Many of us here at Honey’s Anime remember the old days of anime. As that makes us occasionally feel quite old, our burning passion for all things anime hasn’t changed in the slightest. As we’ve gotten older—again, that small pain in our hearts realizing our ages—a thought has occurred to us. Anime has changed in many ways and stayed the same in others! Believe it or not, anime might have come a long way from the original black and white days of animation/cartoons but the concepts are still here even in 2020! Let us look at the world of anime from the eyes of the past and present, shall we?
New Genres and Themes
Anime in the olden days was a pretty simple beast. The number of main existing genres has grown exponentially between the 60s and now. Instead of a focus on robots and space—just look at Tetsujin 28 and Astro Boy—we have isekai series like Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken or the more recent Hachi-nan tte, Sore wa Nai Deshou! Anime has boomed from its original roots and now we can find strange anime like Gleipnir which would be seen as even more bizarre in the early days of anime.
Another element of the newer age of anime is the line between fantasy and reality has become a bit less clear. Rather than always being about fighting giant robots piloted by a kid detective—which always sound ridiculous—there are series that resonated with viewers by being almost too relatable. Yesterday wo Utatte is a recent release—as of this article—that has a protagonist that reminisces about his days in the past and the choices leading to his current mundane life. Anime in the olden days aimed at being fantastical and now does so just a bit less...unless you watch shows like Uchuu Patrol Luluco, of course.
CGI, 3D, and the list goes on
Despite our long-running love of Japanese animation, we won’t consider ourselves experts in how anime is made/created. That being said, even experts aren’t needed to notice the vast improvements anime has made. The days of choppy animation like Mach GoGoGo have long since passed and instead, we have the beautiful races of Appare-Ranman! Animation has become an entirely different machine as simple still frame designs have been upgraded to multi-shot stills and computer-created works! Anime might still be anime but it certainly isn’t the way it was decades ago. Thank the otaku gods above for that!
Now we know some of you out there are probably are screaming "what about CG? it still isn't that good"! As much as CGI or 3D themed anime might be disliked, it has come a long way. Looking at Ajin and/or Knights of Sidonia you can see the once disliked style of CGI has been vastly improved. Non-traditional styles aren't perfect yet but in a few years, we doubt anyone will notice when a series uses this still semi-despised style.
Stories of Strength, Survival, and Determination
When we were kids—long ago—what we loved about anime/cartoons is the way they often made us feel. Many anime empowered us like Dragon Ball Z and/or Pokémon and, in turn, these series gave us a newfound level of inner strength. We could see ourselves as Goku fighting baddies and improving when we lost or become Ash and set off on grand adventures…well, at least in our backyards. Anime still gives us that feeling that we can do anything like when we watch Soma face off against another chef in Shokugeki no Souma: Gou no Sara or get lost in a new and unfamiliar world like BNA—Brand New Animal—which is a truly amazing feeling. Anime might look and sound different but the themes of old are still here ringing true for new viewers and old alike!
If you need even more proof of this then let’s look at a few popular series that make us unleash our inner adventurer. One Piece and Hunter x Hunter are two popular shounen that have younger characters grabbing their gear and heading off into the world. Many of us lack powers like Luffy or Gon but we look at the realistic jobs of modern-day–like sailing the seas as a captain or becoming an archaeologist–and start contemplating those careers! We will face numerous challenges getting these jobs but if we look inside and activate our inner strength we can be like Deku from Boku no Hero Academia and rise up to face any challenge going against us in life!
Upgrade and Become Better
Ultimately, anime continues to change and upgrade as time passes. This was seen in the early days of anime and even now in 2020! Anime never feels like it plateaus but instead rises like the sun constantly does in Japan. Just like as time constantly passes, anime constantly evolves and we can’t wait to see what the future has in store.
Anime we can see in future generations becoming something almost straight out of sci-fi. Like Kirito from Sword Art Online, maybe we can dive into our favorite stories and explore the worlds within with a different view than just behind a monitor. As time goes by anime continues to push the bounds of art and every time we think it can’t be outdone, we end up mystified by anime films like Kimi no Na Wa. or Koe no Katachi. Nearly 60 years ago, anime was simple pencil and pen designs. One day maybe anime will transcend art and become something truly out of Koukaku Kidoutai, an escape that links our minds with a technological landscape. Scary but truly fascinating in our minds.
Anime isn’t how it was back in our earlier days or the days during our parents but ironically isn’t entirely a different being entirely. Anime looks different and sounds different but is still amazing and fun to enjoy even as the baton of viewership changes. Do you think anime will continue to evolve and change or have we reached the peak? Comment below to share your thoughts! Be sure to stick with us in our amazing hive here at Honey’s Anime for even more articles like this one!