There was a time not too long ago when anime used to be edgy, provocative and cool. Now before some of you bite my head off just give me an opputunity to proffer my view. Anime in some form has always been present within our popular culture just homogenized (censored) and repackaged as something else entirely. Examples include Voltron aka Go-lion in Japan, Mazinger Z/Tranzor z, 8-man/Tobor The 8th Man and Gatchaman aka Battle of the Planets or G-Force. Of course unbeknownst to some of us at the time we as kids assumed these animated productions were American. Then in the late 80’s and early 90’s anime began to slowly creep into our popular culture dubbed or subtitled in its original form. Movies like Akira or Vampire Hunter D represented worlds where endings weren’t always happy and heroes often don’t win. This is the time I miss!
When anime was this kind of underground movement with only a small fan base and as such we as fans purchased it regularly on video tape to see what boundaries would be pushed next with each subsequent film. Yeah I said video tape so let’s move on. Toward the mid 90’s it started to gain more mainstream appeal and programs like Dragon Ball z, Sailor Moon and Ronin Warriors were soon playing weekday afternoons albeit censored to fit the tastes and standards for young American audiences. By the 2000’s programs like Toonami were regularly rotating different anime shows on their afternoon block and uncensored shows on their Adult Swim time slot.
At this point I feel is when anime as a medium overstaturated the market. Anime suddenly got too “bright” for my eyes, too much cgi and because of the freaking Pokemon craze anime essentially became one long commercial to market and sell toys, cards and video games with. In the simplest terms anime sold out at least by my estimation. With the exception of a few newer shows like High School of The Dead, Big O and St. Frog there just isn’t much that appeals to me nowadays. I mostly still watch the Classics like Yu Yu Hakusho, Giant Robo, Vampire Hunter D or Demon City Shinjuku. I don’t know maybe it’s because im getting old and nostalgic but I just feel that anime has long departed from the formula or element that once made it original and ground breaking. That’s my two-cents and as always leave a comment if you agree or disagree.