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Future of anime in America? :\ Non-ACen, but inherently related...

#1 User is offline   Fudgi P0pZ 

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 11:05 PM

Hi, guys. There's a similar (old) thread to this, but I want this discussion to focus mainly on anime in American culture as a whole.

I don't have any statistics. This is just coming from personal observation, so feel free to dispute me. However, it seems like the popularity of anime in American culture is waning. Do you think there will ever come a time when it's completely gone from our society? Do you see that happening in the future? The near future? Never?

Personally, I definitely think it's on the decline, but I find it hard to pin-point just what exactly is declining. Anime cons still pull in large amounts of attendees, the 'availability' of anime is definitely increasing (not so optimistic with paperback manga, though :\), more people seem to be familiar with it, and... well... it still has a large fanbase, I'd presume. Now, give it a few years and I'm honestly stumped as to where anime will be as a fandom. :\ I'd like to think something new and interesting may come out that grasps everyone's attention again, but seriously--how many times can that happen before it just... dies?

What does the future of anime in America look like to you?
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#2 User is offline   KirbyFanOne 

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 01:05 AM

View PostFudgi P0pZ, on 23 March 2013 - 11:05 PM, said:

What does the future of anime in America look like to you?


We're already seeing it; it's crap.

With the slow death of print, the rise in torrents, and importation of "seen it before and done much better" shows, anime isn't really as strong as it used to be. The fact it's not shown on basic cable or satellite packages doesn't help it's case either. But it will keep coming. A great man once said "People are stupid and scared of change." The same holds true for the anime of the species; as long as we keep importing dull shows, Japan will produce dull shows, rarely deviating from the tried and true formulas.

You can prove me wrong with examples, but truth remains I can learn more about any given Chinese cartoon by browsing /a/ for even an hour and not waste my time or money.
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#3 User is offline   Fudgi P0pZ 

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 02:03 AM

View PostKirbyFanOne, on 24 March 2013 - 01:05 AM, said:

You can prove me wrong with examples, but truth remains I can learn more about any given Chinese cartoon by browsing /a/ for even an hour and not waste my time or money.


Eh, eh, Chinese? Sorry, but this one's going over my head.

As for Japanese animation, I can't believe how easy it is to search for some random, obscure title and be able to read and/or watch readily. Toootally different from even just a few years ago, I'd say.

I like how it's possible to "sample" an anime, but with its main availability shifting to the internet, I think anime's undergoing the same change that every other medium faces when converting to the net. The only problem with this is that anime is applies to a smaller demographic and so the change is seen in bigger ways.
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#4 User is offline   rondo 

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 10:52 AM

Anime/Manga in the American Culture..hmm

Needless to say, anime and manga's peak in American culture has already passed us by. Standard methods of reaching individuals has been surpassed by other means, some of which is a negative for the genre. There was a time where it was starting to creep into the mainstream...but it has now moved back down into a niche and it is likely to stay there.

Buying from store shelves has been mostly replaced with buying online and downloading online, for better or for worse.

The lists of distributors has dwindled to a mere handful or so names.

It's all downhill from here.

#5 User is offline   CrimsonAnime 

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 12:16 PM

I have always thought that the inability to freely watch anime on TV has been a strong part of why anime is falling in the US.
Before, there was toonami - it came on in the middle of the day, had good anime shows on and brought attention to it.
Then - even if they did murder it - there was 4Kids with it's UBER friendly versions for Saturday Morning cartoons.
And for the less happy go lucky there was Adult Swim.
The Tv was filled with places to easily access anime and therefore the attention for it grew quickly.

But then Toonami died, Adult Swim started to make it's own programming and 4Kids just got worse....

Leaving people who wanted to watch anime to find it online.And being used to watching it for "free" they didn't want to pay.
People have to scrounge around to find it making it less appealing for the casual type viewer/reader.

What's worse - Netflix streaming doesn't even seem to have a good amount of anime there (about 20 or 25 series and movies) so I can't even try to get into new stuff because after a few months, I have already gone through all of what interested me...

