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Old 2011-11-30, 23:32   Link #181
Ithekro
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Well then you have Kyon from Haruhi Suzumiya that isn't given anything really. He's still not special in anyway. He has no powers. Everyone around him does and he seems to be the key to god. Yet he's still pretty much Kyon though the whole thing. Not so much a hero as usually the day is saved by the others.

But sometimes he save the day. Usually in the simpliest, and most mundain way possible.

He does have harem lead plastered on him, even though it isn't a standard harem show. Yet he ramains the unreliable narrator/hero/dog slave of the goddess.

This oppose to Sousake form Full Metal Panic...who was good at what he did before he got his awesome lambda driver powered mecha. He's still good when he has a crappy older Soviet mecha. He's also fully trained soldier from the start. He's problem is fitting in with the normal people.
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Old 2011-11-30, 23:34   Link #182
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Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
Most light novels have this concept, actually. There's Yuji from Shakugan no Shana, Touma from Toaru Majutsu no Index, Saito from The Familiar of Zero and Kirito from SAO — all Badass Normals. However, I think this is just a side-effect of adopting too many light novels, actually.
I have the feeling those aren't exactly the kind of protagonist he like either. They all rely on some kind of magic or artifice even if it was the main theme of the show. Perhaps what he meant was something more "doable" for normal humans.

I admit there hasn't been many protagonist like that (well, nothing that came straight out of my mind). But, most of the time seeing how the protagonist fully master his/her abilities is also quite interesting.
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Old 2011-11-30, 23:36   Link #183
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Not just that, but again look at how mecha anime started. Forgot about Super Robot, they by definition is based entirely on mech power.

But even the Real Robot originate with protagonist with awesome mech compare to the noob. Gundam, even with Amuro was the chosen one and the White Devil was vastly superior tech-wise. If anything Macross is the franchise that focus more on skill than mech, but even it stared with a Super Robot ace-in-hole with the SDF-1.
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Old 2011-11-30, 23:36   Link #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
Most light novels have this concept, actually. There's Yuji from Shakugan no Shana, Touma from Toaru Majutsu no Index, Saito from The Familiar of Zero and Kirito from SAO — all Badass Normals. However, I think this is just a side-effect of adopting too many light novels, actually.
Agreed. It really feels like a light novel thing. Mangaka have much more fun with snazzing up their protagonists. Though of course the light novel is a large market in Japan and there is much genre diversity, even if the rom-coms are the most adapted.

As for why it's such a light novel thing, I'd conjecture it has a lot to do with the first-person perspective of these novels. It's much easier to write a slightly exasperated and very familiar voice of the common mind than it is to delve into madness, ambition, or alternatively the empty heads of them shounen protagonists -- especially if you're just writing a romantic comedy, where the girls are the ones who get most of the crazy-and-interesting quotient. They're almost a literal lightening up of the venerable genre of literary Japanese I-Novels (where self-depreciation, self-reflection, self-I-suck-and-is-less-than-imperfect-I-am-No-Longer-Human predominates).
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Old 2011-11-30, 23:47   Link #185
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
It's ok for ideas and things to change in an industry but what I think happened in these years in particular for me was not so much a shift in market to what tastes are getting catered to, but more so the market actually cutting down on who exactly they're catering to. Instead of catering to A, B, C, and D, they were choosing to only go for audience D. I didn't really view this as healthy for the industry personally, so I'm very glad to see in 2011 again shows that are starting to be able to appeal to more than just D.
Well, I'd look at this from the alternate angle: if this is so, what does this say about the audience, and perhaps more importantly what does it say about the market at that time? I mentioned previously about the American market collapse that happened in that timeframe (which had a measurable impact on how anime was funded), so I think it's pretty clear that the market reacted and re-trenched. But even in that action/reaction, it stands to reason that they re-trenched into the perceived "safest bets" at the time. So it still does tell us something about the anime audience at the time (or at least the market of patrons who were buying stuff). It's certainly true that the audience doesn't only have "one voice", and them targeting a wider variety of voices does tend to suggest a willingness to take more risks. But who they bet on when the going gets tough is still a valuable insight.
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Old 2011-12-01, 00:02   Link #186
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Both reckoner and reckless flame make good points.

Everyone knows that the industry is hounding the otaku market, mainly because money is tight and it's a guaranteed revenue source.

There's nothing necessarily wrong with that.

That being said, personally, I see the type of shows that that audience is into is rather narrow.

