Anime has changed. It’s no longer about story, character development, or music. It’s an endless series of content consumption, written by virgins and copy/pasters.
Anime – and its consumption of media – has become a well oiled machine.
How to Get Weebs Interested in Your Show?
So, you want to create a hit show in 2020? Easy! Just copy an idea that already exists and make it SEXIER: everyone will beg for the “sauce” when they see screenshots of your lewd anime moments posted on social media!
As Anime and “Otaku Culture” have become more popular and mainstream, so the source material that was once the center of this movement became less and less creative.
Back in the day, anime used to only be for the weird, genius, social outcast types, now since everyone seems to be getting into anime, the average IQ of the herd has decreased significantly, and the shows have to be more accommodating to lower common denominator audiences.
Anime is Starting to Look Like Hollywood
Today’s corporate controlled anime field is starting to look very similar to Hollywood’s over reliance on super hero franchises and cookie cutter movies.
Anime studios are afraid to try new things and instead garner attention by sticking to the same old formula while adding one or two gimmicks to the concept or by pushing the boundty between anime and hentai further.
Advertising and Marketing
Marketing is a cycle of creation -> Reaction -> Creation -> Reaction. The way people react to advertisements is what helps marketing people identify effective content. In the same way, reactions are what give motivation, meaning, and positive feedback for artists to continue in a certain creative direction.
So, these days it seems that anime fans are more reactive to advertisements on the “sexy” side than anything else. Of course, this is a common cliche of advertising in general, but it is especially prevalent with weebs.
Starting from the Basics: Artists
Anime (was) art. Artists are the core of the anime community and this is where the problems become apparent.
Lurking in many anime groups, I have seen first hand the tragic effects of the mainstreamization of anime.
Artwork that is sexy or vulgar or slightly suggestive will usually always get a ton of “likes,” shares, and comments on social media, while people posing their original designs or concepts usually don’t get much attention UNLESS it is lewd or ecchi.
Sexy fan art gets the most attention by far. This sounds like it should be a no brainier, but this is also consistent with my original assertion that modern anime just remixes existing concepts and adds some gimmick or sexiness to it.
Admittedly, most people’s original character designs are usually mediocre, but it is still important to show some support and constructive feedback for upcoming artists instead of create this feedback loop where only sexual art is rewarded.
Pro Tip for Struggling Artists
If you don’t have the mad skills to gain massive recognition and popularity, you could start off by drawing sexy fan arts instead!
The Allegory of the Turd
A wise friend once told me that, “a group of friends could have the time of their lives playing with a turd.”
The context of this discussion was in relation to a debate about whether popular video games are actually good or not. His point was that it didn’t matter if the game was actually good, people played it to be with their friends.
Perhaps the same is true for anime watching as well?
Weebs just want to stay in the loop and have something to talk about with their friends. Even if the current anime is trash, people will still consume it because their friends are also consuming it, and they want to be part of the discussion.
Anime is “Not for Kids”
Most of these weebs actually pride themselves by using perverted content as a justification for the great “anime is not for kids” debate.
So the lesson we are supposed to take from here is that “sexy” things are not for kids. Sure, fair point. However, this logic backfires when you consider the unrealistic “sexual” situations anime characters are often presented with.
A sex scene from House of Cards is not the same as a “sexual encounter” in anime, not by a long shot! When it is written from the perspective of virgins, there is a huge difference in the type of scenes seen in Western Adult oriented shows vs. Japanese cartoons.
The truth is, most anime seems like it is geared towards horny virgins who get most of their excitement from the cliche unrealistic “sexy moments” that happen in anime these days.
Most of the younger male audience are international who probably aren’t supervised by their parents and have very little concept of women outside of anime, hentai, and porn.
The extent of comedy in this scene from Konosuba is basically: sexual harassment + “unexpected” situation+ non-threatening / non-serious reaction from the female = Funny?
These guys aren’t really knowledge on normal female human interactions and prefer to delve into the fantasy of borderline hentai, borderline rape, and girls who are written in a manner in which they are always thirsty for a guy who is always ignorant of it (the guy is innocent cliche).
A Social Experiment
I’m going to post a picture on the social media pages and my theory is that, without any context whatsoever, the average anime fan will see an image that looks like borderline rape / hentai, and their first instinct will be to demand the “sauce” or source material of the posted anime picture.
This is the picture I will post, it is not even the worst I could find, but I didn’t want our pages to get punished by Facebook. their facial expressions are highly suggestive though there isn’t any nudity, just what these new anime fans are into!
30 minutes later…
Bingo! We know our fans well.
