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Wraith

Why is Anime so Prolific?

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What about anime makes is so appealing to current generations? What makes it so popular when compared to other mediums of animation? How do you think it can evolve as a art form in the future?

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I'd say relatively prolific. Its still more niche rather then mainstream but it has been growing in size since when I was a kid. Though interestingly enough anime does seem to suffer a steep decline in my own country. When I was a kid we had lots of anime from mainstream staples like DBZ to something obscure like Shinzo, but now we just have Pokemon. Even a big hitter like Naruto never made it over here. A look at what our netflix offers doesn't make me all that happy either. 

I guess one reason why anime gathers such a following in the west because its often explicitly what our own shows aren't. Western cartoons are often very episodic with the status quo always being preserved and the stakes never being very high. And anime is a very welcome change from that since they are often full stories with a changing world and very real stakes. Its also a genre steeped in fantasy and imagination while also being more mature then your typical western cartoon so you get the best of both worlds. Something that's mature but still has a lot of imagination and wonder in it. 

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I suppose it's partly what the previous user said, though I think there's more to it.  It was probably better advertised, and I think something like DBZ was more appealing than some western cartoons because it wasn't trying to go for a "little boy" appeal, but instead was what you'd call a "manime".  I remember as a young boy I despised the idea of being treated like a kid - most young boys hate it.  Boys like big, muscular dudes that kick the bad guys' arses into next week.  I think in the 80's there were a decent number of western cartoons where you watched dudes beat up bad guys, but a lot of cartoons from my time were more reserved and less combative.

I'll also add that, IMO, Avatar: the Last Airbender was a western cartoon with all the appeals of an anime.  Which at the time of its airing meant that I hated it because for whatever stupid reason I strongly disliked anime when I was really little.  It wasn't until I played DBZ: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 that I actually started liking anime in any form - that was, I'd say, around the time the third game in that series was coming out.

I think if anime is to evolve in a way that's actually good, writers ought to look back on the past works to understand what was actually appealing about them.  It feels like so much anime nowadays is about the cutesy girls with big breasts and high school dramas.  Not to say that all has to go away, but it's not what I like in anime.  I mean, my taste in anime is stuff like Dragon Ball and Jojo's Bizarre Adventure.  It doesn't have to be macho manime, but I like when the stories are about more than having a disastrous lunch date with the quiet girl in the protagonist's class or whatever.

That said, my analysis of what the evolution of anime will be is this: I think girl breasts in anime will go from melon size to yoga ball size, bringing breasts to a point where boys and girls alike can sit and relax on them as if they were luxury condo seats.  Don't tell me that's already an anime, I won't even be surprised.

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1 hour ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I guess one reason why anime gathers such a following in the west because its often explicitly what our own shows aren't. Western cartoons are often very episodic with the status quo always being preserved and the stakes never being very high. And anime is a very welcome change from that since they are often full stories with a changing world and very real stakes. Its also a genre steeped in fantasy and imagination while also being more mature then your typical western cartoon so you get the best of both worlds. Something that's mature but still has a lot of imagination and wonder in it. 

To add to that, another big difference between anime and western animation is that, in the west, animation has long had the stigma of being just, "kid stuff". TV Tropes refers to it as the Animation Age Ghetto: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AnimationAgeGhetto

As a result, it can be hard to get something with a more serious story be made in the west if it's animated. Even today, most western animation that defy the AAG do so by being anime-esque; just look at Castlevania for a recent example. Because of this, anime is able to tell all kinds of different stories in animation that just wouldn't be approved by executives here in the west. I mean; could you imagine walking up to a western animation studio's executives and pitching something like Naruto, Dragon Ball, One-Punch Man, Violet Evergarden, etc.?

This means that, here, if you want to make a "serious" narrative "marketable to adults or young-adults", you would very likely have to make it in live-action, which is bad, as animation and live-action have different pros and cons, with certain types of stories being more suited to one than the other. 

