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How do you feel about anime becoming more mainstream?

#1
Sep 21, 5:57 PM
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I ask this is a controversial topic since on one hand, some people see this as a way to find more people who like anime, but at the same time, this opens more gates to potential censorship. I just want to see how MAL users feel about this.
 
#2
Sep 21, 5:59 PM

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----Well, I think it would be great.
 
#3
Sep 21, 6:00 PM

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I don't think anime itself is becoming more mainstream.
Sure, there are certain anime that are mainstream (e.g. mha, death note, sao, aot, sailor moon), and there are more and more anime fans lately...
But anime as a whole doesn't feel all that more mainstream to me. Especially since fans of aforementioned shows are probably not gonna watch more obscure/older anime just cuz they're not like that one mainstream series.
Maybe that's just me
 
#4
Sep 21, 6:06 PM

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Eh generally censors will only significantly effect dubbed releases which by that point could often be supplemented by totally uncensored blu ray releases. Like if a show is considered too graphic for western TV they just won't air it, so you'll never see stuff airing on TV like Highschool DxD or To Love Ru. But violence generally gets a hard pass from western audiences and is often allowed (especially since most western anime blocks are really late at night so it's easier to dodge censor requirements).

Anime featuring sexual content will almost always be limited to streaming services for western audiences and generally will only be uncensored on subscription based channels in Japan or on blu ray releases which is the norm.
 
#5
Sep 21, 6:06 PM

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In my country (Germany), anime and manga were extremely niche until about the middle of the first decade of the 21st century. Until then, many people (including young people) thought that they were some kind of horrible product out of Japan ruining juvenile minds, in fact, some referred to them as "japanische Pornos" (Japanese porn), basically thinking that all of manga/anime is hentai.

In the 21st century, this stanced gradually started to disappear, as anime became better known and people learned that, in fact, their beloved childhood classics "Vicky the Viking", "Maia the Bee" and "Heidi" were anime.
 
#6
Sep 21, 6:22 PM

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More people talking about anime is good I guess? I don’t really care whether it does or not but it would definitely benefit the community
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#7
Sep 21, 6:44 PM

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Bad, because it brings censors specially from China, taking the money from China is a mistake that has cost western game studios dearly and a few anime studios have taken this risky money which is not a good sign. There's also a chance that some genres will be gone due to Netflix trying to get into anime (I don't see them snagging a license for a new idol anime to stream for example).


 
#8
Sep 21, 7:05 PM

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Well it's definitely an issue or it wouldn't come up as a topic on this board so often, and there wouldn't be hashtags like #BringBackGatekeeping being thrown around on Twitter. I've argued with people about this issue a shit ton so I'm a little tired of it, but I want to comment in this thread just to give a voice to the side that is against both mainstream-ification and westernization of anime.

To go just briefly in to the reasons, I think the best argument against mainstream-ification is how big money tends consolidate exposure and investment within an industry. Big money companies invest in to safe, popular-appeal content that lacks innovation or any kind of niche appeal, as well as lacking the artistic purity of work produced without the influence of people trying to make as much money as possible. The argument against this is that small, niche anime will still get made, so diversity would be preserved. But but there will be no middle ground. The "middle class" of anime will die. Gaming is a great example. There is only AAA titles and indie games. Diversity doesn't get preserved because the although some niche anime will be made, they will be squeezed by the overbearing presence of the big popular stuff. So not only is there less diversity, but those diverse anime has less funding.

The other problem with anime becoming more mainstream in the west is the cultural influence. This topic gets really touchy as people get super defensive about western media culture. But I'll say it flat out: I don't like western media culture. It tends to be narrow-minded about what counts as art [EDIT: To expand on that, anime is so good because it takes things seriously where western media doesn't, most notably it's treatment of "kids" entertainment], it is very sex-negative, and it is filled with people trying to comment on real-world social agendas instead of just making art to create new fantastical experiences.

For these reasons and more, I and many others do not want Japanese otaku media to become beholden to toxic western media culture because the west becomes where all the money is. This affect has already taken shape insidiously through Steam's censorship of visual novels. Steam is a huge revenue stream for the companies out of Japan looking to make money off their VNs. But Steam has not only been overly censorious, but extremely inconsistent with their application of their policies.

