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The Atlantic- Can Shinichiro Watanabe Make More People Take Anime Seriously?

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Antiochus

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http://www.theatlantic.com/entertai...make-more-people-take-anime-seriously/282806/

When Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement from feature films last September, countless media outlets and fans around the world mourned the loss of a beloved filmmaker—Japan’s most famous since Akira Kurosawa—whose movies had brought gravitas to the country’s animation industry, long a niche interest in the West. Thanks to thought-provoking films like Akira, Ghost in the Shell, and of course, Miyazaki’s work, American interest in Japanese animation had exploded over the last three decades and made a huge cultural impact.
Critical focus, however, has stayed largely on feature films, while anime—referring specifically to Japanese animated television series—has not earned the same kind of respect. An animator like Daisuke Nishio, for example, who directed the hit Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z series, is not considered an artist like Miyazaki, whose drawings have been displayed in museums in Paris.
But while anime has always struggled to be taken seriously as an art form, one director might be able to make critics reconsider: Shinichiro Watanabe, director of Cowboy Bebop, whose new series Space Dandy is debuting on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim on January 4. Japanese filmmakers first began experimenting with animation in the early 1900s, not long after animators in the West like Winsor McCay (Little Nemo in Slumberland), but it was not until the 1960s that the industry began to take shape under Osamu Tezuka, the artist whose large-eyed aesthetic is most associated with anime to this day. In 1963, Tezuka's Astro Boy was the country’s first popular televised animated series and was such a hit that it was the first anime broadcast overseas. Demand grew over the years and spread around the world, but despite its by-the-numbers popularity, anime remained a largely subcultural taste, not helped by the social outcast otaku image that persists, even in Japan. In general, animation is still widely considered children's entertainment, which has been difficult to overcome, and anime has added cultural boundaries to conquer.
Another obstacle standing in the way of anime’s critical acceptance is the fact that it’s a highly commercial product, reportedly drawing more than $2 billion each year. Driven by industry demands, most directors faithfully adapt popular manga (comics) or stick to tried-and-true story lines. The shoujo (young girl) genre, for example, hits the same plot points (class field trip, hot springs vacation, Christmas party) in each version of the high school love story. Unsurprisingly, shows that have successfully infiltrated American pop culture, like Pokémon and Sailor Moon, are highly formulaic, mindless entertainment.
Of course, there are directors who have worked against the studio system. In 1995, Hideaki Anno directed the highly controversial series Neon Genesis Evangelion, which was praised for its dark tone and post-modernist exploration of psychoanalytical, religious, and sexual themes. Evangelion has been credited with advancing a more serious study of anime in Japan, but thanks in part to its use of mecha (giant mobile robots piloted by humans; think Pacific Rim’s Jaegers), it was deemed too alienating and foreign for most Western audiences at the time, despite the fact that it subverted that mecha genre.
Shortly after Evangelion ended, Watanabe entered the scene. Born in 1965 in Kyoto, Watanabe grew up during the golden days of Tezuka and the first anime boom. As an employee of Sunrise studio, he worked on storyboards and co-directed projects, before making his full directorial debut with Cowboy Bebop in 1998. The series, about a crew of space bounty hunters in the year 2071, referenced spaghetti westerns, film noir, and Hong Kong action movies, with each episode dedicated to a different style of music, like the titular bebop. It was a huge success, and the first anime series to show on Adult Swim when it launched in 2001. Critics loved the jazz and blues-inspired soundtrack, the elegant film noir style, and existential themes. Along with Evangelion, it’s been called one of the greatest anime series of all time, and it is arguably the single most popular “serious” anime among Americans.
In 2004, Watanabe followed Bebop with Samurai Champloo, which mixed Japan’s Edo period (samurai) with hip-hop culture (graffiti artists, etc.). Aside from being another hit (the series aired in more than 13 countries and was licensed for distribution in the U.S. before it even showed in Japan), Champloo cemented Watanabe’s reputation for combining unexpected cultural influences to create his own referential style. “When you’re making anime, if you get all of your inspiration from anime . . . . it’s going to lack originality and creativity, so I try to get my inspiration from different genres.” Watanabe said at a press conference at Otakon 2013. (Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, Watanabe was unable to complete an interview before press time.)
