Anime creators have it harder than most creators in the entertainment business. If you know enough about the anime industry, you’ll know this is true.
But nobody cares about that. And this is the harsh reality of the anime business.
- Some anime fans care about the conditions creators are in.
- Some fans don’t care about anime studio’s, their lack of budgets or any of that stuff.
In the end: anime fans just “want” to watch good anime shows they enjoy.
And yet: those are some of the reasons why anime is so hard to make these days.
This is why “good” anime is so hard to make in 2018:
1. The anime industry is still in its “startup” phase
I wrote an article about this: Why The Anime Industry Is In Its Startup Phase.
What does that mean?
Simple: the anime industry is still a risky business with “few” companies being profitable.
In the startup phase of any business, most companies aren’t even making any money.
At best they’re “breaking even” but in most cases it’s worse than that.
That’s why so many of these companies have funding behind them, to help ease the financial burden in the short-term.
What’s this got to do with making “good” anime?
A LOT actually. It’s easy to think about making good anime in simple terms, like:
- Focus on good character development.
- Pay attention to the designs of each character.
- Create beautiful animation.
- Make the story compelling, unique and so on.
But before any of that can even happen, money needs to be invested.
How many anime companies are sitting on piles of cash like Aniplex?
And how many anime studios do you know of with as much success as Kyoto Animation, Madhouse, Wit Studio and so on?
The anime industry is brutal in 2018. And until this improves, making “good” anime will continue to be challenging with the resources companies have.
Ironically, that’s the same reason making good anime is even more important for these studios in 2018.
2. Creativity is NOT scientific
You know what’s so great about numbers? They don’t lie.
The same is true for anything statistical or scientific. There’s always some way to predict the outcome with 100% accuracy.
If only that was true for the process of making good anime shows.
Creativity is an art, not a science.
That’s why for each anime TV series that’s aired, all of them have varying degrees of success.
Let’s take an anime like Attack On Titan for example.
You could argue ALL day about how season 1 is better than season 2, and vice versa. But statistically, neither show is equal when it comes to global success.
That’s because each series is unique in its own way. And each season took different amounts of creativity (or not) to make both seasons what they are today.
But the fact is: you can’t duplicate creative success. Because it’s not scientific or predictable.
That’s why it’s more of an art than it is a science.
Even the best anime creators on the planet will tell you making good anime is hard.
It’s hard because the creative process is unpredictable.
But on the bright side, we have the internet. And whatever you create will receive FAST feedback. Which helps anime creators adapt to what works or what doesn’t (when necessary).
3. It’s easy to lose focus
Remember Darling In The Franxx?
I didn’t hesitate to create 2 posts about the anime series earlier this year… Because I believed in it.
I was so hyped about Darling In The Franxx because unlike other shows in 2018, Darling In The Franxx is controversial and unconventional.
Just imagine what it could have done for the anime industry if it succeeds. Or at least that’s what I thought…
Unfortunately, the 2nd half of the series LOST its focus. And did a 360 on the original story.
It was so bad almost every single person who loved D.I.T.F couldn’t bare to watch anymore.
I was one of them.
Darling In The Franxx is proof why it’s so easy to lose focus when things are going so well.
I love studio Trigger, but they tried to “innovate” while simultaneously destroying the winning formula.
And that, like plenty of anime over the years, is the reason good anime become VERY BAD anime for all the wrong reasons.
4. Keeping up with the Joneses
This is a bad habit humans have.
You can blame the mainstream media and news outlets for this… But really, you can blame people for going along with it in the first place.
In the anime industry, nowadays, it’s “normal” for creators (and studios) to keep up with the Joneses and copy others like sheep being lead to their slaughter.
As an example: there are at least 300+ anime series being produced on a yearly basis, collectively.
Most of the studios producing these series are producing way too much anime to keep up with what “everyone else” is doing.
You can clearly see this when you realize how many anime these days are so similar, to the point of being copied and pasted without any unique elements that help them stand out.
What happened to the days when there were LESS anime being produced at a HIGHER quality?
I get it. It’s 2018, the internet is here, and technology is moving faster than ever. So as a result, everything is accelerating.
But is that really a good excuse to overproduce just to keep up with the Joneses, and whoever else?
And is it even the right path? Isn’t there a better alternative?
Pressure is tough, but I feel like too many anime creators are producing anime shows out of obligation, instead of because they actually believe in it.
That approach only leads to a lot of junk anime more often than we need to see.
But maybe that’s just how I see it.
5. Too much unnecessary fan-service
Fan service is OK. I don’t have a problem with it… when it makes sense to have it.
The anime series: How Not To Summon A Demon Lord is an obvious example in 2018. Expecting an Ecchi series to not have fan service is like going to China and expecting to not eat fried rice.
But where “fan service” becomes a real issue is when it’s shoved into anime shows where it doesn’t belong.
Usually it’s done for the sake of it. Or because the creators ran out of ideas and decided to use “fan service” to fill in the gaps.
And other times: fan service is used to deviate from the original story. To give viewers a “break” from the action.
But no matter how you wanna phrase or explain it, fan-service is at an all time high. And it’s the reason so many anime shows with potential… end up falling apart from top to bottom.
Imagine how good High School Of The Dead would have been if it weren’t for the ridiculous fan service.
And so many other anime where the potential was shot in the back of the head. Point blank range.
But it doesn’t end there
YouTuber – DigiBro has a slightly different take on the topic.
Here’s the video to dive more into the topic:
Why do you think good anime is hard to make these days?
It’s not as if there aren’t good anime shows being produced.
2018 is a stand-out example. But it’s tough, and with time I believe things will get better within the next 10 years.