American Film Industry Declining Like Japanese Anime?

Yutaka Yamamoto holds up a poster of a new anime series, "Fractale," at his office in Tokyo.
(Yoshiyuki Suzuki)

This recent article discusses the now two decades decline of Japanese anime. One producer, Yutaka Yamamoto, places most of the blame on "the domestic industry [becoming] glutted with similar anime styles." He also laments the "the priority has been on quantity." This isn't surprising to any fan of anime.

I have only three favorite anime series: StarBlazers, Battle of the Planets and Cowboy Bebop. It could be argued that these series look distinct from each other but they do resemble other anime series. This is most likely why I watch little anime; I feel that I'm watching remakes of other series full of generic characters.

I fear this is the path that American live-action filmmaking is taking. With such a heavy reliance on tentpole and superhero stories that focus on the angst of their protagonists, American films are chasing away some their audience.

I also believe that the focus on quantity (otherwise known as "greed") is what killed Disney's hand-drawn animation business. After "The Lion King," Disney became greedy and started producing more theatrical and straight-to-video films and labeling them "instant classics." They were anything but classic. Instead, they were poorly-developed pieces of disposable art.

Additionally, Yamamoto criticizes himself and others for focusing on creating cutesy characters that they thought would be sure things instead of focusing on originality.

Sound familiar?

Hello, Transformers!

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