2000-2009 Part 1: Looking Back


Ogiue Chika, Goddess of the 2000s

Introduction

We are on the cusp of a new decade, and with such a benchmark on the way it’s only natural for people to reflect on the past, to review what has happened to them and everything they care for. Anime and manga fans are no exception. After all, it’s normal for us to assign certain traits to specific periods of anime and manga, whether it’s nostalgically remembering the “time when anime was GOOD” (which depending on your mileage can be pretty much any period) or analyzing the trends and developments in anime from decades prior, and to really be compelled to fight for the medium we love. Anime and manga thrive on emotion and reflection, and we love it for that reason. With all that in mind, I asked myself a question.

“How will this decade be remembered in the eyes of future anime fans and scholars?”

After much thought, I decided on nine ideas in total which I feel are significantly representative of the 2000s.

The Dawn of Digital Animation and the Proliferation of CG

For about as long as there has been an animation “industry” to speak of, cartoons were done on cels, painted and layered by hand, resulting in a cost-intensive and laborious process. When graphic technology progressed far enough that it became possible to animate shows “digitally,” it’s no surprise that the Japanese Animation industry, known for its significantly lower production costs compared to western counterparts, would by the early 2000s embrace this change. As of today, about the only cel animation holdovers that still exist are Sazae-san and Ponyo. Going hand in hand with the switch to digital is the increasing usage of cg and 3D graphics in anime, again generally as a cost-saving measure. Though 3D graphics in anime have been around since the late 80s (see Char’s Counterattack for example), it was the 2000s where it became a common sight.


Athrun Zala from Gundam SEED (left) and Gundam SEED Destiny (right)

The unique properties of the digital format influenced every aspect of animation production and aesthetics. Looking at character design for one example, characters are made to be colored digitally now and their features are drawn in ways which facilitate digital animation. As such, the impact the switch to digital has had on anime cannot be underestimated.

Digital Anime is a little over 10 years old now, which is a lot of time and yet not very much at all, and this decade has seen it go through some serious growing pains. In particular, it’s gone under scrutiny as critics from every level of anime, from the highest industry intellectuals to the fans, have pointed out how much it isn’t cel animation. Personally speaking, the classic example of awkward digital animation for me is Gundam SEED, where characters in zero-gravity environments looked like cut-outs awkwardly motion-tweened against a background, something which improved with SEED Destiny. Over time, animators have become more adept at using these “digital shortcuts” more effectively, and now just as you have people championing the days of cels, you also have people who think that digital animation is inherently superior.

The real answer of course is that each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and that it’s best to understand that, but that’s another talk for another day.

Character Over Story

Though there are still plenty of series which try to tell stories and have greater themes, the overall trend over the past few decades has been an increasing focus on the characters in those stories and to view them on a very personal level. While Evangelion is often marked as one of the major points where character emphasis began to supercede story emphasis, it is after 2000 where story truly begins to fall by the wayside. Taken to the extreme, these shows focus everything on intimate character portrayals with little to no narrative progress, eschewing narrative entirely, effectively creating a time capsule where characters are defined more by their static qualities than their active ones. Putting aside slice of life shows such as Hidamari Sketch and Azumanga Daioh, even series such as Haibane Renmei and Eureka Seven which place great emphasis on the grand scope of the world tend more towards the personal. The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi in particular is a show whose story and events are more backdrops to display the characters and their workings.


Suzumiya Haruhi and the SOS-Dan

Essentially, this decade of anime and manga has been very much about “getting to know the characters” and treating them as “real.” Sometimes you’re a voyeur, peering into their most private moments. Sometimes you’re a close friend who gets to see them as they really are. In every case, it’s as if the goal is to have an anime viewer see a character and say, “I know what you’re really like.”

Moe

I could discuss moe all day long, but that’s not as important here as the fact that it became such a publicized word in anime fandom around the world. Whatever moe “is” or “is not,” in this decade it was clear that fans wanted it and that companies were eager to sell it.

While the word had been used prior to 2000 (such as in the 1999 visual novel Comic Party), it was after 2000 that the concept exploded and transformed into the beast that everyone knows and loves (or loves to hate). Moe became a buzzword, a rallying cry, and a point of contention as people inside and outside of the industry, as well as fans new and old, debated the effects that the popularization and push of “moe” had on the industry, the art form, and the people. The best example of how far the idea has reached would probably be the fact that Pokemon of all things featured a cute, spunky female character named “Moe” who had a crush on Satoshi/Ash.