Despite his success, Watanabe is still relatively unknown outside of anime circles—especially compared to other Japanese filmmakers like Kurosawa, who was posthumously named one of the top five Asians of the century by Asiaweek magazine and CNN. But while it might seem impossible for anime to ever break out, it’s not hard to imagine anime taking the same path to critical acceptance that live-action feature films did long ago.
The first films produced at the turn of the 20th century were simple, static creations, like a straight-on recording of a performed play. D.W. Griffith was one of the first directors to open people’s eyes to the medium’s possibilities with his early shorts and controversial feature film, Birth of a Nation. By experimenting with camera angles, lighting, shots, and editing, he changed people’s perception of movies. Filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles would take those techniques and advance them to create one of the world’s most dominant industries and an accepted art form.
In the past decade, studios like Pixar have used technology to further push the seeming limits of a truly limitless medium, but narratively and artistically speaking, anime has long been ahead of American animation. Anime critics like Trish Ledoux and Doug Ranney have written that early 1970s anime “absolutely overflow with tracking shots, long-view establishing shots, fancy pans, unusual point-of-view camera angles, and extreme close-ups.” In an interview with Anime News Network, Watanabe said that he finds today’s animation trends to be too toned down and wants to create animation that has never been seen before. “I feel like I want to make anime that destroys the norms, something that would be strong, even if it is unconventional,” he said.
Additionally, early films were seen as cheap, low-class entertainment, so in order to legitimize film as an art form, directors and producers tried to bring the upper classes on board. Filmmakers began borrowing from literature, the stage, and other established art forms, hoping that audiences would learn to accept one through the other. This technique has been effective for animated works, too, in the past: Chuck Jones’s “What’s Opera Doc,” a Warner Brothers’ cartoon that was voted No. 1 in the book The 50 Greatest Cartoons, parodied Wagner’s operas. Cowboy Bebop, similarly, is dense with references to American films—particularly from the 1970s—music, and TV shows, from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (one of Watanabe’s favorite films) to Cool Hand Luke to Batman: The Animated Series, essentially forming Watanabe’s love letter to American pop culture. American music—jazz, blues, early rock—and counterculture, like the Beat Generation, were also central to the show and created an atmosphere that was innately accessible to American audiences.
Another point in Watanabe’s favor comes by way of the auteur theory, first written about by Francois Truffaut for Cahiers du Cinema in 1954 and again by Andrew Sarris in the U.S. in 1962. Auteur theory is the idea that a director’s personal vision or creative voice must come through a film to make it a work of art. According to Sarris, the second premise of auteur theory says, “Over a group of films, a director must exhibit certain recurrent characteristics of style, which serve as his signature.” Along with technique and interior meaning, the director’s style must come not out of a single work, but over the course of many films. Though the theory is controversial and far from perfect—Truffaut himself later disowned it—it can be a useful tool, especially when examining other mediums.
This might explain the global appreciation of Miyazaki, who has a clear aesthetic and message that he has cultivated over decades of work, and clearly fits Sarris’s criterion for being an auteur. When audiences hear the words “Miyazaki film,” they know to expect airships, hand-drawn animation, and environmental and pacifist themes. He is an auteur, and thus an artist, so his work is taken seriously.
With Space Dandy, his third television series, Watanabe is in the process of building his own body of work, this time reuniting the entire creative team from Cowboy Bebop, notably screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto. A comedic series, Space Dandy follows the adventures of Dandy, an alien bounty hunter and self-perceived ladies’ man with an '80s-style pompadour. Dandy is essentially Watanabe’s ode to the 1980s, and parodies space operas (imagine the Star Wars: Episode IV poster spray-painted on the side of a van), older sci-fi movies like John Carpenter’s Dark Star, and anime from the 1970s and 1980s like the first Lupin III TV series, which Miyazaki worked on and had also influenced Bebop.
Although Watanabe is establishing his “recurrent characteristics of style,” as Sarris would say (space, bounty hunting, pop-culture nostalgia), he’s also pushing his limits. Each episode of Space Dandy, which will take place on a different star, will feature a different art and directing style. “In Space Dandy, I’m trying to challenge myself and do stuff I haven’t done before,” Watanabe said to ANN. “I’m aiming for a really funny, cool, and crazy creation.”
Cartoon Network has faith in Watanabe’s growing star power: In a first for any anime series, Space Dandy will be simulcast in the U.S., Korea, India, Europe, Oceania, and across Southeast Asia, with English audio or Japanese with subtitles.
Ironically, Space Dandy’s campy style—there is a literal boob monster in one episode—begs to not be taken too seriously, but with his pop-culture sensibility and cinematic directing style, Watanabe may be anime’s greatest chance of getting the respect it deserves.

