×
  • remind me tomorrow
  • remind me next week
  • never remind me
Contest Extended Until MIDNIGHT Nov 1! • Your guys' entries are the pick of the patch, so we're adding an additional 48 hours to get your pumpkins in! read more

Forum - View topic
INTEREST: Tadashi Sudo: Does Japanese Animation Suffer From the Galápagos Syndrome?


Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  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
TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 4640
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:58 pm Reply with quote
The best thing about Japanese anime, is that it is Japanese anime.

It is not competing with anyone. We are all watching Japanese anime. I am not going to stop watching Japanese anime because Netflix has a hit once in a blue moon, and the same with China and Korea.

If I want to watch globalized anime, I can watch western animation.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 2782
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:23 pm Reply with quote
SaitoHajime101 wrote:
I think what Tadashi Sudo was going for was beyond just the content of the anime, its also the "behind-the-scenes" elements as well. Constant articles and interviews are released talking about the poor pay and work environments which needs to change. The anime industry as a whole needs to evolve beyond its current self. The anime industry feels like its stagnating a bit. The idea that outside competition may hurt the Japanese-style of anime is a bit overexaggerated as there's always been a general understanding that competition is supposed to increase creativity, improve process, improve technology, and other aspects of an industry. While it isn't always the case, I believe that's what Tadashi Sudo is trying to say.

The Japanese anime industry needs to take a few cues from recent and ongoing changes in Hollywood. Sudo had it right on the money when talking about the Hollywood influence. Hollywood is undergoing significant changes right now to be more inclusive and, overall, more influential (whether this is working or not is a different conversation), while the Japanese anime industry isn't really doing anything at all. The industry isn't very welcoming to new talent (in front of the microphone and behind it) due to working conditions. If Japan is looking to keep exporting animations globally, it will need to adjust to global markets.

Anime fans wishing that anime stays a niche, or semi-niche hobby, will need to accept that we're part of that growth. As more fans come into the hobby, the more the industry grows (looking at you "video games"), the more money is made, the more wealthier certain individuals get, which will then cause an increase in the number of productions and exportation. Generally you can boil it down to supply and demand.

I think Boku no Hero Academia's and One Piece's global influence show as prime examples of underutilized markets where Japan can really became a major player but don't choose to play the game because of old-fashioned, unchanging business practices. If we want studios to stop going out of business, we need to support better working conditions and overall industry changes to be more palatable to the global market.


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. If anything I'd see the opposite happen, where they'd actually seek animator in 3rd world country so they could pay them even less and therefore make more anime, but that would be very hard to do while keeping quality high.

I highly doubt any non anime fan have any idea what the salary of animator in the industry are and I doubt that'll change simply because of the language barrier, most post are in Japanese and therefore have no chance of being read outside market.

Honestly I think the real revolution will happen with software that can automate more and more of the job of animator. Soon (if not already) task like shadow and colouring will be done automatically and I imagine in 10 year or so computers will be able to create in between frame for action (ie a sequence that would take 16 frame to look good could be done with just 8 or even 4 and the computer would just create frame in between them with the drawn frame as reference). At that point animator will be so much more productive that they'll be able to create anime for a much smaller cost.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SaitoHajime101



Joined: 31 Mar 2013
Posts: 252
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:33 pm Reply with quote
Ryuji-dono wrote:
Could inviting foreign talent in other fields other than animation help to an extent too? Maybe Japanese animation may need a new touch of storytelling at the hands of those outside of it as long as it can be handled well.


I can't disagree with this statement. I completely agree that foreign talent from any field, from a reference/research perspective, could help better a story. Depends on the story, how accurate the creator is trying to be, what type of techniques could be introduced, so on and so far. I believe this to be a hard question to answer due to a number of factors that can change the end product in various ways, some more so than others. It all boils down to what a talent brings to the table.

Horsefellow wrote:
If people are saying anime needs to go the way of video games, then that's going to be a hard disagree from me. AAA games might sell well, but my interest in most of them have completely died. I don't care about shooters, games-as-a-service, open worlds, battle royals, or any other popular soulless trends that are common in the western gaming scene right now. I lament that days gone of older genres and titles that were once great but now are pushed to the side chasing trends. Luckily, I don't see this happening at all. Let Hollywood and other industries chase those fads and run their industries into the ground. We'll just keep doing our own thing.