Moe‘s name is also a pun on her usage of Fire-type Pokemon

At this point, it seems that moe has reached the height of its popularity and will become a genre that can be utilized in part or in whole. I suspect it will still be revisited in the future, but never again will we have this “moe mania,” perceived or otherwise.

“Softened” Character Designs

Chalk it up to “kawaii” or “moe” or “digital animation” or “influence from visual novels” or anything else, but character designs became softer in the period of 2000-2009. What does “softer” mean? It means rounder facial features, it means smoother curves on characters, it means subtle changes to color palettes that give off a sense of warmth, even in shows where you might not consider that appropriate. That’s not to say of course that “soft” character designs never existed in prior decades, but it was never to the same degree, and it did not seep into nearly every level and genre of anime in existence as it has here. It’s not just the Dengeki Daioh shows which went through this transformation.

It would be very easy to show you a picture of some gruff, manly shounen anime from the 80s and then put it next to something more modern and have people go, “Wow! That’s so different!” but there would be too many variables there, such as the inherent styles of the artists. Instead, I’m going to use a more subtle example.

Suzuki Mikura, Mezzo Forte (left), Mezzo Danger Service Agency (right)

Mezzo Forte is from 1998. Mezzo Danger Service Agency is from 2003. Both character designs are by the same person, Umetsu Yasuomi (who also directed both shows), and both of them are supposed to be the same character as well. Now Umetsu was always known as a skilled animator and character designer whose style leaned a little more towards the realistic side of things. And yet, look at what a difference five years make! If someone like Umetsu felt the winds of change to this extent, I think you can see what happened to character designs in anime as a whole.

Otaku in Fiction

Like many things on this list, the idea of otaku appearing in anime and manga isn’t new or unique to this decade, but the 2000s were when the concept exploded. While you had a handful of works in the previous decade, most notably Gainax’s Otaku no Video, the period from 2000-2009 saw such a growth of stories centered around otaku that it’s difficult to keep track of it all. Genshiken, Welcome to the NHK!, Lucky Star, Fujoshi Kanojo, Otaku no Musume-san, Rabuyan, Mousou Shoujo Otakukei, Tonari no 801-chan, Akibakei Kanojo, and of course Densha Otoko are among the many works which have thrown anime and manga fans into the fictional spotlight. Densha Otoko requires special mention, as its supposedly true story was partly responsible for Akihabara receiving much more mainstream media attention than in the past.

Not only are there stories about otaku now, but the “otaku” and the “fujoshi” have themselves become archetypes used in anime and manga. Go back to previous decades and only rarely will you find an otaku character who’s called an “otaku character.” Rarer still will you find them as main characters. The establishment of the otaku and fujoshi as character types in the world of anime, manga, and beyond is arguably a bigger impact than simply having works centered around otaku. Sanzenin Nagi would most assuredly have found a difficult time existing prior to this decade.


Sanzenin Nagi from Hayate the Combat Butler, Otaku Heroine

The arrival of the “otaku hero” is itself indicative of the increasing desire to appeal towards otaku. Just like how many shounen heroes are designed to appeal to kids by being more like them, otaku heroes are created to market towards anime and manga fans, to make it easier for them to relate to the characters and world of the story. At least, that’s the intention. Actual results have varied.

Greater Reverence for the Past in Remakes

Every decade has its remakes of famous and beloved works from the past, but there was something different about the way the 2000s went about it. In order to show just exactly what that difference is, we’re going to take a trip back over 40 years and start at the beginning.

In the 1960s a black and white cartoon called Tetsujin 28 appeared on Japanese television. Taking place in that era (or in “2001” if you follow the Gigantor version), the show followed a boy detective named Kaneda Shoutarou and his remote-controlled giant robot “Tetsujin 28.” He would traipse about the world in his plaid suit and short shorts, righting wrongs and fighting crime, and the show was very popular among kids.

In 1980 someone decided to revive the franchise and Tetsujin 28 underwent “modernization.” Referred to either as New Tetsujin 28 or Emissary of the Sun Tetsujin 28, the new anime sported updated redesigns for both Shoutarou and his trusty metal companion, with Shoutarou ditching his semi-formal wear for an open button-down shirt over a striped t-shirt and Tetsujin 28 slimming down and gaining more “realistic” human proportions. The art was less like its predecessor and more like the other anime coming out at the time.

