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Is anime getting better or worse?
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Posted 5/13/14
Some manga artists are aware about the crap being spouted when two people fight.
You don't talk when you're in a real fight. Or even explain how you deceive or hit an opponent.

It's shut the fuck up and throw a fist. Kill or be killed.
Posted 5/13/14 , edited 5/13/14
i cant tell
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41 / M / Oakland, CA
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Posted 5/13/14
Well it's becoming bigger.

The highs are higher and the lows are lower, but I'd always judge that as generally a good thing. We just have to remember to de-nostalgize everything ><
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Posted 5/13/14
Neither, its roughly the same quality that its always been. Yeah there are ups and downs but overall the same quality. The amount of stand out series being made is about the same and the amount of series that are worth watching (Yeah there's more garbage but its getting bigger what do you expect) are about the same so I don't see an issue really. Those complaining about tropes and trends, oh how quickly people forgive and forget the trends and tropes of the past, and I see a lot of the current trends going out of style nowadays anyway.... bring on the new trends.
Posted 5/13/14
2013 was a great year of anime for me. (Flowers of Evil, Cuticle Detective Inaba, Chihayafuru).

It's too early to say in 2014, but I don't think any anime can top Flowers of Evil for a while, personally.

Overall, I don't think anime is getting worse or better. I've always been able to enjoy anime from every year, and every season. If you think it's getting worse, you haven't been watching the ones you like in that particular season. Just my opinion, though. Other factors could include, you've grown out of anime... [which is something you can't fix... people grow out of things, it's normal].
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Posted 5/13/14
No. It simply is.
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24 / M / new zealand
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Posted 5/14/14
Eh? Kind of silly question.

Theres always gonna be good anime and bad anime (according to your own taste) no matter what era it is.

But the animation quality can only get better.

So taken the point of "Always gnna be good and bad" into consideration.

And the 2nd fact of "Animation quality will keep on improving.

I have deducted the fact that anime will be better in the future, as both good and bad still will exist but the quality in which it is produced is much better.
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35 / M / The IshVille
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Posted 5/14/14
I think anime is far superior today to the anime of old for a variety of reasons:

1. Back in the 70's and 80's, you had maybe 30-40 anime properties coming out a year. The majority of them were low budget OVAs, as many studios didn't have the cash or connections to drop a full 13-26 episode anime. As the market has grown, however, today you see 200+ anime titles coming out a year, and far more of them are TV series than OVAs and Movies. With that huge increase, the odds are far higher that you're going to find true classics amongst the typical "Moe/Harem/Ecchi" rubbish. Probably more classics came out between 1995-2005 than the entire 30 years of anime that preceded that time.

2. Touching on #1 and the number of TV Series vs. OVA's, being a TV series gives an anime a much better chance at becoming a classic than being an OVA or Movie. Because they get far more time to tell the story, to create character depth and get viewers invested. That's not to say that you can't make a classic as a movie, Obviously Hayao Miyazaki, Satoshi Kon and the like did it all the time. But, you just have a better chance as a series. And with more series coming out, the more chances they will be classic.

3. All art forms improve over time. New technologies, new techniques and new resources enter the market and improve it. Just look at the vast improvements in animation, sound and graphic effects from a 2014 anime over an anime from even 2004. Let alone 1994. Plus, today's generation learns from the mistakes and successes of those that went before them. They have generations of market testing to know: "This works for anime viewers and this does not." It adds to the improvement factor.

4. The money. Anime is huge business, now. A billion dollar industry. It wasn't that in the old days. That level of money attracts talent. Instead of just getting the girl down the street who has a nice voice to do your anime, you've got talent agencies that specialize in recruiting the best voice actors and training them. You get better directors, actors, composers, writers, etc... Because the money is there to lure them, increasing the overall quality of the industry.

5. Most stories have already been told. Anime has been telling the same stories for decades now. "The zero who gets a superpower and becomes the hero.", "The hapless virgin who finds himself surrounded by 5 beauty queens.", "The nerd who doesn't know he has the hidden ability to become a sports star." The same stories are told over and over again. But, with such a crowded market, those who are looking to create memorable anime have to think outside of the box. And that's why you're getting animes today like FMA: Brotherhood, Attack on Titan, Steins;Gate, Code Geass and Black Lagoon. The market today forces people to choose between "Greatness" and "Bargain Bin Ecchi". There's no longer an in between. As a result, while we still get a TON of mediocre anime, there are still more classic anime in the past 15 years than in the entire history of anime that preceded it.

That's my belief, anyway.
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17 / M / Turn Around (Cali...
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Posted 5/14/14


By far the best answer... Just saying.
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21 / F / Wonderland
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Posted 5/14/14
I like the animation a lot better, as it is more fluid, has a larger range of things it can do, and is much higher quality than it used to be. Plot-wise, it just sort of depends. There were a lot of crappy anime made a while ago, but I consider the anime with a ton of fan service coming out now crappy as well. For the most part, I was thinking that anime was getting worse (I didn't particularly like anything that came out last season), but this season gave me renewed hope as it is a whole lot better than last season and I'm absolutely in love with a couple of shows.
On a slightly different topic, though, I think manga has gotten a bit worse over the years. I've always thought that the manga is usually better than an anime, and that most manga were pretty darn good, but now a lot of manga are really mediocre with the good ones becoming popular like some sort of hidden gem was found. Typically, this is why I read popular new manga (because they're most likely popular for a reason.. but in some cases I still don't get why they're popular..) or oldies-but-goodies. xD
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35 / M / The IshVille
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Posted 5/14/14

Jonner13 wrote:



By far the best answer... Just saying.


