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Post Reply anime that has aged well?
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Posted 6/20/15 , edited 6/20/15
Detective Conan ( case closed )
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Posted 6/21/15 , edited 6/21/15
Are we talking visually or the whole package?

Not counting movies, I'd say Evangelion, Utena and Cowboy Bebop are strong examples. CardCaptor Sakura, as mentioned before, is another one.

In my opinion, shows that have a strong and unique look tend to age much better than those that stick too closely to whatever was the 'in' style at the time of their creation - just compare any random screenshot from Revolutionary Girl Utena to one from Saber Marionette J . While both aired in 1997, one looks more or less timeless, while the other looks like, well, a show from 1997 (technical giveaways like aspect ratio and analog colors aside)


(Both of these are from the first page of Google image search)

Of course, the actual technical quality of the animation and artistry plays a role in dating a show as well (that famous Macross knife fight probably wouldn't fly today), but even the best animated show can seem old if it's design sensibility is stuck in a specific time period. Macross: DYRL is GORGEOUS, but it is also very clearly 30 years old.

As for story, it's the same thing. Some tropes are so tied to a specific era that they can age a show just by existing. If it's got a super robot, it's probably from the seventies. If it's full of maids, that screams early aughts regardless of the artistry. Based on an eroge? Mid-aughts. Little sisters? Late aughts. Trying really hard to be willfully obtuse? Post-Evangelion.
Story structure can age a show too - a lot of pre-2000 shows have 50+ episodes and plenty of fillers for stories that would now probably be told in 12 or 26 episodes, or they can't show things that would be unremarkable content today because they were aired in the afternoon instead of in a late-night slot. (Conversely, 80's OVAs casually throw a LOT of graphic violence at the viewer that you wouldn't see in newer anime.)

Again, a unique story told well helps a lot to make a show age gracefully - Mushishi doesn't seem like it HAS to have come out in 2005, while Hanaukyo Maid Tai could only really be from 2001.
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