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INTEREST: Tadashi Sudo: Does Japanese Animation Suffer From the Galápagos Syndrome?


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zrnzle500
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:49 am Reply with quote
BadNewsBlues wrote:
meiam wrote:


If the idea is to use diversity to push for more creativity then that's a extremely bad one. The creativity problem doesn't stem from the industry being creatively bankrupt,


Wasn't there a doujin contest or something that ANN reported on a few years ago where the response from the judges or whoever was looking over the entries had a sense of disappointment cause most of the entered works were Isekai?

And then you look at most of the current anime makeup and almost every anime is an adaptation of a isekai work?

That sounds like being creatively bankrupt to me.


I’m sorry but no matter how you look at it, your latter (rhetorical) question isn’t even close to reality. That’s not true this season, or in any past season. It’s not even the most common genre, even in the seasons that have the most isekai - though, to be fair, it is certainly up there - looking at the shows that are airing at any given time (Shonen battle series are more common, helped by having at least three airing at any given point in at least the last several years).

Frankly, as I see it, isekai bashing is what has become creatively bankrupt, not the industry or the genre itself, often painting every (or nearly every) entry in the genre with the same brush, regardless of whether it fits, acting like the genre takes up every or even most of the shows each season, and blaming it for the issues in the medium and for the industry not making shows they like (and indirectly blaming its fans for making it so popular). That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything someone might reasonably critique the genre for, but criticism of the genre could stand to be more nuanced and in some cases more connected to reality and not just what feels true.

In this particular case, I don’t think isekai, generally speaking, is the problem. For all the griping about the prevalence of the genre you can find on forums and social media, it is one of the most popular genres on streaming sites outside Japan, very much including the West, while many of the anime seasonal anime fans regard most highly barely register while they air and don’t really register much at all afterwards, with the exception of shows in popular genres that are also well regarded by seasonal fans. Many of the shows we seasonal anime fans most highly regard in a season will likely not be people’s entry into anime (though they do have a role to play later), whereas more popular genres often will be - and often were for many of us - and like it or not, isekai is a part of that, even if not every entry in the genre acts as such. There are certainly things that might put people off about anime, and some of the entries in the genre might contain some of that, but the prevalence of the genre is only really an issue to those already into anime, especially those of us who watch season to season, and not for newcomers who haven’t seen much anime, in the genre or otherwise.
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Ryujin99



Joined: 21 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:29 am Reply with quote
Jonny Mendes wrote:
More diverse? Yes, there are many isekai nowadays, but still in 100 anime a season you can find almost every genre, from children anime, magical girls, battle shonen, sports, toys, BL,and so on.

What this journalist is looking for, will only be achieved if anime studios have money and are willing to risk invest in anime that don't really have much success so far in a very difficult economic environment. And most studios are only hanging on to avoid closer.

The manga and novels publishers, that are the majority of people investing in anime don't really have much interest in anime foreign markets where most of their manga and LN don't really have that big of a presence so far (manga and LN markets are growing but still is a fraction of their sales). So they look for the domestic market when they decide to make a anime of their proprieties. Their clients are mostly Japanese so from there will not come much money for different anime from what they use to do.


I'll criticize this viewpoint from two angles. The first is that, if Japanese companies had so little interest in foreign markets, then licensing deals, be it for manga, anime, or LNs would be far less common than they currently are. Moreover, within the anime industry specifically, approximately half the revenue in recent years has been from overseas business; that's not something the industry can afford to ignore. That said, I don't think manga and LN revenues have reached this point, so perhaps those companies can better afford to ignore foreign markets.

The second angle is that manga industry revenues, and publishing in general, have been fairly stagnant in Japan for years (see this article). While a market can remain healthy without continued growth, say when its fully saturated, companies in Japan and elsewhere are always on the lookout for growth opportunities. If they can't grow their business domestically, the next step is to look elsewhere. I would argue the continued growth of manga and LN sales outside Japan indicate that Japanese companies have at least some interest in these foreign markets.