The series was remade again in 1992 under the title Super Electric Robo Tetsujin 28 FX. Taking place many years into the future, the main character this time around was the son of the Kaneda Shoutarou. Kaneda Masato looked completely like a 90s anime character, sporting wild spiked hair and trading in the old remote control for a remote control gun. The new Tetsujin 28 meanwhile was the biggest departure yet, with its massive armored frame, oversized shoulder pads, and angular features. One look at this show and its designs, and you would be able to determine its time frame almost instantly.

Then in 2004 another Tetsujin 28 was announced. Would the story this time be about Tetsujin 28 fighting terrorists in the 21st century? Would Shoutarou’s be changed into a bishounen? Just how would this Tetsujin 28 update itself? The answer, it turns out, is by revisiting post-war setting of the original anime and manga, putting Kaneda Shoutarou back in his suit and short shorts, and returning the titular robot to its round and cumbersome-looking original design. The main difference was, this time around they could tell an on-going story that wasn’t possible with the episodic nature of the first anime.


Tetsujin 28, 60s (top-left), 80s (top-right), 90s (lower-left), and 00s (lower-right)

 

Here we see the level of reverence that animated remakes in the 2000s have for their source material. As cool as Sugino Akio’s Black Jack from the OVAs looks, it’s more a Sugino design that it is an adaptation of the Tezuka version. Whether it’s the new Black Jack, the new Towards the Terra, or the new Glass Mask, these remakes over the past ten years have all derived their aesthetics from the originals and tried even in their updated redesigns to capture their visual essence, as opposed to re-envisioning the characters almost entirely to fit in with the current trends of animation. Re: Cutie Honey in particular is a prime example, when comparing its opening to the original’s. Even adaptation of 90s series such as Itazura na Kiss and Slayers Revolution went about trying to capture that 90s anime “feel.”

Overall, this decade has done a much better job at looking back then the decades previous, but that might just be because anime is old enough at this point for that to happen in a proper fashion.

The Kids’ Manga of Yesterday is the Adult Manga of Today

Tying directly into the remake reverence, nostalgia for anime and manga has become a greater factor in the industry than it ever has in the past, and it has everything to do with appealing to the adults of today who were once kids. As with the example of Tetsujin 28, the revivals of today differ from the revivals of yesteryear in that while the previous ones tried to update the series for the kids of that era, more current series tap directly into the adult market who have a longing for the anime and manga of their childhood. Whereas Kinnikuman and Hokuto no Ken ran in Shounen Jump (the current home of One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach), Kinnikuman II (1998) and Souten no Ken (2001) run in adult magazines high on nostalgia.


Hokuto no Ken’s Kenshiro (left), Souten no Ken’s Kasumi Kenshiro (right)

Nowhere is this more evident than in the way the super robot genre has been approached over the past ten years. Arguably starting with 1997’s Gaogaigar and its realization that adults are watching this kids’ show, super robots have tried to tap into the childhood of those 18 and up. One only has to look at Gurren-Lagann, Godannar!!, Koutetsushin Jeeg, New Getter Robo, Shin Mazinger, Aim for the Top 2 and others to see this trend. While not all of these shows go out of their way to alienate new viewers (and shows such as Gaiking: Legend of Daikumaryu try harder to focus on a younger audience), they are still homages to the themes and tropes of decades past, trying to attract yesterday’s fan today.

 

Accelerated Access to Anime

Looking at the way we watch anime and read manga now, with our streaming videos, official online comics, torrents, rapidshares, and just ease of access to the product, it can be easy to remember that there was a time when getting any anime at all was a diffcult feat, and any show we saw was many years old at that point. But let’s not step back too far, and just consider the fact that there was a time before stores had “anime” or “manga” sections where you could easily buy the latest volume of your favorite series (or not buy, as the case may be).

Speed of information. Speed of communication. Speed has defined this decade as a whole, let alone in the realm of anime and manga, but it’s in the easy access to large amounts of media that anime began to feel like a juggernaut. On the up-and-up, you could buy anime DVDs and manga in mainstream stores and chains, or watch anime about fighting with monsters on Saturday Morning cartoons, or catch Cartoon Network’s Toonami and Adult Swim. On the illegitimate side of things, people began to produce “digisubs,” obviating the need for VHS fansubs and tape-trading. IRC downloads gave way to Direct Connect, which was succeeded by the Bittorrent, which in turn was overtaken in popularity by a new website called YouTube, which ushered in an age of streaming video.


