Forum - View topic
Answerman - Where Have All The Space Operas Gone?


Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Lemonchest
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Posts: 1676
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:57 am Reply with quote
Anime Space Opera seems to be about where the Western equivalent is, namely mostly banking on the nostalgia for older properties among an older audience - or awareness of said titles among an audience too young to have actually "been there". To take the Star Trek examples, right now we have "not your father's Star Trek" (STD) & "your father's Star Trek, but with dick jokes" (The Orville). Likewise we've seen new Gundams, those Yamato remakes/reboots & several other properties that mostly rely on either your personal or the collective memory of older shows. I don't even know if there are any new sci-fi manga/books that could spawn a new Space Opera on the scale of those titles. Matsumoto, Kawamori & Tomino are still the biggest names in the genre, & they made their marks 35-40 years ago.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TymersRealm



Joined: 05 Jan 2017
Posts: 89
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:06 pm Reply with quote
And no love for the reimagined Space Battleship Yamato series (both 2199 & 2202)?
Granted 2202 is getting a little wonky, but it still a solid work.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 7756
Location: IL
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:09 pm Reply with quote
I mean, Tytania was really, really bad. If modern space operas are like that then I'll be happy just sticking to the classics. Also, wow, just realized Tytania is almost a decade old. My how time flies.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tempest
ANN Publisher & CEO


Joined: 29 Dec 2001
Posts: 9358
Location: Do not message me for support.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:15 pm Reply with quote
I wonder if China doesn't also play into this somewhat. For the last couple years China has been, on occasion*, the biggest market for anime licensing. On my recent trips I spoke to several people (creators, streaming platform buyers, etc..) about what kind of anime works in China and one of the concensuses was that sci-fi doesn't work.

As we already know, a lot of anime is being made with China as the target overseas market. So obviously none of those titles are going to be space operas. But even anime that isn't made specifically for the Chinese market might still keep it in mind (Hey, we'd like to sell this to the West and to China).

I don't think there's a single cause for this decrease in Space Operas (the last good one I saw was Banner of the Stars, over a decade ago). Certainly its a combination of multiple things, but it all boils down to profitability, and if there's less market for sci-fi drama, then less sci-fi drama will be produced.

*It's complicated
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail My Anime My Manga
DeTroyes



Joined: 30 May 2016
Posts: 370
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:19 pm Reply with quote
Most of the space operas being released today are connected with some already established franchise (eg, Gundam, Yamato, or Macross -- not coincidentally, the "big three" of anime space operas). While there have been some attempts in recent years (ID-0 and Aldnoah Zero come to mind), there hasn't really been a space opera show outside of those franchises that has caught the enthusiasm of fans in a very long time. The last one I can think of is Cowboy Bebop, and that was 20 years ago (though I suppose Code Geass might qualify).

These things come in waves. Usually all it takes is for one or two shows to come along and blow everyone over, and then it'll be followed by a wave of imitators trying to cash in on the sudden demand. Like I said above, that really hasn't happened for space opera recently. Audiences have moved on to other genres (particularly High Fantasy and Isekai), while space opera has sort of gone by the wayside. While there is some argument to be made that it could be a sign that the genre has become tired and over trod, I would point out that the same can be said of the rash of cookie-cutter fantasy titles we've been seeing, yet they continue to be produced and continue to be popular enough that more are coming. Space opera should, in theory, be no different. Create the demand, and someone will fill it.

Eventually, everything old will be new again. Some day, something will come along that fans will go wild over, and before we know it space opera will be everywhere again. That could be starting next season, or it could be a decade from now. Who knows. But for the moment, I'm enjoying the new dub of Yamato 2199 (and looking forward to hopefully an eventual dub of Yamato 2202), and a new version of Legend of the Galactic Hero is on the horizon. Space opera hasn't disappeared; its still being produced. Its just not currently at the levels it used to be.

ADDENDUM:
Add Crest of the Stars/Banner of the Stars to the list of good space operas since Cowboy Bebop, though that's still 10-15 years ago. Also Planetes from about the same time period. Come to think of it, Uninhabited Planet Survive was about that time, too. So I guess the last real space opera wave was the early-mid 00's.


Last edited by DeTroyes on Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:25 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Beatdigga



Joined: 26 Oct 2003
Posts: 2509
Location: Here!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:19 pm Reply with quote
When the Voltron producers try to pass their POS as a space opera, you know the genre is in decline.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Thespacemaster



Joined: 03 Mar 2012
Posts: 478
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:25 pm Reply with quote
The Space Opera had it's time to shine and now is gone. their are other types of genre which had their moment but are now almost never seen anymore like the Mecha and the current era of Isekai. Things just come and go.

