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The Death of Anime??


taksraven
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are you saying that you... matured D:

Not at all. The genres and art styles I like have just fallen out of popularity. I also like the hand-drawn look, and new anime looks very computerized, like every line goes through some sort of vector processing or something.

I like my cartoons about space, not high school.

Edited by danth
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At AWA 2011 Shinji Aramaki was asked "why has the anime industry moved from drawing mecha to high school girls." His response was that fewer and fewer people with technical backgrounds like engineering, architecture, industrial design etc enter the anime industry now a days. What's more Sunrise studios and their Gundam franchise has seized somewhat of a monopoly on the few that do enter the industry. And that without the technical drawers the industry has changed from drawing complex mecha designs to simpler female designs for their shows. .

Edited by Freiflug88
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I don't know what's going on with anime in Japan these days. I look at lists of what's popular and the majority of it doesn't interest me at all. I'm surprised that they even make statues of these characters. However, a few shows will come out every once in a while that get me interested. For example, I can't wait to see 009 RE Cyborg. Also, I still haven't seen the Black Lagoon OVA and bunch of older shows like Death Note and Darker than Black.

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I don't know about the death of anime, but Japan's ability to create anime that I give two shits about died over ten years ago.

One thing I like about things these days are oversea collaborations that makes shows like Thundercats. For me, stuff like that softens the blow of having the same old kind of shows being released year by year. So maybe its the domestic anime section that isn't doing so hot, being oversaturated with moe and stuff.

Edited by Einherjar
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I don't know what's going on with anime in Japan these days. I look at lists of what's popular and the majority of it doesn't interest me at all. I'm surprised that they even make statues of these characters. However, a few shows will come out every once in a while that get me interested. For example, I can't wait to see 009 RE Cyborg. Also, I still haven't seen the Black Lagoon OVA and bunch of older shows like Death Note and Darker than Black.

Times have changed and tastes have changed among the fans. But also, anime has gotten so easy to acquire that it's difficult to figure out what's out there and know what to filter out amongst the dozens of anime that come out every season. The series are also running in shorter lengths so the turnaround is really fast. So unless you're "tuned in", it's hard to keep up with the scene. It was much easier in the past when all you had or could get was a couple of titles.

Plus I suspect most of us are much busier these days. Thus there's no time to check out the new stuff and we gravitate towards what we're already familiar with or comfortable with.

At least, that's where I am to some extent.

Edited by Vifam7
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Most anime is hardly watchable now. The character designs are just awful in most shows. Most male characters look like girls and act like it.

Even Macross isn't spared, we get characters like "Princess Alto" and Luka who looks like he should be in Pokemon or Digimon or something.

There are still a few gems out there though among a sea of crap shows.

Edited by Dutch
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^

Space Bros and Kids on the Slope are the only few that buck the trend, and then it take much sifting to find real gems that emphasize on real storytelling without having to resort to the usual gimmicks.

Also, there's huge popular interest in Korean entertainment, so much that anime shops overseas board up and file for bankruptcy.

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There are still a few gems out there though among a sea of crap shows.

Actually, it's always been like that.

We tend to remember the past being better than it was for several reasons.

Our tastes weren't as refined. If we took some of the stuff we loved back then, erased it from our memory, and watched it for the first time with today's eyes, we'd hate it.

When we got into anime, we had all of Anime Past to draw upon. There was a stockpile of good stuff to feed our addition. Now, we have to wait and see what new gems we can find after sifting through all the crap that is constantly being made.

Third, yes there are trends and things change. Personally, I feel that the 80's to early 90's were the high point in anime. A lot of people younger than I am feel that the mid to late 90's were the best. I loke Mikimoto's character designs. I hated the designs in Macross Plus. I hate the designs in Macross Frontier even more. (I still love both shows due to excellent mechanical designs and fantastic storytelling.) Give it ten years and the old fogies will be complaining that nothing is as good as Bleach and Naruto were.

Crap, Vifam7 beat me to it.

Times have changed and tastes have changed among the fans. But also, anime has gotten so easy to acquire that it's difficult to figure out what's out there and know what to filter out amongst the dozens of anime that come out every season. The series are also running in shorter lengths so the turnaround is really fast. So unless you're "tuned in", it's hard to keep up with the scene. It was much easier in the past when all you had or could get was a couple of titles.