The ease with which we could find anime made the world feel a little smaller

At anime cons, industry representatives have talked about how Bittorrent, while significant, didn’t cut into their revenues nearly as much as streaming video had. Streaming anime was fast, easy to understand (no “What’s a Torrent?”), and of course it was free. That’s why so many companies are trying streaming video right now; they know that this is where people are turning and they want to get something out of it rather than trying to squash it entirely. Even the Japan side is getting more savvy about this, with Bandai Channel getting into the mix and the rise of Nico Nico Douga. Now we actually have shows which are accessible to international audiences at nearly the exact same minute as a broadcast in Japan. And ironically, some people have shown that it’s still not fast enough.

The Ups and Downs of Internationalization

Back in 2000 I saw the second Pokemon movie on opening day, as I had with the first movie. I distinctly remember it being the summer of 2000, seeing as how the English title for the movie was Pokemon 2000 and all. But as I sat in the theater with friends that morning, I looked at the entrances for a moment and then…they came. Children flooded the theater, seeping into every row and every seat that they could like a single Pikachu-loving blob. In a couple of minutes the theater was packed. This was Pokemon. This was where anime had gone.

Then years later I went to see the 5th movie, starring Latios and Latias in theaters. Once again it was opening day, but this time I was the only person in the theater. Looking back, this should have told me everything I needed to know about the life of anime and manga in this decade.


The Pokemon movies from 2000 and 2003

The anime and manga industries of today struggle as their peers and rivals fall victim to a mix of overzealousness, bad decisions, and a market that just isn’t there even though they wanted it to be. But whether there was ever any actual success, or whether it was built purely on kindle and gumdrops from the beginning, the fact that these companies were even around to be eliminated, the fact that someone could actually think an “Anime Network” would succeed, the fact that another person would think, “We have to make our cartoons more like that anime stuff,” the fact that Anime and Manga could even give the impression of “Making It Big” is amazing in itself.

Conclusion

Anime and manga in the period from 2000-2009 has undergone changes in almost every area imaginable, from the way it’s watched to the way it’s created, from storytelling styles and character aesthetics, to perceptions of the past and the future. Whether it’s for the better or worse, I think ultimately history will have a neutral opinion on this era as the good inevitably came with the bad.

While these changes have been quite major, they do not exist in a bubble separate from history, and if you look closely you’ll find strong connections going back to the earliest days of anime and manga that continuously resonate from past to present. And in a way, this decade was not so different from the ones previous to it in the sense that every decade has brought with it changes to how anime is perceived, received, and produced. What’s different this time though, is that everyone around the world can see them more clearly and talk about them with ease, as we are doing right now.

So that’s 2000-2009 and the look back. Get ready for Part 2, where I talk about where I think anime and manga will be going in the coming years.

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25 thoughts on “2000-2009 Part 1: Looking Back

  1. I’m not generally a huge fan of retrospectives, especially given that they’re so over-played these days, but I have to say that this is one of most well-written, well-considered retrospectives I’ve seen on this topic. While I suppose there are a few things I could think of to add, I think you’ve hit on all the main points that will ultimately have a lasting impact, although of course only time will tell. So anyway, good job!

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  2. Great stuff.

    Interestingly, I heard similar comments re:internet piracy during my time in the UK video industry from people in non-anime companies. Not coincidentally, they have streaming sites of their own now.

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  3. Granted I’m aproaching this from the perspective of someone who became a “real anime fan” just this decade, but I definitely agree with your comments on the way that character has come to be emphasized over plot – for better or worse, though in my opinion better.

    My own viewer’s canon was built up almost exclusively on shows from the 2005-2009 period, and when I went to watch Planetes this divide became really apparent – I was enthralled for the full length of the show, *minus* the handful of episodes at the end where the plot played out. It was well-written, and paced as well as one could expect it to be, but the amount of core character development and interaction took a nosedive to allow for it.

    I’d posit that you might see this in other media as well – Western cinema in particular seems to have become more and more comfortable with the idea of putting the plot second to really focusing on building characters.

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  4. There was one big development in Japanese kids cartoons in the 00s that Pokemon had ushered in at the end of the last decade (and part of the reason I think that robot shows like Gaiking and Gurren Lagann missed their target audience) – they became more immersive.

