• 'Where did the Gene Starwinds of anime go?', an article by Moe Sucks
  • 'Where did the Gene Starwinds of anime go?', an article by Moe Sucks

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  1. #11
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    Maaaan oh man, Tenchi Universe, Bastard, Jojo's OVA, Gunsmith Cats, and more classics all in the same thread? I do declare, I think I'm gettin' the vapors from all this excitement!

    Real talk, this is cool, and with regards to what you said Starwind, I think there's some truth to the simple (often overlooked) fact that yes, we are generally just getting more programming now: in the early days of the internet as we know it, people could watch through..."means" while today there are a lot of genuinely good, legitimate outlets for streaming/simulcasts etc. Years ago, when TV was pretty much your only gateway to anime (apart from the occasional film like GITS), there was only so much that could fit in a block of programming, and to that end it had to be...well, it'd be easy to just say "good" but apart from a bar of quality, let's say "appealing" to a young American demographic.

    Not exactly synonymous, but I think it's all in a similar vein to what I mentioned about 'quantity up, quality down': Japan is feeling this too, on the production end, because now that we all have the internet, crunchyroll, netflix and so on--meaning we're all binge-watching not episode after episode, but SERIES after SERIES--the indirect demand for "more" is simply there in ways it wasn't twenty years ago. I'm reminded of an interview with Mel Blanc (this is circa 1980-81, I'll try and find it), where he laments the dip in quality of American animation from his prime (Looney Tunes) to Hannah-Barbara (Scooby Doo, Johnny Quest type shows)...he wasn't wrong, the ol' Looney Tunes are way better, higher quality, more fluidly animated than aforementioned shows like Jabberjaw, but the thing is, the eighties vs the 30s-40s there's one BIG difference of which I'm sure Mel and others in the industry were all too well aware: television.

    Looney Tunes shorts, they're like 5 min long, and played before movies in the cinema (TV didn't exist yet!), so they could manage with a small production team of ardent animators spending a loooong time on quality animation when it's only 5ish min long before the main feature...then, TV happened, we all became more and more like couch potatoes lol and people were simply spending more time looking at screens, and therefore they needed more entertainment to watch. So, TV companies like Hannah-Barbara obliged by churning out more, but at the expense of the quality going down (which, as history shows along with anime's current popularity, people don't really mind when there's less frames per second as long as you have some clever editing techniques, mainstay conventions, and an engaging enough plot/characters/voices).

    So today, I think we have a similar "revolution" (?) or whatever you want to call it: from the pre-internet days of television vs now, we're spending even MORE time staring at screens ("binge-watching" is now in the vernacular), and a lot of people it's not about quality, it's just about quantity: more, more, MORE, done, done, on to the next one....


    Bonus: I found it!
    No one's gonna' give you a map. You've gotta' walk your own path.
    - Hilda

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  3. #12
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    I'm happy to hear Mamoru Oshii being mentioned as well, most people seem to know him for Ghost in the Shell, but Patlabor and the Kerberos saga are my favourite works of his. And yeah, I think us Westerners were exposed to anime through a drip feed for a while, especially during the days of Toonami. I've heard stories of people watching bootlegged anime on VHS, but it certainly wasn't as readily available as it is now, with streaming sites like Crunchyroll and Hulu. Series' like Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon would have been carefully considered to appeal to a Western audience, which is probably why we never got anything too 'out there', at least not on cable television. That said, I would still happily take Cardcaptor Sakura over any of that Madoka stuff.

    I've just learnt that a certain Yoshiaki Kawajiri was responsible for a lot of the more 'adult orientated' OVA that were released through the 90's, including Ninja Scroll, Wicked City, Cyber City Oedo 808, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, and The Cockpit. I often put these anime in the same basket, but never realised they were by the same director! Now I have a name, it seems he has plenty of other work that I hadn't seen before. Time to get watching.

    'Where did the Gene Starwinds of anime go?', an article by Moe Sucks-img_2474-jpg

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  5. #13
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    Oh yes, Lobo it's great to see others giving the classics respect. I see folks on other forums and at cons and they recognize shows like Bleach, Naruto or Attack on Titan but bring up something like Bio Booster Armor Guyver and they wont have the slightest clue what you're talking about. It's really nice to see other folks out there who get it.

    To what you said, yes that's certainly a problem for anime. It's a similar problem with film and other TV. They want to pump them out as fast as they can but they also want to make money off of it so what they end up doing is going for safe ideas that they know will sell. It does have it's toll an animation because, like you said, the constant bombardement of instant gratification shows means animation studios can't quite put in %110 no matter how hard they try to keep up. Combined with the fact that being an animator in Japan pays jack squat...man, I'd hate to be in that position. Back to the sure fire ideas, I get annoyed by that because no one for sure can predict what will capture the hearts of audiences. You can market research all you want but everything is a risk no matter how safe the idea sounds. I mean, take Attack on Titan for instance. It just came out of nowhere and it's popularity spread like wild fire. No one could see the success of that show coming. I think that if they thought more outside the box, we could get more of those but we know how executives work. They want something that will make them the most money of as little effort as possible.

    But I still stand by what I was talking about earlier...bad and souless shows will forever exist no matter the time period. For every Ghost In The Shell, we get a dozen Happy Lessons. It's just a matter of keeping an eye out for the really good stuff because when something like that hits, it really hits.

  6. #14
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    Have no fear - as the technology for producing media becomes cheaper and cheaper, more talent will rise among the Sea of Mediocrity.

    You'll just have to know where to find it, and that may depend on word-of-mouth and other grassroots marketing.
    Anime is an entertainment industry like any other, and most of the big-budget companies are getting old and stingy. They don't want to take risks with genuinely new material and they underpay their animators immensely. They want easy money. They also don't understand Anime Fans very well. They are out-of-touch. Like old people. You know.

    Popular Anime has a lack of men who take charge, probably because Japan is currently facing cultural problems. When you see episode after episode of fluffy, colorful, non-threatening, fuzzy-feeling, reality-absent things, it's like the culture trying to shield itself from its economic and social issues.


    Consider all the shows that center around the high school setting. This is mainly because adult life in Japan sucks ass. Old family traditions favour the extremely hard-working husband and the housewife who takes half his money. Then you have a government that doesn't know How-to-Economics and taxes the hell out of them. It can be hard to be happy living in Japan without a good job, particularly if your family is Japanese.

    So, the high school anime is one of their escapes. Visions of a simpler time, when the world wasn't so complex and full of bullshit.


    Another thing, their birth rates are plummeting and the cost of healthcare for old people is on the rise.
    Too many old people, not enough young people to take care of them. That is why focus has turned to robotics and medicine.


    In summation, do not expect things to get better before they get worse in Japan. Anime is not their priority, and those who make anime are too complacent and afraid to take risks with new Intellectual Properties. Instead, cast your nets wide. Anime is not an art form that is exclusive to Japan anymore. A new day is dawning, with unlimited possibilities...

    thanks to INTERNET


    ---

    Some bonus content


  7. Informative AsherTheWilliams thinks that this is informative
  8. #15
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    Wow Surge, that video is harrowing.
    Woof. This is why we need strong unions for workers.
    "Believe in yourself and create your own destiny. Don't fear fate." - Narrator
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    Anime-Planet.com - anime | manga | reviews


    This was a good idea Mantis.

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