I can completely understand your point and agree that AAA games aren't as enticing as say some impressive Indie games. However, in the gaming industry, at least back when I started playing (early 90s), there really wasn't a major difference between AAA and Indie as everything was still pretty niche. The NES was making it big in the states as the greatest thing since the Atari 2600, PC gaming was still very much in an infant state, and there wasn't much competition in the rest of the console market. Tabletop Gaming was still the biggest threat to video games at the time.

My point being is every hobby gains a "indie" or "non-mainstream" grouping at some point. I remember being introduced to my first underground rock band back when I was in school... I was shocked to hear there were bands not playing on my local FM stations or have their own tapes. Anime is just moving towards a direction where there is a clearer line between niche-anime and mainstream anime. In fact, it has been this way since the mid-2000s. The big three (Naruto, Bleach and One Piece) being considered very main stream and you weren't a true anime fan if all you watched was this. That argument, in my own personal belief, was just a knee-jerk reaction to the influx of casual anime viewers who caught their shows either through Cartoon Network, G4TV (which was kinda niche), Fox Box, and other such stations (United States viewers...). I cannot speak for those of other countries.

Bottom-line is we will still have or niche anime, just in a bit of a different form. Someone could probably speak better about it than I can, but what about the Noitamina block in Japan. Things I read about that block of anime tend to be the, under-the-radar, shows (good and bad).


Last edited by SaitoHajime101 on Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Blackiris_
Aria CompanyAria Company


Joined: 06 Sep 2013
Posts: 498
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:38 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
Blackiris_ wrote:
meiam wrote:
There's very few anime that I'd say have a distinctive Japaneses setting, outside of historical piece that happened in japan (but even there there's plenty happening in non Japaneses setting, like last season Arte). So I don't really know what he's talking about...


You don’t consider all these school and slice-of-life animes distinctively Japanese? Almost all non-fantasy anime are set in Japan these days. And probably always have, but it feels like the "cultural curiosity" in anime has faded to the same extent the market has shifted towards otaku interests in the ~2 decades.


High school in japan aren't that different from anywhere else, there's more focus on club in anime (no idea if that's an accurate representation), but that's a very simple concept to understand since it pretty much boil down "do stuff with your friend after school" which every high school kid does. I'm pretty sure you could take literally any high school/SoL anime and set it in a school anywhere, at least in the developed world, and it would need very minimal modification. The only one I can think of that's very Japanese and would be hard to export is Chihayafuru, but vast majority of them are simple enough. Even think like kendo or kyudo are similar enough to non japan version to not need any modification (only so many way you can shoot an arrow).

Anyone know if samurai Jack is popular in japan? I'm guessing not which just show that borrowing element from other culture doesn't really help the show in said culture.


The way people live, act, behave and think in Japan differs quite heavily from countries in the West (or other countries). This is obviously not always reflected in anime characters completely, but the vast majority of all anime with a Japanese cast in a Japanese setting are – in my opinion – very distinctly Japanese. American high school movies utterly differ from any Japanese high school anime I’ve seen. Of course you could argue that a jidaigeki anime is more "Japanese", but I think that’s not the point. I don’t consider a samurai more Japanese than a Japanese office worker – more exotic maybe.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
El Hermano



Joined: 24 Feb 2019
Posts: 293
Location: Texas
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:48 pm Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
The best thing about Japanese anime, is that it is Japanese anime.

It is not competing with anyone. We are all watching Japanese anime. I am not going to stop watching Japanese anime because Netflix has a hit once in a blue moon, and the same with China and Korea.

If I want to watch globalized anime, I can watch western animation.


These are more or less my thoughts. For the past 20 years we've seen western animation, comics, and other media attempt to copy and emulate anime to cash in on it's popularity around the world. It's a bit strange to suddenly see someone say the opposite is what actually needs to happen. I think companies investing in and mimicking anime should be proof enough of it's distinct appeal and success around the globe. Homogenization would just lead to less creativity, in my opinion.