    Gone were the days of playing with a giant robot toy that was actually much smaller than you, you were now playing with toys that were the same size as the toys in cartoon or competing in games that resembled the ones on screen. (In fact it’s so obvious in retrospect, I’m curious exactly why Plawres Sanshiro never set a similar trend in the 80s)

    And they were also very careful not to make these shows a boys club (well normally, there was the bizarre VxV Kabutoborg…) and so the shows (and importantly the toy/card game/videogame spin-offs) appealed to girls and boys.

    Your experience with Pokemon in 2003 was to be expected, fads tend to peak at three years and 4kids had rightly shifted focus to Yu-Gi-Oh at that point (it had a US specific film made for 2004). Their problem came when they couldn’t find something suitable to replace Yu-Gi-Oh at its 3 year peak.

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  5. I want to address the “Greater Reverence for the Past in Remakes” portion of this post because it seems almost analogous with the West’s concept of rebooting or reselling decades old comic book properties (Spider-man, Iron-man etc) to its core constituents.

    Will anime become a ghetto of adult fans who never grew up ala comic book Direct Market fans or will it continue to grow, changes and attract both new fans and talented forward thinking creators?

    For example, the rise of the cult of moe is more about character types than story. And like the moe boom, mecha, mahou shojo, manime — the hyper masculine testosterone laden stuff that Daryl Surat adores — had their over-saturated peak of popularity and influence.

    The above genres drove anime in their time and are staples of the medium to this day. Which means we should get a unique and interesting hybrid of these styles somewhere down the line.

    However, will this decade also become the demarcation line where anime is no longer able to re-invent itself? Will it become an industry recycling old cliches and tropes in order to appeal to an increasingly static or even shrinking fanbase?

    My worst case scenario is that anime as an artistic and viable medium may have a a few years, if that, before it starts raping its muse for ideas and becomes solely an entity that panders to the fetishes of its audience to make a buck.

    In a sense it has always done this but when the whole industry ascribes to this type of behavior it eventually leads to its decline and slow, agonizing death.

    I could also say that the outliers, meaning the other genres that are bubbling under the surface such as yaoi or shojo could step in to fill the gap but they are also fetishes too. Trading in new fetishes for old seems economically viable but will it really work?

    I would really like your thoughts on this. Only because, most people dismiss this possibility out of hand.

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    • I think that while the threat of having material rehashed over and over ad nauseum is something to watch out for, anime is still not THAT old as a medium, and still has plenty of room to grow even if the reality of economics don’t necessarily allow that.

      Even then, I think that if there were a period of just sheer unoriginality and lack of inspiration, it wouldn’t last forever and in time the industry would recover, though perhaps in a form very different from the past.

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  6. Well heck, when you put it that way it sounds like almost nothing good happened this decade at all! Looking over the lists I’m compiling for my own retrospective, it seems that the number of good shows has remained constant. What has changed and warrants concern is the fact that the per capita percentage has not; there are so many more shows being made now compared to previous decades. And now almost all get fansubbed. Well, the ones I really want to see get largely ignored and/or dropped. But whatever. Crunchyroll’s gonna stream the new Space Adventure Cobra. I’m still alive.

    Just for the record: there never really was a “boom period” for what is now being deemed “manime.” It generally existed in roughly the same amounts for years/decades until now. The death of the OAV and the advent of the low-budget late night television show became truly complete as of the 2000s, and so much like the R-rated action film has given way to the PG-13 blockbuster in Hollywood, so it is too that the “manime” along with the giant robot are no longer “living” forms. They’re not go-to frameworks chosen by creators by which to tell a story, and any production made within these frameworks is done as either a revival effort or a deliberate attempt to play with established conventions of yesteryear. To make a giant robot show now is akin to Hollywood making a Western now. Happens every now and then, but you wouldn’t say the Western is a “living” form of storytelling either. That’s not to say that Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann or the remake of 3:10 to Yuma were bad…but it is what it is.

    In this decade, the balances have been all shifted around. As noted above by others, formerly fringe elements present within anime throughout the years (that in my opinion were optimally suited in their position as being fringe elements) have become the mainstream in a fashion that defies the typical “shifting trends over time” pattern. The emerging trends are not as simple as one thing being in fashion and another falling out such that in the future the situation will be reversed. What we’re seeing unfold before us is what happens when radicals become the base.

    A Bubble Tea Bag Party, if you will.

