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Is anime slowly kicking the bucket? Hideaki Anno Interview.
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Posted 11/8/14 , edited 11/8/14
http://otakumode.com/news/5455a5926cf77b3a4848ed43

Within the interview, Hideaki addresses the ever apparent decline of both financial and asset resources within our loved anime industry.

This decline stems from the lack of animation companies willing to take risks due to the possible lack of profits.

As much as it pains me I personally agree with Hideaki,

The anime industry, for all of its beauties is slowly declining. Lack of profits, lack of inspiration and a basic stagnation in creativity.


I think the Japanese animation industry will begin to decline. It's past its peak. It will be in decline for a while and once it hits bottom, it will rise up again. What I'm most worried about is whether or not there will be enough people left to lift it back up at that point. Most animation production companies have just barely enough staff. With these conditions, it's only a matter of time before things fall apart. Maybe five years, maybe 10. Most people are saying that it won't last 20 years. Five years at the earliest, 20 at the latest.
The lack of staff and finances has gotten to the point that people recognize they won't be able to keep working as they are now. It's not the kind of leisurely atmosphere that Japan needs to make animation. We can't make animation at this scale without economic stability. When you're working as hard as you can just to feed yourself, you can't get joy out of your work. You're more focused on your next meal. That's the real problem.


What is everyone's opinion on this? Is it possible for us in the west to help save anime?

I have always personally dreamed of starting my own animation company after working for either Kyoto animations or Trigger as an animator/ story-boarder. However I am often deterred both by my lack of experience and the stigma towards western animation from the "otaku" community in the west. It often seems as if anything western is damned to fail before its released because nothing western can be good right? We have some great shows, like Avatar the last air-bender that really show the west's potential to create animations on par with that of Japans.

Animation is something I wish to see stay with me for the rest of my life; and now that I am slapped with this reality i have chosen to ignore, it gives me a very melancholic feeling.

What are some ways we can rekindle the anime industry? Can more companies adopt Trigger's idea of crowd funding? (Little Witch Academia)?

Can we somehow create our own animation industry here in the west? An animation industry that deals with mature topics and are aimed at teens and adults instead of younger children?

What are somethings you think the industry itself can do to remedy this issue?


Do you think there is an issue at all?

Give me your thoughts!

Posted 11/8/14 , edited 11/11/14
Lol everything is always "dying". The record industry has been "dying" since the 80's. Film industry has "been dying" since the 90's. Video game industry "has been dying" since the 00's.

Yet every single one is still around and making a whole lot of money.

Everything's been "dying" ffs. I understand the sentiment, but so long as there is still anime being made, nothing is dying. I hate these, they genuinely piss me the hell off.

You look at the young Western generations, these kids 13 and up, and they're all getting into anime and manga. Sure, they only watch dubbed anime, or don't know about it fully, but guess what? They're still watching anime and reading manga.


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Posted 11/8/14
As my disappointed 13 year old self once learned, "nothing is immortal, everything is slowly dying, announcing it won't make it die any faster."

But honestly though, if we get a few more popularity spikes in anime, such as the recent successes of Aot/SnK and SAO, the anime industry should have a stable enough financial basis, and once the financial basis is sturdy enough people will start taking risks again, then we will have more amazing anime to enjoy.
Posted 11/8/14
i know facebook is "dying"
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Posted 11/8/14 , edited 11/30/14


I 100% agree with that point. I think the main problem isn't really the industry itself, i think its most of the shows being made recently are just uninspired (my personal opinion though). There seem to be just too many harem shows that follow the same basic story line, and have the same characters but with different hair colors.

I think if we get some triple AAA shows like SnK, Psycho Pass, SAO, and even good long running shows like Hunter X Hunter 2011; we will see an even bigger boost in the anime industry.

I think shows like those are great for bringing in new fans. I even got my sister into anime due to SnK. I made her watch it when she was 11 (surprised she wasn't scarred for life).

I just think animation companies need to think less about profits, and more about taking a risk to create a work of art, instead of just a product.
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Posted 11/8/14 , edited 11/11/14
The record, film, and video game industry figured it out, so will the anime/manga industry. They just need to work on appealing to other countries. They have nice fanbases in the US and of course Japan, but outside of that and parts of Asia, the anime community is pretty much not there.