As others have said, eventually what was old will be new again. hollywood seems to have already in this era.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cave



Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 54
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:44 pm Reply with quote
My husband and I are currently watching Legend of Galactic Heroes and it's amazing to say the least. We need an anime like this again so badly. I am very excited for the new series coming out soon! Anime with just plain people and not overloaded with trope characters is so rare nowadays.

The animation is also plain amazing. It's incredible knowing it's all hand drawn and sad that much of the beauty of hand drawn animation is being lost to clunky CG.

There's quality in those space operas that you just can't find in anime now.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Chrono1000



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 870
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:53 pm Reply with quote
The era of the space opera has passed and outside of long running shows there are few attempts at it now. Macross might be in licensing hell but it did recently have two shows and supposedly a third will be announced soon. Also Knights of Sidonia could be called a space opera.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3483
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:17 pm Reply with quote
First thing I thought of for current anime was "Gundam" and that'll never end. I don't know if Gunpla is big in China, but I know it's big in S.E. Asia and maybe Korea? So I assume wherever Gunpla is big, so is Gundam.

Quote:
There's still quite a few space anime being made. The last few years has given us Aldnoah.Zero, Terra Formars, ēlDLIVE, Space Brothers, Total Eclipse, and quite a few others, in addition to plenty of new Gundam. There's still lots of Sci-fi, but most of it isn't sticking so close to space opera formula anymore.

I also thought of Aldnoah Zero too, because I was considering it when Righstuf just had their holiday sale. There's also two seasons of Valvrave the Liberator and Fafner Exodus not too long ago. Then there's the ongoing Yamato 2199 movies and Eureka Seven continuation. While not in the space opera realm, Alderamin on the Sky is still a heavy political, military sci-fi fantasy.

Quote:
It may not seem like much, but remember that there's an insane amount of anime being made these days compared to decades past.

Yah, seems like a matter of relativity and perspective. Certainly in comparason to the everything else quanitity wise, it's just a minority but I don't think it'll ever end and that we'll always see it being made. I think that the commitment, especially from writing/story for yuuuge Star Trek, Babylon 5 type space operas make them rarer productions. The only big space-y universe anime I can see continuing is Gundam, otherwise, we'll just see the much more common 1 or 2 cour short big-universe scifi/space opera-ish anime.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 1726
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:24 pm Reply with quote
Just think, in 10 years, we'll be able to do this again, but with "Where have all the isekai gone?"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Zin5ki
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 6390
Location: London, UK
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:52 pm Reply with quote
Perhaps the age in which single-cour anime are the norm has resulted in the space opera becoming too risky a venture for most. The larger casts and hefty world-building on which the genre relies would feel very cramped within a mere twelve episodes.
invalidname wrote:
Just think, in 10 years, we'll be able to do this again, but with "Where have all the isekai gone?"

The irony here is that the industry will truly seem like another world by then.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 2790
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:13 pm Reply with quote
In Toy Story 2, a major theme is the loss of the western. Which as the characters pointed out, went out of fashion after the moon landing.This is like, what happens next.

I suppose it could come back, as people have said there have been some, no one has mentioned the 07 version of Toward the Terra, which was good despite some CG ships.

Personally I've never thought that it was as good as some of the other genres in Anime. There are some I like that fall under that banner, but I always thought of them as something else; Bebop Si-Fi Noir, Outlaw Star Space Western, Gundam Mecha. In fact quite a few Space Operas contain Mecha. But I do not think the decline of Space Operas was a bad thing.
Zin5ki wrote:
Perhaps the age in which single-cour anime are the norm has resulted in the space opera becoming too risky a venture for most. The larger casts and hefty world-building on which the genre relies would feel very cramped within a mere twelve episodes
Well that's going to be interesting in a few years, since the 2 cour show seems to be slowly coming back;
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
Stampeed Valkyrie



Joined: 10 Aug 2014
Posts: 330
Location: PA
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:26 pm Reply with quote
No Mention of Bodacious Space Pirates?
I too enjoy Space Operas.. Yamato.. Macross (obviously), Gundam (meh), and as mentioned Crest/Banner of the stars..
Currently Isekai is all the rage.. but there are still titles out there that are Sci-Fi in nature so I don't think it's ever gonna die out totally.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Polycell



Joined: 16 Jan 2012
Posts: 4620
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:47 pm Reply with quote
I think BSP cements the idea that the genre really needs space to spread its wings before it can be any good.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 1 of 4

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group