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I like creative ideas and good storytelling, and anime is a great way to combine these two. Yet, saying I like anime might give the wrong idea. Basically it's the same as saying I like movies. Sure there are plenty of movies that I really like, but probably over 99% of all movies I wouldn't like. Same for anime.

Netflix seems to have found the value of anime, for my country more and more anime is being added. (not sure about quality, haven't watched them)

Though when looking at something's popularity, one should look outside their bubble. If I were to poll only my friends, then yes I'd see anime was quite popular. But I bet if I were to poll my family, Disney and Nickelodeon would be the only animation they know.

Can't say much else about the subject though, don't watch too many anime, beside frequently rewatching fullmetal alchemist brotherhood and avatar the last airbender. que outraged people over me calling avatar anime

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I've always harbored large prejudices towards that art form that prevented me from really giving it a fair chance, I think. I've had poor first impressions of it. 

As I don't think most people watch anime, I probably wouldn't call it prolific but perhaps is is within the circles you gravitate in. 

Edited by Vince777

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I don’t speak for everyone but animation to me is by and large my favorite artistic medium. I just love good animation and visual story telling. The Japanese animation industry for all of its problems remains as one of best showcases of what animation as a medium is capable of. Japanese style story telling just appeals to me more as well. Western animation isn’t taken seriously over here. It’s seen as more as a kids thing and immature as a result when animation is so much more than that. It’s not a genre. It’s a form of artistic expression just like everything else and the things this medium can do in the right hands is awe inspiring. Japanese animation can take risks. It can tell stories that just isn’t possible in the current state of the western animation industry. Sure it has its problems as with any industry with all the focus of trying to pander to the otaku demographic but overall the anime industry proves what animation can really do and I appreciate that. Cause you don’t get many sequences like this in western animation.

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by Ottservia

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Ah yes, as Kakashi proves himself the most bad-a character I know yet again. And I don't even watch Naruto.

What I find interesting about anime is how versatile it can be - it can pander to literally anyone, and while this means there's a very low floor(an anime entirely about Bento boxes for example, or an anime where women in swimsuits hit each other with their butts), there's also a very high potential ceiling. My own experience is very limited as I've only watched two anime all the way through, Monster Musume and No Game No Life(Season 2 when /cries), but I was able to enjoy both for very different reasons, and it's easy to see how many more types of anime I still haven't even touched. A lot of cartoons(and live-action shows actually) feel kind of cookie cutter to me.

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The medium is proven (television), and drawing it out means that you can be faster and looser with the less-realistic side of things.  Imagine trying to do a faithful live-action recreation of something like One Piece - now imagine someone trying to faithfully copy THAT fighting style using three swords.

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30 minutes ago, eclipse said:

The medium is proven (television), and drawing it out means that you can be faster and looser with the less-realistic side of things.  Imagine trying to do a faithful live-action recreation of something like One Piece - now imagine someone trying to faithfully copy THAT fighting style using three swords.

Netflix is actually doing this btw

Edited by Ottservia

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1 minute ago, Ottservia said:

Netflix is actually doing this btw

I'll be surprised if they get everyone's hair color right.  Never mind trying to figure out the logistics of those three blades.

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1 hour ago, eclipse said:

I'll be surprised if they get everyone's hair color right.  Never mind trying to figure out the logistics of those three blades.

They won't, because adapting animation to live action is always inferior. I have yet to watch a single live action adaptation of anything animatrd which wad undoubtable better than the animated.

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I'm don't watch much television, though if I had to take a guess, it might be due to anime having more noticeable variety and versatility. It is easier to spot the differences between animes when compared to western shows, at least at a first glance. The other aspect may just be due to western shows not getting much attention unless they're classics, notably well-written, and/or exceptionally well animated. It's really only when one or more of those aspects is discussed that I see western cartoons brought up at all (at least in a positive context).

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On 5/29/2020 at 11:25 PM, Sir Wolfram of Vallora said:

They won't, because adapting animation to live action is always inferior. I have yet to watch a single live action adaptation of anything animatrd which wad undoubtable better than the animated.

