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Japanese Anime and American cartoons? J-developers slipping here too?

MatthewMatthew Registered User regular
edited November 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
There's been a lot of talk recently about how it seems Japanese video game developers are slipping, losing in terms of quality to western devs. I can see what they're talking about, and I think another part of Japan may be slipping as well.

Does anyone else think that Japanese anime is slipping? quality wise?

I can't think of one new series this year that i'm interested in seeing, and the only western import i'm planning to get is Funi's "Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple" and that ended awhile ago in Japan.

I've looked over the american cartoons, and I actually think that we're outdoing them over here. There are many more US toons that I would deem as entertaining, and enjoyable, and just worth watching than I would for Japan's current crop.

Anybody else feel this way? I admit most of my current viewing is from the Cartoon network, with shows like Transformers animated, Chowder, Flapjack and others.

What are you guys feelings?

Matthew on
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Posts

  • Bad KittyBad Kitty Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    uh...there's already an anime thread.

    Bad Kitty on
  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    I'd say that it has more to do with the two things which I credit their immense popularity to disappearing: the import filter and novelty.

    When anime and Japanese games were relatively rare and obscure, only the very best had much chance of making it stateside, meaning that we had a higher-quality selection than the true "population." Today, they're dubbing Descendants of Darkness and you can find pretty much anything on the internet. Just for a testament of just how little the need to translate cuts down on drek, witness how CN decided not to skip the universally panned Naruto filler.

    On the novelty side, you have to remember that Japanese storytelling has its own set of tropes, conventions, cliches, and, perhaps, archetypes. When we first witnessed Japanese media, all this was unfamiliar to us, to the point that even the most predictable plot was unprecedented in our eyes, and stuff which the Japanese had long ago discovered was an easy rout to a cheap thrill was new and exciting. Since then, not only have we seen these things enough to be bored by them, but western producers have adopted them somewhat, so that they assault us from every direction.

    It should also be noted that The Long Tail theory predicts that there will be fewer products catering to your tastes as they specialize to better serve their primary sector.

    Scalfin on
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  • SlicerSlicer Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I'd have to disagree that anime is getting worse over time.

    It's fun to remember "the good 'ol days" but keep in mind that there's a lot of crap from back then that no one remembers today.

    Just like any medium of entertainment, really.

    Slicer on
  • ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited November 2008
    Bad Kitty wrote: »
    uh...there's already an anime thread.

    This seems more like comparative thread, so I'm leaving it open.

    Elki on
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  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    Slicer wrote: »
    I'd have to disagree that anime is getting worse over time.

    It's fun to remember "the good 'ol days" but keep in mind that there's a lot of crap from back then that no one remembers today.

    Just like any medium of entertainment, really.

    For example, has anybody besides me watched The Big Store in the last 50 years?

    Scalfin on
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    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited November 2008
    Things were always better when you were younger.

    You had no taste and nothing to compare anything else to.

    Also, Japanese developers are slipping? Says who? You?

    Aroduc on
  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    First, what's all this talk about Japanese game developers slipping up? It's the same shit as always. Just because they're not shipping out sports games and gruntfest shooters doesn't mean the quality of their products has changed. There are more people playing games now, and for different reasons, so now we get retarded steroid junkies to compete with the 14 year old belt junkies. As far as I'm concerned the majority of games developed in the West are boring, Hollywood-style bandwagon jumpers, and they've completely ruined one of my favourite genres.

    But back on topic. Comparing anime with cartoons coming out of North America is pretty pointless. They're usually not even trying to be like each other, except for the sudden rash of obviously anime inspired kids shows that have come out recently. Not that I really watch cartoons outside of some South Park and Sponge Bob every once and a while, but it's pretty obvious to me that the biggest knock against anime right now is that there's just too much of it. Most of it is bad, just as most cartoons are bad, and most of the rest simply isn't meant for your consumption. I don't really care about anime, either, but I'll watch anything if it's actually good, and there have been some really great movies these last few years, from Studio Ghibli to the recent release of Tekkon Kinkreet (which I guess might only half count, but it's still great). As Scaflin said, without the import filters you just get more crap.

