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Old 2011-07-10, 22:43   Link #1
Kaioshin Sama
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Question Are superhero shows the next big trend? Magical girl shows? Make your predictions

For a while now there have been rumblings within the anime industry that moe might be declining as the big trend that is governing a large chunk of anime production, and the main worry seems to have been that the industry powers that be don't know what the next big thing is.

Lately I've been wondering if the industry might possibly have placed their bets on Superhero shows? There have been quite a few recently, ranging from Madhouses Marvel trilogy, to the Bones/Stan Lee collaboration Hero Man, and most recently Sunrise's Tiger and Bunny and Sacred Seven. Of these shows I think only Tiger & Bunny has been a huge hit, but it definitely seems like the industry has been taking experimentation with the genre seriously and it leads me to want to predict it as the next big trend to take over for the moe boom as it slows down somewhat in the coming seasons.

Magical Girl shows also seem to be going through a huge resurgence, albeit redefined for the modern era by frequently being a lot edgier than they used to be. Franchises like Precure feature outright brawling instead of the cute magical attacks that permeated the genre in the past in shows like Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura. Also shows like Madoka Magica delve pretty heavily into themes of death, rebirth, despair and the impact such things have on the human soul. I might be missing some examples, but I think Magical Girl could act as a go-between for moe and super hero shows or even as it's own counter-culture as the industry adjusts to coming changes.

Something tells me I'm onto something, but of course I could be completely wrong, and that's why I made this thread so that others can chime in and offer their insight and any possible predictions on where anime is headed and what kind of shows might be big in the future.
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Old 2011-07-10, 23:02   Link #2
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I actually think the two (superhero and magical girl) are related.

I like magical girl anime for much the same reason I loved superhero comics as a kid and teenager: Colorful costumes, flashy heroes with flashy powers, a "larger than life" feel to everything, dramatic pitched combat, pitting idealistic protagonists against somewhat harsh/cynical realities to see how well they hold up.

I do think that these types of stories (ones with these elements) are starting to influence the anime industry more and more, and are perhaps taking some of the place once occupied by mecha anime.

So I definitely think that you're on to something here, Kaioshin.


However, I don't think that moe is fading, so much as being seen more as a viable element in almost any conceivable anime, rather than a genre unto itself

In other words, I think you might be seeing fewer shows (or fewer highly successful ones, anyway) that are all about "cute girls doing cute things", and more shows that are about different things than that, but still have a "cute girl" or two in the primary cast.
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Old 2011-07-11, 00:22   Link #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaioshin Sama View Post
For a while now there have been rumblings within the anime industry that moe might be declining as the big trend that is governing a large chunk of anime production, and the main worry seems to have been that the industry powers that be don't know what the next big thing is.
Well, even if moe is regressing in its effect on sales (I don't think so, but for the sake of the argument) there are still enough existing successful and lucrative proprieties to not worry about that. Also, the reputation of individuals and studios will still attract attention from consumers as much as moe did.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaioshin Sama View Post
Lately I've been wondering if the industry might possibly have placed their bets on Superhero shows? There have been quite a few recently, ranging from Madhouses Marvel trilogy, to the Bones/Stan Lee collaboration Hero Man, and most recently Sunrise's Tiger and Bunny and Sacred Seven. Of these shows I think only Tiger & Bunny has been a huge hit, but it definitely seems like the industry has been taking experimentation with the genre seriously and it leads me to want to predict it as the next big trend to take over for the moe boom as it slows down somewhat in the coming seasons.
A trilogy of four parts?

Out of the titles you had mentioned, only Tiger & Bunny can be considered a success thus far. Neither Heroman or the Marvel Anime were much of a hit in Japan (or actually good shows).

I do think that you are on to something though in this part. I don't think that superhero shows are going to pick up much, but I think collaboration with western creators and IP's is going to be picking up more steam gradually, and that more anime is going to be made with an international market in mind (or at least with an appeal to the international customers).

