I could not possibly be any less qualified in my own mind for writing this. Just so you know. Now, I’m sitting down with my second screwdriver of the evening and I’m going to write it anyway.
I don’t really consider myself an anime reviewer. I am a fan, but I think I came late to the party and I’m just weird. I love Isekai, slice of life, and anything with yokai or folklore and I’m a sucker for pretty art work. Given my husband’s description of me as a 12 year old boy – you’d think it would be Shonen Adventure. Well, I do like Mecha, does that count?
You know what my problem is with the anime big 3 or 4… they have like over a decade of episodes to watch just to catch up. They tend towards characters who shout a lot, which bothers me. I did love Full Metal Alchemist though. And I managed to watch over 100 episodes of Space Brothers. I loved that one. I use it as an example that I can watch over 100 episodes if the story grabs me.
Compared to the majority of the anime bloggers whom I read I’m an ignoramous. Part of me wants to write the tight professional level article I am capable of, part of me says screw it I’ve had over 4 oz. of vodka and my teeny tiny audience LIKES my stream of consciousness posts. You want a post between now and midnight tonight (so I can stick with my daily intentions) you’re getting stream of thought.
I see two things coming in anime. Judging them as good or bad is immaterial, they will simply be different. In a way, they are one thing.
Now that big western based capitalist companies have entered the anime field, like Netflix we can expect some changes that will affect the entire industry.
There is a significant difference in the work ethic between Asia and Western countries. Workers in Asia work longer for less wages and are happy to actually get to be animating, or drawing mainly for a living. In the U.S. and Western countries, artists have higher expectations for better hours and pay. Although we’re just as desperate for work, honestly.
Because the market for anime is expanding, because players like Netflix are joining the game (I am just using them as an example, insert Amazon Prime or Hulu or whoever) these companies are extremely profit driven and like most Western companies can’t see past the next stockholders meeting.
I believe… we are going to see a lot more CGI. With CGI you pay a character creator to create lovely characters then plug them into the computer and now you don’t need an artist any more. I suspect you do need a computer nerd with specific skills but they are able to produce significantly more anime in a day than someone with a pencil and a drawing board.
I think it’s going to be break even between adaptations of popular manga/light novels, and new material. Again – you pay a writer or three to toss out a season and you’re done with them. Or like some TV series, you let writers submit stories and pick and choose.
Creatives don’t get treated well by Western companies, but no one gets treated well (IMHO) by the Asian companies. That’s not entirely true, I think in the long run the Asian treatment is better because you do expect to work for the company all your life and then retire with a decent parachute while the Western company will work you half as hard, then lay you off when you’re 40 because you make too much money, find a way to steal your insurance, 401K and retirement, and you won’t be able to get another job in your field at “your old age” and you end up at McDonalds.
That’s my impression, I could be wrong. About Asian companies, I know damn well that’s how companies treat you in the U.S.A.
I believe… we are going to see a lot more shorter series. Say one season, maaaaaaaaaaaaybe two or three and the story is finished. On to the next one. I think this because especially when it comes to Western customers, that’s what we are used to. And with so many people coming to anime as newbies, seeing something interesting, starting that series, that’s what they want. They don’t want a nibble at One Piece and then to see they’ve got over 100 episodes to get caught up. They want to hear Aggretsko is hilarious and see it has three seasons that they can binge in a week to catch up.
This doesn’t mean that some series will not grab their audience and run forever. The freaking Simpsons ran 32 seasons. As a fan of Aggretsuko I would be crazy happy if we got 32 seasons! But it will be series that are by anime standards fairly new that all these new comers will be able to get into easily, without the devotion required by over 100 episodes. The established fandoms of Gundam, Fate/Stay Night, One Piece and so on… don’t worry guys. You will probably get a few new devotees, but most of the newbies, I really think they are going to simply get into a new series they can binge in a week.
So, 1) More of the shorter series – one to three seasons, 2) More CGI, and one last one to make magic number 3…
I think we are going to start seeing urban fantasy anime. Think True Blood or something like the Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan book series or Patricia Briggs Mercedes Thompson series. I think that making adaptations of these would be cheaper in anime with CGI and they are really popular here as book series, but we haven’t seen much of them make it to TV series. I think it’s too expensive to make them. I think it might be cheaper to animate them and now that adult audiences are opening to the idea of animation for adults… also they appeal to a female audience. 60% of Internet users are women and looking at what is available on those big streamers, they are the target audience. Once western women get drawn into anime, they’ll discover all those romances, and then otome games and who knows where it will end!
Four things. I forgot one I thought of earlier.
BECAUSE the big companies will be pouring money into CGI anime…with just a wee bit of artist and writer input (not that CGI artists are not real artists – don’t make me get too longwinded and tangenital here) you are going to see more crowdfunded independent artist drawn anime.
Something I’ve noticed because my husband watchs TONS of movies and TV series streaming – is that more and more and more fun, irreverent, unfinanciable quirky independent made movies (of wildly varying quality) are coming up available to stream on oddball places he frequents like Tubi.tv. As the big companies swallow up anime, they’ll be spitting out those indigestible kooky artists who go find their audience on crowdsource websites and put out their own damn hand drawn anime fuck you very much. Like the Indie movies my hubby loves, they’ll be of varying quality…but have their own special appeal and their own audience and thanks to the miracle of modern electonics and Internet and all that, they can be directly funded by their fans. Fuck you big corp.
Thanks for putting up with me. Blessedbe.