    As I said, I don't watch anime, or TV, so I have no horse in this race. But I still think you're overreacting for no reason.

    Page- on
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  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Could it just be that you're getting bored with anime? I've been that way a while... the last "new" series I enjoyed was Last Exile. Since then, nothing. Maybe you're the same way?

    Don't get me wrong, anime is very "samey." That is, they all seem to have about the same plot. But then, that's true of most entertainment... it's the unique hook that each one has. Out of the series that I've ever liked, I can name distinctly the reasons I liked them rather than the thousand other series - Last Exile's airborne storyline, Cowboy Bebop's unique ship designs and awesome music, Slayers' ability to tell a serious story while still making me laugh my ass off, and Gundam Wing's politics (same with Patlabor, actually).

    So I guess what I'm getting at is.. either the series' you've been looking at don't have the hooks you like, or you simply need to drop anime for a while and watch other stuff. I certainly don't think it's gotten any worse.

    Shadowfire on
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  • ArcticXCArcticXC Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    People like to remember the best music / movies / etc from years past and forget about all the crap, and then compare the previous years best to all the crap from the present.

    ArcticXC on
  • randombattlerandombattle Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    There have been a lot of good stuff out recently. Gurren Lagann strikes my mind as totally awesome and one of the best shows to come out of japan in recent years.

    randombattle on
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  • ErgandarErgandar Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Baccano, Mushi-shi, Gurren Lagann-all incredible shows.

    Quality hasn't slipped at all to my knowledge. I'm equally, if not more entertained by today's batch of shows than yesterday's.

    Ergandar on
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  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    As far as anime goes, it seems to be more seasonal. There's been some damn fine quality stuff of late, though - it's just that as older time periods fade, the gems stand out and so we compare the modern crap to the older gems. Happens all the time with music, for example.

    On the flipside, I'd say that American animation is back on the way up after taking a relative dip since the 90s.

    Jragghen on
  • OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? peach treesRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Ergandar wrote: »
    Baccano, Mushi-shi, Gurren Lagann-all incredible shows.

    Quality hasn't slipped at all to my knowledge. I'm equally, if not more entertained by today's batch of shows than yesterday's.

    Yeah this pretty much

    There have been some really good shows lately

    Olivaw on
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  • Bad KittyBad Kitty Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Having been watching anime for quite a while now, I don't think there is a drop in quality at all. You have to take into account nostalgia, cultural and exotic tropes, and even your own maturing aesthetic.

    When you first started I'm sure you had a huge backlog of seminal works that are head and shoulders above everything else. All the other mediocre works never get mentioned again and fall by the wayside. Now that you have access to normal availability rather than an archive of quality shows, it seems as if there is a slipping in quality. There may or may not be, it's too hard to tell in anything remotely like an objective manner.

    Also you have to take into account that the more you get exposed to anime and it's specific culture and tropes, the more discriminating you become. I know that at first I was an avid consumer, but now am very discriminating in what I watch. I enjoy less shows than I did, but that's entirely internal and has nothing to do with a drop in quality.

    I won't dispute that western cartoons are rising in quality. I enjoyed Avatar when it was airing, and the new Transformers and Spider-man cartoons seemed to be entertaining.

    Bad Kitty on
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Anime has massively improved in pretty much every regard other than writing massively since I started watching it more than a decade ago. The average quality of production has really gone through the roof.

    writing has been about the same. more blatant metahumor recently.

    Chowder is pretty funny, and flapjack is alright. Nick has crushed a lot of great shows, and Avatar was great despite their best efforts. So great they will probably continue the universe in some form, which is rad. American animation is kinda stuck being forced to cater to rather young children, for the most part. Great writing shines through this, on really pretty rare occasions, but really picking are very slim.