At least Oda is supposed to be involved. It gives me a little bit of faith in the series. Though I'm certainly not getting my hopes up as I've yet to see any anime adapted to live action that was any good.

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On 5/30/2020 at 12:25 AM, Sir Wolfram of Vallora said:

They won't, because adapting animation to live action is always inferior. I have yet to watch a single live action adaptation of anything animatrd which wad undoubtable better than the animated.

I don't know about better, as I've never seen the original anime, but I thought that the Speed Racer film was pretty good. 

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24 minutes ago, SSbardock84 said:

At least Oda is supposed to be involved. It gives me a little bit of faith in the series. Though I'm certainly not getting my hopes up as I've yet to see any anime adapted to live action that was any good.

I just feel a lot of the charm of the show will vanish once they try and make it more realistic. The whole point of animation is to make something that doesn't look real. 

7 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

I don't know about better, as I've never seen the original anime, but I thought that the Speed Racer film was pretty good. 

I haven't seen the movie, but I did see the original Anime back in the early 2000s. It's charming in its own God awful way, so being better would certainly not be hard.

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5 hours ago, Sir Wolfram of Vallora said:

I haven't seen the movie, but I did see the original Anime back in the early 2000s. It's charming in its own God awful way, so being better would certainly not be hard.

Then it's better. The movie's actually pretty good; considered to be one of the most underrated movies of the 2000s. 

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On 5/31/2020 at 4:05 PM, Sir Wolfram of Vallora said:

I just feel a lot of the charm of the show will vanish once they try and make it more realistic. The whole point of animation is to make something that doesn't look real. 

Yeah, I feel you. Honestly, the hardest thing they're going to have pulling off is a lot of the devil fruits. Like . . . how in the world are they going to pull off Luffy's powers and make it look good. I hope casting is chosen by Oda and I hope he chooses based on his statements of where characters would be from if they were in the real world.

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I’ve just finished Jack Vance’s The Dying Earth, Gene Wolfe’s The Shadow of the Torturer and next week I’ll be reading Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword. What I find fascinating is that even though these books are several decades old (70, 40, and 66 respectively) they are more interesting then most modern fantasy/isekai anime. Even The Dying Earth which I thought was just okay is still more fascinating with its setting and world building then anything anime has produced recently in my opinion.

Edited by Wraith

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7 hours ago, Wraith said:

they are more interesting then most modern fantasy/isekai anime.

*watching isekai anime for deep and interesting world building and fantasy politics*
y’see now there’s your problem. You watch Isekai anime for two reasons. Cute anime girls and wish fulfillment and on occasion you’ll get an interesting world and story with fully fleshed out characters not simply there to pander to a fetish. Y’know like Re:Zero or the recent seasons of SAO.

 

7 hours ago, Wraith said:

Even The Dying Earth which I thought was just okay is still more fascinating with its setting and world building then anything anime has produced recently in my opinion.

You my dear friend need to watch one piece(or rather read it) cause if there’s one thing Oda is great at(and he’s good at a lot of things) it’s world building and foreshadowing. I need to reread one piece at some point honestly 

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2 hours ago, Ottservia said:

*watching isekai anime for deep and interesting world building and fantasy politics*
y’see now there’s your problem. You watch Isekai anime for two reasons. Cute anime girls and wish fulfillment and on occasion you’ll get an interesting world and story with fully fleshed out characters not simply there to pander to a fetish. Y’know like Re:Zero or the recent seasons of SAO.

 

You my dear friend need to watch one piece(or rather read it) cause if there’s one thing Oda is great at(and he’s good at a lot of things) it’s world building and foreshadowing. I need to reread one piece at some point honestly 

For your first point if I want to read something with cute girls and wish fulfillment, with occasional fleshed out worlds and deep characters, I’ll just have to reread Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars Series, Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Cimmerian, or Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser. The funny thing about modern isekai anime is many of the tropes they use (wish fulfillment or cute girls) were either invented or popularized by these series. What is interesting in my opinion at least is that all three series used these tropes to much greater effect compared to modern anime despite being several decades old. (Or in John Carter’s case a century old).