Simply put there's very little made for non otaku audiences over the age of 18, at least from what I have seen. There fore I just haven't been following the stuff like I used to.

But whatever, it is what it is.
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Old 2011-12-01, 00:05   Link #187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solomon View Post
...
That being said, personally, I see the type of shows that that audience is into is rather narrow.

Simply put there's very little made for non otaku audiences over the age of 18, at least from what I have seen ..
Hmmmm, all I can say is that I've collected more series than ever in the last couple of years that non-otaku over-18.... actually non-anime fans found interesting and entertaining. Series like.... Spice&Wolf, REC, Kamichu!, Kurozuka, Ichigo Masimaro, Love*Complex, Soul*Eater, TTGL, and others have all been hits with different people who aren't otaku by any definition (though not everyone liked every series).

There's diversity out there.. but I'll readily acknowledge its a bit thin -- mostly due to the economy, imo. Producers will gravitate to the types of shows with the highest probability of a revenue stream -- any US tv viewer is aware of the infinite numbers of CSI/Law&Order/murdercrime series on tv, etc. The trend to overkill isn't exclusive to anime

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Old 2011-12-01, 00:09   Link #188
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Originally Posted by Undertaker View Post
And this is what I'm talking about, since this thread started, the anti-moe group has been consistently narrowing the years and claiming there aren't any shows outside moe/fan-service/harem and when they got rebuffed, they just disappear, Irenicus pointed out the obvious and they go all defensive.
And this is exactly what I'm talking about. You're grouping people and don't even have the shame to see it for yourself. I've never narrowed my time perspective, yet you use the words of others against me. You can't do that if you're adressing me directly. For the record, of my current top 20 anime, 12 are from 00 onwards.

Also, I've seen most of what you're talking about and some I would disagree with as I see them as derivative works. You see, I'm not talking about what some show has as a single element. I'm talking about about what they actually are. Mitsuki's journey as a singer is definitely the heart and soul of Full Moon. Not some transformations, battles and slapstick.

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So what are you implying?
I am implying that otaku pandering is no one thing. It's not moe nor is it fanservice. It's an anime that is specifically made just for them to feel comfortable about themselves with all the familiar elements they like. Comfort food.
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Old 2011-12-01, 00:27   Link #189
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Originally Posted by mecharobot View Post
I am implying that otaku pandering is no one thing. It's not moe nor is it fanservice. It's an anime that is specifically made just for them to feel comfortable about themselves with all the familiar elements they like. Comfort food.
Just to be absolutely clear, though, when most people complain about anime's "lack of diversity" or its insistence on "otaku pandering", their proposed solution is almost always "they should pander more to me instead". Very few people spare a thought about "lack of diversity" when it would mean more shows they don't care about (and, as the logic typically goes, less of those they do). It's extremely rare to find viewers who are deeply concerned about anime strictly as a form of pure art. At the end of the day, entertainment is "comfort food" for all of us, so everyone's inevitably motivated primarily by themselves (and perhaps whatever group of friends they want to reach out to or impress).
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Old 2011-12-01, 00:49   Link #190
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I think part of the problem right now is a lack of communication. I just went back to look to see what this arguement between mecharobot and Undertaker is (because I couldn't figure out what was going on anymore) and I think it is because of a edit that one likely never read. I know I didn't read one of those responces beforehand because I posted about something after the original post but before the edit so that if I went to read the thread again (for "new posts"), I would not be shown that edit.

This missed step in communication seems to have made this more personal than it should be, since the questions were answered but not seen.

(these posts specifically, since I think they answer the questions: http://forums.animesuki.com/showthre...95#post3880995
and
http://forums.animesuki.com/showthre...28#post3881128

I know I didn't see either of them)

I write this only because I wanted to make sense of what was going on in hopes that things will remain civil.
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Old 2011-12-01, 00:55   Link #191
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Well, as I was trying to allude to before, I think the back-and-forth arguing is generally counterproductive, especially when it gets into "list fights". So I hope the thread can move on from that now. I'm also starting to wonder (based on the tangents and the fact we're starting to rotate back around) if we've said all there is to say on this for now, but I'll give it a bit more time for new insights to surface. These topics tend to come around from time to time anyway, and I'm not sure there will ever be a clear resolution because so much is driven by perception.
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Old 2011-12-01, 01:18   Link #192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mecharobot View Post
I am implying that otaku pandering is no one thing. It's not moe nor is it fanservice. It's an anime that is specifically made just for them to feel comfortable about themselves with all the familiar elements they like. Comfort food.
I get the feeling that anime has been that way since forever, but I'm just a latecomer. Could you mention a few titles that was not specifically made for specific audiences in mind? Sorry Relentless, this might came out as a list, but I'm really curious to what he has to say about this.