That depends on how many hits they manage to get across both pounds tho.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaioshin Sama View Post
Magical Girl shows also seem to be going through a huge resurgence, albeit redefined for the modern era by frequently being a lot edgier than they used to be. Franchises like Precure feature outright brawling instead of the cute magical attacks that permeated the genre in the past in shows like Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura. Also shows like Madoka Magica delve pretty heavily into themes of death, rebirth, despair and the impact such things have on the human soul. I might be missing some examples, but I think Magical Girl could act as a go-between for moe and super hero shows or even as it's own counter-culture as the industry adjusts to coming changes.
Well, magical girls had been always blessed with a good base of, well, young girls and 20 something business men () so more than being a current trend I think it's just coming back on a slightly higher up swing this past 3-4 years since the start of Precure, with getting so many hits. It's more trendy to like a MG show nowadays for sure, but I don't think it's going to be like moe and stop being trendy after a while.

The thing with Madoka Magica, much of it's hype stem from the staff that created it initially (since all of them had at any point had created or managed to produce a highly successful product) so I think the trend that we are going to be seeing (if this year had been any indication) is the willingness to take more risks with anime originals and experiment with different ideas to see what is the most profitable one is, before emulating it ad infinitum.

So my predictions are:

-International collaboration are going to pick up

-More experimental anime than usual with more unusual ideas (to see which one is more popular)
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Old 2011-07-11, 00:32   Link #4
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Most of the American superhero attempts in anime were pretty awful, so I'm doubtful. It is kinda funny that their own homegrown superhero show, Tiger and Bunny, did everything those adaptations should have done. Maybe Sunrise has a knack for these things; I believe they did work on Batman: The animated series, and of course they did The Big O... which could be seen as Batman in a giant mecha. Not that I'm implying that Madhouse shouldn't but hey...

Madoka's success seems to have more to do with the talents associated with it, rather than it being a magical girl show. Shinbo/Uborochi/Kajura could be considered capable of putting works somewhere outside the norm, but it's an intresting coincidence that Shinbo would be responsible for pushing magical girls ahead twice, once with Nanoha, and once with Madoka. And I don't even like Shaft being Shaft.

But regardless, it seems they have been experimenting with a whole lot of stuff lately. It might just be someone is sick of seeing the same old thing.
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Old 2011-07-11, 00:54   Link #5
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Shinbo/Uborochi/Kajura could be considered capable of putting works somewhere outside the norm
Also Aoki Ume.
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
but it's an interesting coincidence that Shinbo would be responsible for pushing magical girls ahead twice, once with Nanoha, and once with Madoka. And I don't even like Shaft being Shaft.
Considering how much he loves the genre, I wouldn't be surprised that's his hidden agenda.
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Old 2011-07-11, 01:34   Link #6
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I think Detective shows are a bit more popular, particularly Detective + Mo. There's been 3 or 4 of those in the last year or so.

I have to agree that superheroes seem to be taking the place of Mecha, and that's in addition to the more traditional "Action shonen" formula.
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Old 2011-07-11, 01:49   Link #7
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Outside of the Marvel stuff, it's really only been Sunrise who's doing any superheroe shows with Tiger & Bunny along with Sacred Seven and even then that's still only two shows which hardly constitutes a trend. Maybe if those two blow up really, really big, there might be a wave of superhero imitators that follow.

I personally feel that Shounen is kinda an extension or the Japanese equivalent of superheroes anyway.
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Old 2011-07-11, 02:36   Link #8
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Originally Posted by Arabesque View Post
I don't think that superhero shows are going to pick up much, but I think collaboration with western creators and IP's is going to be picking up more steam gradually, and that more anime is going to be made with an international market in mind (or at least with an appeal to the international customers).
I doubt that will ever become a trend, unless Japanese anime producers are just a bunch of peabrains who already forgot what happened last decade when GONZO tried it.


Current trends running: tourist anime, anime originals, yuri, loli security.
  • I think anime originals might be a trend worth following more closely, although the upcoming Fall season looks to be another sequel paradise, which happens every few seasons.
  • Tourist anime has been on the rise for a while now, but there's still room for growth because it taps into casual fanbase and helps local economies.
  • Yuri undertones have entrenched themselves into possibly every show focusing on cute girls, but hopefully it won't turn into something ubiquitous like moe.
  • Some people have dubbed shows that feature a protagonist looking over cute girls as loli security. I don't see it holding out too long, but still it's something to take notice of.


