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Old 2014-10-20, 19:10   Link #1
iSuckAtWriting
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The decline of anime; 'notto disu thureado agen.'

Actually, the search engine doesn't turn up anything for the tags worse, decline, and bad. At least not in the context I want to talk about.

Anyway, this isn't about the amount of bad anime released each year, nor is it talking about everything from the pre-2000's 'vs' post-2000. It's more about the amount of great anime released each year, and comparing the previous decade to the current one in terms of amount of great anime released each year. Now, if we define the quality of a year by the amount of great anime its released, then, by your estimation, is this decade of anime worse than the previous one?

You don't necessarily have to have watched a show as it aired either. You can always look at the year the show aired.

I'll keep my thoughts to myself to preserve neutrality, but I'm rather curious to see what you guys think of this.
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Old 2014-10-20, 21:20   Link #2
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This really is "not this thread again". Google is pretty good at finding threads with similar themes from the forum over the years, and I have very strong suspicions that this thread will take the same path as all of those previous threads.

The problem with the premise is that "great anime" is completely subjective. And as much as people want to be like "oh, but surely we can all agree that <x>, <y>, and <z> are Great Anime," it isn't so simple in practice. For example, some people will say that this decade is great already for bringing Madoka Magica, Idolm@ster, Love Live, Tiger and Bunny, Sword Art Online, Attack on Titan, and Fate/Zero (with the new Fate/stay night likely to be added to this list), along with "cult classics" like Mawaru Penguindrum, the "rise" of the niche-audience anime movie, enduring favourites like the Monogatari series and Eva movies, and the revival of Nanoha. Of course, people will argue at length whether each of these deserve to be called "Great Anime", as some of them are quite controversial and much-hated despite also being popular. (Of course, others would insert more choices on this list too.) But in the end, there's still a lot of popular, well-liked anime each year. Whether it's "Great" or not depends on the person doing the talking, and perhaps how disenchanted they are with anime in general. (Edit: Some will ostensibly agree that Greatness is defined by objective, known metrics, but then disagree about whether given works qualify as Great, rendering the supposed objective nature of Greatness rather pointless in practice.)

The amount of anime available "simultaneously" to English viewers has never been higher, and with that means that people will be exposed to the entire breadth of industry output, rather than just the hand-picked selection of market experts. So some people will argue that there's a lot more crap these days, but this has to be tempered with the fact that there's a lot more stuff in general, and everyone has day-one access to practically the entire selection without filtering. I would suggest that diversity of output has actually gone up over the last few years, with more experimentation occurring, and new ideas being pitched (sometimes as Kickstarter campaigns).

So anyway... I see no evidence that anime is "declining"; certainly no more than in any of the other times this topic has been brought up on the forum over the past 10+ years. People can get into arguments over lists of Great Anime and whether the year-to-year output is higher or lower, but this gets really pedantic and proves little.
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Old 2014-10-20, 21:23   Link #3
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I don't get the impression that there's fewer great shows being made in this decade than there was pre-2010.

Madoka Magica, Steins;Gate, Mawaru Penguin Drum, Chihayafuru, Hyouka, Tari Tari, Fate/Zero, Shin Sekai Yori, Psycho-Pass, Uchouten Kazoku, White Album 2, Kill La Kill... that's a pretty good run over the past four years. These are the shows that I've seen the most consistently positive feedback for here on Anime Suki over the past few years, and a solid majority of them I liked a lot myself (there's also shows not on this list that I personally found great, but recognize they're not necessarily widely viewed as such).

To be fair, though, you could argue certain anime genres or specific types of shows have lacked greatness lately. There hasn't been anything quite like Death Note since Death Note (at least to the best of my knowledge), and I haven't seen a recent mecha show quite live up to Code Geass.

Still, aside from what might be just cyclical weakness in particular areas/genres, I think this has been a very good decade for anime thus far.
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Old 2014-10-20, 21:54   Link #4
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Still, aside from what might be just cyclical weakness in particular areas/genres, I think this has been a very good decade for anime thus far.
I do wish we had less over-saturation of "five girls doing stuff", and more good old school mature goofy heroes back.
But alas market trending towards a fad is always the case.
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Old 2014-10-21, 00:46   Link #5
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If there are fewer decent anime to watch, then that's great. I can catch up on my backlog easier.
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Old 2014-10-21, 00:56   Link #6
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The real issue with complaints like these is that opinions on quality are entirely subjective and people usually posting these are on their way out. Most anime fans stick around for two-to-three years, then suddenly decide to "grow up" and find "cooler" content to engage with, such as American TV shows and eventually CSPAN. People change and that's fine, but anime's got very little to do with that.

