My thoughts today revolve around the 90's. That is, the 1990's, not the depths I could go into about the number 90 as a whole and what it may entail to cross a 9 with a 0 at any moment in time.
Japanese Animation in the 90's was great. It was the peak of perfection when it came to imagination. The television networks of legend had gained a real foothold on the possibilities that Japanime may present, the mass of people (children and adult included) that they could attract. The liscensing agents had a selective boom on the real interesting and out-there stuff they could bring over.
Okay, sure, so Japanese animation as a whole in the 90's wasn't pretty like it is in the eve of, say, 2012. The dubbed voices on women, especially, grated the ears. But this was also on the cliff of voice actors in general as well. There were more people voicing characters, there were more studios trying out the anime experience to represent people. And the real solid voice actors of today were being founded. Later on, late 90's, well into 2000, more studios took a cue from Pioneer Entertainment and started using the same, what, five people to voice everything? So suddenly the main badass guy of every series had the same bloody guy doing the part. Every young girl was another Sasami. Now that I ruminate over it, it may have had something to do with cost.
Having a lack of funds really did the 90's justice. Sure it was a two-edged sword, like with the voice actor thing, yet when you are strapped for cash you can get really inventive. I think that's what makes anime in the later years of era 2000 so bland. Not only are the liscensing companies bringing over more and more anime, regardless of how good it actually is, the animes are so good-looking now that they've all collided into one mass style. Whereas, in the 90's, you had a few staple series (like sailormoon) to appease some fans, it was mostly hardcore, off-the-wall movies. That is to say, companies are buying series now to make a dollar off of the number of episodes it has (many episodes being strung together like syrup and filled will filler eps) instead of solid one-shot features that put in a good, rounded experience. You also see more 26, 52, etc numbered series that are watered down to fit the number-wagon than solid, innovative OVAs like were brought over to the US in the 90's. Over time there was this strong lean from OVAs, movies, and series, to full blown only series. It's tipped this scale strongly in a wrong direction.
There is a similar problem with videogames. In the 90's, there was a limited platform with which to work. So you ended up with a handful of standard, strong genres. Like rts, rpg, side-scroller, fighter, point&click, and the then-little-touched-upon fps. Some game creators were very inventive with what they had.
Then you move forward in time and the game creators first pandered heavily to dark, goth, story-driven rpgs. And now it's swung completely away from story and creativity and full in the face of first person shooters and pretty graphics. They were so hardcore into the fps thing that they've all about forgotten the poor rpgs, who crawled into the crevice of the handhelds for solitude. All other genres kinda went to hide with Nintendo, and were forgotten. The good news about videogames is that customers are noticing the huge imbalance and calling for more yang to the yin. They want more experiences, more cake and less muffins. 'Cause, you know, muffins are great and all, but sometimes you just need cake. And while the game companies have been blinded by the money pig and rush to stay with the game (so to say), they are only now realizing this as well. I have a good feeling that the next gen game systems will have more genres and re-akin itself with the past, as well as make some new genres. Re-collabrify itself.
This beings me back to Japanime. Liscensing companies, and anime creators, have been blinded by the same money pig and rush. Those bastards haven't yet noticed the monster they've become, even while the very foundation of anime as an industry is cracking at the seems. You've seen it, right? Anime is on the decline. People aren't buying as much and are pirating more. This is because everything is in full series expensive box sets now instead of individual dvds. Everything IS a series now, everything is similar. There's little to choose from now that seems worth it, and the heavy press of everything being 26 some episodes makes getting into it an epic task. Especially since most series are watered down to fit the multi-episode moniker that will make them more money. People aren't getting the enjoyment they once got.
We can change this.
Just take a step back and look at what's going wrong.
Don't blame the pirates for your same-same shows and expensive box-set only series.
Anime should go back to being diverse. Push for movies and OVAs again. Push for mangas (the root of animes) to be different and detached from the current mould, to be adventageous. Advertise it better. Have more television networks carry the ethnic cartoons in full blocks. Cartoon Network finally brought it back, what about G4tv and Scifi (or what it is today, sadness...) Convince Fox or PBS (or some other major network that people flip to) to carry an anime or two on one or two days of the week. And have a stronger hand on what comes over. It's going to sound evil, but it's a necissary one. I'd rather have five real good, thought-provoking animes come over than ten watered down series about kids playing cardgames. For those series and movies and OVAs that do make it over, make it like a bonus program. If you create more of animes C, F, G, H, and I, we'll buy it. We don't want animes A and B as much as that's ALL WE FREAKING HAVE RIGHT NOW! Thank you. Yes, I would love a plum riceball.
Thus I believe anime can be saved.
God's Present Aim Name = Quaidis