Now, with Bill 156 going into effect this month, I can see one bigger change in the scope of sexual themes: the little sister will have to be replaced. If Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko is any indicator of times to come, "Itoko" will become the new "Onii-chan."

But as far as themes are concerned, I don't think the industry will swing into any particular direction as it did so when Evangelion came out.
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Old 2011-07-11, 07:25   Link #9
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I actually think the two (superhero and magical girl) are related.
As the genre of magical girls evolved at this point, it's true, the differences have really thinned.

Anyway I remember earlier examples of anime trying to emulate the superheroes of the american comics. Tatsunoko in particular in the past made a lot of anime with that purpose in mind. Think for example about Hurricane Polymar and the Gatchaman.

And then again there was a popular manga version of Spiderman done by Ryoichi Ikegami.

Yeah I know I guess I'm talking of prehistory here... but as you can guess the superhero theme never really worked in japan if not as live actions with their many "-ranger" and "ultraman" clones.


I think it's early to say that we are going to experience a revival of the superhero genre in anime. After all the only notable example is tiger & bunny and even that one isn't particularly famous (not as much as Eva that's for sure).

Occasional superhero anime or manga have always appeared in the past now and then after all, it's nothing new.

Magical girls on the other hand have always been steadily there and I don't think we are going to experience anything different from the usual fluctuations of the past 40 years. What has really changed is the demographic they are aimed to. After Nanoha and Madoka I think it's very likely that we are going to see more of them aimed to a male public.
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Old 2011-07-11, 07:49   Link #10
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Originally Posted by Arabesque View Post
Well, even if moe is regressing in its effect on sales (I don't think so, but for the sake of the argument)
Moe might not have, but shows that are all about "cute girls doing cute things" seems to have taken a bit of a hit, imo. I think that this might be what Kaioshin is referring to by "moe declining" (that shows entirely rooted in moe might be declining).

A-Channel did decently sales-wise, but nothing to write home about, IIRC.

Denpa Onna did pretty good, but then it's male lead was actually pretty interesting, and more than a pure cipher for male viewers to live vicariously through.

I wouldn't say that Nichijou is all about "cute girls doing cute things", but to a certain extent, that's how it was marketed. It didn't do too well.

Anohana had a perfectly split core cast, gender wise - 3 males, 3 females. So I wouldn't say it was a show all about "cute girls doing cute things".


I certainly think that otakus still want moe, but I think that they increasingly want moe to be simply one appealing element out of a few different appealing elements, and for the show to have some weight to it.

Now, I don't doubt that the K-On movie will sell well, but that's in part because K-On has an established, dedicated fanbase. I'm not sure if there's a great longing for different shows with a K-On-esque setup out there right now. One thing I'm going to pay close attention to is how iDOLM@STER, Ro-Kyu-Bu!, and Yuruyuri do. That might have much to say about the current state of the "cute girls doing cute things" genre.


Quote:

Out of the titles you had mentioned, only Tiger & Bunny can be considered a success thus far. Neither Heroman or the Marvel Anime were much of a hit in Japan (or actually good shows).
I thought you liked X-Men?


Quote:

The thing with Madoka Magica, much of it's hype stem from the staff that created it initially (since all of them had at any point had created or managed to produce a highly successful product) so I think the trend that we are going to be seeing (if this year had been any indication) is the willingness to take more risks with anime originals and experiment with different ideas to see what is the most profitable one is, before emulating it ad infinitum.
That's true. There has been a fair number of anime original works recently. Some very successful and standout ones at that (particularly Madoka Magica and Anohana).


Quote:
So my predictions are:

-International collaboration are going to pick up

-More experimental anime than usual with more unusual ideas (to see which one is more popular)
I agree with you on these two. However, I do think that Kaoishin is right about how the anime industry is increasingly exploring shows with a super hero feel to them (if not an actual super hero anime).

It's a shame that Madhouse never tried Spiderman, though. Spiderman looks vaguely like a super sentai hero, and he also has at least a little bit of history in Japan.