My only real concern has been that content hasn't moved along with the aging audience, but since sales numbers are still up from previous years, I imagine Japan is doing something right, even in bad economic situation.
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Old 2014-10-21, 01:14   Link #7
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I am interested on thread creator opinion. Dont see the point he created this if he have no opinions about it. Unless if he simply want flame war.

Personally I don't see any significant increased or decreases for this decade compare to other decade. But 2014 is kinda up year for me
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Old 2014-10-21, 03:08   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iSuckAtWriting View Post
Now, if we define the quality of a year by the amount of great anime its released, then, by your estimation, is this decade of anime worse than the previous one?
Ooh, a question that urges me to make a list. Considering we are still in the year 2014, this decade has had only 4 full years (ie. 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013). As such, I'm comparing those 4 years with the 4 years prior to them (ie. 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009). For the sake of brevity, I'm only going to consider TV series.

Legend:
Year Period
S Tier, A Tier, B Tier.

2006 winter - 2009 fall
15, 44, 79
Spoiler for long ass list:


2010 winter - 2013 fall
15, 43, 71
Spoiler for long ass list:


So not much difference at all, except for my B tier anime? Then again, as one grows older, one gets pickier and one tends to cut more shows, so I'm not surprised at all.

I find it amusing though that 2006 was a MONSTER year for anime (6, 16, 24 - at least 30% of each category of the four years combined) while 2007 is not too far off (5, 15, 20). The next two years were terrible though, especially during the winter and summer seasons. I remember there was a period of time of 'anime boom' then a total crash in the market which led to the 'anime depression' (so bad it lead to closures of English distributors), and I wouldn't be surprised if it were 2006/2007 and 2008/2009 respectively.
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Old 2014-10-21, 03:14   Link #9
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I think what can be a relevant discussion, (because as several others have pointed out, this one will drudge up the same stuff that the previous threads did), is whether trends in manga are changing, and if they are, is that being translated into changing trends in anime? I don't have the exact numbers, but even with the huge amount of anime that comes out every year, it pales in comparison to the amount of manga, dojin and VN that exist, that often make up the source material in anime. It's possible that, if you include manga and VN's, that the quality, and type of source material has not changed at all over the last 10 years, and perhaps it's the anime industry that's suffering (not that I can see it, but there was quite a lot of paranoia 5-6 years ago about the anime industry dying). If that's the case, then there's no reason to worry because there is plenty of 'good' and diverse source material to still choose from
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Old 2014-10-21, 03:47   Link #10
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Originally Posted by oompa loompa View Post
I think what can be a relevant discussion, (because as several others have pointed out, this one will drudge up the same stuff that the previous threads did), is whether trends in manga are changing, and if they are, is that being translated into changing trends in anime? I don't have the exact numbers, but even with the huge amount of anime that comes out every year, it pales in comparison to the amount of manga, dojin and VN that exist, that often make up the source material in anime. It's possible that, if you include manga and VN's, that the quality, and type of source material has not changed at all over the last 10 years, and perhaps it's the anime industry that's suffering (not that I can see it, but there was quite a lot of paranoia 5-6 years ago about the anime industry dying). If that's the case, then there's no reason to worry because there is plenty of 'good' and diverse source material to still choose from
To be honest, manga scene really hasn't change all that much in the past 30 years.
Not because they haven't developed, or that they haven't followed trends, because they do, but because the sheer volume of manga printed guarantees any type of manga to continue to exist at any time.

Novels have been greatly affected, nearly gone are the adventurous sci-fi novels and high fantasy, and market flooded with lighter youth novels and surge of galge/eroge writers into the novel market, injecting their theme. The young novels (as we used to call back in the day) scene in the 80s-90s and the current LN scene is nearly entirely changed.

Anime trends have many different factors involved, and changes in the novel industry is definitely one of it. Regression of video gaming in Japan (which to be honest takes a backseat in the world stage... sadly, the legacy of Nation of Videogames really no longer holds true) and more genre divided interest all are source of anime trends.
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Old 2014-10-21, 08:40   Link #11
iSuckAtWriting
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Originally Posted by RRW View Post
I am interested on thread creator opinion. Dont see the point he created this if he have no opinions about it. Unless if he simply want flame war.
Oh c'mon now.

I rather just not swing this thread in one direction or the other. It was a discussion that popped up elsewhere, that I feel had different criteria that tried not to sing the same songs.

@relentlessflame, cyth:
Disillusionment and people changing is one way to put it, but the thread is less about people watching things season by season and changing (IE becoming more jaded), and more like they don't follow each season and just watch things from whatever time. The idea is if (much?) more shows are rated highly within the previous decade than the current one, then anime would be on the 'decline.' Of course, 4 years VS 10 is an incomplete comparison, so it's more about the weight of each individual year. Although admittedly, year-by-year as opposed to decade-by-decade might say more about quality distribution being asymmetrical than a lack of quality at all. It also really isn't about the amount of crap, but the amount of great stuff released each year (but tbh I'm not sure what the difference was when I saw that qualifier).