At least that's what happened for me. And I hate it. I wish I could easily turn on a channel at a certain time and find anime again...but even with the return of Toonami, the anime that comes on..comes on at like..2 AM.....le sigh...
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#6 User is offline   Fantasia 

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 01:25 PM

I remember whenn I was really into Inuyasha and had cable, but it was always on adult swim very late at night. I of course being younger than I am now, was never allowed to stay up that late. I had no choice but to go to online sources. I still watch all my anime online. And as Rondo mentioned, there is also the decline of bookshelf buying. I honestly don't like it one bit' this whole era of downloading anything. I am really big on reading, and I love anime in it's original book form- as manga. If that were to go away, honestly, it would be really sad. Not just sad, but stupid. I am old school when it comes to books; I want my literature to come bwtween covers, not trapped in a machine. People seem to be forgetting that the printed book has been around way longer than thia digital crap.
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#7 User is offline   feuerwerke 

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 06:27 PM

I doubt if it will ever be gone entirely. It's a niche that had a surge in popularity. It's dying back down again, but it'll still have a following. The issue is definitely a lack of entry points for new fans. Not only is there less anime out there that can easily be stumbled upon by outsiders since TV isn't really even a big thing anymore, with or without anime on it, but there just aren't any good new shows that would work well for new anime fans. Thinking back on the past few years, some of my favorite shows were Madoka Magica, Girls und Panzer, and Fate/Zero. None of these are good series to be someone's first anime. The only terribly recent show I can think of that I'd imagine would even work would be Tiger and Bunny, and Viz screwed around and took forever to get that out. That should have been on TV.

Sure, we can keep showing people Cowboy Bebop, but what do we tell them when they ask what they should watch next? Do we give them the same laundry list of shows that are 5-10+ years old? Do we send them to moe and otaku shows? Do we tell them to watch Naruto? No. We need a new hit and we need a company to license it and market it well.
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#8 User is offline   Fudgi P0pZ 

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 07:13 PM

View Postfeuerwerke, on 24 March 2013 - 06:27 PM, said:

Sure, we can keep showing people Cowboy Bebop, but what do we tell them when they ask what they should watch next? Do we give them the same laundry list of shows that are 5-10+ years old? Do we send them to moe and otaku shows? Do we tell them to watch Naruto? No. We need a new hit and we need a company to license it and market it well.


^ All day, everyday this. It's true. When I recommend a show, it's usually several years old and not as "accessible" as it used to be. Sure those are some great oldies, but they should be recommended as thus--"oldies". When did that become our fall-back?

The fact that there aren't any new hits coming is what I think will ultimately affect the accessibility of anime. Sure, it may be available in every media format you can think of, but if there's no one show that pulls everything together, then it's not accessible. How else can we expect new-comers to find these things?
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#9 User is offline   feuerwerke 

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 08:45 PM

To be honest, I see nothing wrong with older shows being held up as some of the best that the medium has to offer. The problem is that there's very little being made today that's like the old stuff. I think Cowboy Bebop is still a great show to sit someone down with as their first anime. The problem is, if they like it, it's hard to recommend a next show. You're going to give them all of the stuff that was popular in the 90's and early 2000's, but once all that's done, there's not much else that's like it. It's alienating for a lot of would-be fans that so much current anime is too steeped in anime culture for an outsider to get into.
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#10 User is offline   STVO 

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 05:39 AM

I'm not the best to say anything about the matter because I'm not as die hard a fan as I was in college/high school, but while for most part things seem lacking, there's still a lot of anime conventions in America which has to be somewhat a sign they'll remain around. Admittedly anime DVDs/blu rays aren't as popular as say stuff from Marvel or DC, they still have a following in America. The manga side of things may be a little tougher, I think a lot of that is from how much those books cost. :\ I'm merely speculating on all of this though. I hope anime continues to stay strong in America, I know Funimation will remain strong as they're the top distributor for the US and one of the only few studios around. A worst case scenario for them is they may have to pick up non-anime acquisitions or produce their own original content (if they haven't started already, again, I'm out of the loop) in order to survive.
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#11 User is offline   Keiichi-chan 

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:21 PM

Quote

However, it seems like the popularity of anime in American culture is waning.

it is - the anime 'bubble' popped a few years ago, i think? then, all the north american distribution companies started to do bankrupt, and there was virtually no anime on television at all, even 'mainstream' stuff like naruto disappeared.


