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Does Anime Get Too 'Niche?'

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sickVisionz moderator on Aug. 18, 2014 at 7:44 a.m.

For me, I don't know if it's niche or tropes or what but a lot of anime is like identical. Western stories can be similar but anime takes it to a new level. Someone copying Star Wars might have a story about a young group of heroes overcoming a huge threat with some secret reveal that someone has some connection to the threat. Like that's how far it goes. In anime, using the harem genre as an example, you'll have someone make a story about a young boy on a desert planet trained by an old man with magic powers. The young boy teams up with a princess and a bandit to battle a galactic army led by two dudes with magic powers, one of whom is the boy's story.

Anime takes it way beyond just tropes to where it files like they're literally just changing some proper nouns around and telling the same tale. Like basically filling in blanks on a Mad Libs book. I don't know if you'd like write down every detail of Star Wars, call that a niche, and then proceed to make a bunch of stories in that "niche". That cookie cutter, mad lib aspect bothers me but that's not really what I think of when I generally hear the word niche.

Niche to me is a really focused genre (not focused to point of imitation though) like how Sweet Blue Flowers and Wandering Son are LGBT romance/slice-of-life stories but they aren't the same tale with names switched up. I love that about anime. I love that about anything. I got into anime on broad appeal stuff but I think that it's natural that as one falls in love with an artform to develop tastes and preferences that lead them into more and more niche genres.

Dream moderator is online on Aug. 18, 2014 at 1:27 p.m.

Much like mainstream TV and movie titles, there can be anime titles made that appeal only to a niche audience. Outside of the mentioned LGBT titles for instance, there are animated shorts whipped out by studios like Studio 4C or Ghibli that are made in mind more for animation enthusiasts than mainstream audiences as such titles are made more in mind to show off the animated talents of those involved in said short(s).

Destinyheroknighton Aug. 18, 2014 at 4:37 p.m.

Anime movies are pretty niche, the only ones that are not are standalone

@sickVisionz:

For me, Anime are not that identical. If I get bored of one genre, I just hop to another.

sickVisionz moderator on Aug. 19, 2014 at 4:48 a.m.

@Destinyheroknight: Obviously every anime isn't that identical but there are some that feel like carbon copies of other shows. The harem genre has a ton of extremely similar content that goes beyond genre tropes and pushes into plagiarism imo.

katmicon Aug. 19, 2014 at 6:48 a.m.

the majority of people that have been going to cinema to watch the hobbit have been doing so because they want another chance to experience the lord of the rings world; that is the mindset i believe anime movies and OVAs are made with. they give people an opportunity to enjoy their favorite worlds once more. IN that sense they are fan service.

@sickVisionz said:

@Destinyheroknight: Obviously every anime isn't that identical but there are some that feel like carbon copies of other shows. The harem genre has a ton of extremely similar content that goes beyond genre tropes and pushes into plagiarism imo.

I wouldn't be so nice as to say 'some' anime; it feels like every anime that i come across today reminds me of a million other shows. There is always a hero that acquires cool superpowers that he doesn't want, only he so desires to help some mysterious pitiful beautiful girl that he suddenly can't stand to see suffer, so he must accept his new destiny and supposedly sacrifice his normal life for the greater good. 90% of the time, the hero enters a rage when the beautiful stranger is hurt and access a new power, despite not fully understanding the circumstances.

Worse is the boy that is rescued by a mysterious girl; then that girl turns up in his class, then she follows him to his home, somehow gets his family to warm up to her; when she's not mistreating the hero, knocking him around each time he walks in on her naked or something, she is obsessing over some strange habit, like dumplings, during which she takes on a child like persona.

Honestly there are times i consider going on a year long anime break; that way i can return with a fresh perception of anime, my mind no longer saturated with all the tropes.

The fact that we keep getting the same old stuff (and i mean the exact same heroes in the exact same situations) means someone must be watching this stuff; the studios have a market they want to keep feeding. However that is going to impede the growth of anime outside japan. it isn't trying to reach new audiences.

Destinyheroknighton Aug. 19, 2014 at 5:36 p.m.

@sickVisionz:

Yeah, I agree. Those ones usually are made by the market to sell figures or hug pillows

@katmic:

Well, it seem like you just in the action genre. Action shows do blend together at times

I suggest, cutting down on your intake. I had cut down my intake a lot and watch more then then one genre, my enjoyment of Anime have increase. (but that just me)

Also, I don't think it will impede the Anime outside of Japan. Anime cons are still growing larger each year and it does try to reach new audiences. It just don't try to keep them

Anyway, take a break for awhile. Hope you don't get that burn out to quit

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