is more like the 90s gen's "Akira". Not sure what title will hold that distinction for the next gen.
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angelmcazares
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:54 pm Reply with quote
Every time someone makes a big deal about how much anime is being made, I think people tend to blow things out of proportion. The person asking the question cites at least 80 shows airing this season. But aren't like half of those shorts and shows aimed at children, which are financed by tv channels, toy makers and other companies?

If the other 40 series are late night shows made for the otaku market, that is still a significant number, but I assume that the Aniplexes and Bandais of the world are financing that many shows because there is a high demand right know. This year discs sales are down, and I imagine we will see less shows in the upcoming seasons.

Answerman wrote:
Look at how we still celebrate shows from the 90s and early 2000s. And for good reason! Some of the truly best, most exemplary works of anime were created during that time. While there are plenty of great shows being made today - spectacular, even, just as incredible as the old stuff - I have to wonder if they will be remembered and celebrated in the years to come in the same way, or if there's just so much content that people don't have time to cling onto and obsess about shows like they used to. In other words, I wonder if the sheer volume of content, and our resulting short attention spans for each show, prevents them from becoming classics.

But isn't that also a function of time? I have a hard time imagining that by 2000 fans already considered Utena and Cowboy Bebop all time classics. I imagine that in 7-10 years shows like Madoka Magica and Death Parade will be regarded as classics.
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Merxamers



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:10 pm Reply with quote
You raise an interesting point about "memorable" anime being made recently. I'd argue that while the overall number of lasting titles is about the same as previous decades, it's certainly low compared to the total number of anime produced every season.

Since i started watching anime (around 2009 or 2010), i'd argue that the indisputable classics/legacy/super popular titles are:
Attack on Titan (why there hasn't been another season yet baffles me)
Kill la Kill (or is this just me? Aniplex owning this could limit the re-packaging strategy)
Madoka Magica
One Punch Man

Four "classics" in 6 or seven years isn't too bad, but I also have to remember the titles that i was certain were going to be considered lasting classics, but have since been forgotten for one reason or another. When started watching Blood Battlefront Blockade live, i was convinced it would be a classic remembered for at least a decade. By the time i got it on Bluray, i rarely heard anything about it. Despite the strong quality and early reception of the shows, will Tokyo Ghoul be remembered? Mob Psycho 100 has a chance, especially if Toonami decides to run with it, but what about RE:Zero? Will Monster Musume be remembered as anything but an odd footnote?

I could go on, but in short i agree that there's simply too much product for much to stick around. We don't even have a new shonen staple; My Hero Academia was only 13 episodes, and Naruto will be winding down within a year or two.


Last edited by Merxamers on Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Blood-
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:10 pm Reply with quote
The question of whether there is too much anime being made raises a number of pros and cons in my mind.

On the pro side, I generally find that having more choice is better than having less. I can't control the number of titles produced each season, but I can certainly control how many I follow. If I'm at an all you can buffet, generally I'd prefer to be able to choose from among 30 dishes as opposed to say, 10.

But then there is the con side fo that. What if, in the process of creating 30 dishes, the cooking standards slip? Looked at that way, I'd prefer to have the choice between 10 tasty dishes as opposed to 30 that are more bland fare.

I guess the question comes down to: does the number of shows created each season have an impact on quality?

Likely, the infusion of money that Justin referenced caused weaker shows that might not have gotten a green light in leaner times to get made. But then the flip side to THAT is that when money tightens up, in addition to weaker shows not getting made, you may not get much risk taking, either. Producers maybe become more conservative in their tastes. Sometimes the best stuff comes out of a willingness to gamble on something that doesn't conform to the conventional notion of "commerical viability."

In summary: eh, who the hell knows if this is on balance a good thing or a bad thing?
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DillMan



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:12 pm Reply with quote
This is an issue across all forms of media. We are just bombarded constantly with new anime series, tv shows, movies, video games, books, and music. This is not an anime industry problem, it is a media problem across the board. One of the biggest issues as a consumer these days is knowing what to watch and how to manage your time. It is what it is. I think we all remember older series with more fondness than newer series in general because there was so much less to consume back then as well.

As to the question of will the bubble burst at some point ... I don't think so. But I also do not see why any new companies/organizations/people would want to join the media industry when it is so incredibly saturated, the anime/manga industry especially when profits are split up among so many people. And it is not even just over-saturation, but then you think of how people consume media these days: It is all streaming. I pay a few dollars a month to watch whatever I want and then leave it behind. Gone are the days of paying $20-$30 per disc. Profit margins have to be at an all time low for creators and companies involved with anime.

The positives would be that many people have the opportunity to create amazing series and in turn we as consumers have an abundance of amazing series to experience for little to no money. I feel bad for the industry though.
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Animechic420



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:22 pm Reply with quote
Anime could stand to slow down a bit.
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angelmcazares
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:24 pm Reply with quote
Merxamers wrote:
When started watching Blood Battlefront Blockade live, i was convinced it would be a classic remembered for at least a decade. By the time i got it on Bluray, i rarely heard anything about it.

Same here. I was convinced that BBB was going to become an all time favorite. I affectionately refer to Blood Blockade Battlefront as Cowboy Bebop 2. By the way, apparently season 2 of BBB is airing in 2017.

