Traversing through columns of shelves in a isolated video rental store, glamoring at all boxes stocked on each row with many titles to choose from. As a 7 year old child, I had strong sense of acquisitiveness towards any fine piece of artwork cover. Easily enamored by the covers of Princess Mononoke, Jin Roh Wolf Brigade, and Patlabor, these anime titles would be my selection for enjoyment on a weekend in 97′. I didn’t have the luxury of paid extra channels and the internet wasn’t as advanced to stream or download anime. Ah, the convenience of VHS rental stores and finding VHS tapes that only had one episode. I was exposed to Anime since my childhood, it was a delightful experience just to able to watch an episode of You’re Under Arrest whenever my father obtained a new VHS. Every episode I watched kept me enjoyed throughout harsh winters of British Columbia,loneliness, and partial escape from reality. Anime to me was more than childish cartoons, it is a form of medium entertainment deployed in different unique art styles. There’s an Anime for everyone out there, from all certain types of genre. such as, sports, action, romance, slice of life and etc.
Anime and the industry have long gone through process of evolution. There are over dozens of Animes broadcasted throughout the years, larger views and development companies. With all this in mind, stemming from the Anime in the past. Has Anime retain it’s quality over the years?
Before you continue on reading, proceed with caution as some things may offend readers. This post is my own biased opinion and the purpose of this post is incite debate and discussion.
It’s common to see in message boards and forums, witnessing debates sparked between fans and veterans disputing over the controversial topic: Quality vs Quantity, or other way around vice versa. Heavy backlash towards animation studios, making accusations of prioritization of quantity instead of quality production of anime.
Is this true?
Well the answer is a matter of opinion from a subjective point.
Most common arguments I see are, “Older anime have better quality than New anime” from Anime enthusiasts.
I feel like veteran watchers have strong entitlement to their opinion and so boastful about it. They say things like, “Evangelion is still the best Anime today, and there no anime that can top that quality!” or “The only Animes I watch are Ghibli films only!”. Although these are only minor examples of criticism, I can’t help to think some viewers can be so intolerant. What is holding them back? Is it nostalgia, whereas they only believe a certain era of airing shows are the best and newer shows can’t meet their expectations? Did shows back then had so much impact on veterans that their bias leads them expecting a lot from each new anime?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to have your preferences and opinion.
To be honest, I use to have this mentality of thinking the 90’s was the Golden Age of Anime and that everything else isn’t enjoyable. Why? Because my bias got in the way of everything. It had an impact on me and the experiences of starting anime was so fresh and mind blowing, that I’ll cherish those moments as the best time in my life. I thought they were perfect, with the best art style, stories that made sense and everything contributed, was quality animation. I thought they were perfect and everything new that came out years later couldn’t make much of an impact on me as old animes.
Everything after 2008, I thought anime was getting really bland and I almost stopped watching Anime as a whole. Airing shows felt copy and paste with the same goddam tropes, reused humor and cookie cutter stories. I find myself re-watching ‘Classics’ shows than anything new. I often find myself recommending my classics to friends and new watchers, hoping to share the joy I’ve had. But the responses I get were shocking, yet reality starts to kick in…
You see not everyone have the same tastes. Certain aspects or elements I find appealing in certain shows, does not appeal to everyone. It’s hard to determine what is quality when our preferences fueled by own judgement and biases. How well do we know if there’s a mutual understanding of quality? We all perceive things differently, including quality and satisfaction. It’s obvious that everyone is a critic and you can’t have everything to satisfy everyone, like not everyone enjoys Evangelion. No matter how much you hype that show up the butt, it’s not for everyone’s taste.
You can’t force your ideologies or opinions on others, otherwise you get the Cold War again… But over Anime and fought by nerds.
Sometimes I forget not all anime is perfect, and perfection is just a thought/opinion. When I re-watched my so called classics and favorites from an analytical point of view. I realize everything have their faults, but we forget faults from our glorious childhood or starting point. What I am trying to say, let everyone have their own opinion. Veterans and enthusiasts may set high bars of expectations for shows, but don’t let them dictate your expectations and levels of enjoyment.
New Animes are coming out in large quantities and there are genres out there for anyone, some you may like or don’t like. Apart from this Niche industry (I’ll post about my opinion on the niche industry in the future), Anime may be repetitive and less experimental the past few years, but it’ll rise again. Time awaits…
Well this concludes part 1 of my rant series.