Jonny Mendes wrote:
The only chance of anime like what Tadashi-san are hoping for is foreign companies like Netflix invest in it.


The growing presence of Netflix, Crunchryoll, and the like on production committees seems like a strong indicator that this is already happening.

Jonny Mendes wrote:
But, if you look at it from a consumer point of view, doesn't make much sense. Anime became popular because is different from western animation and because is so Japanese. Changing it you make it more "global" or "diverse", will only make it drown in a sea of "global" or "diverse" animation.

If you want a product to stand out, you have to offer something that no one else have.
There are markets coping anime "style" but the products they offer are not near what Japanese can offer. Very few are successful.
And if is necessary to stand out even more, Make anime even more different from what others are offering, make it even more Japanese.
The way for success is leading and not coping what others are offering.
If anime is successful because in uniquely Japanese, why making it different,


I'll have to generally disagree with this stance. How Japanese a production appears may be a factor that helps it stand out, but there's a lot more to it than just that.

Consider notably successful series like Attack on Titan and Sword Art Online. neither of these draws heavily on Japanese culture, at least not overtly (and no, SAO occurring primarily in Japan doesn't inherently mean that it leans heavily on Japanese culture). Going further back, we can see similar parallels in series like Fullmetal Alchemist, Cowboy Bebop, and Death note; these also don't overly draw heavily on Japanese culture. If we look at very recent productions, Tower of God seemed to do pretty well, and it's based on a Korean webtoon. It remains to be seen how well God of High School will do, but it too is based on a Korean webtoon.

Now let's look at historical juggernauts: Naruto, Bleach, Dragon Ball, and One Piece. The first three have varying degrees of fairly clear references to Japanese culture, but in all three the Japanese elements are largely window dressing for the series' core elements. All four series are, at their core, a long-running narrative carried over a multitude of story arcs, each of which tends to culminate in a climactic battle of some sort.

We can say that Naruto is a series about ninjas, but most people didn't keep watching just because of the ninjas, it was the action-packed, character-driven story arcs which kept people invested.

We can say that Bleach is about shinigami, but the portrayal of shinigami in the series is fairly divorced from Japanese folklore, though are still parallels. But again, people may have come for the shinigami, but they stayed for the action-packed, character-driven story arcs.

Dragon Ball is about martial arts (or, if you started watching after 1995, buff guys/girls shooting laser beams), but that is hardly a uniquely Japanese facet. In fact, the original Dragon Ball was based on the Chinese story, Journey to the West. And yet again, what kept people watching wasn't the martial arts, it was the action-packed, character-driven story arcs.

One Piece is about pirates, which hardly appear at all in Japanese folklore. Even the art style of One Piece is more divorced from the most common anime standard than either of the other three mentioned above. And once again, what keeps people involved isn't the pirates element, its the character-driven story arcs.

If being more overtly Japanese in origin was positively correlated with international success, then Hoozuki no Reitetsu, Mushishi, and Joshiraku should have been the biggest successes in their respective years. From my experience, productions that lean very heavily into Japanese culture or folklore actually tend to do worse internationally than less overtly Japanese productions. Case in point, Hoozuki and Joshiraku never were dubbed into English, and the second season of Mushishi never even received a physical release in the US. Certainly series which lean into Japanese culture and folklore have a lot of appeal for people that are already part of the anime fandom, but that's not what draws new people in nor is it the basis of the success enjoyed by the biggest series.
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Ryo Hazuki



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:23 pm Reply with quote
BadNewsBlues wrote:

Would that include stuff like Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist, Ghost In The Shell, & JoJo?


Jojo was created way before unedited shonen manga or anime had any significant audience in the West. Shinichiro Watanabe claims to have been ignorant of any western audiences while making Cowboy Bebop. Ghost in the Shell 1995 movie had Manga Entertainment as one of the financers but I don't find it anymore western than Oshii's Patlabor movies.