And I agree with your 4 classics; I will only add Sword Art Online.
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moteless



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:30 pm Reply with quote
Answerman... more like I give my flawed opinion and try to look objective man
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Merxamers



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:32 pm Reply with quote
moteless wrote:
Answerman... more like I give my flawed opinion and try to look objective man


You're more than welcome to contribute your own flawed opinion Smile

(Also not sure how an editorial is supposed to be "objective")
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ultimatehaki



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:33 pm Reply with quote
moteless wrote:
Answerman... more like I give my flawed opinion and try to look objective man


Quote:
But this is all just speculation. Nobody knows what the future will bring, or if fans a decade from now will have drastically different tastes.


Please read the print carefully before writing ridiculous comments like this. this was an opinionated question so you're obviously going to get an opinion as the answer.
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Cutiebunny



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:34 pm Reply with quote
angelmcazares wrote:
I have a hard time imagining that by 2000 fans already considered Utena and Cowboy Bebop all time classics. I imagine that in 7-10 years shows like Madoka Magica and Death Parade will be regarded as classics.


Having been an anime fan back then, the consensus was that CB was going to be a classic. A lot of people talked about it then. Considering that anime wasn't as big then as it was a decade later, there was quite a bit of domestic merchandise (shirts, plush Ein) for CB at the time. Utena, though, I've never really considered a classic simply because its plot was not clear (especially the movie) and not something that would appeal to the masses. Utena merchandise never materialized stateside. A good gauge for me, at the time, was to see what was being bootlegged and sold in Chinatown. Never saw any bootlegged Utena stuff, including the Cantonese dub VHS tapes and prismatic trading cards that were regularly sold in card machines there.

It's interesting what does endure. I remember a lot of people thinking that Gurren Lagann was going to become the next classic, and almost a decade later, I can't think of the last time I've seen anyone cosplay a character other than Yoko at a US anime convention (and I attend several around the US yearly). The same goes for K-On and Haruhi Suzumiya. Unless new anime and merchandise is produced, Madoka Magica will go the same route. I definitely don't think that One Punch Man, Osomatsu-san or Death Parade (never heard of this series, so that should say something) will be classics in the US either. They might be popular for a couple years, sure, but with the volume of anime and the different genres featured, the longevity of most series is usually a season. The fact that so many old properties are being resurfaced after a decade or two of their initial run tells me that these companies want to recapture that market and realize that their current offerings have a small chance of doing so.
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DerekL1963
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:41 pm Reply with quote
answerman wrote:
Look at how we still celebrate shows from the 90s and early 2000s. And for good reason! Some of the truly best, most exemplary works of anime were created during that time.


We celebrate some shows from that era. Others are long forgotten... still others never made it out of Japan in the first place. So, there's a filtering effect. There's also the nostalgia effect as that era was the first great blooming of anime in America. There's an old saying in SF fandom - "the golden era of SF is twelve years old". That is, what was influential or popular when you first discovered the medium.

But there are certainly shows from more recent memory having great effect... Madoka, Angel Beats. Or still being widely discussed... Sword Art Online, Raildex, Barakamon. The problem isn't so much there's too much anime, it's more that there has been too little time to see what will and won't stand the test of time.

Streaming may actually be a problem here, because while there's an ocean of content... it's a sea of constant churn as licenses come and go and shows jump between providers.

answerman wrote:
Collective memory is a powerful thing. It's what elevated Star Wars and Jurassic Park to the god-like status they currently hold in our society.


Marketing is a powerful force. As one who lived through the era... Star Wars (as popular as it was) after it's original run pretty much came and went. Just one more briefly (if insanely) popular movie. Then came the toys, and the books, and the (board) games, and a myriad of other tie-in products... a steady trickle, but enough to convince Hollywood's marketing machine to take a chance on something rarely done in that era: a sequel. Then more tie-in products to capitalize on the popularity of the sequel... and home video releases (and re-releases, and re-re-releases...) It wasn't until Jedi that Star Wars even began to approach the cult status it maintains today. But by that time, it has been forcibly kept in the public consciousness for nearly a decade. And honestly, much of it's ongoing fame is due to the ongoing flood of ancillary products.

Jurassic Park follows a similar arc, except it started with a best selling book. (From an author with a long history of best selling books and a number of movies - including the highly influential book and movie Andromeda Strain.)

But any number of movies from the same span of decades, some almost equally famous and influential at the time, never found that 'hook' and can only be found today in discount bins and buried deep in Netflix's back catalog.
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DerekL1963
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:45 pm Reply with quote
Blood- wrote:
Likely, the infusion of money that Justin referenced caused weaker shows that might not have gotten a green light in leaner times to get made. But then the flip side to THAT is that when money tightens up, in addition to weaker shows not getting made, you may not get much risk taking, either. Producers maybe become more conservative in their tastes. Sometimes the best stuff comes out of a willingness to gamble on something that doesn't conform to the conventional notion of "commerical viability."


Justin himself has pointed out exactly that happening in the wake of the bubble popping in 2006/7... That anime producers pulled in their horns and went with material they knew would sell to their core market.
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