I really think that a Spiderman anime could do quite well if tried. It would have no shortage of good villains to work with too. In fact, given anime's love of lightpole and electrical wire shots, I'd love to see how they'd handle Electro in an anime.
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Old 2011-07-11, 08:08   Link #11
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It's too early to tell.

I don't think moe will bite the dust any time soon frankly. It's too well catered to the prime anime consuming demographics.

Until the demos change I don't think we will see much deviation from what we see today.
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Old 2011-07-11, 08:12   Link #12
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Superheroes as the next big thing in anime? That doesn't sound incorrect what with all the superhero anime I've been seeing. It's almost funny though, since some comic fans have been saying the superhero genre is holding back comics, and the manga style is the way forward. Life is interesting sometimes.

I agree on magical girls as well. Nowadays magical girls are much more action oriented than their predecessors, such as Nanoha, etc and Madoka took magical girls to a rather new stage. I'm looking forward to see what else will happen with that genre.

Come to think on Marvel anime, I really must watch more of that, I didn't even finish Iron Man...
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Old 2011-07-11, 09:15   Link #13
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OK

so we have had Batman omnibus and the Marvel tie ins. Yea, that's not enough to indicate any trend vs. the ASS LOAD of moe shows made for the Japanese.

Those Marvel tie ins are for US, the Japanese DON'T care about them.
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Old 2011-07-11, 09:43   Link #14
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
I think Detective shows are a bit more popular, particularly Detective + Mo. There's been 3 or 4 of those in the last year or so.
I was thinking this too. You got the long-time Conan, Gosick, and Kamisama no Memochou, plus some that probably used a detective theme but had no actual mysteries. If you throw in Kaitou, you got the random one-shots for Kaitou Kid, Jeanne, and I think there was one or two others this year.

I wouldn't say it'll be the next big trend, or any big trend barring the second coming of Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle, but it wouldn't surprise at all me if we got at least one new mystery/detective/Kaitou series each season for the foreseeable future.
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Old 2011-07-11, 10:02   Link #15
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Yep totally agree with Soloman, you can't call Superhero anime a trend since firstly, T&B aside they're all going to flop, and secondly Heroman and the Marvel shows are obviously not primarily aimed at Japanese audiences. Tiger and Bunny's success is more due to fujoshis jumping on it like a thirsty man in the desert would jump on water. Sacred Seven's Amazon Japan ranking atm is #367 (and way behind the other 3 shows I've seen on Amazon from this season) after two episodes, whereas in the same timeframe T&B was @ #7.

As far as Madoka and the magical girl genre.. well it was a deconstruction of one.. it would be hard to do another show in a similar vein let alone enough to start a trend.

Anyway I think the biggest trend that will happen over the next few years is...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyth View Post
I doubt that will ever become a trend, unless Japanese anime producers are just a bunch of peabrains who already forgot what happened last decade when GONZO tried it.


Current trends running: tourist anime, anime originals, yuri, loli security.
  • I think anime originals might be a trend worth following more closely, although the upcoming Fall season looks to be another sequel paradise, which happens every few seasons.
Mainly because they have mined the Light Novel stocks as much as possible... Hagani is the last big one left and it goes into being an anime @ a much higher popularity level than it's predecessors.. Most big manga series have already been done as well... Looking @ the Top 20 selling Manga series for the first half of 2011 only 3 haven't been adapted yet... Shingeki no Kyojin (this is the next big thing in manga), Saint Oniisan and Kuroko.

Also the majority of the best selling anime of all time are also made up of Original Anime. Looking @ the Top 10 selling series.. only Bake (#3) and Dragonball GT (#7) are not original anime... (I know GT isn't based on any manga,,,)

Looking @ this year the 4 best selling shows are Madoka, AnoHana, Infinite Stratos and Tiger & Bunny. 3 out of the 4 are originals and T&B may overtake IS to make the Top 3 original productions. Fall Season looks like having at least 4 high profile original anime shows in Gundam AGE, Last Exile 2, UnGo and Guilty Crown as well.
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Old 2011-07-11, 10:33   Link #16
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Originally Posted by Westlo View Post

Looking @ this year the 4 best selling shows are Madoka, AnoHana, Infinite Stratos and Tiger & Bunny. 3 out of the 4 are originals and T&B may overtake IS to make the Top 3 original productions. Fall Season looks like having at least 4 high profile original anime shows in Gundam AGE, Last Exile 2, UnGo and Guilty Crown as well.
The rise of anime originals is indeed the biggest trend in the anime industry right now.

