Last week, Dai Sato claimed that anime will disappear within the next thirty years, due to a lack of creativity in the industry. On this week’s Bakacast, we address that controversial issue. Is the over-saturation of moe to blame for the anime studios’ financial woes? Or is this just another genre craze that has overstayed its welcome? Does too much focus on merchandising limit quality storytelling? We debate these difficult questions and more.
After that serious business, we move on to lighter fare with this week’s anime reviews.
Could we be living in the last days of anime? One industry insider seems to think so.
This article featured on ANN is from an interview with writer Dai Sato, credited with writing episodes for Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell. He paints a rather grim picture picture of the decline and death of anime within the next few decades.
Sato dismissed the idea of “Cool Japan” and complained that much of the in-between animation work in anime is outsourced to people in other countries, who may not be aware of or invested in the work itself. Similar to director Hayao Miyazaki, Sato criticized politicians and other who promoted the image of Cool Japan for their own purposes. Sato also decried series that were more about escape than about confronting real problems, and proclaimed that the anime industry in Japan is a “super establishment system” rather than a creative force, focused more on characters and on merchandise. He suggested that manga was “the last hold out,” and that if manga was lost then anime would not last without it.
While this reflects one person’s opinion, there are others who think the industry is growing. However given the subpar offerings for the summer 2010 season I can understand the reasoning behind Dai Sato’s statements.