Plus I suspect most of us are much busier these days. Thus there's no time to check out the new stuff and we gravitate towards what we're already familiar with or comfortable with.

At least, that's where I am to some extent.

So much truth to that.

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Anime is dead. Long live Anime!

Seriously, when I look back at the anime I loved and grew up with, most of it was garbage. When we are developing our tastes, ironically enough it often runs somewhat backwards - the things we like are what we use to construct an idea of what "good" is. In short our tastes end being used to teach us what's tasteful, at least initially. Over time meeting other people, exposure to different media, and sheer numbers of examples tend to refine these "tastes". For example, something that was cool to you once, but you've seen repeated so often and with so little variation can start to be tiresome, and even ridiculous. Of course someone seeing it for the first time isn't going to have that response, and they will be using the new media and new forms to develop their own tastes (which will be refined in time, perhaps in rejection of some of the things you love because they seem "tiresome and ridiculous" to them).

Wierdly enough that happened to me almost too early, when I hit my early twenties I was already missing the "old" days. When I hit my thirties I just decided, screw it, tastes change, people don't - if I try to find stuff to like, I will. While I do miss some of the dynamic lines and moving light of old school anime, I love how modern anime fixes a lot of the crazy inconsistencies and smooths the motion. I miss some of the mechanical design in old school anime, I like the clothing and textures in new anime. I liked the creative variation in character design in old-school anime, but I also hated how charicatured and goofy some of them looked - modern anime has much less of that charicatured goofiness, but sacrifices it for comparitively little visual variation from design to design. In short, I think legitimate issues in the anime we grew up with caused such an extreme backlash in the next generation that in fixing those problems they threw out some of the good that came with it - that's nothing new, happens in trends all the time.

Frankly, I think if someone carefully re-introduced some of that flashing light and line texture into modern anime it would look fresh and invigorating - it would seem new. I'm sure at some point theres going to be a rejection of some of anime's current tropes. Its just the way things tend to go.

After all, I watch cartoons. By most peoples standards that alone disqualifies me from ever making a quality judgement! :p

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Darn it. This started off as an interesting debate about the marketing challenges in the US market and how to add value to anime as a product. Unfortunately it seems to have devolved into an 'anime was better back in my day' thread. In other words, just the same as the Macross aint what it used to be thread.

Actually, it's always been like that.

We tend to remember the past being better than it was for several reasons.

Our tastes weren't as refined. If we took some of the stuff we loved back then, erased it from our memory, and watched it for the first time with today's eyes, we'd hate it.

When we got into anime, we had all of Anime Past to draw upon. There was a stockpile of good stuff to feed our addition. Now, we have to wait and see what new gems we can find after sifting through all the crap that is constantly being made.

Third, yes there are trends and things change. Personally, I feel that the 80's to early 90's were the high point in anime. A lot of people younger than I am feel that the mid to late 90's were the best. I loke Mikimoto's character designs. I hated the designs in Macross Plus. I hate the designs in Macross Frontier even more. (I still love both shows due to excellent mechanical designs and fantastic storytelling.) Give it ten years and the old fogies will be complaining that nothing is as good as Bleach and Naruto were.

Crap, Vifam7 beat me to it.

So much truth to that.

You pretty much hit all the key issues here except one, imo, and thats been covered by other posters - the fact that in the 80's and 90's there was a filter on what made it to the West and what didn't. There was really no less crap being made then than now, it just wasn't visible. The internet started to remove this filter - at first with abundant information and eventually with pirated uploads (or, if you prefer, 'fan subs'). The thing is, this situation was further amplified by the anime boom in the US from the early to mid-2000's. Suddenly practically everything new was available. Looking for quality or that niche you might be into became a chore at best and a financial gamble at worst. This turned a lot of people off anime.

What's interesting is that I saw the exact same phenomenon at the turn of the century - among fellow expats who had only just moved to Japan. Upon being faced with walls upon walls of crayon shinchan, dragon ball and sazae-san at their local video shop, they gave up. Claimed that modern anime was no good any more. This was while the US was still in the middle of its love affair with Cowboy Bebop and the anime bubble over there was only just beginning. Of course there was new, interesting and mature stuff coming out - they just didn't want to look for it.

