Rise is back with another Netflix related question. I’m sure there are some mixed opinions out there on this one so I’d love to know your answer if you would like to leave a comment below. As always if you have something to ask you can send the question my way by filling in the simple survey at the end of the post or you can use this link to the inquiring minds survey.
How do you feel about Netflix producing their own anime verses a traditional ‘Japanese studio’ producing them?Rise
I’m actually pretty indifferent about who produces anime or any kind of media really. My only real concern is whether it is entertaining and accessible. I was previously asked how I felt about Chinese co-productions and mostly again, while some of these have been terrible, I don’t dislike them just because they were co-produced. And some have actually been pretty good.
When it comes to Netflix, they definitely are making things accessible (even if they don’t stream weekly for the seasonal anime they get the rights to at this point in all countries – and they really, really should). But, when it comes to being entertaining, I’m guessing someone is entertained given how well Netflix is doing, but so far their anime has been, well, not to my taste.
Basically, of the Netflix anime (or one’s I think are Netflix) I’ve watched I really enjoyed Ajin and Kuromukuro. I found A.I.C.O disappointing but watchable and had a similar experience with Knights of Sidonia. However this year ID-0, B the Beginning, and a number of other titles just haven’t hit their mark for me. While they aren’t necessarily bad, they just aren’t what I’m interested in.
But, that doesn’t mean I want Netflix out of the industry. They are making anime more accessible to a wider western audience. What they are producing is entertaining some people. They are generally working with Japanese studios (as far as I am aware) in producing these anime which means there is money going back to the industry that might end up going towards other projects that I do enjoy. And that’s a fairly good thing.
I know some people don’t want to see anime go mainstream, but I think with the number of genres within anime, some being quite niche even within an already niche market, even if some anime ends up being mainstream, there will always be those smaller projects that hit the spot for those who want something a little bit different.
But, that’s just my opinion. As I said at the start, I’d love to know how the rest of you feel about this so please give us a comment below.
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9 thoughts on “Inquiring Minds Want To Know 2019 #4”
“But, that doesn’t mean I want Netflix out of the industry. They are making anime more accessible to a wider western audience.”
I don’t necessarily want to see them gone, but their impact is (IMO) not unmixed.
First, my definition of anime is (broadly) “made in Japan for a domestic audience”. It’s the latter in particular that makes anime different. Second, while they’re making animated material more accessible (and finally moving beyond fart jokes), they’re staying in a fairly narrow lane. (That is, tending towards SF/F and action oriented shows and a certain animation style.)
The two combined… That’s the real deleterious effect in that they’re (re)defining what the mainstream see as “anime” (more to their benefit that fandom’s).
But that doesn’t stop the anime that is being made in Japan for a domestic audience being the diverse mix it always was and if someone new finds anime threw Netflix and then later expands to other avenues of anime then a new anime fan is born. TV did the same thing to anime when I was a kid. Other than magical girls (Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor), card collecting (Pokemon and the like), and robot focused stuff, there just wasn’t anything else on TV. So when I finally figured out that Sailor Moon was actually anime and wondered what that meant, I had a very narrow view of what anime could be. It wasn’t until YouTube and then streaming services that I actually found anything beyond what had aired on TV in my country and realised there was a lot more to it.
So I don’t see Netflix being a narrow lane as a problem, except that so far they haven’t included a lot in their roster that interests me so it isn’t exactly going to be my main source of anime any time soon.
I won’t disagree it can bring new fans into the fold. But on the flip side, I lived through the 80’s and the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises redefining SF even as they brought SF out of the ghetto and into the mainstream. I’ve met many folks who claim to be “SF fans” who are actually “fans of corporate franchises”, or at least so deeply influenced by those franchises that there’s no functional difference. I’ve also met SF fans who’ve never heard of (let alone read) the masters the field is built on. (Etc… etc…)
I’m simply urging that people be mindful of the full spectrum of consequences.
It will be interesting as to how Netflix can make anime more accessible. As for their own productions, it boils down on taste.
I’m much more annoyed by their remaking anime series as live-action. . .
But like anything, you can choose not to watch them.
My choice, exactly.
I guess I don’t have strong feelings about Netflix getting anime other then “please start simulcasting like everyone else”. That’s about it.
Yes, the lack of simulcasting really hurts because even though the anime does get released, its after the season, people are more or less finished talking about it, and for some reason watching a whole series for review seems a lot more daunting than just checking out an episode a week. I know I could just watch the Netlix shows one episode a week but again, everyone is already done talking about it so mostly I’d be talking to myself about it. Netflix just needs to get with simulcasting.
And for those who binge watch, nothing stopping them not waiting until it is done and binging it then. Literally the only difference will be that people have a choice.