In what is going to be (at least for now) the last major article of the Otaku Diaries, the Reverse Thieves reveal how at least some fans view the future of Japanese Animation.
When it comes to understanding the path anime will take, I think it’s important to look back at its past, though without being confined by it. But then I’ve already addressed that to a large extent through my 2000-2009 series, where I first looked at the past decade and then gave some ideas of where I think anime will go and where I want it to go.
Instead, what really fascinated me about this Otaku Diaries post was the fundamental idea of how your current mindset about anime goes a long way in determining how you regard its future well-being. Do you think anime is “dying?” If so, are you still optimistic about its future? The sample size, as they’re quick to admit, is not a particularly huge one, but it still provides an interesting variety, and it doesn’t make the fact that every single person said that they’d still be watching anime in 10 years, or at least hoped they’d be able to.
Another area of interest that comes out of all of this is the idea that a lot of relatively newer fans don’t mature their anime fandom but simply grow out of it. I have no idea how prevalent this actually is, but the idea is that once they leave high school or college, they leave behind all the shows they watched and move onto other media. I’ve seen it happen on occasion; the person who once loved anime has moved onto live action shows a la House and Heroes, as they offer something “more” than what anime has, or at least what they perceive anime as having.
Anime and especially manga have a fantastic range of stories to tell and decades of history. They can be mature, they can be childish, they can be sexually offensive, they can be enlightening, and sometimes they can be all of those things at once. If you’re a regular reader of Ogiue Maniax, then I hope that I’ve been able to convey that idea to you. But apparently this idea doesn’t reach everyone. Sure, it’s obvious why it doesn’t reach the people who see anime as nothing but tits and/or toons and who don’t understand why we take our hobby seriously, but it does seem somewhat odd that the people who get into anime are able to shed it just as easily.
Or maybe it isn’t odd at all. Maybe, as anime has become more well-known to people and as kids have grown up on the stuff, it just becomes yet another thing they feel they have to shed as they grow older and more “mature,” the process we all go through when we’re trying to reach that realm we call adulthood. In that respect, it is us nerds who are the real anomalies, those of us who can loyally stick to our beloved medium and have enough passion to defend it or decry its flaws.