And to those who claim anime today is terrible, I say this - nothing has changed. Either you've changed your tastes or you don't have the time to look for the good stuff. But theres plenty of good anime out there.

Heck, this year alone we have TWO series that are destined to be mech a SF/mecha classics for generations to come - Gundam Unicorn and Yamato 2199. In other genres, we have A woman called Mine Fujiko, Kids on the Slope and Space Brothers. Theres been Leiji Matsumoto’s Ozuma, and upcoming we have the final Mardock Scramble movie, a Tiger & Bunny movie, Kenji Kamiyama’s RE: Cyborg 009, Letter to Momo, Yuki to Ame (Hosoda + Sadamoto again!), the 3rd Evangelion rebuild movie, the last two installments of Gundam Unicorn and a new adaptation of one of Kenji Miyazawa’s works The Life of Guskou Budori......

No, wait, I'd actually go so far as to say the last 10-12 years has been ONE OF THE BEST DECADES FOR ANIME I HAVE EVER HAD THE FORTUNE TO ENJOY! To quote myself from that Macross aint what it used to be thread:

"Below is a list of anime that’s come out since the dawn of the current century – in other words in little over a decade. I’ve chosen this time frame because I moved to Japan in 2000 and watched most of these as they were released. While personally I prefer SF, I am open to most anime that isn’t too moerrific and has a story or some other element that grabs me. (please keep in mind that I don’t claim that all of the following are ‘great’ shows per se, just that they don’t fall into the stereotypes and tropes that some members on the board assign to all anime as of late).

Take a look at this list and tell me with a straight face that we got anywhere near the volume or range of anime in any 12 year period in the rose coloured past.

As oldskool Macross fans, I’ll presume that most of us have watched the more hardcore mecha series like the two Gundam IGLOO OVA’s, Macross Zero, Gundam Unicorn.

Certainly there were some new iterations to robot anime with a younger angle to them but still had plenty of good mecha action in them if you were willing to give them a chance – Gundam Seed, Gundam Seed Destiny, Gundam 00, Gundam Stargazer.

Updates to classic franchises? Fist of the North Star got 3 movies, 2 OVAs and a tv series about Raoh. City Hunter got a direct sequel (Angel Heart) as did Captain Harlock (Endless Odessey) and Cobra (2 OVA’s and one TV series). Not to mention the Golgo 13 tv series or the terrific Cyborg 009-1 spin-off series. Votoms also got at least 2 OVA’s and Yamato actually got a fully-fledged sequel with Yamato Ressurection. Evangelion also got the first 2 rebuild movies. Oh and Towards the Terra received an excellent update in the form of a new TV series that outdoes (imo) the old theatrical version.

Giant robots your thing? How about Rahxephon (arguably Izubuchi’s greatest work), Aquarion, Eureka 7, Mazinkaizer SKL or Reideen?

Keen on Science Fiction? Ghost in the Shell Innocence (movie), 2 tv series and one movie for Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex, 2 movies and one tv series for Appleseed, Trigun Badlands Rumble, Rideback, The Galaxy Railways (2 tv series & OVA), Space Symphony Maetel, Project Blue Earth SOS, Vexille, Tytania, Eden of the East (tv and movies), Mardock Scramble, Tiger and Bunny, Towanoquon (studio BONES!) and the outstanding Redline.

Want more Kawajiri? Highlander: The Search for Vengeance may not be a terrific Highlander film, but it is VERY Kawajiri. Then you have US/JPN co-productions which sometimes have animation with a budget most Japanese studios can only dream of, if not necessarily the best writing. One things for sure though – they aren’t aimed at either kids or the typical moe crowd – Halo Legends, Afro Samurai, Batman Gotham Knight, Ninja Scroll TV, several Marvel collaborations.

Watch Nadia as a kid and want more Action Adventure? Again anime has you covered with Black Lagoon, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, Darker than Black, Witch Hunter Robin, Blood+, Michiko & Hatchin.

