This week the question really threw me because I kind of disagree with the basic premise of it, but here we go and I’m a trying to take in on anyway. I’d love to know your answer to the question and remember that if you have something you would like for me to answer, please fill in the survey below.
Question: When compared to the anime in the past, these days it is really hard to find a good anime that can stand neck to neck with all the classic hits. Is it because the studios now-a-days are concentrating in releasing more no. of anime each season rather than 1 or 2 good, quality anime? From anon
Okay, there’s a lot to think about in that question but underlying it is an assumption that modern anime is not as good as the classics. Which is an argument I’ve seen a lot of but don’t necessarily agree with, no disrespect to whoever asked the question. While there are certainly some amazing titles that have left a legacy and influenced a large number of modern anime, to assume that the titles coming out today aren’t that good or won’t have a lasting impact is something that seems a little overly pessimistic.
More importantly, are modern audiences really after something enduring or do they simply want something that moves them in the moment? With the plethora of media available to be streamed instantly, it really does seem like most people are moving away from the idea that something needs to be watched over and over and be enduring and more that something needs to start a conversation in the now and then we’ll find something new to discuss. What qualities are we looking for in a ‘classic’ or a hit and are these actually things that can be compared over time given changes in technology, society, and the way we consume media?
The other issue is that people remember the stories that worked in the past, but conveniently forget all the duds of anime history. And there are a lot of them. Some have hung around and can still be viewed for the amusement of the interested but most have simply disappeared into the nebulous past and won’t be mentioned again as they have no reason to be. So while there are certainly a large number of anime coming out each season, and a lot of them won’t be consider enduring classics or modern masterpieces, this isn’t overly new. The only thing different now is a general larger volume and while that means there are certainly a large number of titles we can point to if we wished to make a case about the declining quality of anime, that overlooks some of the truly extraordinary stories that anime has brought us in the last decade.
Ultimately, each viewer is going to decide for themselves whether they prefer the older and more stately classics, or whether it is something newer and shinier that will push their buttons, or some combination of the two, but there are strengths to older and newer anime as well as weaknesses. So while that doesn’t really answer the question I think it explains why the question itself isn’t necessarily something that can be answered if the underlying assumption that modern anime aren’t as good as older ones is disagreed with in the first place.
Right, would you like to make me think? Have a question you’d like discussed? Be sure to fill in the survey below. In the meantime though, I’d love to know your thoughts on the question this week so drop me a comment.
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