To be 100% clear, we don’t hate our fans or anything, we just want to point out a sad reality of the direction that anime / otaku culture is headed: interest is based on the most shallow points.
Does this not prove my original point that all it takes to get people interested in a show or asking for the “sauce” is to just show something like this to them with zero context. They will literally be begging for the “sauce” with one picture.
You don’t think the people who run marketing campaigns for anime haven’t realized this?
Popular Anime Back Then
This is from an anime in 2004. It is violent, has nudity, even references to actual rape, and yet I agree that this anime is geared towards young adults / adults and NOT for kids.
Why is it? The content is deeper, the presentation is more serious, and the tone of the show itself is actually mature and not a pathetic attempt to be “edgy” or get clicks.
This show came out during a time before “otaku culture” had fully become a mainstream identity. This was a simpler time, where anime was dominated by story. Just look at the top anime from the past:
Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, etc.
The older anime was much more gritty and had more serious themes, even the art style and age of the characters were much older looking.
The niche was still small and was definitely targeted towards adults. It also helped that the market was not too highly saturated and the weebs of that time were all basically watching the same shows.
Yes there was harem anime back then and the like, but those weren’t mainstream yet and people definitely wouldn’t be posting clips of those, asking for the sauce. It was basically “real anime” and “hentai” and “harem / school” anime.
The turning point for everything was after the dawn of Lucky Star in 2007, thus sparking the Golden Age of anime in 2010 and normalizing “moe” which eventually shed light onto “loli” and just straight up sexy themes.
Thus where we are now, post 2015, over saturated, highly commercialized, sexualized mainstreamificatoin of anime.
Yes, there was always the typical Shonen, but everyone knew these were for kids. There wasn’t a constant battle of over grown man babies trying to justify that their show is “not a cartoon”, everyone already agreed that Naruto and One Piece were for kids, most of us were kids when these shows hit America!
Popular Anime Today
While anime back in the day generally had more serious themes, the popular anime of 2020 are tagged with “comedy” and “Shounen.” The art style and design of the characters looks a lot more childish.
The old anime would have pieces of action, comedy, and story in them, they didn’t need to be categorized as comedy as they already had exceptional story and writing.
All of these, perhaps with the exception of “Darwin’s Game” have a childish animation style.
Does the style matter? Yes.
The animation style helps to depict the story seriously or not. When the style is childish, its difficult to take anything seriously.
Imagine a horror movie, it needs to have the right look, feel, and sound design to capture the audience. Imagine a war movie, the colors are usually toned down and the shots are generally more grungey: all help to play a role in establishing the feeling of the movies.
Anime is no different. You need to establish the themes and the style of the character art makes a difference. Most anime did not used to look this way back in the day!
Yes, technology changed, budgets are different now, and of course, anime is more mass produced now and a lot of animation work is even done over seas in places like China and SEA for cost reasons.
Where is Anime Going?
I believe there are two possible directions for anime at this point.
Hentai Direction: Full embracing of hentai. As new anime watchers who grew up with highly perverted stuff become older, their tastes and wallet will adjust, and anime creators can shift into the hentai market and continue to blur the lines between anime and hentai to retain their aging audience.
Having working with a few hentai game companies in the past, I can say that the market is definitely booming!
Creative Revolution: A reassurance of original content and a sub-culture of better content. This will never replace the direction that anime is going (closer and closer towards hentai), but we may see a new sub-culture of anime fans who are only interested in higher produced or original anime content, such as what we have seen from WebToons Tower of God or anime like Beastars.
There will definitely be a lot more money in the first direction, but there is potential for the second to thrive if it can define a niche and grow into its own sub-culture.
Creative Revolution: Not in Japan
Japan is often seen as the most creative country, and in many ways this is definitely true, just look at Japanese TikTok videos, they are some of the most creative individuals around.
However Japanese corporations are not known as big risk takers, just like Hollywood, the creative revolution will not come from Japanese home grown companies but most likely from international sources such as Korea, China, and maybe even western writers wanting to express their creativity.
We have already seen how Korean movies like Parasite and Old Boy really have shaken up Hollywood.
And this is already prevalent with CHINESE MADE anime style games dominating the mobile games market now.
So I have absolutely no doubt that the golden resurgence of creativity for anime will at least be inspired by source material that is not made by Japanese people.
What Do You Think?
Do you agree with my analysis and prediction of the future of Anime?
Do you think I am wrong about anything here? We’d love to know your thoughts and opinions so we can further refine this and monitor the state of anime in this new decade!
Yes there is still good stuff coming out, but of course, you won’t see it being talked about on anime forums, social media, or facebook groups.