How about Fantasy? Claymore, Production IG’s excellent Moribito, Samurai Champloo, Samurai 7 or the new Rurouni kenshin OVA?

Comedy – several series of Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei (some of the best social criticism of Japanese society ever animated) or, if you like your Transformer and zombie parodies a little coarser, Panty & Stocking.

As far as original productions are concerned, there was the tear-jerking Colorful, Sword of the Stranger, RIN, Summer Wars, and the larger part of the late Satoshi Kon’s filmography with Tokyo Godfathers, Millenium Actress, Paprika and Paranoia Agent.

And looking ahead to 2013 there’s already (supposedly) Gundam The origin, the (still in production), a new Five Star Stories movie (Gothic Made), a Captain Harlock CG movie and Leiji Matsumoto’s Space Dreadnaught Mahoroba to look forward to as well as (hopefully) the post-humously completed Dream Machine from Satoshi Kon.

Please keep in mind that the above are only what I could come up with off the top of my head so I may have missed a few titles. ;-) "

One thing nearly all of the above have in common however is that they are not aimed squarely at children and are not primarily moe bait and otaku fanservice. A few titles may have one of these elements (Aquarion, I’m looking at you) but not to the extent that it defines the show. (Veef, ignore that part)

And thats ignoring the great classic anime that the US is finally getting (original Lupin tv, GE999 movies, Captain Harlock tv or Shin getter robo vs neo getter robo. Or the terrific Dirty Pair and Utena remastered box sets that rightstuf put out.

Nor will I mention some of the more recent, well done co-productions like Tron (animated primarily in Japan), Thundercats or even the upcoming French remake of the Mysterious Cities of Gold.

Seriously, whether you like classic anime series, SF, action adventure or just anime in general the above list shows that you HAVE been catered to fairly well over the past decade by this medium that we all (at one point at least) claim(ed) to enjoy.

If there’s nothing in this list that appeals to you then I think it’s only reasonable to say that it’s not anime that has changed, it’s you. And to anyone who says that Japan stopped making anime that appealed to you 10 years ago I can only say that you must have either very refined or very bizarre tastes for there to be nothing in the above list that appeals to you at all. Feel free to let your rose tinted glasses of the past restrict your ability to enjoy what is right in front of you.

Me? I'm just gonna keep on lovin' lovin' this medium and all the great stuff it has for me to watch.

Now, can we get back to discussing licensing, market differences and all that interesting stuff please?

Edited by Tochiro
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One thing nearly all of the above have in common however is that they are not aimed squarely at children and are not primarily moe bait and otaku fanservice. A few titles may have one of these elements (Aquarion, I'm looking at you) but not to the extent that it defines the show. (Veef, ignore that part)

Whacha sayin 'bout my AQUA LION :<

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I don't know about you.

But, this has already in the bag.

The Anime is dead.

Watched this. Hmmm. I used to be "with it", but from the look of this clip, what I'm with isn't "it".

Now what's "it" seems weird and scary to me...

--- Or maybe its just cheap, fluffy, sterile, shallow and downright uninteresting to fans that have good taste...

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Now, can we get back to discussing licensing, market differences and all that interesting stuff please?

Agreed. As much fun as it is to watch people blame others for their inability to deal with getting older... it gets old after a while (hey, isn't that what a lot of people are saying about anime? The gimmick factor of it being "new", because it's from a different culture, has worn off?)

I think any problems with domestic releases (that is, the country you are in, and not Japan), is local + spoiled by the internet - you know, that great equilizor that provides up to the minute information for everybody, everywhere, but forgets about how long it actually takes to get the product to you.

One could blame the Japanese anime companies for apparent shortsightedness about not making their releases more international (ie Chinese/English/Klingon subtitles), but that's stemming from a lack of understanding the market situation within Japan. (instead of boring you with a disertation on it, I'll ask a question: are the majority of niche releases in your country internationalized? Ie with Chinese/English/Klingon subtitles?)

Someone in this thread also mentioned that Japanese DVD/BR are outragiously priced. I don't think any subsequent post addressed that: they are priced that way because the publishers know that they are only going to sell a certain number of units, no matter how many are produced, and they have to recover the production costs on those that sell.

