No one would be worse off if half the anime being made wasn’t produced, says director

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Being an anime otaku is all about a ravenous hunger and obsessive interest in the medium, but in recent years more than a few fans are starting to feel like there’s such a thing as too much content. Each 13-week Japanese TV season sees the debut of dozens of new series, and it’s now virtually impossible for viewers to stay up-to-date with every currently airing franchise, contributing to fan burnout and the possibility of genuinely high-quality shows getting lost in the crowd and never finding their audience.

Seiji Mizushima is one of the people such concerns weigh heavily upon, but he’s not just some fan with a massive backlog of episodes he doesn’t have time to watch. Mizushima is a pro who’s been working in the anime field for more than two decades, directing hits including the 2003 "Fullmetal Alchemist" and "Gundam 00" TV series, and he recently took to Twitter with a bold proposal for how to improve the industry.

"I don’t think anyone would be worse off if the amount of anime getting made was cut in half. Some directors are even handling two shows in the same season, which is an incredibly tough schedule. There’s just an excess supply of content, and there are never enough people in the studio to get work done. What is the point in making so much anime? It’d be better to do a proper job of making series one by one.”

Many other Twitter users shared Mizushima’s frustration, leaving comments such as:

“Yeah, half as many series would be great. I can only watch, at maximum, like 10 shows a season, and only finish like six of them. I liked it better back in the day when one series was 26 to 50 episodes.”

“There are just too many shows. It’d be OK if they were all high-quality, but so many are one-season shows that end in like 12 episodes, then everyone forgets about them before the fanbase can builds up any foundation.”

“There’s no way I can watch them all, and a lot of series have really similar titles and stories.”

“I wish they’d go back to how it was in the old days, when one series would run for an entire year. And I agree there should be fewer series. I want them to have plenty of time to do a good job.”

“With all the time it takes to keep up with what’s currently airing, when do people who buy Blu-rays watch them?”

As mentioned by multiple commenters, it used to be the norm for anime to run at least 26 episodes, shown over the course of six months. By shifting to 13-episode runs, with the potential for sequel series if the show turns out to be a hit, anime creators don’t have nearly as much time to differentiate their works from other examples within the same genre, which can result in them feeling generic and uninteresting.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the unprecedented amount of anime being made today also includes some niche shows that are designed to scratch a very particular itch. For example, this spring "Uma Musume" was a solid success, but it’s hard to imagine how a historical race horse schoolgirl lesbian idol singer anime could have ever been produced except in an era when the industry is saying “Sure, let’s put that on TV and see if anyone watches it” to just about anything.

▼ Uma Musume

There’s also the fact that while Japanese animation may not have the “just-for-kids” image of its Western counterpart, anime is still very much a youth-oriented form of entertainment, primarily aimed at students and working 20-somethings without the time drains of family life or later-stage adulthood. The “too much anime” complaint might stem, in part, from fans having to adjust their media consumption habits as they get older, exit the largest fan demographic, and can no longer select “all of them” when choosing which anime to watch. After all, people would call you crazy if you said you wanted to watch every episode of every current live-action fictional TV series, and they’d do the same if you grumbled about not having time to watch every live-action movie that came out.

Still, anime is unique in that while it’s technically just a medium, there tends to be a lot more consumer crossover across genres than with live-action storytelling, which makes market oversaturation easier to occur. It’s also a basic law of economics that there exists, somewhere, a maximum total amount of demand for any entertainment product, and when supply gets greater than that, bad things are bound to happen, so maybe Mizushima has a point when he says the anime industry should slow things down a notch.

Source: Twitter/@oichanmusi via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Supporting cast of live-action Fullmetal Alchemist movie appears in costume for first time【Video】

-- Try to guess the 28 Japanese anime series that made IMDb’s top 250 TV series list!

-- Director of The Boy and the Beast, Summer Wars explains why he rarely casts anime voice actors

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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He's not wrong. There's a lot of crap anime out there.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

There's also a lot less good programming for mature audiences who aren't into anime.

The glut of anime is filling-in its stead.

In fact, much of the media entertainment industry has been dumbed down to appeal to youngsters in almost every field: music, movies, and TV.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

'Mountain Potato Junior High' has been translated into Japanese 'Yama Imo Chugakko' and is written for anime.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I agree. If we get rid of most of the mainstream shows (Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Fairy Tail, Shingeki no Kyoujin, and many many other terribly overrated shows), fans will have plenty of opportunity to watch high quality niche shows, the unsung heroes of the anime world that get buried under mainstream tripe.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I dont understand the anti-anime/manga people.Maybe I am bias, as I love anime. It is part of Japanese culture, and exports around the World. It brings Cultural understanding of unique culture, to foreigners. Being anti-anime is being Anti-Japan.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Just stick with the quality stuff and you're good, same with everthing

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Remember how Anime was in the late Showa and early Heisei eras? It was better!

The so-called "production committees" ruined everything!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All Japanese adults would be better off if manga was limited to under 15 year olds.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I dont understand the anti-anime/manga people.Maybe I am bias, as I love anime. It is part of Japanese culture, and exports around the World. It brings Cultural understanding of unique culture, to foreigners. Being anti-anime is being Anti-Japan.

Relax man. We’re only talking about the over abundance of low quality anime. No one is anti-anime or manga, just anti-bad anime. ;-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Its because they use filters to convert real image into anime, nearly all backgrounds in all anime shows are just real photos converted to look cartoony

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Being anti-anime is being Anti-Japan.

Neither the article or the comments below have been anti-anime or anti-Japan. I think that you are being rather sensitive and reading something that isn't there. Sheath your samurai blade - there are no enemies here.

Even if somebody didn't like anime it would not make them anti-Japanese. They might love everything about Japan apart from anime.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Being anti-anime is being Anti-Japan.

Ha, ha. This is bobbins Millions of people the world over love and appreciate quality anime. And anime belongs to the world, now. It's like saying being anti-reality show is being anti-American.

Like any other genre - there's good and bad. And the constant being that the bad usually is over-represented.

Calling it out is not being dismissive to Japan. Quite the opposite, actually. It shows we appreciate quality.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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