I also feel this topic is a bit outdated. Animation seems to be becoming more and more niche every year, at least in western countries. I can't really see how anything Netflix or any other network produces is somehow in direct competition with anime. Just what countries are producing animation to rival anime, in his opinion? Is he talking about series like Tower of God and God of Highschool? Correct me if I'm wrong, but those adaptions are animated by Japanese studios so they are anime, even if they're based on Korean manwha. Even if we label them as Korean animation, I think it'll take more than a couple series to be considered competition. Just how popular are those two series in the grand scheme of things? Unless they eclipsed even the biggest anime in popularity I think it's a bit premature to say anything on the subject.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 383
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:23 pm Reply with quote
I think the main point trying to be made here is that there are certain elements that have become distinctly "anime" such as the art style and the narrative structure. But those things are easily copied. Subject, pacing, content, are the other areas that get overlooked, but matter a lot to the end product. Japanese animation has increasingly retreated to niche offerings. You can say what you want about how much sex sells and all that, but anime tends to depict "clearly" juvenile characters whereas other media tends to keep far away from that. For every gruesome and bloody anime that gets churned out, other media is careful with how much of that they show on screen. And even where you might be tempted to compare slice of life stuff with the latest Disney movie, slice of life tends to be more unfocused in its story, while that Disney movie tends to have a very direct and streamlined narrative, even when it does get more exotic.

Now, we can pick through all this and point out how much we like these idiosyncrasies of Japanese anime, we have to remember that we are already fans. We are part of the niche. And unfortunately for the industry, that niche is not growing large enough to support it. That's the whole idea of Galapagos Syndrome - your niche environment, while itself beautiful, cannot support itself long-term. It can either admit this and adapt to be embraced by a winder audience, or it can sit there and be stubborn, and die of the vine.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Hoppy800



Joined: 09 Aug 2013
Posts: 2806
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:44 pm Reply with quote
DRosencraft wrote:
I think the main point trying to be made here is that there are certain elements that have become distinctly "anime" such as the art style and the narrative structure. But those things are easily copied. Subject, pacing, content, are the other areas that get overlooked, but matter a lot to the end product. Japanese animation has increasingly retreated to niche offerings. You can say what you want about how much sex sells and all that, but anime tends to depict "clearly" juvenile characters whereas other media tends to keep far away from that. For every gruesome and bloody anime that gets churned out, other media is careful with how much of that they show on screen. And even where you might be tempted to compare slice of life stuff with the latest Disney movie, slice of life tends to be more unfocused in its story, while that Disney movie tends to have a very direct and streamlined narrative, even when it does get more exotic.

Now, we can pick through all this and point out how much we like these idiosyncrasies of Japanese anime, we have to remember that we are already fans. We are part of the niche. And unfortunately for the industry, that niche is not growing large enough to support it. That's the whole idea of Galapagos Syndrome - your niche environment, while itself beautiful, cannot support itself long-term. It can either admit this and adapt to be embraced by a winder audience, or it can sit there and be stubborn, and die of the vine.


Anime retreating to niche works is a good thing, it's their lane and specialty similar to how Disney specializes in mostly G and PG related works. Changing anime to suit western audience is destructive, just like it would be if Disney movies were all changed to be entirely edgy, gory, violent, and R-rated.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ryujin99



Joined: 21 Jul 2010
Posts: 109
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:48 pm Reply with quote
DRosencraft wrote:

...snipping the first paragraph...
Now, we can pick through all this and point out how much we like these idiosyncrasies of Japanese anime, we have to remember that we are already fans. We are part of the niche. And unfortunately for the industry, that niche is not growing large enough to support it. That's the whole idea of Galapagos Syndrome - your niche environment, while itself beautiful, cannot support itself long-term. It can either admit this and adapt to be embraced by a winder audience, or it can sit there and be stubborn, and die of the vine.


I think there's an important distinction to be made between a market with limited size and an market that's unsustainable. Galapagos Syndrome is more referring to the former and highlights a lack of room to grow rather than a lack of stability.

What I got from the article is more that, if the Japanese anime industry wants to continue growing and maintain its position as a global leader in the medium, then it needs to expand beyond its limited market. There's still plenty of room for niche titles to be produced, but the industry needs to produce more than just niche titles if it wants to continue expanding. The real problem facing the industry is that its lack of diversity makes it much harder to produce titles with mainstream appeal.

To borrow one of Sudo's examples: consider the Jojo OAV that showed Dio reading the Quran. That scene surely limited the potential global market for that OAV, so the question arises... did the use of the Quran in the scene contribute something of value to the scene? Could having the book be something else expand the work's potential market?

For another example: I'd consider some previous discussion in the thread about portrayal of Christianity, often Catholicism specifically, in anime. While there are plenty of people who won't mind Catholics, or Christians in general, being portrayed as villains, there are definitely people that do take offense to it. spoiler[Also let's not forget that many Christians already demonize Catholics, so it's not really surprising that demonizing Catholics is socially acceptable in many places.]