Has Hiromu Arakawastated that she had the West in mind, when writing Fullmetal Alchemist?
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capt_bunny



Joined: 31 May 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:57 pm Reply with quote
Juno016 wrote:
As for censorship, I'm highly against censorship in general, but when talking about a sensitive topic, it really depends on how it's approached. Kabukicho Sherlock was a very entertaining show, but its portrayal of LGBTQ+ people over and over was not... good, to say the least. They were used solely as villains or as comedy relief. The jokes or twists always boiled down to "This character is gay/trans/a drag queen and that's funny/creepy." If someone finds that funny or creepy, they probably don't have a very positive view of us, let alone any insight on how to make an LGBTQ+ character a realistic villain or genuinely funny. (ie. A Christian making self-depreciating jokes about Christians resonates with everyone because the jokes are grounded in reality, not just some base stereotype that only anti-Christian people believe) While I don't support "censorship" of shows like Kabukicho Sherlock, I do support the creation of shows that intentionally diversify by improving their portrayal of certain groups. Japanese anime sometimes tries to tackle topics that Japanese anime/media creators rarely understand through an inside perspective (eg. racism, foreigners, sexuality, religion, terrorism, etc.). It might benefit them to look for help or insight, either by hiring more diverse writers and staff, or by reading/watching other kinds of media made by people with this insight.


That's not even censorship. The definition of censorship from dictionary dot com is
"an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds". There's nothing to censor in Kabukicho Sherlock. It was just bad writing depictions of the LGBT+. Before you think I'm defending this anime; I am part of the LGBT+ community. I stopped watching because of the LGBT+ characters used as gags. I liked the plot but the characters? Not so much except a few. Again, that's not the definition of censorship if you think that anime needs to "suppress" bad LGBT+ character writings. Rolling Eyes

I agree with what you are saying. Just not the words you are using.
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DeviousDybbuk



Joined: 29 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:58 pm Reply with quote
I think what's really changed is the global audience who grew up watching anime. Anime was influenced by other countries' animation in the first place and achieved its own unique, Japanese imprint. Then it was exported all over the world, and audiences in different countries could find something that appealed to them about it. For example, works by Shinichiro Watanabe and Riyoko Ikeda incorporate global settings, thus making them very appealing to a wider audience. But even anime set in Japan still hit it off in other countries, like Saint Seiya in Latin America. The characters are Japanese, but it has Greek elements and it's about fighting for justice. It's the same with Sailor Moon, The anime can still be set in Japan and reflect Japanese culture, but understanding emotional/human storytelling and visual gags are what set them apart.

Anyways, those same people who grew up watching anime are now creating animation and comics that blend their love of anime with other forms of entertainment, like Hollywood films, Disney, and the many creative live action series out there, like Star Trek/Wars, in addition to incorporating elements that speak to their own personal experiences and unique culture. I think that's where Japan has fallen behind a bit. They do need a better understanding of other cultures and representation of minority groups, which includes the LGBT community, without resorting to stereotypes.

The problems in anime are a reflection of Japanese society as a whole. As someone above me said, the pay is abysmal and work hours long for animation in Japan. It may benefit to learn about other countries' work environments to enrich their own and allow for more creativity. I do believe that Japan can recapture the spirit of their previously exported works which enchanted global audiences in the first place.

Anyways, sorry for the long post. I'm no expert and I'm in no way suggesting that Japan change everything that makes Japanese culture unique. There is boundless creativity there. That's why we all started to watch anime; it gave us something we didn't see anywhere else. Now other creatives around the world can do the same for Japan in return Smile
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BadNewsBlues



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:45 pm Reply with quote
zrnzle500 wrote:


In this particular case, I don’t think isekai, generally speaking, is the problem.


Honestly I don't think it is either there's just seems to be on first glance an overabundance of it.