Another way to look at it is that those low costs DVD/BR/CD you're used to are due to labour exploitation, and any final sales price differences are because the people who work in the DVD/BR/CD factory aren't getting a decent wage for their labour, coupled with a larger economy of scale.

Now the one thing I don't think anyone has posted is that despite the global economic disruptions from the Leiman Shock (erm... Sub-prime meltdown?), the anime industry is still chugging along, producing content. The quesiton I have is, why have such things like the DVD market collapse occured in other countries, but apparently hasn't happened in Japan? Which should, all the more rightly BE occuring, due to the higher costs of DVDs?

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The big problem is that people do not want to know the dividing line as before.

Anime was anime.

Hentai was hentai .

And Ecchi was echhi

Today, it's all garbled, mixed and drped down the gullet..

What is sad today.

Scripts that sacrifice for the sake of puberty isolationist and consumerism.

How many anime-girls with semi-developed sexual or bodily exist out there, only changing the genre?

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Someone in this thread also mentioned that Japanese DVD/BR are outragiously priced. I don't think any subsequent post addressed that: they are priced that way because the publishers know that they are only going to sell a certain number of units, no matter how many are produced, and they have to recover the production costs on those that sell.

Another way to look at it is that those low costs DVD/BR/CD you're used to are due to labour exploitation, and any final sales price differences are because the people who work in the DVD/BR/CD factory aren't getting a decent wage for their labour, coupled with a larger economy of scale.

Now the one thing I don't think anyone has posted is that despite the global economic disruptions from the Leiman Shock (erm... Sub-prime meltdown?), the anime industry is still chugging along, producing content. The quesiton I have is, why have such things like the DVD market collapse occured in other countries, but apparently hasn't happened in Japan? Which should, all the more rightly BE occuring, due to the higher costs of DVDs?

Well you got one part right about companies using the high price to recover production costs. Your little rant on labor exploitation, and wage rights is abject and complete garbage. DVD/BR/CD are cheap to make, because they are in fact cheap to make. The materials are easy to come by, the manufacture is mostly automated, the writing and printing is also automated. This isn't making a damned pair of jeans or a sweater. The most labor intensive part would be authoring the dvd which wouldn't happen at the factory anyway and then quality control. The former is usually well paid because he has a skilled job not easy to come by compared to Long Duk Dong from eastern rural village of yu suk mi with no education and no skill besides manual labor gets stuck in the sweat shop making jeans for Calvin Klein.

The disc market in Japan was, is, and always will be a niche market of luxury items for those with the space and disposable income to afford them. Because of that, and that the market is still rental driven it is less likely to be affected by collapse. Especially with the average Japanese citizen earning more than average of most of the rest of the world.

Edited by renegadeleader1
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In the two years or so since this thread has started, I believe that little has changed. The entertainment industry as a whole is now struggling to define itself as well as market products that are appealing to the consumer. Everything from film, books, tv shows, music, anime, comics and pron (whatever that is) is struggling to keep up.

In Australia at least, a lot of major retail chains have been either struggling or collapsing. The most spectacular collapse has been in the book retail industry, with only one major bookselling chain in this country surviving. (Two others crashed and burned in the last two years) I think that most of the pressure in this area has come from the internet. Even books about local history (I purchased one book in particular about the organised crime scene in Sydney in the 1930's from Amazon) are usually cheaper to purchase from overseas. And that includes postage.

We used to have another store in Sydney called the "Cartoon Gallery". It started in the late 1980's selling just animation cels, but in the early/mid 90's the owner was clever enough to capitalise in the anime boom taking place here and started selling anime releases. Most were imported from the US. That bubble had burst for him by the end of the 1990's largely thanks to the internet I believe and he was forced to shut down a couple of years later. (He tried to take the business exclusively online but that failed too.)

We also had Red Eye Records, an alternative music and second hand disc retailer that used to have its own recording company division go from three stores in the Sydney CBD to one just this year.

The main reason why I buy new CD's from actual stores rather than online these days is because I like to get my hand on the product as soon as possible rather than have to wait for delivery.

