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Post Reply Are We Living In Anime's Greatest Creative Era?
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24 / M / Alabama, US
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Posted 12/19/13 , edited 12/19/13
It's refreshing to see a thread that is celebrating diversity and quality in anime instead of bitching about how moe, fanservice and lollis are ruining everything. Just wanted to get that out of the way first. A little optimism is nice to see every once and a while.

At any rate is this the golden age of anime? I'm not sure I would say that. To be honest I think it's hard to make a claim like that while we are still in the middle of the era. When we look back 20-30 years from now and try and piece together the significance of the current era, then I think we can decide for certain.

Either way I do think what we are seeing is an overall increase in quality across the medium and a lot of creativity and diversity. We get a lot of pandering bullshit, yeah, but all in all I think we are seeing a lot of creativity and talent as well. Part of that is improvement in animation techniques and such, part of it is the medium becoming more mature, and part of that is that we simply have more people who are really passionate about making it (and perhaps more importantly the audience is larger).

We might be getting more crap, but at the same time we are also getting more quality. If you did away with all of the generic schlock (even though, honestly, some people genuinely do enjoy it) I think you'd still be left with more quality then you had in previous eras. You just have more to sift through now, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Again, diversity. Not every show is going to be a masterpiece and that's OK.
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33 / M / Planet Sanno
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Posted 12/19/13

supasoggyrolle wrote:
It seems that the most revered animes have come out after or around the turn of millennium.


You and I differ on this point, Sogs. From 2001 to 2011 is a period where almost nothing interested me, chiefly because most of what I wanted to see was not legitimately available here in the U.S. That, and I belong to a generation of fans whose most revered shows came out in the late '80s and early '90s. Which means I get to be one of the —


aidenraine wrote:
anime hipsters who think that the golden age of anime has already long since past


But! Since joining the streaming community back in mid-2012, I have seen much to bring me back into the fold, though I suspect my heart shall always be back in the days when Sailor Moon was still airing in Japan.
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23 / M / This Dying World
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Posted 12/19/13
^ and it will continue, sailor moon.
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47 / F / Center of the Uni...
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Posted 12/19/13
In terms of volume and accessibility.

The Crunchy Roll era is certainly MY golden age. More simulcasts than I can possible watch vs... Watching ANYTHING on a third generation beta tape whose original was smuggled on a passenger plane from Japan. good luck finding the previous or next episodes.

In terms of shows I love....

Hey I still like Robotech. Got the disks around here somewhere (used to have the VHS) let me just blow some of this dust off...


I don't know. I can't casually dismiss the anime that got me hooked on anime as lessor. Further some of the changes have been about style or deconstruction of tropes. Evangelion wouldn't have had quite so much power without all the giant robot shows that went before it.

Anime is Qualitatively different on so many interesting levels than it was when it first came out. and was again when I first became aware of it.
I have a hard time saying that Black Lagoon is better or worse than Patlabour, I have little respect for the people who dissmiss anything not current as 'old' but I also vehemently disagree with those who think the remakes of shows like birdy the mighty and Bubblegum Crisis are worthless.

I think anime is much closer to mainstream in North America than it was when I was really hooked on it. And it still is about the only TV I voluntarily regularly watch. The shear volume is interesting. It seems yes there are many interesting Gems but there is a lot of trash too.

in short uh....


Maybe?
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21 / M / Canada
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Posted 12/19/13

Lemalas wrote:


alishere2 wrote:


Lemalas wrote:

Clannad wasn't terribly creative.

What made it so good is that it was a story about life and families: something we can all relate to.


Until the ending of After Story....honestly still pisses me off.



As for the actual topic of this thread I'm not sure if I'd call it a golden age because of the creativity of each show (cuz lets be honest we get a lot of the same stuff). However I would say that we are in a golden age because there is something out there for anyone and everyone. Literally, there is bound to be at least one anime series out there right now that someone could like, its impossible for there not to be. Its beautiful how the field has expanded to give us all these incredible series from completely off the beaten path of normal genres.


You have every right to be upset about that. Have you seen Angel Beats! ? If you haven't, I won't spoil its ending, but I will say it's more appropriate for its story and setting.

Clannad should have kept it real instead of throwing a sudden happy ending thing in.

Then again, the alternative is... you know. It would probably be the saddest anime ever had they not done that thing.


Yup, totally would have been the saddest anime ever, so in a way its probably good that they ended it like they. It was just so sudden, like boom, what just happened /complete shock haha. I have seen Angel Beats, it is magnificent. The comedy and quirky plot leading into such a heart moving story (stories for all the characters i suppose), just awesome. Its weird to say this about an anime, but its actually quite thought provoking. I have to catch up on Little Busters Refrain now, watched episode 9 last night *slow clap, slow clap*. I swear Key just knows how to tug on every human emotion.
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Posted 12/19/13
I don't think anime will ever have it's "Golden Age" but I do feel like some years stood out more than others. Look at 2013 we have so many great anime this year and some good examples are Attack on Titan, Free!, Beyond the Boundary, and Little Busters Refrain. Other good years were 2003 with Fullmetal Alchemist, IGPX, etc. There's always good anime every year but some years will stand out more than others. Maybe you have a personal "Golden Age" which is the years in which YOUR favorite anime came out.
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27 / M / Atlanta, GA, USA
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Posted 12/19/13
I would say no, I don't think anime has gotten more creative as a whole, nor has it gotten less creative. There are some animes that stand out in terms of creativity, just like there were in the previous era. A lot of animes are highly derivative of other works, though, to the point where I feel like I'm watching reruns rather than a brand new show.
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22 / M / CR Forums
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Posted 12/19/13

Kavalion wrote:

I would say no, I don't think anime has gotten more creative as a whole, nor has it gotten less creative. There are some animes that stand out in terms of creativity, just like there were in the previous era. A lot of animes are highly derivative of other works, though, to the point where I feel like I'm watching reruns rather than a brand new show.


