Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to tell you a tale…
Long ago in the magical, mystical time period that was the 80s, a little known gaming company was on the brink of bankruptcy. None of he titles they had published before hand had any real success and they at their wit’s end about what to do next. So, as last-ditch effort, they put all their hopes on an original, never before seen game as a last ditch effort to make a mark in the budding gaming industry.
The name of that little company that could was Squaresoft, and the title they released was Final Fantasy!!
That’s right. For those not in the know, the biggest and most popular JRPG franchise in history was the bi-product of one of the biggest risks ever made!! The reason it was called Final Fantasy was because the game was LITERALLY Square’s last shot at making games. Had it failed, the gaming industry as we know it would look a whole lot different than it does now!
The point of that trip down memory lane is this: Everything we do is a risk!! Every game, movie, TV show or play that is released is a huge gamble. There are no guarantees that it will be popular or make any kind of money. That goes double for the anime industry, especially today. There are WAY more studios pumping out shows than there were back when the industry was still growing. Naturally, one would think that would lead to much more original content. And for a time, there was a ton of it! Back in the 90s/early 2000s it was easy to tell studios apart from one another just by the anime the made. But then…somewhere down the line…everyone got stuck doing the same exact thing. And that, in my opinion, is the biggest issue facing the industry today.
Don’t get me wrong. There are still studios out there that try to avoid the status quo. Heck! Just this scene I came across the anime KADO, a show that is as about as original as anything I’ve seen in ages. Likewise, the earlier years of anime were also bogged down with hundreds of the same type of anime for a time too. The difference is the amount of anime being produced now compared to back then. It’s the same thing I used to say about the PS3 compared to the PS2. The latter had a much more diverse gaming catalog compared to the former, which was mostly composed of FPSs. Too much of the same thing gets boring fast! As much of a sports anime nut as I am, I also need to switch it up here or there to keep things fresh.
Now…some of you might still call me an old foggy who’s just sitting on his porch yelling about the good ol’ days at random kids as they pass by. But just think about it this way: Without Dragon Ball, there would be no Naruto/One Piece. Without Gundam, there’d be no Majestic Prince. Without Ranma 1/2, there’d be no harem genre to speak of!! And without .hack//Sign, there sure as heck wouldn’t be no Sword Art Online!! Without those shows’ creators stepping out on a limb and trying something out of the ordinary, like 80% of most modern anime wouldn’t even exist! You can’t be scared to take off that safety harness, anime industry! Being bold and brash is what got you invited to the dance in the first place! Remember who you once were!!
So what am I saying I hear you ask? Am I saying companies should forget about making money and focus solely on making original anime? No…I’m not saying that at all. What I AM saying is that there needs to be a good mixture of the two. You can have your safe, easy to produce light novel/slice of life/romcom/high school setting shows all you want. But, can we also have just as many shows that break the mold too? I don’t think that’s too much to ask. It happened once before, so it can happen again. Take the risk, anime industry! Take..that..risk!
I’m NEETaku and that was Just…My 2 Cents!!