I for one heartily welcome it, for the following reasons:

1. A disproportionately large number of my favorite anime shows of all-time are anime originals.

2. Anime originals don't have to worry about being faithful to source material, so they can put top priority on pacing themselves to fit their anime format as well as possible.

3. Anime originals can't be spoiled if you're watching them as they're airing in Japan. Viewers are all on the same level playing field when it comes to speculating over what comes next.


The rise of anime originals likely is due, in part, to what you mentioned about how light novels and manga are just about tapped out for the anime industry right now. As for VNs, I know that there are a fair number of prominent ones that haven't been adapted yet, but I've heard people say that some of them (such as Little Busters) will be very difficult, if not impossible, to adapt.
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Old 2011-07-11, 12:26   Link #17
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Tiger and Bunny's success is more due to fujoshis jumping on it like a thirsty man in the desert would jump on water.
I agree, T&B's main strenght is not that it is a superhero show. Still, it did things a bit different then normal and I can see some of it's ideas being followed in the future.

For example:
Biseinen cast members instead of bishonen. Widens potential audience.

Tailoring the main character to a voice actor who is also the Japanese voice of Johny Depp. Wild Tiger bears some resemblance to an animated version of Jack Sparrow. It's not a surprise the fujoshis love this show. I can see other VA's who voice hollywood stars get an anime equivalent of their assigned star to voice.

Uniform sponsoring by real brands. I can see this used more in the future especially for streamed anime, viewer can't avoid the advertising.
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Old 2011-07-11, 13:41   Link #18
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
I think Detective shows are a bit more popular, particularly Detective + Mo. There's been 3 or 4 of those in the last year or so.

I have to agree that superheroes seem to be taking the place of Mecha, and that's in addition to the more traditional "Action shonen" formula.
Now that I think of it we are seeing a bit of a rise in that. Milky Holmes, Memochou, Gosick. It could just be that they all came out close together or it could be the birth of a new sub genre. Interesting.

I also like the argument that we might be seeing some more original anime in the coming years. It really wouldn't be surprising if the manga/light novel stocks are starting to run a little dry at this point. I suppose if the industry still feels like relying on manga adaptations they could go back and do some one shots and try to turn them into 12 episodes series. I wouldn't mind seeing some of Tezuka Osamu's one shot manga's adapted in the near future if they are done well.

Loli security eh? I've definitely noticed this one, but I tended to refer to it as boy meets loli. I like the sound of "Loli Security" better though so I think I'm going to have to adopt that.
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Old 2011-07-11, 15:49   Link #19
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I doubt that will ever become a trend, unless Japanese anime producers are just a bunch of peabrains who already forgot what happened last decade when GONZO tried it.
Meaning we are going to see more of it regardless of how many failures it brings.
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Originally Posted by cyth View Post
Current trends running: tourist anime, anime originals, yuri, loli security.
  • Tourist anime has been on the rise for a while now, but there's still room for growth because it taps into casual fanbase and helps local economies.
I always had the impression of tourist anime gaining more attention was due to the PM's desire to use anime as a cultural point in recent years. I guess whether it picks up or not depends on how far the governments interest in making anime one of the drawing points of the country.
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Moe might not have, but shows that are all about "cute girls doing cute things" seems to have taken a bit of a hit, imo. I think that this might be what Kaioshin is referring to by "moe declining" (that shows entirely rooted in moe might be declining).

A-Channel did decently sales-wise, but nothing to write home about, IIRC.

Denpa Onna did pretty good, but then it's male lead was actually pretty interesting, and more than a pure cipher for male viewers to live vicariously through.

I wouldn't say that Nichijou is all about "cute girls doing cute things", but to a certain extent, that's how it was marketed. It didn't do too well.