Why, thank you sir!
Rohzek 
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26 / M
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Posted 5/14/14
It's hard to say honestly. Right now I feel like I am in a bit of a dry spell. I don't expect it to last too long though. Fanservice seems to be the call of the day, along with old rehashed stories, etc. What comes to mind? Valvrave the liberator is one of the more recent offenders. The Gundam series undoubtedly feels like it is in a slump for me. But ultimately, there are still great series still coming out. I can complain all day long about how fanservice and loli stuff is more annoying than ever, but it's not a topic I am really interested in getting into on any serious level.

In short, today's anime certainly has its unique problems, but so did anime of the past. In other words, the answer depends on your taste, even then it would be hard to determine though.


extremekid3708 wrote:

It's getting better for me

But are you trying to compare it to the old maybe 90s early 00s anime? If so I still think its getting better. If you think about it those anime from the 90s that we call "best of anime" are not really that good after all. For example take a look at cowboy bebop - It has a mediocre story and world building, and a couple of other bothersome things, but people still call this "a masterpiece", to be honest I believe its because it was aired on American TV. That's what makes it special.


Uhhh, it was a masterpiece. I was a huge Toonami fan growing up, and still have a few vague memories of when Moltar was the host. I do not think all of the anime Toonami aired were that great because they were on American TV. For example, I thought the Tenchi series were passable at best, and Big O was downright terrible. As for Cowboy Bebop, I never watched it while it aired on Adult Swim. I never sat down and watched it all until around two years ago. And I gotta say, it is a great series. For sure, it is pretty episodic. Considering the theme of the series though, it's not that important. It's all about how a number of people deal with their pasts. And each character deals with it in their own way. There is a story (which doesn't really have all that strong of a presence), but the point of the series is to address existential issues that a lot of people actually deal with. I think it presented those issues in a much more adult and relatable way that most anime ever manage to achieve. Do people judge slice of life anime on the basis of the lack of an overarching story or well developed world? No, they don't. CB certainly isn't a slice of life anime, but I'm not sure it should be judged on such a basis either.

As for anime that you refer to as the "best of anime" what exactly do you mean? There were a ton of terrible anime in those years. The only ones that really stick out to me as great (and I mean like the ones that REALLY catch my attention) are the following:

Neon Genesis Evangelion (screw the rebuilds)
Serial Experiments Lain
FLCL
Ghost in the Shell

That's all I can really name as greatest of the great, but I'd like to give an honorable mention of Outlaw Star and Gundam Wing as well. Yeah all of those (except Lain) have been aired on American TV (will not forgive Eva dub in English), but I do not think that really affects my judgment too much; especially since I have gone back and rewatched all of them or for the first time.

Undoubtedly, nostalgia plays a huge part in a lot of people's recollection. I'll give you that. One example that sticks out to my mind is when people claim that .hack//sign is leagues better than SAO. I'm pretty sure it's not. If people go back in .hack//sign the dialogue is really strange (often for no greater purpose) no matter what language you watch it in. The ending is not very conclusive either. It's simply interesting at best. The existence if the mysterious antagonist is never really explained very well either. SAO for me was far more complete.

Sailor Moon was incredibly repetitive.

Blue Submarine No. 6? It was pretty groundbreaking for its day, but is more like historical artifact now. It's like a modern philosopher going back to read Descartes, its cool, but not the greatest for obvious reasons.

Elfen Lied? Kinda hollow when I think about it.

Rurouni Kenshin (including the OVA's)? They were okay. Whoever wrote the dialogue for the OVA's should be slapped numerous times.

I could go on and on attacking past sacred cows, but I still think a few of these sacred cows are largely unassailable; Cowboy Bebop being one of them. I also want to point out that there are a number of great animes from before the 90's that still stand up well today as well.
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Posted 5/15/14 , edited 5/15/14
supasoggyrolle, while I like your answer for being so thoroughly written and comprehensive, I disagree with it on some important points.

Big money attract talent? I suspect, they, first of all, attract various parasites - as in any field, and that usually becomes a problem to some degree. But speaking of artists, big money are more crucial attraction to those, who sets comfortable living through making anime above anime itself. Of course, they love their work too, and, most probably, it makes sense for great artist to have enough money to be able to focus on their art alone, too. I'm just pointing out that, the more industry is established and warranties a good living, the greater the role that money, on average, can play in decision to enter the business. So, while your argument makes sense to me, I think there's second side to it, hence it is not obviously positive factor in the end of the day.


supasoggyrolle wrote:
"Back in the 70's and 80's, you had maybe 30-40 anime properties coming out a year [...] today you see 200+ anime titles coming out a year, and far more of them are TV series [...] With that huge increase, the odds are far higher that you're going to find true classics"


This will only work if we assume that probability for any new artist / studio entering anime industry to create masterpiece remains the same. First, this may be not so (for example, due to the money attraction factor just discussed), second, this assumption contradicts with your own notion that it gets harder with time to come up with something new.