In both cases, I don't think it's a problem for a production to include such depictions, but their inclusion may limit the product's marketability; and perhaps by more than some may think. As recently as the 00's, there was quite a bit of manga censorship of Christian imagery in the US, precisely because it would make the work more marketable. Finding the right way to approach issues like this is tricky, and a lack of differing opinions about them will only make it harder for producers to achieve their goals.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 4640
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:21 pm Reply with quote
DRosencraft wrote:
That's the whole idea of Galapagos Syndrome - your niche environment, while itself beautiful, cannot support itself long-term. It can either admit this and adapt to be embraced by a winder audience, or it can sit there and be stubborn, and die of the vine.


People have been saying that anime will die for years now. Hasn't happened yet. If you keep saying it long enough it might be true someday, but I think I will die of old age before it happens.

Globalization of Japanese anime is the death of Japanese anime. Globalized anime is sanitized animation. Japan experiments all the time and already make some anime with the western audience in mind. But wholesale changes to appeal to a global audience, forgets where Japanese anime makes its money from.

Also, as El Hermano indicated, I haven't seen any non-Japanese anime that could compete with Japanese anime. I don't see the warning signs or the rivals for anime. For me, the doomsayers and globalization proponents want to remove the appeal of Japanese anime and render it approved for 'all audiences'. You can copy the art style, but you can't copy the uniqueness of Japanese anime. That uniqueness is so many things, not just sex appeal.

This is just another argument, from a different angle, to say anime must change. Well it doesn't. You now have have whole anime seasons, where there is usually something for everyone. Life couldn't be better for anime. Yeah, COVID 19 is causing some business problems, well it is doing it for everyone, not just anime production companies. If 2008/2009 didn't kill anime, I doubt it is going away anytime soon. And if something does kill it off, we all will probably have other things to worry about.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
El Hermano



Joined: 24 Feb 2019
Posts: 293
Location: Texas
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:23 pm Reply with quote
Ryujin99 wrote:
In both cases, I don't think it's a problem for a production to include such depictions, but their inclusion may limit the product's marketability; and perhaps by more than some may think. As recently as the 00's, there was quite a bit of manga censorship of Christian imagery in the US, precisely because it would make the work more marketable. Finding the right way to approach issues like this is tricky, and a lack of differing opinions about them will only make it harder for producers to achieve their goals.


That sounds like a slippery slope waiting to happen. If you avoid religion in works, then it's no doubt going to lead to people asking for the medium to avoiding other things like sex, violence, or anything that could be remotely objectionable. Besides, self regulating and censoring isn't a guantee you'll attract new people to your stuff, but it will absolutely alienate your existing fanbase. American comic books have already tried doing all this, and Viz alone still sold more books than Marvel and DC combined did last year. This would be a huge mistake. Thankfully. this all just seems to be the hypothetical musing of a journalist and not an actual edict.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mdo7



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 5910
Location: Cypress, Texas, USA
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:59 pm Reply with quote
I decided to log-in because I saw this article and read it for myself. After reading the article, I want to give my thought on this.

Sudo-San wrote:
Instead of defining the world standard into the future, as Hollywood and Disney have done in the past, Japanese animation is at risk of suffering from the Galápagos Syndrome while creative teams overseas produce more globally appealing content.


Sudo-San also wrote:
Japan has hardly changed, but the world is changing dramatically. The uniqueness of Japanese anime, subject to the Galápagos Syndrome, has expanded to the world, and that uniqueness is now, in fact, becoming diluted," he observed. "The spread of the Japanese style can be seen as a sign of success for Japanese culture. On the contrary, however, it bodes difficult times ahead for Japan. This style which was once thought to belong only to Japan can be created outside the country, which compromises Japan's top position and increases competition."


I'm afraid I have to agree with him on that perspective. I've been monitoring animation coming out of Mainland China and South Korea, their animation can hold candle (or probably surpass, but it's subject to debate) to their Japanese counterpart. For Chinese animation, because they're not licensed outside of China/Asia and because they're hard to find on Youtube or elsewhere, I don't think Chinese animation will gain any popularity outside of China, and I don't think Chinese animation could gained a big foothold in US and Europe. But Korean animation is something I would be worried about if I was a Japanese anime fan.