I guess my point is that the actual entertainment product itself is still the same as it always has been, but the actual retail end of getting the stuff out there has been BADLY neglected and not supported. The way things seem to be going, people are going to purchase all of their entertainment products either online or directly from the companies that produce them. The middlemen are being cut out of the equation altogether. Is this just a bad thing? Who knows?

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Agreed. As much fun as it is to watch people blame others for their inability to deal with getting older... it gets old after a while (hey, isn't that what a lot of people are saying about anime? The gimmick factor of it being "new", because it's from a different culture, has worn off?)

I think any problems with domestic releases (that is, the country you are in, and not Japan), is local + spoiled by the internet - you know, that great equilizor that provides up to the minute information for everybody, everywhere, but forgets about how long it actually takes to get the product to you.

One could blame the Japanese anime companies for apparent shortsightedness about not making their releases more international (ie Chinese/English/Klingon subtitles), but that's stemming from a lack of understanding the market situation within Japan. (instead of boring you with a disertation on it, I'll ask a question: are the majority of niche releases in your country internationalized? Ie with Chinese/English/Klingon subtitles?)

Someone in this thread also mentioned that Japanese DVD/BR are outragiously priced. I don't think any subsequent post addressed that: they are priced that way because the publishers know that they are only going to sell a certain number of units, no matter how many are produced, and they have to recover the production costs on those that sell.

Another way to look at it is that those low costs DVD/BR/CD you're used to are due to labour exploitation, and any final sales price differences are because the people who work in the DVD/BR/CD factory aren't getting a decent wage for their labour, coupled with a larger economy of scale.

Now the one thing I don't think anyone has posted is that despite the global economic disruptions from the Leiman Shock (erm... Sub-prime meltdown?), the anime industry is still chugging along, producing content. The quesiton I have is, why have such things like the DVD market collapse occured in other countries, but apparently hasn't happened in Japan? Which should, all the more rightly BE occuring, due to the higher costs of DVDs?

ill put your thoughts in simpler terms, when one thinks about some of the reasons parts of the world have been in revolt in the past year or so, violently in the Middle East, and mostly retarded in all the Occupy My Anus in the states:

There will be Kings and there will be Serfs.

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Your little rant on labor exploitation, and wage rights is abject and complete garbage.

But is it? Obviously it's not an extreme case, but paying skilled labour near or at minimum wage is a form of exploitation. Nevertheless, you got the point I was indirectly making: labour costs are higher in Japan, and the end user pays that.

Taksraven also brings up an interesting point: for the consumer, removing the middle men is a short term advantage, but long term, are the social costs too high? Is the apparent death of anime (overseas, that is), rooted in the removal of the middle men?

Edited by sketchley
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Like most of you, I too love anime and at one point my collection was over 600 dvds large (prior to break in) AND like most of you anime that sticks with me tends to be comprised mostly of the older shows. One thing that a lot of people seem to believe is that most anime now is aimed more at a juvenile audience and that it doesn't offer the variety that it once did. That may be true, I can't answer whether it is or not however I do feel that anime now takes far less chances than it once did. Some shows I love such as Rahxephon, Cowboy Beebop, Outlaw Star, hell even Brain Powered had a more mature tone too them and had a different story to tell than most of what I see out or coming out now. It could be that living here stateside I only get a glimpse of the market but it is how I feel. I think anime now should take more chances on mature content but the high school dramedy seems to be the most popular genre so until someone comes up with something new I like, then we can at least go through the series we never watched but always wanted too right?

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you know they still make those

maybe you should follow Gwyn's advice and look and stop whining :v

Good point. "Yamato 2199" is like everywhere [i didn't even have to search for it :p ]. Sure, it's a remake. But I puke rainbows every time I see new line art or pictures of the finished anime.

Anyhow, if you like space operatic mecha type stuff, pick up the magazines that are dedicated to that kinda stuff: Great Mechanics.DX and pretty much any of the thicker hobby magazines (Dengeki Hobby, Hobby Japan, etc.) come to mind. They're a great starting point to help refine one's searches.

Take care of the anime magazines (Newtype, Animage, etc.). These days, they're just following the most popular genre of the day (moer moe >.<). I'm especially disappointed with Newtype, as it used to have cool features for every type of fan and was a score to get. Nowadays... I consider it a waste of money...

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