I have been watching Anime for years, and for a long time, it has been my main way of entertainment. I had a lot of fun watching a lot of series. By the time I am writing this post, I have completed over 400 Anime, out of 537 in My MAL Anime list. In every year since I started watching subbed Anime regularly in 2005, I have always discovered at least one excellent Anime for my taste. But the more I watched, the more certain things started getting a bit repetitive & sometimes annoying to watch. They never felt like that when Anime was novel to me. Some of these issues weren’t there long ago too. Some of them are tolerable, while some other affect the certain Anime I am watching.
Many of the points I am going to mention in this post overlap. But they are important they deserve to have their own section.
Just like I made this list, I can also create another list of the things I like about Anime nowadays at a later time. ^^
If you’re new to Anime, many of the things I mention here may be okay for you. But over time, and once you have watched a lot of Anime, I bet you will agree with at least few of them, or find your own things you won’t like.
Quickly go to:-
This has been happening a lot in the last few years, where an Anime has a very interesting plot, but one that’s never concluded, for the most part, the Anime gets to cover one arc. If we are lucky, we sometimes get another season at a later time. But in many cases, we never get that season at all. Despite the fact that a lot of great things happened in the original source materials, be it a Manga or light novel. It’s like as if the Anime is intended to be an advertisement for the original source (I know this depends on the Anime sales though).
This issue is a bit by bit pushing me to go to the original source, be it the Manga, visual novel or even the light novel at times. I imagine myself spending more time doing that. Since I quite liked the Anime, I am currently reading Oregairu light novels, and I quite love them (I finished volume 3).
One may argue that a lot of the older Anime also never covered the entire story. That’s true, but there used to be some that contain the complete story. Anime used to be longer too, and so it covered more of the original story.
This issue is related to the previous one. Because Anime keeps on getting shorter, it can’t cover a lot of the plot. But there’s one more issue with that:- They don’t cover enough details compared to what they used to do with 24-26 episodes, which used to be quite common in the past.
To be quite honest. I quite liked the trend of having shorter Anime back when it started. To a degree, I watched Anime partly for the characters, and so having shorter Anime allowed me to get to know way more characters. But at some point, I started to crave longer Anime the more I did so, it took me few years to feel that way. I keep thinking about going back to watch One Piece or some long Anime at times.
To see how Anime just kept getting shorter, I calculated Anime length using data from MAL. I counted the Anime that finished airing, and the ones that are classified as “TV”, as OVAs & other kinds of Anime tend to be short, and so they can affect the numbers. To determine the year an Anime belongs to, I used the start date, so if an Anime started airing in 31 December 2014, then it counts as a 2014 Anime.
From the numbers. It’s easy to see that Anime kept getting shorter. Furthermore it’s noticeable how Anime in 2017 is the shortest ever.
Sometimes I think, if Akatsuki no Yona existed back in 2006. I guess it was going to be a 52 episodes long.
This is a prevalent issue in Anime, where male protagonist is either flat, very dense and doesn’t realize some obvious things, like how the girls have fell for him so badly, despite all the clues out there. And we often see the cluelessness of the protagonist overplayed too. Usually those protagonists are in harem. I think Anime with such protagonists are aimed toward introverts who would love to fantasize themselves in such situation (nothing against those). The idea of Anime like that is not really bad, but it has been done to death, and without any change of the format.
This part can be subjective, so don’t mind it much if you don’t agree with me. From what I see, there’s no Anime clichés some people don’t like. Many clichés come & go without we actually mind them, and there are some we tend to like too. For one, I like it when characters shout moves names.
One of the most prominent clichés is the violent tsundere. It usually happens where the tsundere often falls into a misunderstanding often, and so hit the protagonist hard. Love Hina is notorious for that, and I was glad to drop it for that reason.
I sometimes think that most tsunderes have no depth in them. But when done right, I think tsunderes can be great, think Hinagiku Katsura or Tohsaka Rin. The same can be said about Makise Kurisu from Steins;Gate. I think these Tsunderes are popular for a reason, they deviate from the same thing we saw many times, but while still being tsunderes (-Tina ga nai).
The male protagonist that forgot his past, and using that as a plot device is another cliché I don’t like, not just because it’s done a lot, but I don’t see why the protagonist would forgot their past, am I missing anything here? Also, what happens in the story is always predictable:- The protagonist will remember his past around episode 21 or something (or episode 11, if the Anime is 13 episode).
There are also the male protagonist clichés, but I already talked about them in their own point above.
I think understanding clichés is one good way I could make my Lolita Caramel visual novel skits unique & interesting to many Anime fans. I already have some good plans to use that to my advantage.
I think the list of clichés can goes on & on, and for that reason, I may make a post for that on its own.
In my opinion, the answer for this question is both yes & no.
- Since older Anime used to be longer, which in turn make them cover more of the story.
- Some of the clichés in older Anime were really bad, like the violent tsundere, which was super repetitive, way more than in nowadays ones (though one could argue these were replaced by some other clichés).
- The visuals in most new Anime are far superior, with some exceptions here & there (I love the art style of many old shoujo Anime).
Looking at some of the Anime communities over the years, I know I am not alone in disliking many of these things mentioned here. Tastes are different, so you may dislike many other things I can tolerate. Analyzing these things can be fun, not just to understand my own taste, but the tastes of other too. specially since I can apply some of what I learned on my own Anime-styled visual novel skits, Lolita Caramel, where I plan to break some of the Anime traditions to create fun character interactions, I hope I mange to do that.
Watching different genres can so help with some of the issues I mentioned here, consuming other medium is a good change too. Light Novels & Visual Novels are a good way to read the full story, usually of an Anime you already liked. That’s what I think about doing more. If you’re an Anime-only person, you should consider doing that if you’re ever tired of Anime. Reading Chinese Manhua is one path I may go too. I read Qishi Huanxiang Ye myself & it was generally good.
I believe that, in the very long term, some other sort of cartoon may take over Anime. Many people speculate that China is going to dominate Anime of the future. I don’t think they will happen soon. Chinese Manhua are gaining popularity these days, and they could replace Manga someday too. Whether the case is, I hope Anime gets better in the future.