Update 5/4/2020 – Responding to Criticism
As expected, the weebs on reddit did not take this too kindly. How dare someone have a different opinion? “It must be satire!” I would hardly even call this “critizism” as it seems more like coping instead of well thought out points.
A reddit user named Asplusnd seems to have been the only one who actually read through and understood the entire article.
I feel like these weebs were more quick to jump to comment than actually read or understand my position. The post on reddit got removed by the mods.
The responses were lazy, unintelligent, and only further prove my point that the vehement defenders of anime are on the lower spectrum of intelligence. Let’s jump into it!
We did not delete the post
To be clear, we did not delete the post; it was removed by the mods.
Apparently the mods of r/anime weren’t capable of having an open discussion about this topic. If you think modern anime is bad, you must be some sort of “troll” right?
All or None Fallacy
Apparently these weebs believe they can break down an entire argument by only finding ONE example on the contrary? Not does this show intellectual laziness, but it also demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of the original point of this article.
I was not saying that ALL the new anime is bad and NONE of the old anime was good. Nowhere was that ever implied or said. I was talking about what is most popular during the time, what the community as a whole recognizes and will remember as the anime of the time, and what anime fans (on social media) are most reactive to!
It’s funny that “Tower of God” was mentioned, as this is right in the last paragraph of our original post and there was even a GIF of Tower of God on there as well.
…higher produced or original anime content, such as what we have seen from WebToons Tower of God or anime like Beastars. – The last paragraph of this post, did you even read it?
One Example Disproves the Entire Argument?
Wow man, congrats! You thought of one mobile game from Japan. I guess that disproves my entire point right? It’s not like Azur Lane (75K reviews), Honkai Impact (170K reviews), Arknights (38K reviews), Girls Frontline, etc are way more popular and successful than this ONE example you brought up right?
GooglePlay store stops after 1M+ downloads, but even the reviews for these chinese made mobile games far outnumber the Fate/Grand Oder (47K reviews) you begged to differ with…
These weebs would rather go for the low hanging fruit than actually address the argument directly.
Again missing the point, but intellectual laziness wont allow you to admit you are wrong.
Clearly a weeb that will defend the mother land at all cost right? Can’t face the facts that China, Korea, and other countries are having more success with “anime style” content than Japan?
If someone has a different opinion from the herd, they MUST be trolling right?
Unfortunately, there is no help for people who lack the ability to see a different perspective. This is the problem with the hive mind culture of Reddit isn’t it?
The Only Legit Response
This is honestly a fair point. Yes, most of the anime being churned out of the corporate machine (and that which is always on the top lists) these days seem to be mostly comedy anime.
Of course, we are talking about “creativity” here which is highly subjective. But this shift in trend seems quite lazy does it not? Traditionally, comedy is often seen as the lowest form of entertainment.
It’s easy to get people together to laugh about something, but its far more difficult to get people to cry, to think, or to react intelligently at things, is it not?
The second part of the response is not exactly sound. Yes, there will always be “bad stuff” and “good stuff” coming out in any generation, but just because this is the case doesn’t mean we can’t quantify it or at least see a shift in which “stuff” is being most talked about or discussed?
Running multiple anime social media groups and pages with sometimes 12,000+ posts per day, I have a pretty good understanding of what people are talking about these days (at least on Facebook), and I can tell you with certainty that 99% of what I see is mostly comedy, romance, ecchi, and shounen.
It does not mean that there isn’t good stuff coming out today or in the past, but it does mean that the barrier to entry, the likelihood of a particular project getting a green light, the chances of a studio taking a risk and going away from the trend is much lower than it was before.
So what is going to be remembered this time? Another Isekai anime?
According to Ranker.
In Conclusion: I am still right!
You can talk about it all you want that “this new anime is good” and “that old anime was bad,” but you can not speak for the community as a whole.
If the point of this article is that the entire anime community is diluted with lower IQ and lower standards of entertainment, and this Ranker voting system shows an Isekai anime at the top of 2020, then is my point not proven?
The community has democratically selected this as the most exciting anime of 2020… think about that for a second.
Furthermore, what evidence has anyone on Reddit actually provided to disprove my point? None!
How easy it is to type “toxic” or “satire” instead of spend even a single brain cell to create a legit counter argument.
It’s all been their high chair, personal opinion vs. actual numbers and experience from my side. Its easy to blast your own opinion on Reddit, it’s more difficult to actually construct and collect evidence to disprove someone else, let alone create an 3000+ word article in response to it. I’ll be waiting.
Super weeb. Can not even name one anime that I have never heard of.