Anime director and writer Yasuhiro Imagawa sees a dead end looming in front of the world of anime. Echoing critics of a lot of popular television in America, he sees too much of the same thing being repeated in different shows. Once a show or genre becomes popular, it gets copied to the point that it becomes difficult to tell one show from another; only the names seem different. In terms of technique this has improved things, as each show learns from the previous ones. But Mr. Imagawa sees this as only superficial growth, not the internal growth of stories and themes needed to sustain the art form. A flashy character design and good drawings can't make up for a bad story. As a result, he no longer watches much TV anime.
He spends much more of his time watching American and European dramas cinema which he feels has depth and substance. He agrees that this repetition in anime is leading to a narrowing of Japanese TV audiences' tastes. And like a food bias, this leads to a vicious cycle. Without exposure to other types of shows, audiences are less likely to "brave them" and give them a fair shot. Without confidence in a potential audience, producers are unlikely to make these "risky" shows. So audiences are not exposed to them, and and the cycle continues.
Q) The animation industry in Japan seems to be stagnant while in China and Korea, there looks to be a comparative amount of growth. What are your thoughts regarding the situation?
A) I concur. The biggest reason I feel so far is the Japanese industry has stopped nurturing their own talents.
"My great teacher, Tomino, the creator of Gundam, taught me something very important. if you continue to make a copy of a copy of a copy, eventually the image degrades to nothing. Anime has become almost disposable, like a seasonal product. It can hurt seeing something you created selling used for a few yen on Amazon. Us creators should strive to make anime that people will hold onto and love for years."
>unlimited ideas are available at the hands of manga and anime folk
>fuck it, let's make a high school anime
I've picked up one series in the last year and a half. One fucking series.
>implying there's enough content aside from the high school shenanigans to differentiate the average SoL
Of course, you got the cliches, the archetypes, the tiresome story and character arcs that are all the same.
Even if you were to make HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS ARE ACTUALLY DEMONS shit a little different, you're still stuck with a lot of problems.
I don't think I am. If the creators would heed his advice and all try being special snowflakes, most of them would go bankrupt in an instant since this is NOT what the customers want.
Go play at being an artist all you want, just don't be surprised you run out of funds to make your shit really fast.
Shinbo has been doing the same thing for at least 15 years.
You realize there are choices besides being a super edgy hipster faggot and completely throwing away innovation for commercialism, right?
My opinion is that anime already manages to fall somewhere in between, in general. But I'm not an anime writer or director and an actual anime writer or director might have a better sense for whether the balance between those two extremes is leaning unhealthily towards the "sacrifice innovation for commercialism" side.
Japan is considered one of the major film nations and have many of the most respected directors that's ever worked in the medium. The problem is that you're not someone knowledgeable about film so when you say Japanese cinema you think of the sort of pleb shit you yourself watch.
The creators are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Because of the autist NEETs only buying high school anime, it's swayed that way because people need to eat
However, anime is now tainted in the eyes of regular Japanese viewers thanks to said autists, because everyone knows that all anime is, is autist shows. When something for a general audience is released, nobody cares
This is all the fault of the otaku. Times won't be good for a long time, so creators can't take losses to bring normal people back to anime
Imagawa has no right to fucking complain, he's been doing the same show for 20 years.
>start out with interesting premise
>keep adding in ridiculous plotpoints
>end up with mess
>final episode ends with a huge cliffhanger with nothing resolved
Make it 18. He was doing same shit even before shaft.
That's more because anime studios can't make a decent, original series to save their lives. The "anime no chikara" project proved this with a sickening finality. They need to adapt LNs/manga to survive when their original works are so awful.
>Are you literally retarded or just acting?
That goes to you. You are literally too stupid to understand the show.
The battle is not considered a plot point in the show. It's in the background. It's irrelevant to the main plot.
The whole show was about finding the truth about the Shizuma Drive, from episode 1 all through 7.
>make a copy of a copy of a copy
I actually think that approach to anime works pretty well.
You use use tied stuff and add some new twists to it, and then future shows lends elements from your show and add elements of their own.
Magical Girl show or all the Nobunaga shows are the best examples of that method.
Just like you'd be left with maybe 3 shows per season if you removed all high school harem slice of life shows, you'd have maybe 3 western TV series if you removed all crime dramas.
Yohko wasn't quite as SHAFT Shinbo as the early 2000s works before SHAFT but there are definitely still obvious signs it is Shinbo.