Ryo Hazuki wrote:
Jojo was created way before unedited shonen manga or anime had any significant audience in the West.


Doesn't do much to explain why all but two of it's arcs were set outside of Japan. In addition to all the western musical references.



Ryo Hazuki wrote:

Shinichiro Watanabe claims to have been ignorant of any western audiences while making Cowboy Bebop.


Well damn it's a good thing it caught on outside of Japan then.

Ryo Hazuki wrote:

Has Hiromu Arakawastated that she had the West in mind, when writing Fullmetal Alchemist?


I would think so considering the western aspects the series is overflowing with. But I don't know for certain.
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Ryo Hazuki



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:05 pm Reply with quote
[quote="BadNewsBlues]
Doesn't do much to explain why all but two of it's arcs were set outside of Japan. In addition to all the western musical references.
[/quote]

Did you know that American wnd British artists are also well known in non-English speaking countries? I'm pretty sure Araki made Jojo specifically for westerners as much Disney made The Lion King for Africans and Hercules for the Greek audience. Rather than aiming for western markets it's more likely that Araki thought that Italy for instance would make an interesting location.
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TarsTarkas



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:39 pm Reply with quote
DeviousDybbuk wrote:
I do believe that Japan can recapture the spirit of their previously exported works which enchanted global audiences in the first place.


You seem to be saying that Japan has lost the spirit of anime and that they can recapture it. If that is true, I'll have to disagree with you. Plenty of fans are enchanted by Japanese anime, even now.

It is not that Japan has lost something, but rather the world is getting greedy and wanting more from anime. I'll even go further and say that the western side of things view the Japanese domestic audience (where most of the profit for anime and manga come from), as a ball and chain holding back the true promise of anime.
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DavetheUsher



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:50 pm Reply with quote
Ah, this just sounds just like the old "Japan should cater to America and not Japan" arguments of yesteryear. What this argument is usually about is not that anime is in any real danger or trouble, but that they themselves are becoming disinterested in Japanese anime and want it to start catering to them rather than other people. They said the same thing about "moe" back in the 2000s and how K-On!! was the doom of the industry and anime was going to go under unless it made another Cowboy Bebop.

Ryujin99 wrote:
I'll have to generally disagree with this stance. How Japanese a production appears may be a factor that helps it stand out, but there's a lot more to it than just that.

Consider notably successful series like Attack on Titan and Sword Art Online. neither of these draws heavily on Japanese culture, at least not overtly (and no, SAO occurring primarily in Japan doesn't inherently mean that it leans heavily on Japanese culture). Going further back, we can see similar parallels in series like Fullmetal Alchemist, Cowboy Bebop, and Death note; these also don't overly draw heavily on Japanese culture. If we look at very recent productions, Tower of God seemed to do pretty well, and it's based on a Korean webtoon. It remains to be seen how well God of High School will do, but it too is based on a Korean webtoon.

Now let's look at historical juggernauts: Naruto, Bleach, Dragon Ball, and One Piece. The first three have varying degrees of fairly clear references to Japanese culture, but in all three the Japanese elements are largely window dressing for the series' core elements. All four series are, at their core, a long-running narrative carried over a multitude of story arcs, each of which tends to culminate in a climactic battle of some sort.

We can say that Naruto is a series about ninjas, but most people didn't keep watching just because of the ninjas, it was the action-packed, character-driven story arcs which kept people invested.

We can say that Bleach is about shinigami, but the portrayal of shinigami in the series is fairly divorced from Japanese folklore, though are still parallels. But again, people may have come for the shinigami, but they stayed for the action-packed, character-driven story arcs.

Dragon Ball is about martial arts (or, if you started watching after 1995, buff guys/girls shooting laser beams), but that is hardly a uniquely Japanese facet. In fact, the original Dragon Ball was based on the Chinese story, Journey to the West. And yet again, what kept people watching wasn't the martial arts, it was the action-packed, character-driven story arcs.

