Anime has never been better

The medium of Anime has never been better.

To many of you, that may sound like a fairly bizarre and possibly even completely incorrect statement to make, but as someone who has been heavily engaged with this medium for over a decade, I genuinely believe that this weird and wonderful form of entertainment has never been better than it is right now, at this very moment.

Now, before people start slamming those fingers against those keys in anger and frustration, telling me how wrong I am and how I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m not against anyone for thinking that Anime has gone downhill or that it’s “not what it used to be”. This is simply my opinion and how I see the medium, and I have several reasons for believing what I do, which I’m now going to get in to. It’s fine if you disagree.

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I guess I’ll start with the insanely high quantity of shows coming out every season. There’s this ridiculous notion I’ve been seeing all over the place recently that there is “too much Anime” and that due to the fact that so many shows are coming out, we now have a “quantity over quality” situation in terms of the shows that are being released.

I think this is silly.

Because I still believe that despite us getting so many shows, that the number of shows coming out that are great is still higher than it was so many years ago. Sure, for each individual viewer, there’s a lot of horrible, bland and uninteresting stuff coming out every single season that they’re never going to even remotely come into contact with, but amongst all of those “bad” shows, there are at least 3 or 4 amazing shows buried underneath all the garbage.

I can’t speak for everyone, but if this were 10 years ago, I’d be lucky to find a single show that I’d consider to be a 9 or a 10 in any Anime season. Nowadays, I’m getting at least one of these every season, sometimes even a couple, or more. Isn’t that something?

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And even if there are a lot of shows coming out that don’t interest you, it’s highly likely that they’ll be of interest to someone or some select group of people. Sure, Anime continues to go through its trends like it always has, with certain genres getting more love, more attention and more shows than others, but nowadays, with the abundance of shows coming out, there’s almost something for everyone, which is hardly a claim you could have made 20 years ago. That in itself, is simply amazing, and for someone like me who loves to sample all kinds of shows from just about every single genre you can think of, the variety of shows coming out, along with the sheer number of them, is almost like a dream come true. There’s a wellspring of unique and interesting stories out there for Anime fans to explore, and it’s amazing. “Too much Anime”? What nonsense. I’ll gladly have “too much” in the form of variety than have “too little” and less varied stuff to watch.

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Then there’s the aesthetics. I’m not here to slam the visuals older shows, they’re great in their own right, and lots of shows from the old days have aged brilliantly, like Yu Yu Hakusho and Cowboy Bebop among others. But, new shows, for the most part, look great, and even the worst ones tend to look passable. There’s rarely anything that looks outright terrible 100% of the time, even if a lot of shows occasionally dabble in the horrendous practice of using clunky looking CGI in specific scenes. …Lookin’ at you Juni Taisen.

And that’s not even getting into the shows that go above and beyond to deliver something you’d never expect to see from a television production. Be it the cinematic quality of Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works fight scenes, or the breathtaking, vivid and ridiculously lush and detailed backgrounds of Made in Abyss, or the uniquely designed, varied and insanely personalised character designs of Bungou Stray Dogs, the visuals of the best looking TV Anime series have never been better.

JUST… LOOK AT THEM.

There’s also the case of adaptations actually getting completed as opposed to adding filler material in between arcs or suddenly ending in the middle of nowhere and leaving us hanging. Yes, these kinds of shows still exist, and remain frequent, but nowadays we’re getting a lot of complete adaptations, and in some cases, re-adaptations. Scum’s Wish, Parasyte, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood… The list is ever growing and this change is a welcome one.

And that’s not even getting into the shows themselves, and the incredible kinds of series we’ve been getting in recent years. Hunter x Hunter (2011), My Hero Academia, Scum’s Wish, The Ancient Magus Bride, Made in Abyss, Tsuki Ga Kirei… You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t find at least a handful of these examples to be spectacular.

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Right…?

Of course, this is just how I see it. There’s a chance many will disagree with me on all of these points, and that’s fine. You do you.

But to me, Anime has never been better. It’s a constantly evolving medium of entertainment, and I believe that with that evolution comes growth and the potential for things to keep improving and to continue getting better as time marches on.

It’s no longer the small thing it once was, and I feel that it’s for the better as a result.

What are your thoughts on the current state of Anime? Do you think it’s never been better? Do you think it’s going downhill? Let me know!