Don't tell me you're the idiot who thinks G-Gundam's ending means that there needed to be a second season to the show because he hinted at a next Gundam fight.
It was to show the spirit of the Olympics.
Likewise with Giant Robo and Shin Mazinger, the final battle is not important compared to the revelations.
Whether Big Fire lost doesn't fucking matter. We know that Dr.Vogler is innocent. The whole show is about clearing his name.
Pay attention next time.
Some high school slice of life shows are actually good too.
And I've left out "harem" because it sure seems like there are plenty that are not, what with all the 'cute girls doing cute things' anime.
This sort of thing happens everywhere. Take action flicks in the west, for example:
>cut to MC living his usual life
>MC gets involved
>fights his way out with gorilla warfare he learned before he retired
>learns what shit is going down
>fights his way to evil leader guy
>picks up girl on the way there
>defeats evil leader guy when he's the last one left
>kisses the girl, despite there being no romantic development or any knowledge she existed a few hours prior
>Thanks for the Oscars
In the past few years the majority of the market did get bored of this, though.
The only reason I didn't say all high school shows is because that would widen the category so broadly, that I'd also have to add relationship dramas like The OC and family sitcoms where the wife treats her husband like shit all the time to make the analogy work. I wanted to focus on one highly predominany genre from anime and one from western TV.
Well constant improvement != Trying new things. Like the OP says:
>In terms of technique this has improved things, as each show learns from the previous ones
So they are "improving" the same genre over and over, improving animation and stuff, but still doing the same thing.
>"My great teacher, Tomino, the creator of Gundam, taught me something very important. if you continue to make a copy of a copy of a copy, eventually the image degrades to nothing.
The worst offender I've seen in years is Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance. The only way to describe that show is "paint by numbers." It was like the creator compiled a checklist of the most common, hackneyed cliches used in modern anime and packed them all in one series.
High school setting? Check.
Arrogant tsundere bitch with a complex about her flatness? Check.
Haughty ojousama who wants to make MC her new pet? Check.
Student council president with a rod up her ass? Check.
MC can't take two steps without tripping and falling onto a girl in a way where his hands always autotarget her tits? Check.
I asked the LN fags in a thread about the show if it's ever going to get any better, and I never got a response, so I can only assume the answer is no.
This is all people like OP remind me of. You don't even fucking bother trying out anything because you judge immediately based on a word or two from a summary. You don't even watch anime. Can you tell me how something like Gekkan (Highschool show) or Barakamon (SOL) are bad? Neither of them do much in the way of being "crazy risky new" and they have archetypal characters, and are adaptations, that doesn't make them bad. Shows based on a derivative premise (kid gets a giant robot, girl gains magical powers, boy likes a girl, kids join a club), can still be executed completely differently, or just well. Some of them are probably some of your own favourite series.
And some of the best anime series have been adaptations of manga, LN's, or novels. Some of the worst and unoriginal has been original IPs, as well.
Giant Robo was unfinished with the villain's plot. It was supposed to be a cliffhanger for the sequel that they were never able to get made, they said so in the commentary. They spent a HUGE amount of time focusing on it and building up the villain's secret plot in the last episodes, with no real payoff, and it was pretty annoying.
He's just getting old and needlessly grumpy, the animation industry was repetitive in the 90s too, it's just that nobody even remembers the mediocre shit that was released back then. Nostalgia is a very powerful thing.
>that they're cases where originality is lacking is just silly.
You're such a clueless Trigger fag, are you? Imaishi said he's literally making a female version of Otokogumi. Not to mention he's a Go Nagai fag, and the whole show reeks of an early violent 70s school manga by Nagai.
Anything Imaishi has directed up to this point are ripoffs of earlier works.
Samurai Flamenco is literally a tokusatsu show in anime. It has some pretty stupid twists, the same way a Kamen Rider show would have, as well as obnoxious annoying heroes.
So yeah, fuck off casual.
1. LN's typically have more mass-market appeal among key demographics such as teenagers, making them more attractive to adapt into shows that seek those same demographics
2. LN's are subject to a much greater deal of corporate sponsorship and oversight than most other types of books, making the process of liscensing cheaper and easier and making it so half of your marketing has been set up before the show is even in production
3. To put it bluntly, most LN's have very simple and broad structure, and are heavily reliant on redundant explanations of environments and action scenes. They also tend to mimic the pacing style of comics and animated works even when doing so is not necessary. All of these reasons make the process of adapting a LN into an anime a much easier process than it would be with another type of book.