One Piece is about pirates, which hardly appear at all in Japanese folklore. Even the art style of One Piece is more divorced from the most common anime standard than either of the other three mentioned above. And once again, what keeps people involved isn't the pirates element, its the character-driven story arcs.

If being more overtly Japanese in origin was positively correlated with international success, then Hoozuki no Reitetsu, Mushishi, and Joshiraku should have been the biggest successes in their respective years. From my experience, productions that lean very heavily into Japanese culture or folklore actually tend to do worse internationally than less overtly Japanese productions. Case in point, Hoozuki and Joshiraku never were dubbed into English, and the second season of Mushishi never even received a physical release in the US. Certainly series which lean into Japanese culture and folklore have a lot of appeal for people that are already part of the anime fandom, but that's not what draws new people in nor is it the basis of the success enjoyed by the biggest series.


It sounds like you're making a bit of a misunderstanding here. You seem to think when people say Japanese culture or style they're being literal. Like, samurai, ninjas, geisha, kabuki, Japanese food and clothing, and all that jazz. Writing styles and other things can be Japanese. You can point to a show with a western setting and character, but the writing, characters, and style are distinctly Japanese. Outside a few areas like Wano and characters like Zoro, Sanji, Momotaro, Jinbei, etc, yeah, nothing about One Piece has a Japanese setting, but it's writing style, humor, and execution ooze prime Japanese storytelling and anime. Nobody is going to confuse Sword Art Online for something like World of Warcraft. No one is going to mistake Steins;Gate for Big Bang Theory. They all have their own unique, individual styles. The way Japan approaches stories is much different than the way America does. Likewise, nobody is going to mistake Avatar the Last Airbender for being Japanese. Even if you ignore the historically wrong things like the way they write some of the kanji, the writing is very, very American. Look at a character like Sokka. He'd never be mistaken for an anime funnyguy because the way he talks, acts, and jokes is very American. Heck, he's voiced by a white comedian who performed on All That and basically does a white comedian stand up act in all his dialog and slapstick, despite the character supposedly being based on an isolated Inuit culture Laughing

I mean, I guantee you there's going to a huge difference between Netflix's Cowboy Bebop series as the anime Cowboy Bebop, just like there would be if they tried to turn My Hero Academia into a live-action Hollywood movie.
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OceanwaveIII



Joined: 05 Nov 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:17 pm Reply with quote
I think there is a misunderstanding to ,, When Japanese manga artist use "outside influences ", lolthey don't care about the . the country it from and what the people of that particular country think about it (Frankly neither does disney don't think they consulted modern greek people on there 90s hercules movie), . The manga was made because the individual artist liked it and became a hit among manga fans in japan. Not because they gave shit about what current German people thought about attack on titan german influences . Or what Americans thought about the American film influences on bebop . Shinichirō Watanabe just like hollywood movies , and his biggest influences was another Japanese Series Lupin the Third. and just as someone else said just because it set in an non Japanese place doesn't mean isn't based on Japanese humor archetypes and preferences and tropes lol. most of it is .since that what sales to there markets.

They are individually interested in those topics and they made it for themselves and there local audiences . Manga very individualistic. The Creator of Dragon ball wasn't thinking about Chinese audiences when he made dragon ball LOL he just liked hong kong kung fu flicks from china and cheesy martial arts movie. He didn't make Dragon ball to be lectured by china that dragon ball misrepresent china mythology or chinese people something . And he doesn't care wasn't even thought in there mind when making series.