The author seems to be attempting some form of parody when talking about Evangelion being taken "seriously" or that mecha anime tropes were the downfall of Pacific Rim.

He is on firmer footing when he touches upon the common tropes anime has been indulging in for the last two generations. He is right that anime is considered children's entertainment. Juvenile man-children's entertainment, that is. Actually, if the majority of anime targeted children as their audience vs teens and otakus, it will not be nearly as unbearable and wretched.

He is also correct that TV anime, despite an almost three decade long presence in the West is still not taken seriously by the mainstream. Nor should it be, especially in its currently degenerate state. What the medium needs is a show on the caliber of The Wire/Sopranos/Breaking Bad that can demonstrate the medium can not only produce something competitive with live action shows, but actually surpass most of them as well. There has yet to be a show like that for the entirety of TV anime's existence. In fact, it can even be argued that TV anime hasn't even yet produced a show equivalent to the role that the Larry Sanders Show played in the early 90's that spurred the cable TV renaissance a decade later.
 

entremet

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Good piece.

I'd avoid pasting the whole article, though. It's not kosher per posting guidelines here.
 

The Technomancer

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Anime just isn't masculine enough to be taken seriously by the general public.

I doubt that that's the primary problem. As I see it, anime currently has two major problems:

a.)There are good, thoughtful shows produced every season. I know this even if I don't manage to see most of them. But good lord is there also a lot of cliched and downright stereotypical stuff coming out these days

b.)and the stigma of anime in the cultural consciousness thanks to the stereotypical stuff means that those "good" shows aren't enough. Anime needs something really transcendent to force its way into the zeitgeist.
 
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There's plenty of anime worth being taken seriously. But I'm not waiting for the general public to pay attention, not when the bulk of anime is what it is, and anime fans are what they are.
 
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What the medium needs is a show on the caliber of The Wire/Sopranos/Breaking Bad that can demonstrate the medium can not only produce something competitive with live action shows, but actually surpass most of them as well. There has yet to be a show like that for the entirety of TV anime's existence. In fact, it can even be argued that TV anime hasn't even yet produced a show equivalent to the role that the Larry Sanders Show played in the early 90's that spurred the cable TV renaissance a decade later.

Have you watched every anime ever?
 
It would be nice to see more anime where guys are not completely clueless and fearful of the female gender. So many times it does seem like they're treated as some sort of mythical being which is nutty.

Showing people Evangelion definitely won't help, people will be annoyed at the emo kid, him jacking off over a comatose girl and the complete non nonsensical ending while asking what the hell was that suppose to be. Saying it's suppose to be some meaningful and deep thoughtful stuff would be as laughable to the person as it truly is.

In other words, it's shit son.
 

Megidolaon

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Can anime be taken seriously? Hmm...

Well, I'm still waiting for my FMA Brotherhood collection to come in the mail. :p

I consider myself an anime fan, but most anime looks way too generic. it is true that there aren't that many anime that can garner a whole lot of attention, especially worldwide. There are only so many Evas, Death Notes, FMAs and Attack on Titans.
 

The Technomancer

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I also wonder if a lot of anime just has fundamental problems trans-culturally regardless of subject matter. I've touched on this before, but I think comedy and humor are fundamental to this issue: you can translate a lot of things between cultures pretty effectively, but humor is notoriously difficult, especially when the nature of the humor is as deeply tied into delivery style the way it often is in anime, and even in very very good anime the "comedy bits" are where I usually find myself rolling my eyes or feeling taken out of things.
 

The Technomancer

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Well, no, because it's cartoons.

The Simpsons (okay, it wasn't the first but I'm using it as a good example) got America to take animation "seriously for adults" in the sense that it got adults to really care about "cartoons" even if it wasn't particularly serious.
 

Meccanical

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I thought Cowboy Bebop was a western darling.

Then again it's been years since that show first aired.
 

Krev

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Not with a show like Space Dandy.

It would be nice to see more anime where guys are not completely clueless and fearful of the female gender. So many times it does seem like they're treated as some sort of mythical being which is nutty.
Anime is usually made by and for maladjusted nerds.
Showing people Evangelion definitely won't help, people will be annoyed at the emo kid, him jacking off over a comatose girl and the complete non nonsensical ending while asking what the hell was that suppose to be. Saying it's suppose to be some meaningful and deep thoughtful stuff would be as laughable to the person as it truly is.
How about it's meant to be strange and interesting? The bizarre scenes you are describing are what makes it stand out and the reason it's worth watching.

