I am not the most knowledgeable anime fan around. Sure i watch anime, a lot of it in fact, but because I only began watching anime and reading manga seriously somewhere around 2007, i wouldn’t call myself an anime aficionado. I haven’t seen or experienced the evolution of anime through out the decades.
I didn’t experience anime in the 1970s 0r 80s 0r 90s so i really couldn’t make an impressive comparison with regards to anime today and anime decades back. That was the original subject of this post. But i realized i wouldn’t be able to say anything i could back up; so instead i chose to switch gears.
Anime firsts. I have a rather interesting view of anime from the early years of my anime watching life. Based on my perspective, anime today is somewhat more
impressive that anime back then. yet when i really think about it, i cannot help but realize that i used to enjoy anime back then way more than i enjoy it right now. Which is weird because there are series i watched back then and which blew me away that i wouldn’t give the time of day today.
I realized this after getting into an argument with an anime fan on the internet about dragon ball Z. I remember launching a pretty scathing attack on the show with regards to its quality and the overall cheesiness, predictability and clichéd execution of the story. What i basically said was there was an utter lack of originality in dragon ball Z.
This particular anime fan didn’t take my attacks too well. But rather than vehemently defending his favorite show, all he did was inform me that i was right. DBZ was way too cheesy and its plot and action sequences were overused and unoriginal. But the first time he watched the show, that wasn’t the case. The first time DBZ was released, it was, according to him, one of the most original anime works to premier on TV.
Sure DBZ seemed cliché in comparison to today’s market but that was only because its structure and execution had been copied through out several other series in the following decades that they had turned a fairly unique idea into an overused trope.
Now i am not sure if i believe him or not, but that got me thinking. I have heard complaints about how predictable and clichéd the Naruto story is. But when i think about the first time i watched Naruto it was one of the most unique idea, concept and story i had ever come across. It was something new and fresh and only lost its luster after continuous repetition of the idea by many other anime and manga series.
That got me thinking about two interesting points. One, it made wonder if all anime is doomed to be reduced to an over used trope with the passing of time. Sure Attack on Titan might be the hottest and most unique series out right now, but 20 years from now, when the ideas and structures introduced in SNK have been copied and recopied by
several other anime, viewers from that era will look back at Attack on Titan and make the very same comments we currently hear about Dragon ball Z.
Which somewhat sucks. But everything that i have seen at the moment seems to prove this fact. The passing of time reduces the quality of an anime. Which brings me to my second point. It is indeed more fun to watch anime at the beginning of your anime watching life. And that is usually because you are watching these stories for the very first time and thus have no prior knowledge to compare them to.
When i watched anime for the very first time, it was much better because i didn’t think as much about it the way i do now. I didn’t intricately analyze it and compare it to the other numerous anime i had watched. I really didn’t put any thinking into it, which is why it all seemed to excel in my mind. From my perspective at that time, everything was new; i hadn’t seen several story lines going down the same path so much so that many anime series ended up being a little too predictable to me.
Even while watching the hero of a given anime series suffer a resounding defeat from his stronger foe, i had no idea or understanding that as per the rules of anime, the hero would acquire a last minute power up to save himself. All those plots and tools that, with current anime series, i can see coming a mile away and thus fail to get peak entertainment quality, where all new to me in the beginning, and that only accentuated the level of excitement and entertainment i used to achieve from anime.
In a way i miss those days. Those days it was rare for me to come across an anime story that didn’t impress me. Basically looking at anime with new eyes is the best way to experience, to watch each anime series independently, without making comparisons with other anime series.
Conclusion: Anyway, i wanted to write something about anime firsts, in other words the first time i ever experienced certain things in anime, but that can wait for another post. Rather i will conclude as such. All anime is doomed. Anime that was once great in times past will eventually reach an age and a generation where those present otaku will no longer view it the same way as the past generation.
All anime is destined to lose it’s luster. No matter how massive a fan base One piece has, decades from now, otaku will look back on it with disinterest, probably disdain, referring to it as nothing more than a cheesy and clichéd anime series, best relegated to discussions about anime series with over used tropes. Indeed the future of all anime series is a dark one.