Last year, a Japan Times article warned the manga print industry about South Korean's webtoon could put manga industry out of business. This year we just witnessed 2 Korean webtoons becoming anime: God of high school and Tower of God. So this raises question about anime industry's identity and which audiences are they being catered for. And I understand the risk of alienating local audiences, but at the same time the industry is scared of being left behind while their neighbor like South Korea and Mainland China being able to surpass their Japanese counterpart when it comes to animation and impressing the world.

Overall, this is probably the most interesting article I've read hence why I'm leaving my thought here.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
IceLeaf



Joined: 08 Sep 2019
Posts: 64
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:02 pm Reply with quote
What the need to do instead of focusing on the overseas market is to pick different series to adapt. I used to like isekai series but now I'm just sick of it as so many of the ones being made as anime are identical to one another with nothing to distinguish them from one another while plenty of unique manga and novels get passed over in favour of a quick buck.
Sure you get a good one once in a blue moon but they could be using the time spent making the average ones to improve the quality of other series being produced. While cookie cutter series secure a stable income when you think of successful anime it's generally the ones which deviated from the norms of what was being produced at the time but now the studios don't seem to want to take the risk of a series flopping and take the same safe route.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 3645
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:03 pm Reply with quote
People seem to get weirdly defensive whenever this topic arises. I don't think the article is implying that anime needs to embrace western sensibilities and tropes at the expense of everything else. But it's absolutely right that there's a dearth of perspectives and voices represented in the people who actually create anime. It's no secret that Japan is a very homogeneous society, and the resulting insularity of viewpoints doesn't make for an environment that promotes creative diversity. Even putting broader cultural issues aside, there's absolutely a lack of different perspectives on the creative side of things as well. Old-guard types like Anno and Oshii have noted that a lot of newer directors seem to only take cues from anime itself, without expanding out to the broader language of cinema. There are precious few directors out there who take that more "filmic" approach: Kon was absolutely one, and Watanabe is as well. Instead you have a lot of people raised on otaku-targeted anime making otaku-targeted anime, and where does that allow you room to grow as a medium and find more universal audiences? The answer is that it really doesn't. I want the anime industry to grow and thrive, and given Japan's population outlook, that's simply not going to happen if it stays focused only on domestic sales.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sisyphusson66



Joined: 04 Dec 2018
Posts: 70
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:06 pm Reply with quote
Coming from my western perspective, the issue isn't so much that the anime industry needs to evolve towards globalization, but that the entertainment industry is stifling in its current state for things that are not western or global in design. Even though there are pushes for greater diversity in staffing and storytelling in the west, the global box office demonstrates that by and large outside of the occasional Chinese film, the top ten is usually dominated by western (typically American) films. Trying to globalize the anime industry isn't going to help it to compete against western juggernauts like Disney. What needs to change more than the industry are the perceptions of anime and international media that do not allow it a fair run in the market.

We as fans of anime know all of what it can offer, warts and all. For myself, I love it for its distinctly different perspective on the world and it never really feeling like western media. But I think that in general, we are no longer part of the global "general audience" on this issue because we have made it past most of, if not all of the hurdles that are placed in front of anime and international film in general. It makes sense that animators and filmmakers have taken a lot of inspiration from international film and anime because they can see the merits and the power it has. Look at lists of films suggested by some of the best filmmakers today, for example. You are not going to see them suggest any Marvel film, Star Wars film, or some massive blockbuster. Instead, you will see them recommend Bergman, Mizoguchi, Fassbinder, and others from around the world and across time. But they are not the general audience, and it is the general audience that really determines to market, as we are the ones giving them our money.

Anime, and international film to some extent, face barriers of entry that western enterprises just don't face. First there is the face-value perception and exposure. While it is getting better, anime is still seen as somewhat niche, with the focus not looking at its offerings as a whole, but in a very skewed manner. The focus either is on the very weird and controversial, or on the big action series and the latest release from Ghibli. Occasionally a celebrity will show their love of anime, but it is but a drop in the ocean. Many know of Dragon Ball and MHA, but how many outside of global anime communities at least know of Mushishi, Lupin III, or Haruhi Suzumiya for example? It doesn't help that there seems to also be an aversion to subtitles in the western market at least. This also negatively impacts the reception of international film on wider audiences. And then finally there is the perception of animation in general. Again, this is changing in the west and around the world, but it still is seen as either primarily for children or relegated to genres like comedy or action.