Also, I get the feeling that this is what Undertaker was saying all along: "otaku" shows have always been the bulk of anime shows, be it for a mecha-ota, idol-ota, ecchi-ota, chuunibyo-ota, or any type of anime. Which I agree to, and is why I think saying the anime industry has "degraded" or whatnot just because it doesn't appeal to one's own tastes is too subjective (as a few posters here have said repeatedly over and over again).
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Old 2011-12-01, 01:39   Link #193
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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
I get the feeling that anime has been that way since forever, but I'm just a latecomer. Could you mention a few titles that was not specifically made for specific audiences in mind? Sorry Relentless, this might came out as a list, but I'm really curious to what he has to say about this.
If you ask me, an otaku pandering show goes beyond that. Such anime will neither stress your mind or your emotions. It won't make the slightest effort to make the watcher get involved, or to care. The greatest innovation such shows will make is play with a trope, that was derived from another trope of a similar show, ad infinitum. Just so that it is easy to get while making sure not to wear the watcher on any level.

Now whether this is ingenious or not, I can't say.

Anyway. I've been derailing this thread with personal nonsense for too long. My apologies to the involved parties and for the inconvenience in general.

I'm outta here.
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Old 2011-12-01, 02:08   Link #194
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Originally Posted by solomon View Post
Both reckoner and reckless flame make good points.

Everyone knows that the industry is hounding the otaku market, mainly because money is tight and it's a guaranteed revenue source.

There's nothing necessarily wrong with that.

That being said, personally, I see the type of shows that that audience is into is rather narrow.

Simply put there's very little made for non otaku audiences over the age of 18, at least from what I have seen. There fore I just haven't been following the stuff like I used to.

But whatever, it is what it is.
But this is what I'm talking about, the majority of these show aren't really aim toward otaku market because they were fan, they were aim toward them because they weren't originally fans.

Take most of the shows anti-moe had problem with. K-on, Lucky Star, A-Channel, Work, whatever, they were 4-koma seinen manga that was target to general, casual 20 + readers in the beginning. Hardcore anime/manga fans were not originally part of that group as they deem those manga to be too casual. (and truth be told those manga really isn't much more than gag strip comic ala Snoopy)

However, the industry was running out of source material to adapt and turns to LN and 4 K-oma seinen tsince they are popular to the general crowd.

Once they got adapted into anime, otaku market buys in as well as general non-anime viewers as well, which leads to increase sale of original manga and related merchandise.

On the other hand, seinen manga like Claymore who got adapted in anime didn't really boost the original sale as much because the ones who watch and buy the related product was the otaku market to begin with.

It's almost like JUMP series, ever since the string of hits in the 90s and emergence od big three, there are more and more shonen action got adapted to anime than ever before because of new market been tapped and old old market still buys into it.

The misconception here is still that most anime watch still convinced that Naruto, Bleach, FMA, OP are aim at 20+ when in reality they are target as 13-18, and everyone else was collateral damages.


Quote:
Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
I get the feeling that anime has been that way since forever, but I'm just a latecomer. Could you mention a few titles that was not specifically made for specific audiences in mind? Sorry Relentless, this might came out as a list, but I'm really curious to what he has to say about this.

Also, I get the feeling that this is what Undertaker was saying all along: "otaku" shows have always been the bulk of anime shows, be it for a mecha-ota, idol-ota, ecchi-ota, chuunibyo-ota, or any type of anime. Which I agree to, and is why I think saying the anime industry has "degraded" or whatnot just because it doesn't appeal to one's own tastes is too subjective (as a few posters here have said repeatedly over and over again).
exactly,

Quote:
Originally Posted by mecharobot View Post
If you ask me, an otaku pandering show goes beyond that. Such anime will neither stress your mind or your emotions. It won't make the slightest effort to make the watcher get involved, or to care. The greatest innovation such shows will make is play with a trope, that was derived from another trope of a similar show, ad infinitum. Just so that it is easy to get while making sure not to wear the watcher on any level.

Now whether this is ingenious or not, I can't say.

Anyway. I've been derailing this thread with personal nonsense for too long. My apologies to the involved parties and for the inconvenience in general.