Evangelion is a terrible gateway anime for most people because it's a) based around the tropes of anime and somewhat reliant on familiarity with them and b) super arthouse leaning.
 

The Silver

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Translate Legend of the Galactic Heroes, only anime I consider anywhere near the same league as the great tv shows.
 

Kimawolf

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I love anime, but for every Ghost in the Shell and Boogy pop phantom here are 10 Vandreads or Cat Planet Cuties or Queens Blade.
 
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It would be nice to see more anime where guys are not completely clueless and fearful of the female gender. So many times it does seem like they're treated as some sort of mythical being which is nutty.

Showing people Evangelion definitely won't help, people will be annoyed at the emo kid, him jacking off over a comatose girl and the complete non nonsensical ending while asking what the hell was that suppose to be. Saying it's suppose to be some meaningful and deep thoughtful stuff would be as laughable to the person as it truly is.

In other words, it's shit son.

It seems it flew over your head...
 

muteki

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Why would anyone ever want it to be taken seriously by the general public?

Nothing good ever comes from that.
 

Branduil

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Excellent Eriador
Unsurprisingly, shows that have successfully infiltrated American pop culture, like Pokémon and Sailor Moon, are highly formulaic, mindless entertainment.

Hitokage is writing a sternly-worded letter to the Atlantic as we speak.
 

Yonafunu

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I like how they ignore Sakamichi no Apollon when calling Space Dandy Watanabe's third series.
 

Krev

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I like how they ignore Sakamichi no Apollon when calling Space Dandy Watanabe's third series.
Truly a well researched piece.

It's funny because it reveals the hidden truth that despite the angle the article takes, there's no western interest in anime without strongly fantastical elements - even from this author.
 

The Technomancer

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Truly a well researched piece.

It's funny because it reveals the hidden truth that despite the angle the article takes, there's no western interest in anime without strongly fantastical elements - even from this author.

That's kind of why I mentioned the Simpsons analogue: until the Simpsons there wasn't really interest in non-fantastical or non-whimsical animation in the West either (I'm not an animation scholar, so one can completely bitch-slap me on this one). Its only in the wake of that cultural transformation that we got stuff like King of the Hill and other "grounded" animated shows.

But in that same way just how trans-cultural can something as deeply steeped in the creating culture's...everything do in other countries? Thanks to American cultural domination The Simpsons enjoys a certain amount of worldwide success, but I'm not sure how I'd go about taking something like King of the Hill or a Japanese analogue and finding a way to get it to catch on with vastly different cultures.
 

Slamtastic

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That's kind of why I mentioned the Simpsons analogue: until the Simpsons there wasn't really interest in non-fantastical or non-whimsical animation in the West either (I'm not an animation scholar, so one can completely bitch-slap me on this one). Its only in the wake of that cultural transformation that we got stuff like King of the Hill and other "grounded" animated shows.\

And frankly I'm upset at this, because nowadays so many "adult"/mainstream accepted by adults animated shows from the US follow the same sitcom formula, and I'm left desiring more fantasy.

When will we get the adult version of Avatar the Last Airbender (besides any random shonen anime for Japanese children that gets shown at midnight with a TV14 by US content standards)?
 

Branduil

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I don't think one director can get people to take anime more seriously. Also, Miyazaki and Takahata got their starts in TV anime, so... I don't think a lack of directing talent is the problem.
 

many places

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Most of the people I know who arent already into anime have this idea that anime is for kids or early teens to watch. A lot of that comes from Toonami especially with its old timeslot of afternoons when kids get home from school. Also, I think compared to shows like Adventure Time and Regular Show, the dubbed voice acting is usually horrid compared to these American shows (outside of great dubs like Cowboy Bebop) People in the US (general audience) are more exposed to the dubs on TV which could give the impression that the shows are of lesser quality and more laughable/less serious.
 

teruterubozu

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That's kind of why I mentioned the Simpsons analogue: until the Simpsons there wasn't really interest in non-fantastical or non-whimsical animation in the West either (I'm not an animation scholar, so one can completely bitch-slap me on this one). Its only in the wake of that cultural transformation that we got stuff like King of the Hill and other "grounded" animated shows.