That said, I wouldn't say trying to figure out what shows are great is completely subjective. Somewhere between 'hard' criteria and our feelings is a judgment that varies from person to person, but some might say that if you keep saying that, then the discussion is ultimately pointless. So I guess the discussion for what qualifies as a great anime (and by extension, whether this decade is weaker than the previous one) is trying to make a canon. But then, popularity isn't necessarily quality, so we go back, ask people again, their opinions vary, they try to establish a canon again--

(CRASH)

DragoonKain3 has the right idea to make a list to compare the last three years to the previous three years (is that correct grammar), though I won't comment on what shows I liked or didn't 'cause that would make the comparison between this decade and the previous one kind of pointless.
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Old 2014-10-21, 08:45   Link #12
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Fall 2014 season says hi. Shigatsu, FSN: UBW, Bahamut, Akatsuki no Yona, Shirobako, Parasyte, Mushishi 2, Psycho Pass 2.

Now that I got that out of the way, well more and more anime adaptations are being adapted from LNs which are notoriously terrible mediums to adapt from, but we always get a couple of good shows per year so I don't think anime is truly dead if at all in the first place.
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Old 2014-10-21, 10:49   Link #13
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It's hard to compare the decades until the 2010s are complete.

By my own standards, I don't care how popular a title is or how many people are or aren't talking about it. If I like it, I like it. If I don't, I don't - no matter how many people think it's the greatest thing ever.

I have noticed 2 differences on my own personal feelings about this decade's offerings so far:

1. While there is a reasonable spread of titles I overall liked, I have rarely felt they were top echelon material. Most of the 2010s titles I'm fond of are in the 8-8.5/10 range for me. I only have 3 I'd rate above that. I've got about 25 titles from the 2000s I'd rate 9/10 or higher and about the same number in the 8-8.75/10 range. This decade, I'm finding a reasonable number titles decent viewing, but very few that are having a major impact on me. They're being more of a 'That was nice' rather than 'That was brilliant'.

2. In the 2000s, there was a reasonable correlation between the titles I liked and what was popular. There is almost no correlation whatsoever between what I like from this decade and what is popular. In fact, the popular titles from this decade are probably the ones that irk me the most, more often than not.


Things have changed, as they always do. For better and worse. And in Japan, they probably think they're appealing to their market more with how the bigger titles in recent years have. It's a sales-driven industry to sell merchandise, people and other related stuff.


Anime is in decline when the bigger studios vanish and merchandise can't be sold. That isn't happening at present. Whether it's in decline for one's own tastes is up to oneself. Also worth noting what it is that you want to get out of the medium and how you can obtain that.
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Old 2014-10-21, 10:58   Link #14
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Originally Posted by Last Sinner View Post
It's hard to compare the decades until the 2010s are complete.

By my own standards, I don't care how popular a title is or how many people are or aren't talking about it. If I like it, I like it. If I don't, I don't - no matter how many people think it's the greatest thing ever.

I have noticed 2 differences on my own personal feelings about this decade's offerings so far:

1. While there is a reasonable spread of titles I overall liked, I have rarely felt they were top echelon material. Most of the 2010s titles I'm fond of are in the 8-8.5/10 range for me. I only have 3 I'd rate above that. I've got about 25 titles from the 2000s I'd rate 9/10 or higher and about the same number in the 8-8.75/10 range. This decade, I'm finding a reasonable number titles decent viewing, but very few that are having a major impact on me. They're being more of a 'That was nice' rather than 'That was brilliant'.
Are you sure that's not just you? Things were never going to be as impactful as they were when you were younger, or when you were first introduced to the genre.
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Old 2014-10-21, 11:17   Link #15
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Things have changed, as they always do. For better and worse. And in Japan, they probably think they're appealing to their market more with how the bigger titles in recent years have. It's a sales-driven industry to sell merchandise, people and other related stuff.
I still think it's a case of overfitting: making shows that are a perfect fit for one audience and a really bad one for a different (potential) audience. To make matters worse, it's a trend-driven industry, so whenever a trend shows signs of major profitability, they start making/adapting shows that fit that trend. By making shows that fit the trends but fail to deliver sales, which happens far too frequently, I imagine it to be a really bad way to produce anime.
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Old 2014-10-21, 12:12   Link #16
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My only real concern has been that content hasn't moved along with the aging audience
Mine, too. Outside of noitaminA, shows with adult characters have been less numerous in the past half-decade or so. Another trend I see is the increasing reliance on visual novels as a source for adaptations. I believe aohige when he says the manga marketplace hasn't changed all that much for decades. What seems to have changed are the decisions about what to adapt to anime.
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Old 2014-10-21, 12:16   Link #17
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Another trend I see is the increasing reliance on visual novels as a source for adaptations. I believe aohige when he says the manga marketplace hasn't changed all that much for decades.
I disagree on that part, because VN's aren't that much animated over the past few years. It's only that this season has 4 adaptations of VN's at the same time.
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Old 2014-10-21, 12:41   Link #18
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I guess I was confused between "visual novels" and "light novels" in that comment. I looked at Crunchy's offerings for Fall, 2013, and only found two VN adaptations, Diabolik Lovers and Little Busters.

