A young man—or woman—being sent to a fantasy-based world can excite any anime viewer but, does this excite every single anime viewer? Back in the 90s-2000s there were a lot more series aimed at bridging the gap between anime and the real world. Black Lagoon, Clannad—though there are some mild supernatural elements in Clannad—Welcome to the NHK and Great Teacher Onizuka all tried to blend real life with fiction and we loved them for doing that.
Going into the current age of anime, we noticed that real-world disconnect has become more noticeable. Now series like Sword Art Online and Infinite Dendrogram—which are good shows, don’t be fooled—aim at showing characters trying to escape the real world in favor of fantasy worlds. With the world being quite…scary at the moment, we wonder if this escape is a good thing or if it just pushes anime fans towards a less realistic environment that only anime can provide. Do we need more real-world anime to still escape into anime heaven or should we continue pumping out the isekai anime we’ve seen booming over the last decade?
Cops, Pirates, Etc.
Remember the greats like Outlaw Star and Cowboy Bebop? These shows may have been set in the future where we could travel through space as if we were racing on a highway but these shows incorporated a sense of realism in them. Yes, Spike Spiegel was a bounty hunter in space but he was human. When Spike fought Vicious, he took damage and he got hurt. In Black Lagoon, Revy and Rock alongside the rest of the Lagoon Company were humans who could die and that always made their shootouts a bit more real. When you have a series like Infinite Dendrogram where players could die and only suffer a day penalty—meaning they couldn’t log in for one day—the sense of realism kind of goes out the window. We would love to see more shows with a mix of fiction but also real-world themes to just find ourselves a bit more invested in the characters’ drama/dangers.
Too Much Isekai
Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari and Re:Zero are great isekai-themed series that we consider among the best anime works but they have caused a surge in isekai that seems to have no end. Gone are the real-world crime drama anime—not including ID:INVADED—and gone are the shows like Barakamon which had the pains of an artist trying to find his inner worth. Now, in 2020, we have several dozen fantasy series and while they are far from bad, they don’t reflect on anything real-world orientated. Seriously, isekai needs to take a break for a bit.
Real-Life Woes but With Heart
Recently, series like Amaama to Inazuma or 3-gatsu no Lion proved to anime audiences everywhere that anime could be drama-riddled but still feel real. Orange and Tsuki ga Kirei could hit you in the heart with experiences many of us could understand even if it was in an anime realm. These series had heart, ladies and gentlemen, and while we love the action-orientated series coming out—who didn’t love Kengan Ashura or Baki the Grappler—we miss the quieter more real-world-themed dramas of yesteryear.
Here’s a challenge for you anime buffs out there. Name at least three anime centered on doctors—and we mean realistic doctors—or name a series with a semi-realistic police officer who has to save someone. Hard to do right? Anime has always aimed to be an escape from the norms of life and while we’ve always loved that escapism, we wish anime creators could see the open possibilities out there in the minds of the creative! Maybe one day we will have a drama like CSI or Grey’s Anatomy but in anime form…
Anime is first and foremost, fiction; we understand that with every fiber of our being. However, anime has always allowed directors and creators a tool to show their worlds in moving animation. The beauty of many creators out there is that they know how to bridge the line between relatable and fiction but we’ve noticed more series shy away from the former. Now, series are trying to have men and women escape into fantasy worlds to be things they couldn’t be in real life and that is a shame. We need more real anime so we can relate to these protagonists and connect with them on a more meaningful level. Well, here’s a question for you all. Do you agree with us? Do we need more real-world anime? Comment below to let us know! Be sure to keep stuck to our magnificent hive for more articles done by us busy bees at Honey’s Anime!