But in that same way just how trans-cultural can something as deeply steeped in the creating culture's...everything do in other countries? Thanks to American cultural domination The Simpsons enjoys a certain amount of worldwide success, but I'm not sure how I'd go about taking something like King of the Hill or a Japanese analogue and finding a way to get it to catch on with vastly different cultures.

I think even before The Simpsons, stuff like Peanuts, Garfield, Mickey Mouse, Calvin & Hobbes, etc. - were still seen as acceptable comic/cartoon characters for adults in the US. Nobody blinks an eye when an adult wears a Mickey Mouse shirt, for example. But holy crap, put on a Pikachu or Astro Boy shirt as an adult and you're a maladjusted twerp. Anime had its chance in the 90s-early 2000s but it will never be seen as mature.
 

Dash_

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He is also correct that TV anime, despite an almost three decade long presence in the West is still not taken seriously by the mainstream. Nor should it be, especially in its currently degenerate state. What the medium needs is a show on the caliber of The Wire/Sopranos/Breaking Bad that can demonstrate the medium can not only produce something competitive with live action shows, but actually surpass most of them as well. There has yet to be a show like that for the entirety of TV anime's existence. In fact, it can even be argued that TV anime hasn't even yet produced a show equivalent to the role that the Larry Sanders Show played in the early 90's that spurred the cable TV renaissance a decade later.

While I'm sure there are others of his caliber, this is why it's such a tragedy Satoshi Kon passed away so early.
 

wonzo

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I love TV, but for every The Wire and Boardwalk Empire there are 10 Honey Boo Boos or Meet the Kardashians or Jersey Shores.
 

Jex

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The Simpsons (okay, it wasn't the first but I'm using it as a good example) got America to take animation "seriously for adults" in the sense that it got adults to really care about "cartoons" even if it wasn't particularly serious.

Americans can just about accept animated sitcoms but that's about as far as they're willing to go. It's basically a lost cause because, for most people, cartoons are for kids.
 

Branduil

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TV animation in the US is a wasteland. If it's not a kid's show, it's only allowed to be an animated sitcom with cheap/bad animation. You can't just undo decades of indoctrination that cartoons=for kids or comedy with a couple of shows. And anime is ill-suited for that anyways.
 

whatsinaname

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Truly a well researched piece.

It's funny because it reveals the hidden truth that despite the angle the article takes, there's no western interest in anime without strongly fantastical elements - even from this author.

I am not really surprised. If an audience wants to connect to a work with no fantastical elements, there needs to be a familiarity with the world the work is based in. A western audience would find it easier to connect to a Notting Hill than to a My Sassy Girl. Sci-fi and Fantasy transcend that and the new worlds being built are able to break cultural and language barriers and concentrate on the core theme/new ideas the creator wants to show.
 

Zen_Arcade

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I like Wantanabe and all, but Space Dandy is not something I would use to try and get people to take Anime seriously. That show is as far off from serious as you can get. It looks like it'll be fun as shit but if the first episode is any indication that show does not have the ability to legitimize anything.

Of course I've only seen the first episode, so I'm not trying to say anything as fact, I could be completely wrong. But it's just the vibe I get from the show so far.
 

Krev

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I am not really surprised. If an audience wants to connect to a work with no fantastical elements, there needs to be a familiarity with the world the work is based in. A western audience would find it easier to connect to a Notting Hill than to a My Sassy Girl. Sci-fi and Fantasy transcend that and the new worlds being built are able to break cultural and language barriers and concentrate on the core theme/new ideas the creator wants to show.
I disagree. If it's well presented, it's just as easy to connect with a real world Japan setting as a Japanese derived sci-fi setting. Fantastical settings are just the spoonful of sugar that encourages timid audiences to watch something from another culture.
 

whatsinaname

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I disagree. If it's well presented, it's just as easy to connect with a real world Japan setting as a Japanese derived sci-fi setting. Fantastical settings are just the spoonful of sugar that encourages timid audiences to watch something from another culture.

I agree in principle, but not in the context of the current discussion about about a wider audience taking interest and recognizing anime. I believe the timid audience, one which says "I can't watch anything in black and white" and "subtitles give me a headache", is not willing to venture out.
 
Jul 20, 2009
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I like how they ignore Sakamichi no Apollon when calling Space Dandy Watanabe's third series.
I guess you could justify that in saying it's his third series that isn't an adaptation.

