Anime Generations

Topic started by Jecht on Nov. 8, 2010. Last post by DBZ_universe 2 years, 1 month ago.
Post by Jecht (39 posts) See mini bio Level 9
 If you look at otaku fandom now-a-days you will notice American otakus come in 5 key generations.

Generation 1- the 1st gen otaku are the Astro boy, Star blazers, Macross otaku. They are about 40+ now. When they started anime was called Japan-amation and the only way you could get anime that was shown on tv was by sending VHS tapes to people and then they hooked up 2 VCRs together to copy it over. Or you would have to go to a convention and make copies there (back then the video room in a anime con was the main attraction) 

Generation 2- this is when America started changing anime shows to fit the American market ie: Transformers, G-Force (aka gatchaman), ronin warriors, Ultra Man, Power rangers (its not a anime buts it’s a otaku thing) This is when anime was main stream but it was looked at as a cartoon being that it was changed so much that it only looked like anime. This is also the time I was born, in 1988 a lot of big name things started to pop up in America ie: Mario, Zelda, Megaman (who is a rip off of Astro Boy) Contra, Metal Gear. This era made many kids into unknowing otaku (like me ^_^ )

Generation 3- This is the era when they tried to push the idea that “anime is not for kids”. This is when OVAs like wicked city came out, Fist of the north star, Akira, Ghost in the shell. This made A LOT of people into otaku ie: everyone that runs Anime World Order and Anime Pulse/Manga pulse and most big name otaku bloggers. Around this time is when anime just started to be able to be bought easily in America. The downside to this was, anime got a bad rap. Because of these shows/movies most people thought anime was only about tentacle rape (wicked city) and violence (dog solider). That’s why when some older people hear anime they think “crazy rape cartoons”.

Generation 4- This is where a lot of 18-25+ year olds got there start into anime (or pushed them to know they are destined to be a otaku). This is the era of Toonami (a anime block aired on cartoon network after school). They started off with Dragon Ball Z and with the popularity of that show, they aired Tenchi (all of them!) Gundam Wing, 8th MS Gundam Team, G Gundam, SD Gundam, Dragon Ball, .hack//sign, cyborg 009, Hamtaro, OUTLAW MOTHERF**KING STAR!!, Kenshin, Zoids, YU YU HAKUSHO!!! It was the greatest line up of anime EVER! This put anime on the map in America so much that EVERYONE at least heard if not watched DBZ. Fun fact Dragon Ball Z aired on other networks years before it aired on cartoon network and nobody noticed, it goes to show that if you air anything at the wrong time it will fail (im talking to you Adult Swim, airing good shows at stupid hours) 
Also before this time Sailor Moon was going strong, so everyone has a anime to like. Then Pokemon hit America, and everyone went ape s**t! I can say that a normal week for me back in those days consisted of 4 hours of toonmai, then 3 more hours of toonami uncut (airing at midnight) and card captor sakura during the weekdays and watching pokemon on Saturday morning and cowboy bebop at 1am on Sunday. 

Generation 5- This is the newer generation. At this time is kind of hard to say what is getting kids into anime now. I guess now is the yugioh, bakugan, haruhi, azumanga daioh, generation. Its hard to say because it takes time to say “this anime is why people became otaku in 2010”. Who knows if it was really Haruhi that got kids into anime, or whos to say next season is not going to have a smash it. Also you have to look at the fact that anime is not on tv as much anymore. Where are all the DBZ like shows that are airing after school that makes kids rush home? Its almost weird that most anime is being aired on Adult Swim and even they are airing it at CRAZY hours. Another thing that makes it funny is anime fandom is at a all time high ie: cosplayers, fan made things like AMVs and fan-fiction, and con attendance.

