The argument of old anime vs new anime will always be a thing. Just like with any other entertainment business.
In the case of anime – old anime hold something that new anime aren’t able to compete with. It goes beyond fancy designs, and “surface level” details.
Here’s why no matter how good new anime gets, it will never be able to compete with older anime to a certain degree.
Not to mention the aspects of older anime that outperform new anime.
Why Older Anime Is Better:
#1 Character designs
This is Kenzo Tenma from Monster.
If you pay attention – there’s a real “Japanese” style to his character. Or in other words – he looks authentic to Japanese culture. Unlike some newer designs.
Even his hairstyle is unmistakably Asian.
That’s not the only point I wanna make, so here are some more examples to make my point
One thing that makes these different character designs stand out is their originality.
You know Goku is Goku. Inuyasha is Inuyasha (and so on). There’s no copycat characters you can find in the dozens unlike modern day anime designs.
This is a solid aspect that makes older anime designs so legit. But ignoring that for a minute…
The reason why OLD designs feel “better” to some degree, is because:
- They’re unique. You can’t find dozens and dozens of copy cat designs (which is the case for modern day anime).
- There’s a lot of thought put into it. There’s a reason Goku is so unique, even in 2019 with newer versions of DB. NO character looks like Goku because his design (like a lot of older characters) is original.
- There’s nothing “half-assed” about the designs in older anime. Even a “normal” character like Kenzo Tenma from Monster looks unique.
- In fact, Kenzo looks more Japanese than most modern characters in 2019, as I mentioned a little before.
- The authors made sure older anime designs stood out, and they had their own identity. That’s missing from newer anime characters.
Here’s what “modern day” designs look like
I know what you’re thinking: “but not all characters look like this”.
True, but that’s not the point. The fact is: you can find an almost “duplicate” version of A LOT of these characters.
Their designs (not all) are basic, lazy, and lack distinctive features that helps them stand out. It’s not unique enough to be unmistakable.
This makes my point:
The Rising Of Shield Hero is an anime I’ll give “credit” for trying over others. You can at least identify with the designs in Shield Hero.
It doesn’t feel like a rip off or too colorful for the sake of it.
The same is true for shows like My Hero Academia (it’s no accident the anime stands out). MHA is an anime with some of the freshest designs since the 2010’s.
But the majority of modern day anime are lazy when it comes to character design (compared to older designs).
The amount of effort put into character designs these days can’t be compared in general.
I’ll give credit to “Bleach” because it’s original.
Loki, the character on the right side is a carbon copy from Fairy Tail (which proves my point).
The image above that is a testament to the abuse of “copying and pasting” character faces in new anime shows, because it’s faster. Only at the expense of making characters less distinctive.
I won’t act like there aren’t some similar looking characters from old school anime, but let’s keep it real. It’s not even close to the mockery you see today.
Back then it was more accidental, but nowadays it’s on purpose.
The memes don’t lie.
Nana is a classic in the slice of life/romance genre. And even though slice of life is the type of genre that doesn’t stand out for its “storytelling”, Nana is another breed in itself.
Even though it’s “Shoujo”, unnecessary fan service, booty shots or whatever nonsense you see in 2019 doesn’t stand in the way of Nana’s storytelling.
Skip Beat! is another classic from the early 2010’s. The story is about a girl who’s out to get revenge on her ex boyfriend.
Never does this anime deviate from this point without it being relevant somehow. And cheap tactics like fan service is never used to “fill in” the blanks or get attention for attentions sake.
The same is true for Death Note, another anime produced by Madhouse like Nana.
Death Note is written with so much attention to detail, and a hardcore focus on telling a great story it’s hard to deny it.
Even if you’re not the biggest fan.
It’s the result of an anime studio spending quality time on a series instead of chasing trends and throwing in stupid sh*t just to see what sticks.
Older anime focus more on telling a story, especially if the context is there. Where as anime these days will shove fan service down your throat until you choke to death.
If not that – the story just won’t make sense as if the writers are gambling with their ideas.
I’m not saying modern day anime is dead and there aren’t anymore anime that focus on good, unique “storytelling”. That’s a broken mindset older people have because “things aren’t the same these days”.
But I AM saying there’s a lot less of it and that’s why newer anime can’t compare to older anime for the quality of storytelling and creativity.
- Blame it on information overload.
- And the insane number of shows being produced every year.
- Or the obsession of studios trying to “compete” with each other. instead of focusing on being creative and bringing something fresh to the table.
Whatever you wanna blame it on, the fact is undeniable.
New shows like Land Of The Lustrous are clearly creative and different. AND good at the same time.
Same thing for all the good anime I’m not mentioning, but “storytelling” is an art that’s being ignored in favor of clichés and other bullsh*t.
That’s why I like the storytelling in older anime a lot more.
I’m the Founder of Anime Motivation.
The 1st anime I watched was Dragon Ball Z. Followed by Claymore, Inuyasha, Attack On Titan, and the rest as they say is “history”.