Is Anime Becoming a Caricature of Itself?

March 2, 2010 at 1:28 am | Posted in Anime | Leave a comment
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Okay, I don’t normally make posts like this, but recently it’s been on my mind and is bothering me somewhat. Recently I’ve been watching anime and it seems it’s not as good as it used to be. Okay, nothing will really beat the first anime you watch because it means so much to you and gives you fond memories; everything is better in the past. But read what I have to say and tell me if you agree or disagree or if you have something interesting to say.

What is the first anime you watched? Or rather, what is the first anime you really loved? Everyone knows it in their head and in their soul, it gives you fond memories whenever you come across an old DVD of it or see a youtube MAD or AMV of it with all your favorite moments.

For me it was Chobits. I was watching anime when I was very young, but you could say that Chobits was my first step into the world of anime and manga. To this day, I still love it. Chobits moved me in many ways like I’m sure it did for many people, it had a cute android girl with long blonde hair who was part of a special line of android called ‘Chobits’ who had felt human emotions.

Chobits

When we look back at that, we laugh. It’s a very stale and clichéd storyline, but at the time it was incredibly moving. I can watch it today and feel the same things I did when I first watched it years ago, and I think that says something very good about the production quality back in 2002. It’s something we don’t really have nowadays.

Onto my point: I think Anime is becoming a Caricature of itself. Why? Well, what does this mean?

If you didn’t know, a caricature is like an exaggerated character or personality. For example, let’s look at a very famous example in celebrities nowadays:

Ozzy Osbourne

Were you expecting someone different?

This is Ozzy Osbourne, he is a very famous rock star from the UK and is known the world over. Ozzy Osbourne took a lot of drugs and lived a very dangerous life doing many outrageous things both on stage and at home. Now, Ozzy Osbourne wanders around his mansion in a confused daze calling out to his wife for constant assistance (“SHARON!”).  Because of this, you will of course find many parodies containing over-exaggerated versions of Ozzy Osbourne wandering around doing crazy things like this, it’s to be expected and it makes for good entertainment.

How does this apply to anime? Well, ever since robot girls could have feelings and truely be loved (Multi, Chii and so on) it seems like we expect that now. This is normal of course, and there is nothing wrong with it, but we’re starting to see it everywhere.

I was watching Saki and viewing the yuri scenes, the transformation sequences and the constant references to harem. All these scenes are of course dramatised and over the top, but for some reason it doesn’t feel like a parody anymore, it’s as if they are now the ingredients to make an anime; school life, love interest, tsundere character, “moe” moments, comedy and so on.

We can’t have horror without a school setting, we can’t have action without magical transformations, we can’t have slice of life without references to harem, eroge and moe. It’s as if anime is being created by people who don’t watch anime but say “Anime is like x because of the examples from the past” instead of people who say “I want this anime to be like x because it will be so cool/funny/dramatic”

Maybe I am just talking nonsense. What does everyone think of this? I feel I can’t enjoy anime because it seems false. Every time I hear a reference to eroge or harem (For example seitokai no ichizon) I feel like I have to laugh because I understand the origins of the joke, but really, it’s just not funny anymore.

I want a serious anime, I don’t mind if it’s seriously scary, seriously dramatic or seriously funny, I just want something with some originality I think.

Thank you for listening to me

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