Here the thing ,Your making fantasy world, if it was always set in japan it would get boring (For Americans for some reason we never get bored of newyork /SF super heroes , when American artist get bored we just go into space "Star Wars and the Later Avenger Flicks like Endgame.).The Manga Artist and Animator are still making fantasy for themselves or Japanese local audiences , it's about there person interest in the exotic source material that it . . This is why current day north america cultural rarely shows up in anime , since not the greatest place to build a fantasy the way a distant magical land and old European fairy tail . Very few artist in japan are interested in contemporary north america culture thus it's appearance in anime is very rare .(with the exception seems the bebop creator with stuff like carole and tuesday) . It's the reason it so rare to see anything made on it ). Compare that to USA entertainment are Super hero fantasy are based on contemporary north america city consistently or some kinda psuedo newyork .

Some Western fans have this weird egocentric-ism that just because you found something that appeals to you in another country art or the Artist individually used some nonnative inspiration influences.the manga artist was making it for you and wanted your opinon on there work xD and just for r demographic that's just silly . OrrThe Manga artist was making it for some nebulous abstract concept of a "global audience" which usually means Only the North americaUSA let be honest , Not the rest of the continent or latin america that why no one gives crap about Saint Seyia ..

Same goes for Disney honestly .Most films are made for Western -Americans First and Western American perception (take example how china hates the original mulan and thinks it garbage it using Chinese mythology wasn't enough to make it appeal to china ) .They've recently they started to pander to china which angers alot of western fans of the original Multan . .


Last edited by OceanwaveIII on Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ryujin99



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:12 pm Reply with quote
DavetheUsher wrote:
Ah, this just sounds just like the old "Japan should cater to America and not Japan" arguments of yesteryear. What this argument is usually about is not that anime is in any real danger or trouble, but that they themselves are becoming disinterested in Japanese anime and want it to start catering to them rather than other people. They said the same thing about "moe" back in the 2000s and how K-On!! was the doom of the industry and anime was going to go under unless it made another Cowboy Bebop.

Ryujin99 wrote:
Snipped for length...


It sounds like you're making a bit of a misunderstanding here. You seem to think when people say Japanese culture or style they're being literal. Like, samurai, ninjas, geisha, kabuki, Japanese food and clothing, and all that jazz. Writing styles and other things can be Japanese. You can point to a show with a western setting and character, but the writing, characters, and style are distinctly Japanese. Outside a few areas like Wano and characters like Zoro, Sanji, Momotaro, Jinbei, etc, yeah, nothing about One Piece has a Japanese setting, but it's writing style, humor, and execution ooze prime Japanese storytelling and anime. Nobody is going to confuse Sword Art Online for something like World of Warcraft. No one is going to mistake Steins;Gate for Big Bang Theory. They all have their own unique, individual styles. The way Japan approaches stories is much different than the way America does. Likewise, nobody is going to mistake Avatar the Last Airbender for being Japanese. Even if you ignore the historically wrong things like the way they write some of the kanji, the writing is very, very American. Look at a character like Sokka. He'd never be mistaken for an anime funnyguy because the way he talks, acts, and jokes is very American. Heck, he's voiced by a white comedian who performed on All That and basically does a white comedian stand up act in all his dialog and slapstick, despite the character supposedly being based on an isolated Inuit culture Laughing

I mean, I guantee you there's going to a huge difference between Netflix's Cowboy Bebop series as the anime Cowboy Bebop, just like there would be if they tried to turn My Hero Academia into a live-action Hollywood movie.


I'm trying to avoid ad hominem and projection like what your post starts with. Please explain how you got "Japan should cater to America and not Japan" out of any of my previous posts. For what it's worth, the majority of my favorite anime are relatively niche series internationally (see: Hoozuki and Mushishi). I'm just trying to focus on what series that have gotten big outside of Japan have in common with each other. Incidentally, this often overlaps with what makes similarly-styled animated productions from other countries successful.

Certainly, there's more to Japanese culture than the surface level visual things like samurai and ninjas, but these things are still part of the equation. Further, even if you remove those elements, I don't see how your assertion contradicts anything that I said. Mushishi is very Japanese both in subject matter and its folkloric storytelling style. Hoozuki no Reitetsu and Joshiraku both have very overtly Japanese visual styles and lean heavily into common types of Japanese comedy. In contrast, it seems to me that series like Naruto, Atttack on Titan, One Piece, or Dragon ball rarely Japanese cultural elements for any more than window dressing most of the time; I don't think their core storytelling styles are really that uniquely Japanese.

