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Old 2011-12-01, 08:48   Link #200
AS Oji-kun
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Hokkaido
Age: 69
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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