 

For your second point you do bring up one of anime/manga’s overall great strengths, long term story telling. Given that One Piece has hundreds of episodes and chapters of manga, the audience is able to really get invested in a group of core cast of  characters and see how they change over time. With so much work being published as well, the author is also able to display and develop a vast world. I did watch one One Piece when I was young and did indeed enjoy it, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve found it less interesting. Then again this is just my own personal opinion.

Edited by Wraith

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5 minutes ago, Wraith said:

For your first point if I want to read something with cute girls and wish fulfillment, with occasional fleshed out worlds and deep characters, I’ll just have to reread Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars Series, Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Cimmerian, or Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser. The funny thing about modern isekai anime is many of the tropes they use (wish fulfillment or cute girls) were either invented or popularized by these series. What is interesting in my opinion at least is that all three series used these tropes to much greater effect compared to modern anime despite being several decades old. (Or in John Carter’s case a century old).

And there’s your second problem. You’re comparing shit that doesn’t need to be compared. How hard is it to praise something on its own merits rather than by throwing something else under the bus or that it was “the original”. Quite honestly your condescending attitude towards one of my favorite story telling mediums is just a little irksome. 
 

you’re also failing to take into account personal preference and/or taste as well as cultural differences. Different cultures beget different types of stories that convey different values and ideas. The medium of story telling is so vast and wide that there is no one way anyone can tell any given story to suggest otherwise would be to deny all the different types of stories that exist in this vast world written by many a talented author. There is no “right” way to tell a story just different ways to get across ideas which is the point of story telling. No one way of story telling is better than another and it really irks me when people even remotely suggest otherwise.

Edited by Ottservia

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2 hours ago, Ottservia said:

And there’s your second problem. You’re comparing shit that doesn’t need to be compared. How hard is it to praise something on its own merits rather than by throwing something else under the bus or that it was “the original”. Quite honestly your condescending attitude towards one of my favorite story telling mediums is just a little irksome. 

My opinion isn’t the word of God. If you still enjoy anime for want it does well, I wish you all the best in your endeavors Ottservia. I’m simply saying that in my opinion I felt that these three series use the tropes in a much better manner when compared to modern fantasy anime. This does not mean that all old pulp fantasy stories are great and modern fantasy anime is irrelevant rubbish. There are plenty of bad fantasy stories from the days of the pulps as well as with modern anime. I just personally enjoy the fantasy of the best of the pulp fiction era more so then the best of the fantasy found in modern anime.

Edited by Wraith

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11 minutes ago, Wraith said:

My opinion isn’t the word of God. If you still enjoy anime for want it does well, I wish you all the best in your endeavors Ottservia. I’m simply saying that in my opinion I felt that these three series use the tropes in much better manner when compared to modern fantasy anime. This does not mean that all old pulp fantasy stories are great and modern fantasy anime is irrelevant rubbish. There are plenty of bad fantasy stories from the days of the pulps as well as with modern anime. I just personally enjoy the fantasy of the best of the pulp fiction era more so then the best of the fantasy found in modern anime.

That’s fine and all but you don’t gotta tear other shit down to make something else look good. Story telling is a vast medium full of different worlds, ideas, and characters. My problem lies in the phrasing. Why do you constantly have to say “oh this old literature is better than anime” even if it is just an opinion that phrasing is just straight up condescending if you ask me cause it sounds like you’re throwing one thing under the bus just to praise the thing you like. I’m of the belief that you shouldn’t have to do that if you want to praise something. If something is genuinely praise worthy it should be praised on its own merits for the things it wants to accomplish not how it compares to or is “better” than everything else. 
 

there is no “right” way to tell a story and to suggest would be to invalidate all the legitimately good and creative stories out there with their own ideas they want to convey. I’d rather not undermine the works of legitimately talented authors and directors.

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