sad state of anime

Categories: anime, commentary

No Comments »

I was watching Da Capo when I realized just how sad the current crop of shows are. According to Narg, they were desperate enough for ideas to turn a bargin bin Dreamcast dating sim into a game. I guess you have to find something after using up the best-selling Kanon and Sister Princess.

Da Capo: Nii-san!, Onii-sama!… vaguely familiar…

What really drove the popularity of anime a few years ago were the great series– Cowboy Bebop and Escaflowne, and they got people into watching stuff other than what’s on TV. One had to buy the DVDs back then to see these excellent series. And people did because they had the right balance of fluff and substance. It was something that couldn’t be extracted from American media at the time. Then came Love Hina, and it basically ignited the boom since it was one of the first series to be seriously digisubbed. It was also a romantic comedy geared towards guys– a first for most Americans.

Since then, have we really seen any series that has been up to par with those three? With ADV billing the damaged, but somewhat servicable, Rahxephon as yet another next Eva, something is seriously wrong with the industry in general. Then there’s the endless recycling of Eva itself– wtf is Shinji on the cover of the new Newtype? Couldn’t they get someone fresher like Hideki from Chobits? Oh, wait, no one cares about Hideki. Pretty soon, fanboys will really think, “Wow, it’s just a bunch of crap. I could have just watched something on MTV instead.”

While there has been a few good shows like Azumanga, Mahoromatic, and Haibane, they’re not shows that drive newcomers to anime. They’re for fanboys to enjoy, and while that’s good, it’s not going to sustain the industry. What will sustain the industry are “ground breaking” series, like, well, Bebop and Esca were a few years ago. A few series do come close like the endless Gundam parades and Inu Yasha, but Gundam ain’t exactly new and Inu‘s being butchered by its American licensee.

I’d like to see anime succeed in the US; if anything as an alternative to what Hollywood force feeds us. “Oh boy! Yet another mindless sequel! I didn’t learn my lesson from Legally Blonde 2 so I’ll go see this one also!” The problem is that most production houses are trying to do their best at making a quick buck off of the American market that they’re sacrificing quality to the point that anime is now pure fluff (Popotan), pure fanservice (Onegai Twins), or pure bargin bin (see start of rant). I hope that there’s relief on the horizon– Chrno Crusade (why can’t the Japanese ever spell that word right?) looks promising, and some people are hyped over this Futakoi thing. We’ll see, if not, I may have to resort to watching Scary Movie 3, and I’m sure no one wants that.

Leave a Reply