Studio Trigger's Kill la Kill is one of the more popular anime of the season. With a determined and rough protagonist, clothes-based combat system, and a rigid student council that takes away students' freedoms, Kill la Kill has been accused of plagiarizing an older and somewhat similar work, a manga called Gakuen Noise (otherwise known as Campus Noise).
Hiroyuki Ooshima and Daisuke Ihara created Gakuen Noise over a decade ago. The protagonist seeks to avenge a deceased friend and fights against a scheming student council that wields control over a boarding school so large that it functions as a town. Anyone who has seen Kill la Kill recognizes that the show's premise sounds quite similar to Gakuen Noise. The protagonist of Kill la Kill pursues a school council president whom she suspects killed her father, and she's vowed to get revenge. The school council of Kill la Kill controls a town and decides which students live where - students who contribute to the school and perform well are awarded special uniforms and residence in higher class areas while other students live in a shantytown.
Another issue there is torrents. Back in the 90's, there was nobody uploading every last series as it aired. With modern internet and torrents, we have access to every last series produced by Japan, so we're being exposed to all those shitty shows that we otherwise wouldn't even know exist.
After seeing /a/'s reaction about that Sadpanda issue I lost all respect for otaku. If Japanese fans are similar to their Western counterparts then anime is already dead.
I'm actually surprised that talented people like Yuasa even bother with TV anime.
I wonder how much airing anime people like him even watch.
But they're both original IPs written by the writers and not from a mangaka or LN author. That means they're automatically better.
Something like LOGH or Tatami Galaxy are just unoriginal crap though. When are anime creators going to take RISKS and SAVE ANIME from I don't know what?
Well they're homages, and if a homage automatically makes something unoriginal by your definition then you're right.
They do however go for a completely different feels, and unless there are multiple similar shows I'm not gun ho on calling shows unoriginal.
Easily. It can tell all kinds of stories, yet 90% focus on school, cute girls, generic fantasy, harem or mecha. It's rather sad when even original anime are about kids with super powers doing stuff.
Well, Imagawa, then get off your ass and finally make the other drafted parts of the Giant Robo saga and bring about a change.
"Can happiness be achieved without
getting your shit together, especially when you're in a position to make a difference.?"
Can you prove it?
>school, cute girls, generic fantasy, harem or mecha.
That doesn't make them bad. There's quite a wide breadth of shows within those genres/aspects alone.
This shit still gets replies.
>After seeing /a/'s reaction about that Sadpanda issue I lost all respect for otaku.
Did you really expect people to act calm and rational when their porn gets taken away. Mind you there were a lot of crossboarders cancering the place up.
Adult characters and other genres does not guarantee high quality, those genres does not guarantee low quality. Samurai Flamenco were all adults. Utena was highschool setting and had cute girls. Another was 'horror', a rarer genre. Judge the actual shows and not just their parts.
>make the other drafted parts of the Giant Robo saga and bring about a change.
He already did.
In manga format.
Nobody will fund Siege of Babel anime, so at least he did a manga of it.
>Adult characters and other genres does not guarantee high quality
Of course, but it guarantee diversity. We really don't need 4 sol and 7 harems per season. They are are more or less just episodic sitcoms.
It's still pathetic and it made me lost faith in /a/. I will probably stop coming here.
>We really don't need 4 sol and 7 harems per season. They are are more or less just episodic sitcoms.
Are they bad though? What have you watched?
What a convenient term. So how many of them are shit?
>Are they bad though?
Only someone with bottom barrel standards would say that. I'm not even one of those "mature anime for mature people like myself" types but that's just bone headed to ask that in earnest, given how much schlock there is a season.
Even something with an original setting is enough. At least it's an attempt. With harems and your average derivative LN adaptation there's just no effort whatsoever.
>The creators are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Because of the autist NEETs only buying high school anime, it's swayed that way because people need to eat
That's both completely true and completely bullshit, though. Anime companies pigeonholed themselves into "I will make anime only a rich otaku would love, and then depend entirely on selling them overpriced merch" in blatant disregard of Econ 101 supply/demand/price relationships.
It doesn't have to be that way. But that's what they tell themselves in order to justify stagnation.