Funnily enough, out of all of his work, I could show Kids on the Slope to a decent range of relatives and they'd be far more into it than his unapologetic genre stuff.

I love those three series to death, but it's pretty impenetrable next any of Miyazaki's film.
Wow.
 
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The 'problem' is largely that people just aren't interested in taking cartoons of any sort seriously (but comedy shows are fine). There's always going to be a more limited audience in the US for any sort of serious cartoon aimed at an older audience, and I don't think any one show or director can ever challenge that. Over time, maybe that feeling can die down to some extent, but there's probably never going to be a huge audience for any adult oriented anime in the US.
 

El Sloth

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I only watch anime pretty casually, I'm usually a few years behind from the current shows airing and I've always been more of a comics guy in the first place, but even I can see that there is a ton of great non-pandering bullshit that gets released every single year. Whether it be movies, OVAs, or proper television series.

It's ridiculous. Planetes, Baccano, Gurren Lagaan, Mushishi, Kaiba (hey, I thought it was imaginative), BECK, Dennou Coil, Michiko to Hatchin (okay, the story is pretty average, but the animation is definitely above average. And it's not everyday that you not only have a female lead, but two at that. Even rarer is a show that is set in South America, much less Brazil. And the soundtrack is great), Kids on the Slope, Tatami Galaxy, so on and so forth. I could keep going, but that is a pain in the ass. And that was all just television series' by the way, I didn't even touch all the great movies like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time or 5 Centimeters Per Second.

And, with the exception of maybe Kaiba and Michiko, that's all just the well known stuff.

Is there a stream of seedy stuff that gets released for some sketchy niche primarily based in Japan? Yeah, of course. That's all what people on the internet seems to focus on. Rarely anyone seems to make even the slightest effort to look away from that stuff to see all the great things that are released pretty much every year. I did, and look at all that shit found! I still have to work my way back to the great stuff from the 80s and 90s!

Also people need to stop bringing up Cowboy Bebop. Yeah, that's also one of my favorites too, fellas, and the show was pretty much what made me curious about what else anime had to offer (well, that and FLCL). But that shit was 16 years ago this April. Stop clinging so damn hard to it! Hop off Spike's nuts!

Anyways, my point is the good shit exists. And I want to make it clear I'm not defending the trashy shit the anime industry poops out on a regular basis so they can bleed wealthy japanese social recluses dry with merchandising. Fuck that. But it's not like what they do have any effect on us, so who cares. Support the good stuff, say your piece about the crap and move on.

And I no longer know what was my original goal with this post!
 

jerry1594

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Can anime be taken seriously? Hmm...

Well, I'm still waiting for my FMA Brotherhood collection to come in the mail. :p

I consider myself an anime fan, but most anime looks way too generic. it is true that there aren't that many anime that can garner a whole lot of attention, especially worldwide. There are only so many Evas, Death Notes, FMAs and Attack on Titans.
You think those are quality?
 

BGBW

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Jan 19, 2007
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Maybe if BBC4 shows Space Brothers. It's an adultish series and reading subtitles is an accepted practise in the UK (i.e. we don't have to waste time and money on bad dubs) and being on BBC4 automatically makes it high culture television.

Or Kill Me Baby on BBC3 since that channels needs something worthwhile.

But honestly for many TV is a time to shutdown and relax. They don't need things to be serious. They just flick to 'Animals Do the Funniest Things' and laugh at another video of a dog licking its balls. Serious stuff is in cinema most of the time and as stated in the article Miyazaki has already helped make people take anime motion pictures seriously.
 

studyguy

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Connecting Miyazaki and Watanabe is like connecting Walt Disney and Craig McCracken.

The two aim at completely different audiences and both excel in the direction and creation for their niche, but I wouldn't introduce someone to Beauty and the Beast and expect them to suddenly understand or want to watch Power Puff Girls.

I get that the author really didn't connect the two exactly, but honestly anime itself is as varied as any other genre of entertainment. Watanabe is great, but he's not going to suddenly make people who aren't into it jump in the fold. Especially not with Space Dandy. Might create a whole other group of teenagesomething fans, but otherwise whatever.

Even referencing some of his older work isn't going to do the trick. People are mentioning Sakamichi no Apollon, but Watanabe didn't even script that one like his most popular titles. I don't know, I mean it's like seeing Spielberg on a flim with Watanabe, you get drawn in by the name more than the content half the time.
 
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