This is not to say, of course, that the anime industry shouldn't change. It would be a net positive for the industry to enact better work environments and pay for its workers, and it would be interesting to see adaptations of non-Japanese and non-Asian works from time to time (i.e. Gankutsuou and some Ghibli films). The issue I see is that world media is still dominated by the Disney's of the world, and that it will take a shift in the perceptions held by the general audiences towards international media and anime. If, on an equal playing field, the industry does find itself suffering from Galápagos syndrome, then it should really start trying to adapt to the global market.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Skerlly Fc



Joined: 18 Aug 2016
Posts: 75
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:48 pm Reply with quote
OH.MY.GOD. Finally, someone from Japan on a bit more important place had to vocalize what´s been the general complaint that I want the anime fandom to see and think, and I agree with Sudo on what he says. You can talk all you want saying that you watched anime because it was anime, or because it was Japanese, but how much does that mean when the Japanese anime industry that gave us the brilliant stories of Hayao Miyazaki, is giving us dozens of trashy isekai/cute-girls/ecchi/harem who´s popularity only lasts for the month that this is airing on?

The anime fandom has a big problem that makes them becoming their own worst enemy, when they do stuff that doesn´t help foster genuine, friendly discussions that can allow people to form their own opinions and share them without negative reactions. Also, most anime fans seem to be trapped on their big fandom bubble to the point that they don´t want to discover what good things other media has to offer in comparison to anime, thinking anime is the only good media in the world, while everything else is trash with no uniqueness, which is why you have some opinions like people in this thread, which say that anime has to be Japanese yes or yes to be good. Same with manga fandom, where you have people that have only consumed manga, and they claim that US comic books are the same old superhero trash, whereas now we have comics with a vast array of genres, and some of the best superhero comics of the last decade are less driven by superhero cliches, mixing with other fiction genres.
Have any of you genuinely discover and interacted with other fandoms to discover how much good there is on it?

For example, when Sudo quotes "However, as time has passed, other countries are producing animation with a similar appeal to Japanese anime", he means that animated series from around the world have taken not only visual or referencial, but also storytelling inspiration from anime, and have offered some stories that couldn´t offer in previous times when they were limited to what they could show on TV. I can make a big list of the "outside of Japan" stuff that competes with anime, whether is stuff that is considered well reviewed, divisive, or bad despite trying their best.
1-I´ve stopped reading and watching/following shonen action manga and anime because of their awful tendency to overstay their welcome and follow common cliches to pander to its kids/teen audience, and there´s no time to follow a shonen action anime that lasts over 100 episodes in the span of 5+ years to finish the freaking story. Few shonen action anime last less than 100 episodes, with the only examples I can think of being Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood(64 episodes in a year, because the manga was complete before it) and The Seven Deadly Sins(if the nest season is 24 episodes, the whole franchise will last 96 episodes). That´s where the Avatar franchise(Aang having 61 episodes, Korra having 52) and Voltron: Legendary Defender(78 episodes) come in. They can be series inspired by shonen action anime that last less and offer the same plot-driven excitement of stuff like the Big 3 of shonen and Dragon Ball. And that´s not even counting the plethora of action cartoons that broke the mold from 2000s and 2010s.
2-Big Mouth might be Adult American Pie with its crude, low-brow and juvenile sexual humor, but it mixes that with coming-of-age concerns about sexuality that happens to teens and at some points it becomes relatable, while we had to wait until last year to finally see a series like that in O Maidens, or this year´s Interspecies Reviewers. Most stuff in anime utilizes sex just for titilation and shock value, just as badly as the US, yet anime fans vocalize how this is a thing exclusive to the US.
3-It´s true that anime movies have some cool slice-of-life movies, or movies that mix that with cultural worldbuilding and mysticism like Your Name of Koe No Katachi, but in the last decade Disney have made their own relatable stories with Inside Out or Coco. And there are more slice-of-life series in the US than before, when they didn´t have many because that wasn´t appealing to american audiences, but I remember some series from other markets, like Canada´s Braceface, a series that could tell stories relatable to young girls about dealing with body growth, love relationships and all that, and I haven´t yet seen a Japanese equivalent to that.
4-Isekai anime series always travel to the same Medieval Fantasy setup, which is super tiring, then you see isekai-like animated series like Disney´s Amphibia(a world of frogs), Netflix´s Twelve Forever(an imaginary world where its protagonist confronts her desires and needs) and Cartoon Network´s Infinity Train(travelling crazy worlds through a train to scape from bad real world stuff) that have more life than Japan´s offerings.
5-China, freaking censoring and controversial China, had to give us a good e-sport animated series with The King´s Avatar. Anime hasn´t given us anything like that despite having a culture and fandom about it, and despite Japan being the highly influential force behind gaming, and the closest thing to it would be Hi-Score Girl.