What about light novels, then? Do they represent a larger share of the adaptations today than they did, say, five or ten years ago? Are light novels as diverse as manga, even if we limit the latter to the same audience demographics LNs target?
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Old 2014-10-21, 12:58   Link #19
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^Before the term light novels used to be used, we had juvenile novels, young novels, etc.
Vampire Hunter D, Slayers, Fortune Quest, Lodoss Wars novelization, plenty of popular titles.
They were never all that diverse, but it's gotten more monochrome now with larger share of people jumping on trendy fad wagons.

Nothing in Japan is as diverse and overwhelmingly countless as manga. Not even film, TV, games, or any other story telling medium.
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Old 2014-10-21, 14:31   Link #20
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I feel like depending on whether you're really into visual and light novel based anime or not is a key deciding factor in whether you think anime is in a good place or not at least in terms of late night content. For me I just personally can't get into a lot of these adaptations from this source all that much though every now and then you get an example that is a little bit more engaging than guy goes on adventure with many hot girls that form relationships with him over time in succession. It often helps when said shows have a bit more of a budget and sense of direction to them, though it's bloody well hard to achieve that in only 12 episodes which is pretty much the new standard nowadays and I think a large part of the problem some people might be having. It's not that the anime are necessarily worse, just strapped for time to accomplish anything of note.

Lately though I've been entertaining this curious notion, or perhaps realization is the better word that a lot of the time I enjoy your average day time anime a lot more than your average night time one. For starters the content just seems more oriented towards mainstream audiences in shows like Ace of Diamond or Gundam Build Fighters Try where the focus is off of bishoujo/bishounen characters (though they are present) and a little bit more on storytelling and general fun factor. I find on average you get more episodes out of daytime anime too as opposed to the increasingly common 12 episode one and done nature of late night anime which is great if you end up liking the show cause it means it's going to be around a hell of a lot longer.

Another topic perhaps worth considering is that a lot of content and what can even get made is largely dictated by a few powerhouse companies, most of which are international media conglomerates. I'd say at this point the most obvious ones that have to be answered to are Bandai Namco Holdings, Aniplex, Kadokawa Shoten and Funimation. Now Bandai Namco's aim is usually something like lots of multimedia content since they hold stakes in anime production studios, music production studios, amusement parks, video game publishing and toy making. They're probably the biggest of the big 4 in terms of just sheer number of assets and horizontal and vertical integration. Aniplex is more of a content brokering company where they'll go out and secure the animation rights to a bunch of upcoming or currently popular licenses and artists from visual and light novels and then hand them out to other companies with a flat sum of money to make an anime out of to publish. I'd say their aim is about trying to have the most bleeding edge currently hip trend anime. Kadokawa Shoten is kind of about trying to promote their light novel lines and they're kind of the one that gets to partner up with other companies as the one that does a lot of the publishing and promotion for their works in magazines like Newtype and such. Very important for content promotion in printed material. Lastly Funimation is about trying to get content made that will appeal more to Western audiences and that they can get put on Adult Swim so their concern is probably the most different then others. Also they're based in Texas and not Japan obviously.

As an example of 3 of the Big 4 at play take Sword Art Online II. Kadokawa Shoten through their ownership of Dengeki G's owns the original rights to the Sword Art Online property and related characters. They strike up a deal with Bandai Namco and Aniplex to have a second season of anime green lit and funded. Kadokawa Shoten promotes it in their magazines, Bandai Namco gets the rights to make the video game and related merchandise, Aniplex handles distribution and production of the anime through their subsidiary A-1 Pictures and they all pretty much benefit off of a hot property in their own way. It's a very slick and polished production model, but then of course there's lots of debate over the quality of the content at the same time.

Basically not much happens anymore in terms of anime related content without at least one of those Big 4 with deep pockets having some say in it which kind of narrows the pool of ideas in a way since if they don't think it can be a money maker you're basically either looking at crowd funding to get your project made or funding it out of your own pockets. I think it's also a good chunk of the reason why you see so many big budget anime getting made out of light novels that some people might question the actual quality of in the long run.

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