I'm outta here.
Than your view of Otaku is a misguided one, because if nothing else the only reason there are still some Super Robot around at wall was because of the same otaku market.

Watching Japanese veriety show will do you some good as most comedians are well-known Otaku and you can see endless manga/plamo/models in their house or references toward ACG world.
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Old 2011-12-01, 05:40   Link #195
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Has anime changed? Maybe. The trend on protagonist characterization certainly have.

There currently seems to be an increase of the "ordinary student guy", the one who at the beginning is perfectly normal, maybe even bland. nothing special, no great talents, not good at making friends, some even going so far as being losers.

And then the "call" happens, something like accidentally finding an artifact of HAXX that suddenly makes him a major player in an epic war.

But...he stays normal. He joins the adventure and kicks ass, but that's because he has the HAXX power to kick ass, not because he's experienced or trained.

I miss shows like Patlabor, where the heroes were not the ones with some uber-powerful mechs - with shows today, whenever a hero kicks ass I tend to think "that's not him being awesome, that's his mech being awesome". And the protagonists are not the Chosen One or someone who accidentally found a Plot Item of Destiny, they're people who consciously enlist for the job and become good at what they do because they constantly practice for it.

Just a theory, but I think this is another type of otaku-pandering. With these kind of protags, the viewers then got their wish fulfillment, and when the question "why can't I be awesome?" arise, the answer became "hey, I just haven't get the call of destiny yet!"

Now get this straight, this kind of wish fulfillment has been there for a long time, as early as Doraemon, maybe even older. But there seems to be a great increase on these kind of protagonist lately. Somewhat related, there is a sudden spike of harem heroes who collect chicks just by being nice - he's not particularity athletic, nor is he smart, and more often than not even aware of the attention he's getting. And yet girls swoon every time he's there.

Is this trend good or bad? Well your mileage will definitely vary on this one, but as for me, I have far more respect on those who earn their place that those who got it on a silver platter, so you can guess my opinion on the subject

That sounds so much like Nanoha wouldn't you say? But for some inexplicable reason it smells more like Guilty Crown

Note that most of these protagonists already have some admirable qualities well before shit happens to them, even if it's as simple as courage or perseverance, though most of the time it's humility.

But what I think about this is that people have always like to support the underdog ever since David vs Goliath. So the reason why Normal protagonists are used is because it's a more heroic tale to talk about a normal person putting themselves in the line of danger than it is to retell how Superman saved the world again.

Btw, I don't count normal people that gain super powers strong enough to become MVPs themselves as 'normal protagonists', so no Nanoha(s)
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Old 2011-12-01, 07:12   Link #196
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yeah, Kyon so far fits the bill of the ordinary everyman more than Nanoha or the likes ever will. Then you also have Rock from Black Lagoon. Remember, he used to be an ordinary salaryman. He is an interesting protagonist to watch because you get to see how hanging with sociopaths that society will never want to welcome have molded him, not only them but also the events he had gone through. I think that the breaking point for Rock is the Yakuza arc.
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Old 2011-12-01, 07:32   Link #197
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Has anime changed? Maybe. The trend on protagonist characterization certainly have.

There currently seems to be an increase of the "ordinary student guy", the one who at the beginning is perfectly normal, maybe even bland. nothing special, no great talents, not good at making friends, some even going so far as being losers.

And then the "call" happens, something like accidentally finding an artifact of HAXX that suddenly makes him a major player in an epic war.

But...he stays normal. He joins the adventure and kicks ass, but that's because he has the HAXX power to kick ass, not because he's experienced or trained.
There are several things at work I think. There is the basic wish fulfillment concept. "What if a normal kid, all of a sudden had amazing powers, what would he do with it?". The backbone of many superhero stories and it's been around for while (I think Stan Lee's Spiderman was the first in 62?) .

Another thing is that there are more anime adaptions of RPGs where the main character is a generic everyman, little more than an avatar for the player. When adapted to anime the character usually retains his bland and unremarkable features.