DRosencraft wrote:
Now, we can pick through all this and point out how much we like these idiosyncrasies of Japanese anime, we have to remember that we are already fans. We are part of the niche. And unfortunately for the industry, that niche is not growing large enough to support it. That's the whole idea of Galapagos Syndrome - your niche environment, while itself beautiful, cannot support itself long-term. It can either admit this and adapt to be embraced by a winder audience, or it can sit there and be stubborn, and die of the vine.

I still think we like anime like Ghost In The Shell, Akira, Ninja Scroll, the Ghibli films and all that not only because they were different stuff from what was allowed to us or what we could get on manistream US TV, but also because they have storytelling elements that are universal or familiar to western audiences. And that´s why you´ll find people that hate anime and are put off by it, because anime to them seems to be more known for the exclusively japanese cliches and tropes from more otaku-like works. People get put off by anime that has harem/fanservice/otaku-like tropes because these are included on those series for the sake of pandering that niche otaku audience, rather than create good storytelling and use these cliches as tertiary elements. I started to like anime for what it offered in comparison with the US, like many anime fans. However, in the last few years, I´ve discovered so many good Live action and animated TV series and movies from the west, that by comparison japanese animation feels like it lost creativity. For example, this year the anime ladscape has been hit severely by the COVID-19 that we have less anime to watch, yet instead of opening the doors for more interesting anime to watch, I read online opinions about how the best anime series are still trashy isekai and soulless shonen action anime adaptations like Bofuri, Otome Villainess and the like. Does that mean that I hate anime? No, I still like watching anime, but I´ve reduced my anime backlog for stuff that breaks the mold inspite or because it has more storytelling conventions familiar to western audiences.

The anime fandom needs to realise that some people can be put off

Anime doesn´t need to remain japanese to be good, and if it needs to be influenced by the world outside Japan, I agree that it shouldn´t be by copying their storytelling conventions. I´ll put some examples of what I mean:
1-Jojo´s: Diamond is Unbreakable is a series with easy appeal for a Western audience because despite being set in Japan and having some cultural stuff pulled from its setting and late-90s timeframe, it combine mystery and thriller aspects inspired by Hitchcock and US horror movies that mix well with its shonen action formula.
2-Netflix´s Ultraman might be Ultraman for the Marvel Cinematic Universe generation, taking some cliches from the superhero genre, but it still has stuff that is as appealing for japanese audiences, like the whole Science Patrol thing from the original Ultraman series, or the subplot about the alien that has some creepy fanatism with the idol female lead.
3-Space Dandy has some obvious Japanese idiosyncrasies and quirks on its production, but it´s not far off from something that could be made just as well in the US by creative people, because it feels like an american sitcom in a space setting with hilarious situations a la Spongebob
4-Attack On Titan could have been also made in the US, because its setting and plot seem inspired by stuff that is popular now on YA and post-apocalyptic movies, even when mixing it with stuff inspired by kaiju movies and Ultraman.

And there are so many anime series like it that are the stuff that could make a casual viewer an anime fan overnight, and that´s the stuff that Japan should be making. Stuff that is true to its japanese anime routes while taking and reconfiguring stuff from outside Japan to their needs and creativity. Stuff that abandons the lazy anime cliches that dragged anime into unpopular or obscure territory, like the many light novel cash-grabs from 2008-13, and break into other audiences like Attack on Titan did when it came out. Under this context, the article can look more positive to anime fans. But as always, anime fans don´t want that to happen because it´s more important to them to have the same otaku trash that sells to a niche audience that should grow up into responsible adults. They mock stuff like Fena: Pirate Princess or some Netflix Originals because they think that these works are mandated by a western company rather than stuff that japanese people really want to make. I hope the anime fandom can see globlization on a more better light and see that as a neccesary change rather than demonizing it, and I´d also like them to change their way of thinking of audiences and media outside of anime, as audiences that they can share and live with, as that would be more benefitial and a good way to grow up from the bad fanatism that can drag the anime fandom sometimes.
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 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 2 of 5

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group