You can't have even slightly sexual themes with girls wearing school uniforms, even if those girls look over 18. Not that it should matter for a number of reasons. It doesn't matter what your opinion on the issue is, these games break no laws, and Steam is not only directly harming Japanese companies, but actually changing the content. Only a few years ago, VNs were much more likely to contain high school settings and girls with petite figures. Now, largely because of western influence, there are a lot less of those settings, and the girls are noticably older in appearance. Again, it doesn't matter what your opinion is. Japanese culture has no problem with presenting high school age characters in sexual situations. Hell, it's a highly sexual time of life. It's interesting. But I don't want to get in to the debate around the rights and wrongs right now. I've made my point about the affect of western influence.

Lastly, there are people that say it's good for industry. It's the best sounding argument, but it's a bad argument when you really look at it. The industry will grow, sure. But that only means more people working in it. The animators will still get paid fuck all, the only individuals who will benefit will be the company execs and CEOs. The people at the top are always the ones who benefit when people about "muh industry" or "muh economy". A bigger industry does not mean a better industry, it doesn't mean better pay for the little man, it doesn't mean more anime, it doesn't mean higher quality anime (unless you think the budget of the most generic popular stuff defines the quality of anime overall).
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#9
Sep 21, 8:10 PM

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YossaRedMage said:

Lastly, there are people that say it's good for industry. It's the best sounding argument, but it's a bad argument when you really look at it. The industry will grow, sure. But that only means more people working in it. The animators will still get paid fuck all, the only individuals who will benefit will be the company execs and CEOs. The people at the top are always the ones who benefit when people about "muh industry" or "muh economy". A bigger industry does not mean a better industry, it doesn't mean better pay for the little man, it doesn't mean more anime, it doesn't mean higher quality anime (unless you think the budget of the most generic popular stuff defines the quality of anime overall).


big brain comment

also the endgame of that kind of "growth" is everything just ends up being more normie friendly

already has happened with several kinds of media (especially in the west though, music, movies, video games, etc)
 
Sep 21, 8:18 PM

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I see more and more people complaining about the fact that anime needs to be changed based on how they try to “oversexualize” the women. They also believe they needs lolis to die off, despite the fact that they don’t know that some could be over 9,000+ years old.

If anything, we should talk about how mainstream anime could end up being more uninteresting as time goes on — especially in the 2020’s.
 
Sep 21, 8:20 PM

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It is not.
SOME anime is becoming mainstream, anime in general just isn't.

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Sep 21, 8:20 PM

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It already happened in the early 2000's during the anime bubble, all that's happening is history repeating itself. Hopefully we won't repeat the crash, though. I think the licensing industry has learned from it.

Anime and manga suddenly being widely popular isn't this new phenomenon and people that are acting scared about how popularity in the west is gonna taint muh precious Nippon clearly don't remember the bubble period, where.... nothing happened on the Japanese side aside from a few co-productions (including the tres bien 2003 Kino's Journey, Cybersix, and Oban Star Racers). On the western side though, there was the whole thing where licensors threw things at a wall to see what stuck, bankrupting them in the process, American anime licensers trying to seem cool and hip ("~straight from Japan, totally unexpected, not kids stuff~" ), as well as some cringey attemps at American shows trying to cash in on the phenomenon like Kappa Mikey and Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi... And some genuinely brilliant ones like Avatar and Teen Titans.

I am a little worried about China, however. The Chinese government surprise surprise oppresses its people and are big on censorship, straight up banning any anime that is anti-authoritarian or pro-LGBT, and the Chinese market is becoming more and more influential...
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Sep 21, 8:25 PM

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I like how this makes the anime industry more financially sustainable because the customer base is larger.

Izac_Kak said:
I ask this is a controversial topic since on one hand, some people see this as a way to find more people who like anime, but at the same time, this opens more gates to potential censorship. I just want to see how MAL users feel about this.
How would this "potential censorship" work? At most, an additional layer of censorship would affect the more "mainstream" series, the bigger releases, but such releases were already a presence in the west since decades ago. Besides, anime -- like basically any other artistic medium -- has a variety of niche products, which can basically ignore content rules except in authoritarian regimes.