Of course, appealing to other places isn't easy. A good start would be working on using less nudity/semi nudity in anime. The majority of my friends see anime as just big boobs and panty shots, and even though that's an exaggeration, it has some truth behind it. Producers need to realize that most cultures don't like the sexuality, especially in the form of anime.

And this is hard to do because harems and ecchi are the easier animes to make and get some viewers and revenue (No offense to producers). The problem is that those viewers are already fans, and you're really only losing potential fans.

They'll figure it out though.
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Posted 11/8/14 , edited 11/11/14
Well, they said PC gaming was dying. Yet nowadays it seems that PC gaming is actually doing pretty good. Things might be tough now, and maybe the anime industry will eventually die. But just because things aren't as good as they were twenty years ago doesn't mean the end is nigh. The world is always changing.
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Posted 11/8/14
People "say" a lot of things, but is anime really dying? I don't think so, I enjoy all the series that come out these days. In fact I think it's becoming more popular if anything. Years ago I was one of the only anime fans in my town. Now I have tons of friends who tried out anime and love it
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Posted 11/8/14 , edited 11/23/14
I am dying, you are dying, he's dying, we're all dying hey!
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Posted 11/8/14 , edited 11/8/14
Well aside from the "everything's always dying" argument people are spouting...

... to a degree anime has become stagnant; instead of risky, groundbreaking shows, we get a bunch of moé-pig garbage and harem shows. It's all that's profitable domestically, and as anyone who's looked into it knows, Japan is a pretty insular country; they aren't particularly interested in other places. So, given that moé-pig garbage and harem shows are all that's profitable domestically, that's what we get a lot of.
Add in the fact that risky shows are just that and in a market where investors don't like to take risks, and you've pretty much got a recipe for stagnation.

Of course, there's also the fact that with internet simulcasting the floodgates burst open, letting us see all anime as it's produced instead of only the choice shows years after the fact. Probably why even some Western fans are disillusioned with anime.

EDIT

Answering the questions:

What are some ways we can rekindle the anime industry? Can more companies adopt Trigger's idea of crowd funding? (Little Witch Academia)?

Fans can rekindle the anime industry by watching the risky, edgier shows, but again, see above - anime is produced with the domestic market in mind first, and so is designed to be profitable regionally before internationally. As long as this remains true (that is, as long as the domestic market is the #1 priority and they still want moé-pig garbage and harem shows), stagnation will continue.

Trigger's crowd funding strategy is unique and works for them, but I'm not sure it would work for everyone. Certainly we'd get better-quality shows in terms of storyline and characterization, but we'd get fewer shows overall, which would shrink the industry. Pick your poison.

Can we somehow create our own animation industry here in the west? An animation industry that deals with mature topics and are aimed at teens and adults instead of younger children?

It's definitely a possibility. Nickelodeon has arguably succeeded in making a program that deals with mature topics aimed at teens and adults; while I'd argue that Avatar: The Last Airbender is more shonen than anything it does delve into some more mature issues, and the sequel series The Legend of Korra deals with extremely mature themes (equality, spirituality, anarchy, tyranny) and even showcases a graphic (though not bloody) murder. This shift in demographics is also apparent with the characters themselves; the protagonists of Airbender are preteens or early teens, while Korra's heroes start out in their late teens and become fully adult in the last season. Korra is also less prey to the Western convention of one-shot episodes, something that plagued the original series and was (in my opinion) the bane of Teen Titans.

The problem is that animated entertainment in the West is perceived as being primarily for children, or otherwise is a crass comedy, and with Disney itself having shifted over to 3D CGI animation for its feature films, it'll be an uphill battle if it can be won at all. As good as the shows are the Avatar series cannot turn this reputation around on its own (and as I mentioned above, the original has a distinctly shonen bent).

What are some things you think the industry itself can do to remedy this issue?