So I ask you, “What generation do you fall under?”. Me? Im a gen 4 that likes a lot of gen 3 anime ie: Evagenlion, Fist of the north star, etc. Also as a side note, did you notice how anime became less violent, more about selling things and more moe.    
Post by damswedon (277 posts) See mini bio Level 16
Somewhere between 4 and 5, I liked the mainstream shows from the late 90's to the early 00's until the removal of almost all Anime on Cartoon Network and the creation of CNX removed all Anime in easy to reach places. After that I bit and bobbed until last year when I watched Saki and got hooked again.
Post by Dream (8,871 posts) See mini bio Level 21
Generation 3. I first seen anime during the mid-1990s back when Sci-Fi Channel was regularly airing anime movies and OAVs. Embarrassingly enough, I was hooked on Sailor Moon when I was about 10 or 11 years old and the song for the heavily edited version made by DIC is still stuck in my head to this day. But I didn't get seriously hooked onto anime more widely until Toonami boomed in popularity.
Post by wwfunderaker (485 posts) See mini bio Level 15
I got into anime late but i would say im from Generation 4. For me i enjoy watching stuff from Gen 3 but cant go back any further then that.
Post by Jecht (39 posts) See mini bio Level 9
i have talked go alot of newer anime fans and they all say "I cant watch old looking shows". One of the host of AAApodcast said "ranma 1/2 looks to old to watch", to me thats is the look of anime (than again im old to most convention going otaku and im only 22 T_T) what is it about the older shows that makes them unwatchable?
Post by PenguinDust (1,008 posts) See mini bio Level 13
Hey, this was a pretty good read and I think rather precise.  I would make one change, however and switch Generation 1's Macross with Generation 2's G-Force/Gatchamen.  The latter was on TV in the 70's as Battle of the Planets before Macross aired in the early 80's as Robotech.  I started with Battle of the Planets and Speed Racer back then.  Later I tuned into Robotech and Ronin Warriors (Saint Seiya) in the 80's.  Those shows aired before school, so I'd watch them while getting dressed or eating breakfast.  I really didn't start building my own collection until the tail end of the 2nd Generation with purchases of Bubblegum Crisis, Project A-ko, and The Dirty Pair.  I saw the movies Akira and Ghost in the Shell in 1989 or 1990 when I was living in LA.  My friends and I'd go to conventions at the Pasadena Library.  Some shows were subbed other were "raw" at those events.  Ha-ha, we'd then head to the arcade for some classic co-op action.  "Strider" was the hot new game at the time.   
Anyway, I've been going back lately and looking at the Generation 1 and 2 stuff.  I recently finished Mobile Suit Gundam (1979), following Super Dimensional Fortress Macross (1982) and Space Pirate Captain Harlock (1978).  I plan to take a look at a few others in the near future like Lum: Urusei Yatsura (1981) and Galaxy Express 999 (1978).  I even went back and rewatched the first season of Sailor Moon and the original Dragon Ball series earlier this year.  Those two are more acceptable among current anime fans.  Since I started with the older stuff as it was new in Generation 1, I am more receptive to exploring the content I missed back then.  One person I converse with here on AV admits having difficulty with those older shows.  I think it's not only the style of the art but the subdued direction of action sequences.  Back then there were no computers to aid in the process so everything went from pencil sketches on paper to ink and paint on cels.  Personally, I don't believe it takes any of the emotional impact from the older animes, but everyone has their own preferences in that regard.  I hope some younger fans do eventually take the time to see some of those classics, but I also hope they check out black & white movies from the 30's and 40's.  It's all part of building a well-rounded understanding of how the mediums evolved; not just visually, but also in story, pacing and direction.   
I believe Generation 5 might be most closely identified with Bleach.  It's probably the most popular series on TV in the post Toonami era.  I know I see its merchandise around a lot more than any other series currently airing.  It might also be the one that really took off on bookstore shelves, as well.  When I was reading comics back in the 90's, manga was edited into a standard Marvel/DC comic format with left-to-right pages and sized to fit alongside Batman or Wolverine on store shelves.  That was how I read Outlanders and Venus Wars.  Today, things are much more "otaku" on that front.  Maybe there was another manga series that took off in the current format, but since I don't read any more, I can only guess from my observances at Books-a-million or F.Y.I. (music, videos & more).  
As for the violence and moe aspects of more recent fare, everything goes through cycles based on the audience.  To use American comics as an example, in the late 80's/early 90's, every hero was an dark and brooding, excessively violent anti-hero.  Wolverine, the Punisher, a Robin-less Batman, and Spawn lead the charge.  Eventually, that fad wore itself out and writers (and publishers) explored other ideas.  It takes time to sort through all the chaff, but something new will take hold again and then that will be copied until it crashes, too.  Moe had its day and as we venture forward other designs and approaches will appear.  Nothing happens overnight and right now, with the current economy, taking risks on untested material is a scary venture for producers.  However, the only thing definite in life is change, so...  Additionally, more violence for violence's sake is not the answer.  Perhaps, in the interim, producers should follow the example of FMA: Brotherhood (2009) and revisit some older shows, updating them for a modern audience.  I know that Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z Hen (2009) did that with the 1972 Mazinger Z series and it's one of the most impressive animes I've seen in recent memory. 
Post by JonathanMoore (82 posts) See mini bio Level 7
Probably Generation 4.
Post by Kelleth (7,798 posts) See mini bio Level 20
I'm between 3 & 4 i'm a 90's kid now 21 years old and back then i was already watching Power Rangers (counts as toku) and several old anime which i enjoyed more then the american cartoons
Post by Kurokami3 (1 posts) See mini bio Level 4
I'm in Generation 4, but started late, like wwfunderaker. I'm trying to decide wether to eatch everything from 4 up, or start at 1. Probably just going to watch 4/5 because of time. The problem is, Gundam is so huge, idk where to start.
Post by UltimateHero0406 (5,055 posts) See mini bio Level 16

Late 4, mostly 5

Post by SpeedForceSpider (5,172 posts) See mini bio Level 15

3 and 4 for me. I am an early 90s baby and get thrill and nostalgia from those generations.

Post by taichokage (17,076 posts) See mini bio Level 20
Online Now
I don't know. I had watched a couple anime back as early as the mid 90's. FOTNS (despite being young hehe), a one shot called the Blade of Kamui and a few episodes of DBZ as well as Beast Wars if you count that as anime. But I really got into it in 2006, which is when I started watching then reading Bleach, and shortly after, Naruto, then Inuyasha, Yu Yu Hakusho and the list goes on.
Post by DBZ_universe (15,960 posts) See mini bio Level 17

@SpeedForceSpider said:

3 and 4 for me. I am an early 90s baby and get thrill and nostalgia from those generations.


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