    In the last year, I could pretty easily name a dozen anime that I enjoyed more than any domestic animation, excluding avatar and metalocalypse(edit: and the futurama DVDs), produced in the same time frame. Heck probably going back a few years.

    That's just series. Start getting into movies? Do they even make animated movies here that aren't cgi anymore? What was the last non-cgi domestic movie that didn't blow? Stitch? Everything else that's even got into a theater over here has been by Miyazaki.


    Western cartoon are getting better, but I've gone back and watched damn near all the Steven Spielberg era stuff fairly recently, and I don't think it's anywhere near where it used to be.

    redx on
    This machine kills threads.
  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited November 2008
    The new Spiderman was fucking amazing until the giant group hug ending, but hey... second season coming eventually... even though I haven't even heard of half the villains they're going to be using. It's a shame the new Batman and X-men have been... less than stellar shall we say.

    Aroduc on
  • Bad KittyBad Kitty Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Aroduc wrote: »
    The new Spiderman was fucking amazing until the giant group hug ending, but hey... second season coming eventually... even though I haven't even heard of half the villains they're going to be using. It's a shame the new Batman and X-men have been... less than stellar shall we say.

    The new Gwen Stacy is adorable and I like her better than MJ. Too bad she's going to die.

    Bad Kitty on
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    the most recent batman was "The Batman"?


    egad Batman: The Brave and the Bold

    redx on
    This machine kills threads.
  • Bad KittyBad Kitty Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Maybe he's talking about Gotham Knights, the American/Japanese collaboration? Stories were hit-or-miss, but overall really great. I never watched 'The Batman'.

    Bad Kitty on
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Meh, all the good bits of Gotham Knights are anime anyway :)

    The changed the charter models pretty drastically in The Batman. I don't know anyone that though it was a good thing.

    There is apparently a newer one, that just came out. From the wikipedia site, it looks fairly bad and the exact opposite direction I'd like to see the show moving in.

    redx on
    This machine kills threads.
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I'd say that, overall, anime is significantly better now. As for which culture is producing more, better games and cartoons that will most likely come down as a matter of opinion. Some people aren't going to like Mushi Shi, some aren't going to like Frisky Dingo. Also, in the long run, both cultures are going to have their individual boons and low points in both areas.

    Quid on
  • SlicerSlicer Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I think we should also take into account the increased popularity of fansubs today compared to say, 10 years ago.

    For better or worse, they give viewers unfiltered access to every animated thing Japan produces, and while there is a lot of good stuff there is also a lot of shit.

    Slicer on
  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited November 2008
    redx wrote: »
    the most recent batman was "The Batman"?


    egad Batman: The Brave and the Bold

    Yep. That one. It's definitely aimed at the uber cheesy Batman silliness, but the one episode I watched was just an endless stream of exceedingly campy crap. It's like they took all the fucked up Batman errors from the 60s and decided to make a show centered around them where he's the eternal costar to C-list super heroes.

    And just for the record, the X-Men series I'm talking about hasn't started airing in the US. I got as far as episode four or five in the Canadian broadcast, but despite them including one of my favorite characters (Emma Frost), it got really REALLY fucking campy and dumb pretty fast. I liked some things that they did, like actually tossing in Rogue with the baddies and the general darker tone, but they rewrote Cyclops as basically Wolverine, Wolverine as a lovable and responsible tough guy leader, and let's not even discuss that they receive their orders from the disembodied floating head of Professor X... FROM THE FUTURE. It made my brain hurt. I think Slice got further than me here though, so he probably has a better idea of it.

    Aroduc on
  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    redx wrote: »
    the most recent batman was "The Batman"?


    egad Batman: The Brave and the Bold

    Voiced by:
    diedrichbaderzj8.jpg
    w357.png

    stigweard on
  • SlicerSlicer Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Aroduc wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    the most recent batman was "The Batman"?


    egad Batman: The Brave and the Bold

    Yep. That one. It's definitely aimed at the uber cheesy Batman silliness, but the one episode I watched was just an endless stream of exceedingly campy crap. It's like they took all the fucked up Batman errors from the 60s and decided to make a show centered around them where he's the eternal costar to C-list super heroes.