Anohana had a perfectly split core cast, gender wise - 3 males, 3 females. So I wouldn't say it was a show all about "cute girls doing cute things".


I certainly think that otakus still want moe, but I think that they increasingly want moe to be simply one appealing element out of a few different appealing elements, and for the show to have some weight to it.

Now, I don't doubt that the K-On movie will sell well, but that's in part because K-On has an established, dedicated fanbase. I'm not sure if there's a great longing for different shows with a K-On-esque setup out there right now. One thing I'm going to pay close attention to is how iDOLM@STER, Ro-Kyu-Bu!, and Yuruyuri do. That might have much to say about the current state of the "cute girls doing cute things" genre.
Ah okay, I understand.

Re: iDOLM@STER, Ro-Kyu-Bu!, and Yuruyuri, I don't think anyone of them really resemble K-On! that much, but I do get what your saying about using them as a gauge for moe's effect these days. However, the iDOLM@STER, much like K-On!, already has an established fanbase as well, so I think that it's going to be selling well regardless of the moe factor.
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I thought you liked X-Men?
X-men isn't a Marvel Anime. It's a great show, it can't be!

But yes, poor phrasing. Ironman, Wolverine and Blade all suck, with the exception of X-men, in that it's the only show actually made with a staff who actually cared about the show they were making.
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
That's true. There has been a fair number of anime original works recently. Some very successful and standout ones at that (particularly Madoka Magica and Anohana).
I guess we can add Hanasaku Iroha and Tiger & Bunny as well. Thinking about it, I guess that the factor all these recent original shows have in common is that they either are very well produced from a technical level and/or use some very unusual ideas as their premise (there is of course factors like moe and fujoshi bait, but I think these helped sell the idea rather than being the factor behind their success)
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
It's a shame that Madhouse never tried Spiderman, though. Spiderman looks vaguely like a super sentai hero, and he also has at least a little bit of history in Japan.

I really think that a Spiderman anime could do quite well if tried. It would have no shortage of good villains to work with too. In fact, given anime's love of lightpole and electrical wire shots, I'd love to see how they'd handle Electro in an anime.
Considering the odds are against Spidy (with 3/4 of the show being badly made) I wouldn't say it's a shame lol

But seriously, I do agree with you that Spiderman would've made a kickass anime (I'm not sure why they didn't actually go with, and instead got Blade. Spiderman, X-men, Wolverine and Ironman are all B+ to A list superheros, while Blade I would put at C to B- list. Would've made sense with the upcoming movie as well :/), if they made it with the same quality of X-men. His rouge gallery is also pretty creative, with lots of possibilities for good looking and clever fight choreography.

Maybe when Madhouse gets out of their bind, they might get to try again. But since Disney now owns Marvel, I think that the chances of that are pretty slim at this point in time.
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Old 2011-07-12, 03:55   Link #20
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
The rise of anime originals likely is due, in part, to what you mentioned about how light novels and manga are just about tapped out for the anime industry right now. As for VNs, I know that there are a fair number of prominent ones that haven't been adapted yet, but I've heard people say that some of them (such as Little Busters) will be very difficult, if not impossible, to adapt.
I remember Yamakan made a statement a few years ago about the LN stocks being tapped and remarked how something as big as Index was only a passable hit on the level of his Kannagi. Of course most peoples reaction to that was that he was just shooting his mouth off as per usual (My adaption of a small manga sold as much as J.C Staffs adaption of a big LN series lolol) but ignoring that I thought he was right than and as time goes by his comments become truer and truer. When it comes to LNs after Hagani what is left outside of sequels? (Someone FFS animate Zaregoto already)

I think most big anime titles from now on based on LN and Manga will be like Infinite Stratos and Ao no Exorcist. Where they take a mid-tier property and than elevate it into the top. But there's no real sure bets in doing that.....

As for VNs I really don't know much about them... do you or anyone else know of what major ones are left to turn into an anime? Also maybe anime based on video game adaptions will start to rise as well.... if Persona 4 ends up being a critical and commercial success I can definitely see that trend picking up...
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