Digging into the details of One Piece seems rather off-topic, but I'll try to address it anyways:
- Zoro uses a fictional combat style involving the use of three katana. In-universe, neither the sword style nor the swords themselves overtly scream of Japanese culture. It's there if you know what to look for, but he just as easily could be, and at times has used different types of sword, such as scimitars, albeit only briefly. As far as character design, about the only other visual distinction that's distinctly Japanese pre-timeskip is his haramaki, but I don't think one article of his clothing is what people like about him.
- With Sanji, perhaps I am thoroughly missing something, but I fail to see what aspect of his character or design is obviously Japanese-inspired. If I am, please enlighten me.
- To the other points raised, if it takes 400+ episodes for it to show up in any capacity, then it's probably not what drew people to the series.

For some of the other examples, of course comparing an actual MMO to an anime very loosely based on them is going to yield some pretty substantial differences. Similarly comparing an anime drama to a live action comedy is also going to yield large differences. Different mediums tend to engender different styles. Consider the differences between an anime and its Japanese-produced live-action counterpart. They're almost always wildly different experiences. Similarly for a video game and its movie or TV series adaptation, be it Japanese or otherwise.

For misspelled kanji in Avatar the Last Airbender... they were using Chinese, not Japanese. There are notable differences between traditional Chinese characters, simplified Chinese characters, and Japanese kanji. It seems like they were using primarily traditional Chinese writing in the series. They may have misspelled some of those characters, but it's been too long since I watched the show and I can't find any sources to back up your claim. If we talk about pronunciation, I've seen some arguments for that, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms. The potential misspelling or misreading of Chinese characters had next to nothing to do with Avatar's success.

As far as the storytelling style. At its core, Avatar really isn't that different from many long-running anime. Another series from around the time frame, Code Lyoko, also utilized many of the same storytelling techniques commonly seen in anime and a somewhat similar, though still distinct visual style. Sure you can nitpick enough differences between these series and common anime show how different from anime specifically, but I think such efforts are missing the larger picture. A common element to these series and many highly successful anime are their character-driven story arcs... this is what seems to keep people hooked on series of this nature.

As for Sokka in Avatar the Last Airbender, though the specific comedic styles may differ, I think he fits the role of the stereotypical anime funnyguy quite well. The issue there is more one of differences in comedic style, which don't necessarily result in functionally different character roles. His English voice actor's previous work is largely irrelevant trivia. Should we also talk talk about how many anime VAs have performed in hentai under pseudonyms? Moreover, the cultures they drew on for inspiration for the Water tribe has next to nothing to do with Sokka's character. I mean, by that logic, anime shouldn't even use the generic funny guy trope, since no actual Japanese people act that way.

To expand on the points raised with Sokka. Comedic style is definitely one of the things that is the most unique about many anime, as they tend to utilize common Japanese comedy tropes... as opposed to... well... comedy tropes from anywhere else. This is to be expected, and it's perfectly fine. Having said that, I don't think Sokka's comedic style or the comedic style of comic relief characters in most anime are the thing that keeps people hooked on a series... with the notable exception of comedy/gag series where the comedy is the series' main substance. And much as I love Japanese comedy anime, they tend not to do perform very well internationally, which makes me sad.

Edit: adding details to first paragraph.
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DeviousDybbuk



Joined: 29 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:16 pm Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
You seem to be saying that Japan has lost the spirit of anime and that they can recapture it. If that is true, I'll have to disagree with you. Plenty of fans are enchanted by Japanese anime, even now.