    And just for the record, the X-Men series I'm talking about hasn't started airing in the US. I got as far as episode four or five in the Canadian broadcast, but despite them including one of my favorite characters (Emma Frost), it got really REALLY fucking campy and dumb pretty fast. I liked some things that they did, like actually tossing in Rogue with the baddies and the general darker tone, but they rewrote Cyclops as basically Wolverine, Wolverine as a lovable and responsible tough guy leader, and let's not even discuss that they receive their orders from the disembodied floating head of Professor X... FROM THE FUTURE. It made my brain hurt. I think Slice got further than me here though, so he probably has a better idea of it.

    The latest episode I watched was the one with the Hulk, which was good if only for the ending. It's improved after the early episodes, but I've gotten bored with it. I'll watch more eventually, if only because season 2 is going to be an animated version of
    Age of Apocalypse
    (Hurray for the show airing in other languages before the language it was made in?)

    Brave and the Bold has been enjoyable for me so far but I can see people not liking it if they wanted something more in line with Batman TAS because it is just so damned silly.

    For the most part the only new western cartoons I keep up with are superhero shows so damned if I know how western animation is faring overall, though.

    Slicer on
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Aroduc wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    the most recent batman was "The Batman"?


    egad Batman: The Brave and the Bold

    Yep. That one. It's definitely aimed at the uber cheesy Batman silliness, but the one episode I watched was just an endless stream of exceedingly campy crap. It's like they took all the fucked up Batman errors from the 60s and decided to make a show centered around them where he's the eternal costar to C-list super heroes.

    And just for the record, the X-Men series I'm talking about hasn't started airing in the US. I got as far as episode four or five in the Canadian broadcast, but despite them including one of my favorite characters (Emma Frost), it got really REALLY fucking campy and dumb pretty fast. I liked some things that they did, like actually tossing in Rogue with the baddies and the general darker tone, but they rewrote Cyclops as basically Wolverine, Wolverine as a lovable and responsible tough guy leader, and let's not even discuss that they receive their orders from the disembodied floating head of Professor X... FROM THE FUTURE. It made my brain hurt. I think Slice got further than me here though, so he probably has a better idea of it.

    man. I'm sure I'll see them eventually, but the fact that I'm not even putting in the effort track down a copy of them says a lot about what they have done to the franchises. New Batman, in the wake of a couple pretty decent films, and new X-men and I have no motivation to steal them. That's just not right.

    redx on
    This machine kills threads.
  • OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? peach treesRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    People who don't like campy 60's Batman are not my friends

    Olivaw on
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  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited November 2008
    Olivaw wrote: »
    People who don't like campy 60's Batman are not my friends

    He has a lightsaber in his belt and can breath in space.

    Aroduc on
  • FCDFCD Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Bad Kitty wrote: »
    Aroduc wrote: »
    The new Spiderman was fucking amazing until the giant group hug ending, but hey... second season coming eventually... even though I haven't even heard of half the villains they're going to be using. It's a shame the new Batman and X-men have been... less than stellar shall we say.

    The new Gwen Stacy is adorable and I like her better than MJ. Too bad she's going to die.

    I don't know about that, man.
    If they're willing to make Harry the first Green Goblin, rather than his father, then I think they're willing to change a whole mess of stuff, including letting Gwen live.

    FCD on
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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    It seems to the foreign anime viewer that the amount of quality anime is in decline because the popular anime of the last decade and a half or so have all been licensed now, which means they are having to wait for new shows to come out, which in turn means that there is no longer the amount of "new" anime coming out on DVD as you are used to.

    It's not a decline in quality, it's a decline in available quantity.