And this neglects the fact that the anime industry's home market itself has content rules, as well as the fact that stuff gets affected by what does or doesn't sell on the market, so it's not exactly a bastion for "purity" of artistic intent. If anything, that latter constraint -- whether something can sell -- gets loosened when there are a greater number of consumers, because more people means more possible niche tastes. So anime gaining a greater fanbase in the west is, on balance, probably a good thing for artistry.
 
Sep 21, 8:35 PM
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The Topic takes me back a decade but instead of anime it's video games. ;>

While Anime will never have such a huge rise it still made me chuckle a lot.

In the end nah there are just way too few shows which could be mainstream and on the other side there are the other 99% of animes which are really not suited for the mainstream without prior knowledge of the genre.
 
Sep 21, 9:15 PM

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CowboyMode said:
also the endgame of that kind of "growth" is everything just ends up being more normie friendly
Not "everything".

This reminds me of how for a while I felt the game industry had abandoned me, a person interested in stuff like pixel graphics and sidescrollers and more colorful and "kiddie" stuff, because the industry went big in on catering to tastes for photorealism (including "real is brown"), "mature" (or one might say "edgy") violent/sexual content, grittiness, and full-3D everything.

But during that time I didn't abandon gaming. I simply kept on playing the older games that interested me. And when indie games explored these older styles of games, as well as when retro gaming became a more popular thing, I simply spent my money and time on things that appealed to me. They're niche, of course -- it's not like Terraria ever overtook Call of Duty in attention (not to mention revenues) -- but that doesn't prevent me from enjoying them.

TL;DR: It doesn't matter whether industry leaders are catering to my tastes; as long as my niche is served, we're all good.
 
Sep 21, 10:33 PM

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Been mainstream since at least 2006. So I guess I don’t have a problem with it.
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Sep 21, 11:48 PM

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As long as normies are confined to their containment shows like MHA and containment communities like instagram I'm fine. I'll not be fine when the new arrivals start demanding censorship to make anime fit their morals. This will make the core audience bypass the official distributors and resort to piracy since it has been proven that companies cave in to demands of vocal minorities to advertise their supposed moral superiority.
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Sep 21, 11:55 PM

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i mean it's not still not super mainstream

in any given season, there will be 4 non-sequel anime MAX that will be popular among people who don't usually watch anime

and in some seasons, nothing is popular at all

any how, there's always a surplus of shows that score ~8.0 or higher and have less than 150K watchers so anime isn't there yet
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Sep 21, 11:57 PM

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I think it's great, and I also think people who complain about "Normies" or whatever just need to realize that they're gatekeeping something wonderful and amazing from literally the rest of the world.

Anime is great and it should be something everyone should get a chance to check out.



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Sep 22, 12:50 AM

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Anime was very mainstream in many countries during the 80s with prime time tv slots and featuring nudity and violence in many cases, despite the editing and censorship and reactions. Mainstream TV hasn't become more accepting in that regard. In fact today it is even worse than the 80s for any movies and series. All controversial and sexist stuff back then is not broadcast anymore. With the even more explicit, fetishized and niche anime available especially,chances are zero. Maybe at after midnight broadcasts in rare cases and without any promotion.
Now TV is much more careful and protective towards kids. There are rating boards, age ratings, restrictions on toy ads, various associations and groups. Impossible to sneak a violent anime inside TV scedule

Regarding anime it has not turned more mainstream, it is just that distributors created their own channels for anime, cut from mainstream TV,along with the respective anime communities. Not just in the US but worldwide. With streaming and paytv services, plus the option to buy or watch directly from japan
There is more freedom to buy anything but only inside a bubble. Just like you could rent anime on VHS back then.
Imagine a TV channel showing Sleeping with Hinako. It would be pulled off tv in 5 minutes. Only kids friendly Ghibili movies and toy related anime stand a chance
 
Sep 22, 1:40 AM
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It's fine. Chillax! Enjoy. Spread the love.
 
