This is Day 7 in my series for #12DaysofAnime. I’m going to get very hypothetical in the writing below, so be sure to convince me I’m wrong, I wouldn’t mind having my perspective changed. Enjoy.
I have been thinking a lot recently about the path my anime watching has taken in the past few years and what that might spell for the future. You see I don’t believe anime is going to last forever. Not for me.
Unlike many, I can quite easily imagine a time when anime will just no longer appeal to me. When the effort it takes to find a show I like outweighs the entertainment factor I get out of it. The reasons why something catches my interest now are by all probability going to be very different from the reasons that pull me in within another 10 years time. I will keep changing while anime will more or less stay the same. That spells a time when what I consider relatable are regrettably misaligned with the majority of anime produced. The social politics of high school classrooms will seem more distant to me than they currently are now. While the juvenile but endearing innocence of many anime narratives can be pleasant escapism today, I can’t guarantee that will stay true forever. That might seem to call for more gore, death and destruction- but anime already accommodates that, it’s the later life experiences that I find are truly missing.
As no insult to anime or those who watch it, I believe there are better mediums for exploring those elements, at least on a quantitative level. That doesn’t mean I feel any resentment towards the medium as it is now. I’m not saying this to protest against the dominant industry trends of today or the familiar tropes that studios often derive safety from when creating something new. I still have complete faith that you can make a fantastic story from a generally unoriginal foundation and I’ll judge a show by what it accomplishes and not by how it was made. This is personally why when I explain myself, I don’t want you to take the impression that I believe anime is incapable of fulfilling future me, only that it will do so at a rate that is few and far between.
I can’t say anime is at fault for this either. Irrespective of cultural differences that account for the direction anime takes, there is nothing inherently wrong in what the medium is doing now. Sure, I’ve made my reservations about distasteful fanservice clear, but that doesn’t amount to any deeply ingrained hatred. These things come on a case by case basis. If anything I hope that future me gets proven wrong, so that I can look back at all this rambling and laugh at how wrong past me was. It is speculative after all.
As for when I think I’ll drift apart? No idea. I doubt it will happen any time soon. I’m averse to spending time with things that don’t bring out the passionately creative side of me, so running a blog based on my hobby is testament to where I currently stand on the matter. I’m always looking to broaden my horizons as well, which should provide enough variation to give me the fullest experience possible. If I can say anything despite the somewhat pessimistic tone this article has taken so far, it would be that I absolutely do not regret the time I’ve invested in anime. The numbers might be scary to look at but to categorize it vaguely by ‘happiness’ instead would not be misguided, as I can safely say it has helped enrich my life in so many ways.
I’m keeping this post short for today. After the monolithic amount of time I spent on the last piece I feel I’ve earned a break. It helps that this piece is a bit thought provoking (for me at least), so I don’t have to be concerned that it’s filler content. If anything I might use the rest of the time I have today to get a head start on tomorrows post. It needs to happen at some point soon, because I don’t want to fall behind and I don’t want to be writing on Christmas day either. This exhaustion is bringing out the inner-marxist in me, so if I start calling for a working-class revolution, tell me to chill out.
Thanks for reading!