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  7. A very good read. I think you captured most of this decade pretty well. Like Brack had mentioned, one thing you missed was the big change in the Shonen genre to include females as part of the audience. Even the battle manga and anime of this decade have a large female appeal. In some cases it seems like series like Fullmetal Alchemist have more female fans(in America anyways) than they do male fans.

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    • While there was plenty of that, it’s been a continuing process over the past two or three decades, and so while it was a part of the 2000s definitely, I think it was more of an extension of what was already there. The cute guys in armor shows like Shurato and Dagwon are indicative of that. “Character over story” is the same way, but I feel that the shift for shounen manga hasn’t been nearly as drastic there.

      But don’t worry, the female shift is going to be addressed in Part 2, just in a different sense.

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    • I was actually thinking more about the toy marketing side, than the actual shonen comic side of things.

      There’s not many successful kids shows that sell lots of toys to just little boys now, though there are still shows (most obv. Pretty Cure) that do sell toys to little girls (and creepy old men).

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      • The toy industry in America has been hurting for the last 15-20 years as kids gained first video games and then the internet as alternatives to regular toys. I would assume that the same is true for Japan, hence the decline in toy commercial anime for boys.

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  8. This is really good far a retrospective. It’s all presented without any major bias or conclusions and doesn’t try to sum everything up in some singular phrase of the decade.

    In general, that’s a big problem I have with a lot of amine/manga commentary from western audiences. Many commentators think there’s that one secret that can unlock an entire culture’s distinction and the attempts to generalize whole eras of time or broad genres exacerbate that disconnect.

    With that in mind, I appreciate how you try to present your observations and open up discussions rather than trying to dictate observations and assumptions as fact as so many others are inclined.

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  9. >>Sanzenin Nagi would most assuredly have found a difficult time existing prior to this decade.

    She has a hard time existing as the main character in her own manga >:|

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  13. I’m enjoying reading these kinds of articles way more than seeing the top anime of the decade list that seems to be the most popular way of reflecting. I prefer to understand something and see ideas presented on it rather than just plugging raw data into a spreadsheet.

    Interesting that you should point out Gundam Seed when talking about the introduction of CG animation near the start of the millenium since I too really started to notice it upon watching that show, though I’d say that sliding character syndrome was an even bigger problem before the advent of CG animation where you’d see the cell literally just being slid across the background while remaining entirely stationary.

    Anyway it’s also interesting to be reminded how Tetsujin morphes into this unrecognizable thing during the 80’s and 90’s before going back to it’s original appearance for the incredible Tetsujin 28th. It’s my beliefe that intriguing concepts never truly die, they just fade into the background for a while so it’ll be interesting to see what other classic or otherwise get a reimagining in the coming decade and what new franchises from the just ended decade get reimagined 20 years from now.

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  14. What scares me is that I’ve seen fads I’ve loved back when I was a kid get ruined and die, and anime has managed, with some ups and downs, to keep alive. However, the biggest problems I’m starting to see come about in these recent and upcoming years are 1. The new fans and 2. Lack of variety.

    The new fans, specifically those between the ages of 10 and 15, who didn’t go through the pain and struggle of trying to get new animes from the internet by searching the hidden fansub sites and p2p servers for hours and days, are basically riding the bandwagon of information ease right into the center of the anime community…and not only is it starting to get over crowded, but the new fans only know what’s easiest to find and they annoy the hell out of me. I’m getting tired of hearing teenagers yell about Naruto and Sasuke and how they want to date him and parading in public with headbands and jackets sporting “ninja” symbols. I’m a huge fan of Evangelion, but I keep my fandom where it belongs…at home or with other anime fans. Plus, I know more than Eva. A lot more than Eva. And I’m open to other animes. These new fans are actually adamant against watching older animes, and when you try to tell them that their favorite show is just a copy of another anime, they fight you over it, even when they haven’t seen the anime you’re attempting to get them to watch. It’s why we now have the term Weaboo.

    Another thing is the lack of variety in anime. Almost all shounens are becoming just copy after copy of the last shounen anime that caught a little success because American fans will buy anything, and the 5-10yos in Japan (which the anime is geared towards) is doing well enough amongst them. Case in point: Soul Eater = Naruto = Dragon Ball Z If you don’t believe me, I can go over it…

    I’m hoping in the new decade, we get a new fad for them to follow, so the anime community goes back to the days when fans weren’t just superficial, but core fans, and there were 3 out of 4 good animes, not 1 out of 10 with the other 9 being copy-pasta

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