It is not that Japan has lost something, but rather the world is getting greedy and wanting more from anime. I'll even go further and say that the western side of things view the Japanese domestic audience (where most of the profit for anime and manga come from), as a ball and chain holding back the true promise of anime.

You can disagree with me, as I'm only speaking from my own experience and I projected somewhat. But I am aware that anime is as popular as ever, in fact it is substantially more so than when I was a kid/teenager because it's so easily accessible. I find myself more on board with international animation lately, but I'll always enjoy Japanese anime.

So "the world is getting greedy and wanting more from anime". Not sure what you mean by that and this "true promise of anime" you speak of, but I doubt anyone outside of Japan is proposing that Japanese anime should change. But as I said in the rest of my last post, many people around the world have been inspired by anime to make their own anime style works with their own cultural flavouring that speaks to their own experiences. And why shouldn't they do that? Rather it's Japanese people in Japan proposing change, like Mr. Sudo. He wants Japan to keep up with this trend and he's right. He's aware that it needs to be done carefully without losing Japan's cultural identity, but he knows it can't stay entirely the same if they want to compete in the global market. Of course there will always be an audience for Japanese anime made in Japan, but they wouldn't be having this conversation with themselves if they were satisfied with that audience alone.
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Psycho 101
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Joined: 14 Aug 2006
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Location: Inn of the Last Home
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:41 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:


Well if they start paying their staff more they'll need to produce less anime or sell the right to distributed/price of physical media for more. This is pretty much the exact opposite of what would help anime.

You really think producing less and trimming off some of the fat and pointless shows would not help anime? There are more shows every season now then anyone can watch and still have a life outside of anime. Or a day job. There are some quality shows each season but the majority are forgettable within a year. A good portion don't even get decent viewership. If anything, trimming down the sheer volume of shows produced each season and putting more effort and time into the ones that do get produced would help the anime market. I think it would help bring a bit more higher standard of quality, which would in turn help the anime market continue to shine and standout against competitors. The hopeful side effect of this would also mean better pay and working conditions for anime staff as they would not be stretched so thin and worked til they collapsed.

On a moderator note let's keep it civil. SOme of you are skating the line on being civil to each other. Debate opinions but don't insult or infer things about users directly.
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 719
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 2:20 pm Reply with quote
Psycho 101 wrote:

You really think producing less and trimming off some of the fat and pointless shows would not help anime?


I think that's a really complex question that's hard to answer. It also depends on whose perspective you are asking about--the fan's or the industry's.

Regarding the first part: yes, there's a ton of anime being made, such that it is impossible for anyone to keep up with all of it.....but is that really a bad thing? Do we criticize books because more are being printed than we can possibly read? Do we criticize games because there are more games on the market than there are hours in a day to play them? No, we seek out what subjects and sub-genres we like and we consume that segment of the market. I do agree that it's easy to look at some shows and ask wow, why did they make this junk, but there's also the concept that one man's trash is another man's treasure. I know that many of my favorite shows which I return to watch again and again were barely blips on the radar of the anime market as a whole. And I think that's one of the strengths of the anime market in general: it's so broad and has so many sub-niches that there is something for everyone. Talking about trimming the fat (presumably in favor of making AAA hits) sounds like it might spell the end of that broad variety of content. You mentioned wanting to help the anime industry shine against its competitors. Personally I think that broad depth of content is one of the main reasons why the anime industry stands out--they're making those oddball niche shows that nobody else is.
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Haterater



Joined: 30 Apr 2006
Posts: 1598
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 2:52 pm Reply with quote
All I ask is more diversity with good representation and making sure to be knowledgeable about the subjects they cover that they are not too aware of.

More skin tones, countries of origin representation, sexuality, etc. Having 256 hair colors and only one skin tone is just not cutting it, especially in fantasy settings. Just helps with uniqueness! Another point, having a "cool" looking symbol or using a "cool" song, not realizing they belong to religious things that could upset a group or be misinterpreted. Look into the source or have editors to check with this stuff.
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