Normal people will never buy many cartoons other than a few big franchises. They will only buy the Ghibli's, the SNKs, the Evangelions, and without the otaku all those 3-5K selling niche shows will disappear.
>They need to adapt LNs/manga to survive when their original works are so awful.
We could even extend this into tiers, as a certain kind of corporation monetization poisons each source of new stories.
They used to draw from manga, but the larger manga publishers slipped into a mindset of "if it's not a neverending ultrapopular megahit, it's shit and cancelled". So there are only a few megahits, and anything else that might be good is cancelled before it's popular enough that the anime studio will risk it.
They occasionally draw from games, but Japanese-produced games are kinda turning into a wasteland of low budget visual novels and very conservatively made AAA titles. This is not producing a lot of good candidates for anime.
They're pulling from light novels now because light novel publishing strategy is "make a shitload of different things and slap decent art of a pretty girl on the cover and sell it cheap". So although this produces a mountain of shit, the low production costs still meant that new authors could show up and take risks. And for a few years, a lot of that happened, and a lot of new authors appeared and got popular. Manga and anime spinoffs of these happen.
Then light novels got popular and the publishers are exerting more editorial control and focusing on a smaller number of megahit series, so that's going to be mined out soon. Notice the publishers and now drawing from people self-publishing their amateur stuff on blogs now? That's because "real" writers can't take risks, but amateurs will do it for free and then the publishers can just watch those and swoop in with contracts for the ones that get popular on their own. Formally published versions happen, and they get manga and anime spinoffs.
This is the endgame of the Japanese corporate process: they're all the way down to mining blogs.
>Normal people will never buy many cartoons other than a few big franchises. They will only buy the Ghibli's, the SNKs, the Evangelions, and without the otaku all those 3-5K selling niche shows will disappear.
Normal people used to. Those shows selling 5K are doing so because they keep jacking up the price and narrowing the scope; 5K is actually their target for those shows. Because $30+ per episode is insane and only the most hardcore will pay that, so they produce for only the most hardcore. It's a feedback loop of Stupid.
They didn't do this overnight, they slipped gradually into it over 20 years.
The fact of the matter here is that modern anime is almost exclusively used as a promotional tool for a manga/LN. Case and point examples would be:
>No Spice and Wolf S3 despite it selling relatively well
>Second seasons of shows that barely sell above average
>Naruto/Bleach/One Piece yearly movies
>Chaika S2 announced with LITERALLY no preorders
There's plenty of examples of shows that sold well enough to easily get a second season and just fall off the face of the earth, which really just goes to show that the industry is only using it to promote.
>modern anime is almost exclusively used as a promotional tool for a manga/LN.
And old anime was almost exclusively used as a promotional tool for manga or a toy line. This doesn't make any of them automatically bad of course.
And Chaika was a split cour from the start.
>Bullshit. Physical media has always been extremely expensive in Japan, as it was in other countries until home video became popular, which wasn't as long ago as you think
That is EXACTLY why it's bullshit. It got cheaper everywhere else in the 90s, but the Japanese believe they are somehow inherently magical and different and went the opposite way.
>They used to draw from manga, but the larger manga publishers slipped into a mindset of "if it's not a neverending ultrapopular megahit, it's shit and cancelled".
To me it just sounds like typical Japanese businessman culture.
>Us creators should strive to make anime that people will hold onto and love for years
Learn how the rest of the planet runs television and merchandises selling/streaming the media, or continue to take it up the shitwhistle
>I asked the LN fags in a thread about the show if it's ever going to get any better, and I never got a response, so I can only assume the answer is no.
It does, but it won't get animated. It's not the greatest thing ever, but it's ok.
The real problem with anime nowadays is that 80% of it is just advertisement for the novels.
>He spends much more of his time watching American and European dramas cinema which he feels has depth and substance. He agrees that this repetition in anime is leading to a narrowing of Japanese TV audiences' tastes. And like a food bias, this leads to a vicious cycle. Without exposure to other types of shows, audiences are less likely to "brave them" and give them a fair shot. Without confidence in a potential audience, producers are unlikely to make these "risky" shows. So audiences are not exposed to them, and and the cycle continues.
Stop funding yourselves from pools run by risk averse investors. This is directly responsible for what's happened.
>There's nothing wrong with adapting things.
Of course not, the problem is just making 12 or even just 10 episodes and S2 never. They don't give a chance to develop the story properly, they either butcher it or just stop when things start to get interesting.
If only he was in a position to do something about it.