Quote

Do you think there will ever come a time when it's completely gone from our society?

no, especially considering it's always been there. the term 'anime' might not have been prevalent in pop culture, but since anime has existed, it has been imported and been dovetailed into american pop culture: astroboy aired on tv here, voltron, speed racer, sailormoon, dragon ball, etc. the days of the toonami/pokemon anime renaissance when it was massively popular and a 'cool' thing are over, for now at least. things usually happen in cycles, though. it could be a big deal a few years from now and be all over tv and in pop culture again.

maybe because comic books are a more niche market, because the manga industry still isn't in the sad shape that anime seems to be in, manga is cheaper to buy, and since manga is much easier to translate and distribute into english, i do feel like manga has an easier chance of catching on in american pop culture than anime. then again, getting americans to read anything can be tough sometimes..

This post has been edited by Keiichi-chan: 26 March 2013 - 11:35 PM


#12 User is offline   slrphebos 

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 01:21 AM

I know when I got into anime "hardcore" when I was 14 it was on the rise and toonami was a new awesome thing. DVDs were coming out so fast I couldn't keep up if I had tried. This was also before youtube and back when you had to be on an email mailing list and had to trade videos (and yes I know it is wrong, but as a teen I didn't care and didn't understand). Then came along good torrents (again bad I know) and that was when I hit 18 when that was huge. Then youtube was easier because you could just view it online without space being taken up on the hard drive. Then came laws to prevent this and region block settings made it hard to see shows that were being uploaded on the japanese youtube. Now it's 10 years after that and sure it's gone downhill, but something else has also happened in the last 10 years.

Anime became cool to all kids.

That was something I didn't think would ever happen. You watched Sailor Moon or Dragonball or Pokemon and you were uncool. If you owned anything from any of the shows you were a nerd. Then it was like overnight anime became okay and even cool to watch (even if it's the nasty edited NA dub version of the show) and anime cons exploded. You could go to Walmart and buy a Naruto costume (cheap as all get out, but still available). You can go to Hot Topic and buy things. Heck ebay did wonders for all kinds of merch as well. It's waning, but whos to say that in another couple of years it won't pick up again? Fan bases go up and down and there might be a time where anime con attendance drops, but something else will go huge and bring fans back. It's why Star Trek is still huge especially since the reboot cause now it looks more like what people now see as what "future" might be. It's why Doctor Who gained popularity once the show was picked up again. Heck take a look at Firefly and see what happens when people discover how awesome the show is despite it being cancelled.

I doubt it will disappear from the states completly. There's no way. There are citizens from Japan that move here and they have kids and at some point those kids will interact with the american kids and then "omg anime iz cools" starts all over again. There is always going to be a group that will love anime no matter what and so long as there is a demand there will always be a supply.

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#13 User is offline   feuerwerke 

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 10:58 AM

@srlphebos Well, any way of getting anime without paying for it aside from using FUNimation's official youtube channel, their site, stuff up on Hulu, or Crunchyroll is wrong and illegal, anyway. Legal streaming is a wonderful thing, though.

But yeah no anime is a part of nerd culture now. So long as there are nerds there will be anime nerds.
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#14 User is offline   wolverine33 

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 04:13 PM

I'm up with current anime but I agree with Rondo, I think the anime peak has come and gone...

Don't get me wrong there's new anime coming out still but there's a lot more going on at
cons besides anime, Video Games & console tournaments, Magic and other card games like it,
Board games, Panels about other things besides anime...

Anime will still be here even 20 years later, some of the cons my not because there's
been many over the years that didn't make it because of boom of new conventions..

SO fear not anime will strive on....

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#15 User is offline   Izuhara_Torozu 

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 11:02 PM

Well that was a thorough bummer! It's kinda weird to think that maybe I lived through the golden age of anime and didn't even know it because I was a naive 15 year old? Back in like 2005 I used to live for the Adult Swim weekends to watch Samurai Champloo, Lupin III, Inuyasha... all that. Heck, even the 4kids One Piece on Sat nights was my bread and butter.. Then I got out of it for a bit and in like 2011 when I hopped back on the fandom train I was sad to see that all my favs were gone from Adult Swim (replaced with trash..). I'd like to think that it's just part of the ebb and flow of things, and that it'll come back again. It breaks my heart to think that the US companies that are doing all the work to bring us shows, do dubs and subs and the like, are struggling monetarily compared to other industries.

Heck.. I even look back to when I was in like.. 4th grade, probably in 2000 or so.. I remember watching Tenchi Muyo after school on Toonami. Honestly that was probably the first Anime I watched, ever, and that def leaves a mark (Ryoko was my original waifu? I guess?? heh).

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