Sep 22, 1:41 AM
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its not overall at lets in japan its less mainstream than it was in the 1990's less naime is network prime time tv
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Sep 22, 1:51 AM

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"I'm feel, I'm very feel"
I don't see what else i can say about it
 
Sep 22, 4:51 AM
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I'd love for it be, irl I know so few people that watch anime and they mostly just watch battle shonens.
 
Sep 22, 6:50 AM

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pretty good. validates all kinds of anime-related activities. for example, we see more and more kids putting "animation club" or something on their apps (college, hs, even career), which was pretty rare before 20 years ago. its not all about sports or chess, at least here
 
Sep 22, 7:42 AM

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Izac_Kak said:
I ask this is a controversial topic since on one hand, some people see this as a way to find more people who like anime, but at the same time, this opens more gates to potential censorship. I just want to see how MAL users feel about this.


I think it would be great. I might mean more investment and more anime being licensed to consumers outside of Japan.
 
Sep 22, 7:51 AM

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I'm not a huge fan of the idea (I selfishly enjoy when something belongs to 'us') but like the user above me said, the licensing opportunities make it worth it.
 
Sep 22, 7:58 AM

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I'm not a gatekeeper so it's fine for me.

The only entities we need to keep away are our respective governments.

It is their power to censor and regulate that we must watch out for.
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Sep 22, 8:01 AM
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the only censorship that will increase is censoring sexualize lolis anyway look at hollywood movies/TV shows they are still airing a lot of uncensored shit so who cares
 
Sep 22, 10:18 AM

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RedPlaty said:
pretty good. validates all kinds of anime-related activities. for example, we see more and more kids putting "animation club" or something on their apps (college, hs, even career), which was pretty rare before 20 years ago. its not all about sports or chess, at least here
Oh yeah, this is another good thing. People don't have to hide their hobby as much.
 
Sep 22, 10:23 AM

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I don’t see it as an entirely bad thing, being a little embarrassed of my hobby, it does feel nice to be able to find and talk to people about it easier. I never really cared about the popularity of what I like. If I like it I like it.
I just don’t want it to get so mainstream the government sees it as an “issue”
 
Sep 22, 4:17 PM

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The feminist and sjw scare me a lot just look at how many stuff they have destroyed.
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Sep 22, 4:25 PM

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If you're talking outside Japan then Japan doesn't care and probably never will. But I don't know. I'll keep watching my anime anyway and that's all that matters. lol
 
Sep 22, 4:33 PM

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Maybe it'll stop women from getting retarded outfits to show off as much as possible, in the dumbest way possible once it does.

It'd also be swell if they didn't pedo-bait their shows.
hack5 said:
The feminist and sjw scare me a lot just look at how many just look at how many stuff they have destroyed.

Nothing of value was lost.
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Sep 22, 4:34 PM

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No thanks, we already have a ton of people complaining about fanservice in the anime community, we don't need more.
 
Sep 22, 4:50 PM

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In Japan: it was mainstream by default, it's on a TV after all.
In other countries: mostly shonen stuff. Normies won't watch series that requires 100+ titles in list.
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Sep 22, 5:53 PM

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Tylaen said:
Maybe it'll stop women from getting retarded outfits to show off as much as possible, in the dumbest way possible once it does.

It'd also be swell if they didn't pedo-bait their shows.
hack5 said:
The feminist and sjw scare me a lot just look at how many stuff they have destroyed.

Nothing of value was lost.


Yeah well nothing of value to you to me it means something so many stuff/shows I have lost respect for because of their intervention looking at star wars,comic book heroes and the constant bitching about video games eg they way the acted for the upcoming person 5 royal a certain new character battle suit it goes on and on just look how upset some of them are over the big shield hero controversy ridiculous I am woman and I could understand stuff upsetting some people but the way they behave is toxic it even when down to a stupid Gillette commercial all I could say is anime I wish thee luck and its been nice while it lasted.
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Sep 23, 2:45 AM

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I don't want it to, the SJW will infest themselves in it and then it will become as boring as western TV where everything is about how many black people they can fit in the show and how many women they can put in powerful positions.
 
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