The industry itself...? Nothing. What the industry produces is a reflection of what the viewers want. When viewers begin demanding more original programming (by NOT WATCHING THE GARBAGE SHOWS) we'll see it. Until then, moé-pig garbage and harem shows ALL YEAR EVERY YEAR! Woo!
Posted 11/8/14 , edited 11/8/14
japan should become very friendly with their neighboring countries. it's good that china and japan are planning talks these days.

pretty sure there was some project that funded some anime original ideas (some competition..don't remember much about it. anyway, i don't buy the profit scare argument.. that's not something that should strangle creativity. the small anime projects hold the key to what they might be trying to stimulate and the problem is probably that they need to cut loose some people in favor for some changes... ease up on that protection that some employees seem to enjoy that prevents them from getting fired.
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Posted 11/8/14

AzazelOfNexium wrote:



I 100% agree with that point. I think the main problem isn't really the industry itself, i think its most of the shows being made recently are just uninspired (my personal opinion though). There seem to be just too many harem shows that follow the same basic story line, and have the same characters but with different hair colors.

I think if we get some triple AAA shows like SnK, Psycho Pass, SAO, and even good long running shows like Hunter X Hunter 2011; we will see an even bigger boost in the anime industry.

I think shows like those are great for bringing in new fans. I even got my sister into anime due to SnK. I made her watch it when she was 11 (surprised she wasn't scarred for life).

I just think animation companies need to think less about profits, and more about taking a risk to create a work of art, instead of just a product.


Agreed. Haoyo Miyozaki also said that he believes the anime industry is failing because of "Otakus." I know you all are probably thinking... "But Otakus are the fans! How are they ruining it????" Well my dear children... just sit down and learn.

"Otaku" is a word in Japan that is not a good one. Otaku has negative connotations that many people in Japan look down upon. It's not just a simple "anime fan" but rather a low life who sits in his mother basement at the age of 30/40 with no job and basically is a lazy piece of garbage or have mega fetishes and love these animes that are all the same . These Otaku's love the Harems with the moe girl with big boobs and no plots. They are the ones who are coming up with the ideas that are all the same or demanding for these types of animes... which is why they anime industry is going down because they know that it will make some money and is an easy audience to target.

Here is a video that pretty much describes what really happens
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXJ27KHa4Ck
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Posted 11/8/14
Always remember Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is crap. It applies to anime the same as the film, music, and game industries. It's just how things are, unfortunately.

I try to focus on the positive instead of the negative, rather than complain about all the crap shows out there I like to enjoy the few gems and hope for a few more next season.

I think that with anime, as well as with everything else out there, if you want to create change the best thing you can do is vote with your pocketbook - support what you like with your spending habits and hope that others will do the same.
Posted 11/8/14

Dropplet wrote:


AzazelOfNexium wrote:



I 100% agree with that point. I think the main problem isn't really the industry itself, i think its most of the shows being made recently are just uninspired (my personal opinion though). There seem to be just too many harem shows that follow the same basic story line, and have the same characters but with different hair colors.

I think if we get some triple AAA shows like SnK, Psycho Pass, SAO, and even good long running shows like Hunter X Hunter 2011; we will see an even bigger boost in the anime industry.

I think shows like those are great for bringing in new fans. I even got my sister into anime due to SnK. I made her watch it when she was 11 (surprised she wasn't scarred for life).

I just think animation companies need to think less about profits, and more about taking a risk to create a work of art, instead of just a product.


Agreed. Haoyo Miyozaki also said that he believes the anime industry is failing because of "Otakus." I know you all are probably thinking... "But Otakus are the fans! How are they ruining it????" Well my dear children... just sit down and learn.

"Otaku" is a word in Japan that is not a good one. Otaku has negative connotations that many people in Japan look down upon. It's not just a simple "anime fan" but rather a low life who sits in his mother basement at the age of 30/40 with no job and basically is a lazy piece of garbage or have mega fetishes and love these animes that are all the same . These Otaku's love the Harems with the moe girl with big boobs and no plots. They are the ones who are coming up with the ideas that are all the same or demanding for these types of animes... which is why they anime industry is going down because they know that it will make some money and is an easy audience to target.

Here is a video that pretty much describes what really happens
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXJ27KHa4Ck


The negative connotations usually lie with the older Japanese and those who embrace the mainstream. Some people embrace the word Otaku and think nothing wrong with the meaning. In other words, the definition depends on the demographic. A self proclaimed Otaku might think there's nothing wrong with being one, but middle school girl would think otherwise.
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Posted 11/8/14
I think it's because of the niche market.
With so many animes made in a short period of time most of it isn't going to sell and the talent is going to be spread out over a larger area and lessen the quality of the product.
When it gets to the point where only the strong remain, all animation companies present will all be rich.
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