Oooh, this was what I was going to say, only longer and more complicated, quite possibly less smart too.


But to say it myself, no. Anime is a medium. One in which we tell stories.

And the stories themselves are not in a golden age. From the Epic of Gilgamesh to Fist of the North Star. We've always told stories and we've always found ways to share them.

I've spend the last year watching Anime from before my time. Fist of the North Star, Moblie Suit Gundam. Shows from the 70's and 80's have older animation, different art styles, and do things shows today know not to do. But the stories are what draw me in, and I'll ignore the animation after a while.

It's the same with old TV shows and Movies. Citizen Kane is STILL a decent movie. Star Wars; The Empire Strikes Back is STILL my favorite.Buffy the Vampire Slayer has great writing, Batman the Animated Series is THE Batman TV show.

As time goes on, so does the accessibility.

I'm able to watch anime through the internet, at any time or any pick. Years ago I relied on Funimation(who's headquarters was initially within a 10 minute drive of my house) to release those VHS of Dragonball at the local Mexican-mart.
When I first realized Anime existed online, I spent 6 months looking for the English Dub of Ranma 1/2 online, only to fail and start buying the series at Best buy and Movies Trading Co.

Nowadays, if I want an anime series I use the internet. I can buy it off Amazon, watch it on Crunchyroll, or rent it from Netflix.

Accessibility has improved.

Creativity hasn't changed.

And as the post I quoted points out, a large number of shows are simply remakes, revisions, re releases, or retellings of old shows.
Code Geass is Mobile Suit Gundam with a perspective flip. The color is brighter, the animation sharper, and character designs complexer.
But Mobile Suit Gundam's animation isn't bad. The choreography still stands tall. And the characters are copied again and again to this very day simply due to how great they were. Lelouch is the more accessible Char-Clone. He's as uncreative and unoriginal as any character clone can be.
But the show itself is accessible, and really damn good.

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam had a series of Movies released around 2004-2006....I think. They re-animated and re-released the original Zeta Gundam in movie format. Unlike Neon Genesis's remakes, they were far more true. The animation was made brighter, was turned "HD" but nothing changed.
The only difference was a 30-second ending change, from depressing to hopeful.
The creators were surprised at this. The show didn't need changes to "fit with the audience of today"
It simply needed to be shown to those audiences.
They made Zeta Gundam accessible again, nothing to do with creativity.

So, I don't believe we live in most creative era, we live in it's most accessible one.
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28 / M / Alderaan
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Posted 12/19/13
I would say that generally 1996-2002 ish was the peak of Anime. That isn't to say there aren't really good animes even now. I mean Death Note, FMA Brotherhood, Gin no Saji, Bakuman, Shingeki no Kyojin, can't think of any other recent ones that stand out that well off the top of my head.

The problem isn't that there aren't good series now a days, the problem is there are too many bad ones. To use a food metaphor, for every prime rib cooked, there are about 20 McDonald's hamburgers. What I mean is, for every original anime with a good story that comes out, there are a crap load that recycle tropes and rely on fanservice (this applies to seinen, shonen, and shojo stuff).

Now I like fanservice as much as the next guy, but you honestly can't tell me that Infinite Stratos is a good show. It is a fun show to watch because there are girls and tits, but if you took that away, it would have nothing left.
Strike the Blood is just as bad as Infinite Stratos, except it doesn't have quite as much fanservice.
Outbreak Company is another one.
Does anyone even watch Wanna be the Strongest in the World?
Walkure Romanze
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Shows that are fun to watch, but about 80% of their content stems from fanservice. If I watched shojo manga stuff, I am sure I could pull a crap load of fanservice directed at women from those. Then there are other animes that rely simply on visuals, but I won't go into those.

That said every season we get some gems as well, like Nagi no Asukara, Ore no Seishun Love-Come wa Machigatteiru, Golden Time.

I think I've gotten my point across. Games have it worse than anime though, because with games, beautiful graphics is usually enough to sell a crappy game.
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Posted 12/19/13
I agree with your points xxJing but just saying, OC doesn't rely on fanservice nor does it really have much compared to actual fanservice shows. It's actually more of a parody but this is just me defending a show I really like.
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49 / M / In
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Posted 12/19/13
I can honestly say I have been watching anime for over 40 years and honestly enjoyed each phase of it and I looked forward to each up coming seasons
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21 / M
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Posted 12/19/13
kira kira atsui natsu no hamabe

Anyways, the more stuff is produced the more likely you are to get a hit on something good.
So simply because they happen to be making more of the stuff, we get more high quality stuff.
I mean, it isn't required, but it kinda just happens that way.
You get more people in the production cycle, which means there are more good people producing stuff, and more bad people producing stuff.
Besides, the technology involved in creating stuff gets better all the time, so with better tools people can do a better job of storytelling. The underlying stories don't really get any better, because people are no better at making up stories than they used to be, but the delivery mechanism is completely different, and people are constantly working to improve it.
We aren't in the golden age, because better things are yet to come.
Unless this is the best anime will ever be, but I don't want it to peak yet, we've still got years ahead of us.
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Posted 12/19/13
Somewhere in the near yet distant future, there will be few anime shows stuck in the borderline of cliche and originality.

.....I can wait even if it seems like forever.
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19 / M / The Hype Train
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Posted 12/19/13
I'd like to think it's a gradual curve up, and that we'll never have a "golden age". Where's the fun if you know you've already seen the best there is?
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44 / M / Rochester, NY
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Posted 12/19/13 , edited 12/19/13
80's - 90's was the golden age of anime.

someday there may be a platinum
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