You could also say, that, even if proportion of exceptionally talented, amongst the authors, remains the same with total number increased, probability of them coming up with same/similar ideas may also increase. Therefore, apart of minor differences (even if enjoyable), number of genuinely unique works can remain the same.

Please note, I don't assert that more artists does not mean more great works, I just want to say that to assert that it does - is somewhat a brave statement for such a mysterious subject.

your reasoning in 5 also suggests that you assume animators will create something great, overcoming the difficulties, because they have no other choice. I agree that problems can stimulate creativity. But I don't think that they don't have other choice. They can, just as well, create nothing great. This would work well with broader anime popularization - just as it is possible to satisfy mass-consumer with artificially-created pop-stars, it would be possible to satisfy increased fan-base with mediocre anime. Business (influenced by those, who came more for money than for anime) would survive, but anime that we know, becoming unnecessarily big effort for the business, would experience downfall (temporarily, temporarily! : )

I personally have good hopes for the anime for a foreseen future, however. Yes, it requires voice actors and animators, but that cost is still much less than of shooting a movie. And with movie industry being in terrible (to my opinion) state - due to its high costs and high degree of commercialization - it is so natural for creative people who are indeed interested in art first and foremost, to migrate into this field, where you are much closer to being limited by nothing but your imagination.
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Posted 5/15/14 , edited 5/15/14


Firstly, this is a very intelligent counter argument. And I can see where you're coming from. However, I think it's given from a point that I'm making assumptions, that artists will overcome the inherent difficulties mentioned, in order to produce great anime. When in actuality, I believe they've proven that they already have done that very thing. Obviously, not everyone and as a whole, but if you look at the number of masterful animes, the ones that get the most acclaim, 90% of them come from the last 15 years.

Let's use ANN's rating system as an example (but you could use MAL or any other place that accumulates overall user ratings.) I personally like ANN, as discovering their encyclopedia dramatically improved my anime viewing experience. But, consider the top 10.
Stein;Gate (2011), FMA: Brotherhood (2010), Clannad (2008), Rurouni Kenshin (1996), The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010) Code Geass (2006-2008), Spirited Away (2001), Cowboy Bebop (1998), Princess Mononoke (1997), Legend of the Galactic Heroes (1988).

Not only is there only one vintage entry in the top 10, in Legend of the Galactic Heroes, you won't find another anime from the 80's until you get all the way down to #94. (Maison Ikkoku from 1986). It's the same on any rankings you look at. It's also the same when it comes to who gets the official awards and recognition from the industry, not just user rankings on websites. Even the most popular animes in history, not just the most critically acclaimed, are from the 90's and up. One Piece, Naruto, Pokemon, etc... Even Dragonball Z, which took the Dragonball franchise to meteoric heights didn't kick off until the very end of 1989.

The industry has already borne out the fact that it produces higher quality, better respected, more profitable and more critically acclaimed anime. And it's definitely not a situation, in my opinion, where the current generation doesn't have the same appreciation for quality as the previous generation and just think more highly of mediocre work. The artform isn't that old, yet. I believe it just generally is better and more creative work.

I don't think the numbers are near the same for classics produced then and classics produced now, by proportion. I remember when I was younger, how hard it was to find truly amazing anime. And I wasn't even as saturated by it then as I am now having seen as many titles as I have, so I was easier to please. It was incredibly hard to find anime the quality of an Akira, Gundam Wing, Macross or Patlabor. Mostly it was stuff like MD Geist, Black Magic M-66 and K.O. Beast. Hot garbage. Now days? At least once or twice every season something is coming out that's top notch anime. Whether it's Anohana or Gintama, The Monogatari Series or Kyousogiga. There's just way, way, more quality stuff out.

I don't think that anime has yet gotten to such a point as Hollywood, yet. And I share your concerns about it getting to a point where leeches are attracted, and commercialization runs rampant, ruining the art. And definitely, alot of major studio projects fall into that money grab category. But, I think anime is in that sweet spot. Where it's big enough to attract and support talented artists, but not so big that major entertainment entities who have no interest in the art are coming in and taking over. It could happen in the future, but anime is still very niche around the world.

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26 / M / Nevada........ FO...
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Posted 5/15/14
Yes and no. It all depends on what your personal tastes are really. I find myself being a fan of the older Gundam and Macross series, as well as some more. . . obscure titles , However a lot of my favorite series have come out in the past couple of years, like Ano-Hana and Kyoukai no Kanata. However, do I consider the anime made in 2013 - 14 better than anime made in, say 1974? No. each era/year/season will have stupid, fanservice style anime, as well as some anime that have a story and some well thought out characters.

And to those of you who don't think there was that much fanservice in past anime, what do you think Dragonball Z and Sailor Moon were?
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