Probably the most important factor is the popularity of the Seikai-kei concept in anime. In which everything (often literally) depends on the relationship between a weak, powerless boy and a strong-willed girl with powers/talents/abilities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiresias View Post
I miss shows like Patlabor, where the heroes were not the ones with some uber-powerful mechs - with shows today, whenever a hero kicks ass I tend to think "that's not him being awesome, that's his mech being awesome". And the protagonists are not the Chosen One or someone who accidentally found a Plot Item of Destiny, they're people who consciously enlist for the job and become good at what they do because they constantly practice for it.
Patlabor is an example of a show where a very talented creative team twists the tropes and formulas of the genre. Occasionally anime like this show up, but they have always been rare regardless of what was popular at the time.
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Old 2011-12-01, 07:55   Link #198
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There are several things at work I think. There is the basic wish fulfillment concept. "What if a normal kid, all of a sudden had amazing powers, what would he do with it?". The backbone of many superhero stories and it's been around for while (I think Stan Lee's Spiderman was the first in 62?) .
Funny enough, nobody seems to point out that all mahou shoujos are like that

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Another thing is that there are more anime adaptions of RPGs where the main character is a generic everyman, little more than an avatar for the player. When adapted to anime the character usually retains his bland and unremarkable features.
Two, unless you can name more

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Probably the most important factor is the popularity of the Seikai-kei concept in anime. In which everything (often literally) depends on the relationship between a weak, powerless boy and a strong-willed girl with powers/talents/abilities.
I've noticed that those series tend to have more ero-fanservice than say moe but that's neither here nor there. Though I must be quite fortunate to have missed out on all of those.

But I wouldn't call those popular- nobody ever remembers the male protagonists in those stories so those aren't really successful at all.

Last edited by Brimstone; 2011-12-01 at 08:08.
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Old 2011-12-01, 08:41   Link #199
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Two, unless you can name more
There have been dozens of visual novel adaptions ( I should probably not have typed rpg to prevent confusion) to anime. Late night anime pretty much started with adaptions like To Heart, Sentimental Journey, Kakyusei etc. A lot contain "ordinary student guy" male leads.

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I've noticed that those series tend to have more ero-fanservice than say moe but that's neither here nor there. Though I must be quite fortunate to have missed out on all of those.

But I wouldn't call those popular- nobody ever remembers the male protagonists in those stories so those aren't really successful at all.
I think your not quite following me. Seikai-kei is a description of a particular plot type. Whether an such anime contains moe or fanservice has no relevance. Quite likely you have seen at least one story of this mold as some of the most popular anime are seikai-kei, for example Evangelion, Haruhi and Shana. Even Madoka can be considered seikai-kei although it plays with the tropes of that plot type.
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Old 2011-12-01, 08:48   Link #200
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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
I get the feeling that anime has been that way since forever, but I'm just a latecomer. Could you mention a few titles that was not specifically made for specific audiences in mind?
Every show is made with certain audiences in mind. What's at issue here is who makes up those audiences and whose tastes are being catered to. In answer to your question, let me give you a couple of examples of shows from 2006-2007 that seem unlikely to be made today. I'll skip over the obvious examples like Monster and focus on some other shows with less lofty ambitions.

The first is Bartender (2006). I presume the manga was a popular one as it resulted in a live-action show as well. Each episode is a vignette about one or more patrons at Bar Eden Hall in Ginza. Many of the patrons are quite old by anime standards, men and women in their fifties and even older, and the rest are younger adults.

Some current shows have older casts, Hyouge Mono being the obvious example, but like that show or House of Five Leaves (2010), they are often set in historical periods. Shows with adults in contemporary settings, like Hataraki Man (2006), still pop up occasionally in the noitaminA slot; Kuragehime (2010) is the most recent example. But they are still pretty few and far between compared with the vast numbers of shows about contemporary teenagers in school settings. Shows about teenagers were certainly common in 2006 as well; what feels different today is proportion of such shows in the total number of works produced.

Next up is Dennou Coil (2007) an anime-original near-future science-fiction show about virtual reality with a cast of 10-12 year olds. It took Iso Mitsuo seven years to find a studio willing to invest in his vision. I doubt he would find anyone so willing today. Unfortunately artistic ambition doesn't always lead to commercial success. Coil's DVD releases averaged only some 2,500 units each. That's the kind of show that a studio (Madhouse in this case) might choose to make when times are good and money more flush. It also had only limited merchandising opportunities. They sold a few statuettes and some Densuke plushies, but that's peanuts compared to the merchandising extravaganzas for shows like K-On and Madoka Magica.

To me, one telling indicator of the changing tastes of the audience is the apparent withdrawal of Madhouse from the world of TV animation. They seem to be focusing more and more on movies like Summer Wars and co-productions with American partners like Disney and Marvel. The studio that gave us Monster, Black Lagoon, Mouryou no Hako, Saiunkoku Monogatari, and Claymore, to name just a few, now seems rather uninterested in the contemporary market for anime on Japanese television.
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