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Old 2013-02-27, 13:19   Link #19
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I haven't gone back to try Steins;Gate, but I'd imagine that at this point, returned to the fandom, I'd probably enjoy it.
Steins;Gate is notorious for having an opening episode that's much worse than the main series. In fact, many of the people I've come across who like the show thought the first episode was outright terrible.

Originally Posted by Bri View Post
It's difficult to put into words. I think sci-fi and exploration has given way to supernatural and fantasy. Not just in anime but popular culture in general. I guess there is some kind of social need for escaping harsh reality instead of challenging it.
Is it really so true for anime? The science fiction boom in the '80s and '90s came largely from OVAs, and the decline has come as OVAs were phased out. This doesn't seem to be a coincidence.

Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in 1969. The fact that we successfully put a man on the moon caused futuristic dreams to take hold and technology-based imaginations to soar.

So back in the 70s and 80s, concepts like "space exploration" and "robotics" were still very hot topics that wowed a lot of people, and greatly impacted on the world of entertainment. At the time, these concepts were seen as new, exciting, and dynamic.
That may be true of the United States, but I'm having a hard time seeing this apply to anime. Of the real hard-core space exploration shows, there may have been only a few in the last several years (Space Brothers, Moonlight Mile, Rocket Girls, Planetes), but they don't seem all that common historically either.

Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
In the anime world, this likely contributed to the rise of mecha.
Mecha shows are basically the Japanese equivalent of superhero shows/comics.

Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
But as time when on, people became more cognizant of the practical limitations of what we'd be likely to see achieved within our lifetimes. For older generations, this caused some dreams to fade. For younger generations, this caused a shift in focus to more immediate and impacting technologies like the internet and smart phones.

Sci-Fi is still reasonably popular, but mecha, space exploration, and robotics have all taken a bit of a hit. A lot of the futuristic dreams people had back in the 70s and 80s simply never panned out, and that has shifted the focus of modern sci-fi works.
Again, this seems to be more an American phenomenon than a Japanese one.

Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Mecha hasn't died, and there's still good mecha shows out there. But I think it's now more driven by nostalgia than anything else. Maybe this will change some day, as I've read reports of robotics technologies really taking off in Japan. But for now, mecha does seem in decline.
Your diagnosis may be a bit premature. There are three new (and original!) mecha shows airing this Spring, and there are actually quite a few currently airing (for a given defintion of "airing" and "mecha show" .

Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
In America, at least, it's part and parcel of the trend to anti-intellectualism which has pervaded this country since the 1980s. Growing up as I did in the 1960s, when science reigned supreme and powered American postwar economic development, the contrast is truly stunning. I never imagined I'd be living in a country in which, as late as 2013, nearly half of the citizens believe that humans were created by God ab initio in just the past 10,000 years. I won't get into the politics behind these trends, but they didn't just happen on their own.
I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the American scientific pessimism is due to the perceived failure of NASA and the space shuttle. Manned space exploration has always been the sexiest image of scientific endeavors, and as such has been the primary seller of science fiction and futurism to the general public.

Religious anti-intellectualism is also a big problem, but it's not one that directly affects the primary consumers of science fiction to begin with. The bigger problem may be Hollywood as it's one of the most pervasive proponents of anti-intellectualism (and really anti-science) while it still harbors credibility with potential fans.
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