16 thoughts on “Anime has never been better

  1. I agree with you! I’m the kind of person who always looks to the new stuff that is coming through and I get excited for it instead of looking back on old stuff and saying “well that was better compared to now” I think there will always be amazing anime shining through in each season and with technology constantly improving it gives us anime fans even better quality and new interesting ideas to add to shows! 😄

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  2. Definitely agree with you on the visuals and sheer quantity of anime. Most of my favorites are still from the early 2010s though. Sometimes I also wonder if a preference for older stuff has to do with age. We were all much younger back then, and (for me at least) appreciate shows much more easily. There was a time when I thought Bleach was the best thing ever…

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  3. I definitely agree with you on the fact that it’s progressively getting harder and harder to find an anime with animation quality that is flat-out “bad”—-which is a good thing! Animators today may not necessarily be better than the ones from 10 years ago, but they’ve definitely pinned down some shortcuts that make most watches tolerable, if not incredibly enjoyable. I mean, there are so many shows from say 2006 that I think look like ass, but those same shows with the same stories and characters reincarnated today look so much better—-almost to the point of me liking them. While I do have my nitpicks (CG overrunning hand-drawn creations), with every CG anime that is created, the people behind it only get better and better. I, too, am hopeful, and side with the idea that the average anime has never looked this good before. Hopefully that trend continues!

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  4. I love that there is so much anime available now and so much that comes out each season. It means there are options and variety so most seasons I’ll find something to watch and have access to it. Still remembering trying to watch anime in ten minute clips on YouTube or swapping grainy video copies of shows in order to access anime. It is definitely a great time to be an anime fan right now.

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      1. There’s still a couple of shows that after a year or so of waiting for access I’ll end up watching on YouTube. Though, at least these days, most videos are longer than ten minutes so at least you aren’t trying to string together three separate videos to watch one anime episode. That was painful. Particularly if the fan sub changed between part one and two and translations were different. Bleach did that a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. As someone who has re-entered the anime world after having been away from it for almost 10 years, I really like the fact that as Karandi mentions, there is so much anime available right now. There is so much to choose from, and so many truly great shows that it really is an amazing time to be an anime fan. Despite the fact that I still have a lot of catching up to do 😂😂

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  6. I would like to see more magical girl (or at least fun, fantasy shoujo) and a little less isekai. Just some female-oriented shows that don’t seem like a 12-episode advertisement for the manga. Looking forward to the Cardcaptor Sakura sequel for this reason! ❤

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  7. Personally, I just don’t understand the need to place one era ahead of another. I think at any point in time, there are a lot of good shows being made, as well as a lot of bad ones. Pick a year from 20 or 25 years ago and I’m sure I can name just as many “excellent” shows as you can for 2016 or 2017. And, of course, just as many awful ones.

    Has the technical quality of anime improved since 1995? Sure, but if it’s technical excellence you want, American studios like Pixar are head and shoulders above anything coming out of Japan. I want technical excellence from my cellphone; from my anime, I want great storytelling and creative animation – narratives and art that Hollywood wouldn’t consider touching.

    I’m not hoping that in 20 years I can look back and think, “Wow, anime is so much better now than it was in the 2010s! They’ve really perfected CG so much that everything drawn by hand looks primitive by comparison.” Rather, I’m hoping that in 2037 I’ll see something that I can add to my list of favorites, beside Hyouka, Noir, Ghost in the Shell, and Kimagure Orange Road.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t disagree with you. However, I do like to look towards the future and where things are going, and I believe in that regard that Anime has never looked more promising.

      This post in general is more of a rebuttal to those that claim Anime is going downhill, as opposed to singling out this era as the “best for everyone”, although I find it to be better for someone of my personal tastes.

      As for your point on technicality and American studios, I’m not sure why you brought that up at all. I’m well aware that production of animation in the West is technically superior, but that means little to me when the animation and the way its presented don’t appeal to my tastes. I don’t like Western animation and it doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest, and I think comparing Anime to Western animation is an unneeded comparison. They’re both animation, but they’re completely different mediums with a different focus and way of production.

      Can’t we have both? Can’t we look back and think “wow Anime is so much better now” AND have things we can add to our favourites?

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  8. I agree so much! I do enjoy some of the classic anime, but I also love that we have so many more options to watch and ways to watch now. I think some are afraid to try new things which may be part of the problem… Not sure, but I’m always game for a good story.
    Bungo Stray Dogs is a great example and I’m looking forward to the movie so much.

    Liked by 1 person

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