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  • yalborapyalborap Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Aroduc wrote: »
    Olivaw wrote: »
    People who don't like campy 60's Batman are not my friends

    He has a lightsaber in his belt and can breath in space.

    See, I hear those and hear GOOD things.

    But then, I lean towards the more idealistic end. I don't like regular comic Bats for this reason. In the DCAU, it's tempered by him being around more idealistic individuals so his awesome can shine through without needing to be surrounded by darkness, and in B&tB, it's handled by just making him silver-age without the bad parts(like goofy one-issue gimmicks to try and sell comics).

    Gorillas riding pterodactyls wielding harpoon guns! What part of that sentence is bad?

    NONE.

    yalborap on
  • OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? peach treesRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Aroduc wrote: »
    Olivaw wrote: »
    People who don't like campy 60's Batman are not my friends

    He has a lightsaber in his belt and can breath in space.

    Name one thing wrong with what you just said

    See you can't!

    yalborap you can totally be my friend

    Olivaw on
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  • Zephyr_FateZephyr_Fate Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The last anime I really enjoyed was Wolf's Rain. I haven't seen much that could come close to the originality and heart-tugging that that anime produced for me. Though... Gurren Lagann looks like it could be worth a look.

    Edit: Actually, scratch that, the last anime I enjoyed was Samurai Champloo, a short time after WR. Fuck yeah.

    Zephyr_Fate on
  • OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? peach treesRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Gurren Lagann and Baccano! aren't both worth a look

    They are worth multiple looks

    Good long stares too, not passing glances

    Olivaw on
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  • KelorKelor Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    It's also worth pointing out that there is a large enough audience out there now that several shows either have been shown or will show via streaming or paid for download by either the companies producing or translating overseas themselves.

    Druaga was released either via free streaming from a website or for any donation of $2 or more they gave you access to downloadable episodes in either an .avi file or .mp4 formats for either iPods or PSPs. They never said how successful this was as far as I'm aware, but the practice has continued.

    Kelor on
  • AroducAroduc regular
    edited November 2008
    Kelor wrote: »
    It's also worth pointing out that there is a large enough audience out there now that several shows either have been shown or will show via streaming or paid for download by either the companies producing or translating overseas themselves.

    Druaga was released either via free streaming from a website or for any donation of $2 or more they gave you access to downloadable episodes in either an .avi file or .mp4 formats for either iPods or PSPs. They never said how successful this was as far as I'm aware, but the practice has continued.

    I think you mistake Gonzo's desperation to make a quick buck for their shows having an audience. Besides which, nobody's going to care what they're doing since they just completely collapsed.

    Aroduc on
  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Even though its obvious that Avatar was inspired heavely by anime, I think it actually surpassed alot of the series it was inspired by.

    Just one of my favorite anime series in a long, long time.

    Kyougu on
  • EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2008
    Anime is the new cartoon and that's not a compliment.

    Emanon on
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  • SlicerSlicer Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Aroduc wrote: »
    Kelor wrote: »
    It's also worth pointing out that there is a large enough audience out there now that several shows either have been shown or will show via streaming or paid for download by either the companies producing or translating overseas themselves.

    Druaga was released either via free streaming from a website or for any donation of $2 or more they gave you access to downloadable episodes in either an .avi file or .mp4 formats for either iPods or PSPs. They never said how successful this was as far as I'm aware, but the practice has continued.

    I think you mistake Gonzo's desperation to make a quick buck for their shows having an audience. Besides which, nobody's going to care what they're doing since they just completely collapsed.

    Well, with Viz about to follow and start streaming Naruto I guess we'll see how an already successful show fares.

    Slicer on
  • tallgeezetallgeeze Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I can't remember a good American styled cartoon that has aired over the past 5-10 years. I watch the saturday morning stuff sometimes and the style is a just a anime knockoff. I guess merchindise is a big push to put these shows on because every other show is a card game based anime.

    tallgeeze on
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