>>They used to draw from manga, but the larger manga publishers slipped into a mindset of "if it's not a neverending ultrapopular megahit, it's shit and cancelled".
>To me it just sounds like typical Japanese businessman culture.
Yeah. It's kind of like that. Specifically thinking of the Jump polls and the bottom few routinely getting culled. Same mentality as that "we fire the bottom x% of employees every year" thing elsewhere.
/a/ sometimes has group cry threads about past interesting concepts that got axed.
And story decisions in things that seem so blatantly to have nothing to do with what makes sense for the setting or characters, but were about avoiding something that would be unpopular or would lead to the story ending.
(Not that The West is immune to this shit either, but I guess there are different mitigating factors. And the complete lack of a weekly manga industry to show it on a fine-grained scale)
>Not that The West is immune to this shit either, but I guess there are different mitigating factors.
I don't know. Nowadays we won't be getting a Babylon 5 or ST:NG/DS9, shows that only start to get good after a couple seasons at least. Either a series works from the start or it get axed easily.
>I don't know. Nowadays we won't be getting a Babylon 5 or ST:NG/DS9, shows that only start to get good after a couple seasons at least. Either a series works from the start or it get axed easily.
We get cancer like Sci Fi continually shuffling timeslots and cancelling popular things in mid-season (and then other networks scooping those up, sometimes), and, at the opposite extreme, we get HBO buying multi-year arcs. I get the impression that the BBC still commits to long timetables also, and they're still not afraid to kill off or retire characters (which numbered Doctor and companion are we on now? heh). TV still does a lot of Yet Another Cop/Medical Drama, but does still try new things.
>Giant Robo was unfinished with the villain's plot.
Giant Robo was finished. The supposed continuation is the makers own insert to show that the world doesn't just "stop" after the main plot thread finishes and that things continue happening even after the viewers look into the world ends.
The chinks are quickly catching up. It's only a matter of time.
>"My great teacher, Tomino, the creator of Gundam, taught me something very important. if you continue to make a copy of a copy of a copy, eventually the image degrades to nothing. Anime has become almost disposable, like a seasonal product. It can hurt seeing something you created selling used for a few yen on Amazon. Us creators should strive to make anime that people will hold onto and love for years."
How ironic that Tomino would say something like that.
He's right, I've been watching subbed anime since 92. 2008 onwards has been the worst time for generic disposable anime. You can thank the niwaka trend for that though. I still try every series every season and I can probably count the number of 2008-2014 shows that I've actually thought were good on one hand.
Go look at some of the lesser known series from this time before you use this fallacy.
It's bad now != it must have been bad then too.
There are some serious gems to dig up, try actually watching anime outside of what gets recommended to you before you criticize others for not doing the same.
American and European drama drag on too long for me to get into them any more. They rely on cheap cliffhangers more and more as the series drag on. It seems that the best Western dramas get one or two good seasons, and then rely on cliffhangers to keep the audience "hooked." No one wants to end their show until it stops making them money.
Not to say that anime isn't a money grab. And it surely has it's fair share of problems. But I like to watch it because there are more anime producers who aren't afraid to end their show.
They end their shows because it's a quick cash grab. If all the studios could choose between having a long-running popular series like naruto or a 12 episode LN adaption to make a quick buck they'd choose the first option in a heartbeat
>/a/ is so obsessed with gargling japanese cock they can't even see the same shit pushed out over and over and over every season.
The industry has stagnated, pure and simple
No, it was bad then. People forget that there was a time that there was a licensing frenzy at the apex of the anime boom mid-00s and a LOT of 90's anime got licensed and most were fucking awful. Sure there was unsung gems like Shamanic Princess and Maze: The Mega Burst Space, a lot of it was shit. So, it's no better than it is now.
>BAWWWWW ALL ANIME JAPAN MAKES IS MOESHIT!
>I NEED MUH MATURE ANIME FOR MATURE PEOPLE LIKE ME!
Ah, back when ADV gorged itself to death on licensing cheap crap. We actually got a cross section of anime that was weirdly WORSE than average for a while there.
>WAH I HATE ANIME! I'M GONNA BITCH ABOUT IT TO THE VERY PEOPLE WHO HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO SAY IN THE INDUSTRY AT ALL WAH!
There were less bad anime because they were making less in general. Shit was tolerable.
But even the crappiest of anime back then still had redeeming values compared to the crap that's out these days.