I’m probably going to make it worse…orz

A few days ago I published a post about, well actually it was a spoof on the concept of coolness and popularity as many of my fellow anime fans claim to not be cool or popular and I relate to that feeling. So I tried to make fun of my own obliviousness towards that concept. That’s actually what the post was about.

coolness is just a weird concept…

However, in order to make it fit this blog and really just as an interesting observation, I tried to frame it in the context of the rising popularity of anime and boy did I not chose the right example. I mention in the first paragraphs that people use to be embarrassed to talk about their love of anime even when it was their primary hobby, something they were passionate about and really one of the subject they knew the most about, whereas in recent years, people are more than happy to declare themselves as such, even when they have a lot of other hobbies to pick from or it’s not that big a part of their lives. I used it as an illustration of how far the acceptance of medium has come.

I didn’t do it on purpose but it seems I got the wrong message across. So I want to take a minute to clear things up. I really really encourage people to declare their love of anime regardless of circumstance. Even if you think it’s kind of meh or you haven’t watched any and aren’t planning to…

I’m not saying popularity is the most important thing in the world or that it should be a primary goal for people, but anime is an industry, an entertainment industry at that, popularity is a form of currency in those circumstances.

anime-fistfull of yen
I was going to make my own fistful of Yen meme but then I got lazy…

Publicly announcing love of anime, especially in a forum that can be seen by millions, like the internet, raises the industries profile and potential. Even if one never has any intention of watching a single anime, it makes it seem like they do, and the more people that seem like they would watch one, the more attractive anime becomes to potential investors. And it’s an industry that really needs to get the resources to take care of their manpower. Whatever personal gain one may get out of falsely claiming they like anime (which I doubt is any at all and that’s why I really don’t think anyone does or has ever falsely claimed to like anime), is completely irrelevant to me, while the gain to the industry is something that makes me happy.

Naturally a single voice isn’t going to make that big of a difference but in the internet, voices can get amplified. One person talking about a subject will easily find another wanting to talk about the same. Get enough of those people together and you have a movement, a tendency, a demographic. I want my beloved mediums to have the widest most mainstream demographics possible. And perceived interest, is one of the ways to help that.

One person’s stated interest, even if for some reason not entirely earnest, ca inspire another person. A few people talking about how cool anime is, may lead a new viewer to go see what all the fuss is about and actually become a devoted fan. It’s a domino effect. Heck, you could even argue that any publicity is good publicity and say that the people outraged at whatever they don,t like about anime are also doing the industry a favour but that’s not as straightforward and to be honest, right now, I sort of want to stay away from delicate and complex subjects.

we all know how it ends

And the advantages of being mainstream don’t stop at money. Yes funding is a big part of it and probably the best reason to want you’re favourite medium to move beyond niche, but exposure also has a lot of merits.

Having an industry be the next cool thing all the kids are into these days, means that there are a lot of kids that will become passionate about. And passion can lead to inspiration which can ultimately lead to creation. The next anime genius is out there but they might become notary or doctor instead if they never discover their spark for the art. Tragedy! (It’s a joke, we need notaries and doctors and those are great jobs…)

A few years ago, everyone and their aunt wanted to break into the gaming industry. I live in a town with a few studios and we regularly had news stories about how iffy conditions were in that particular industry. For the record, working in Quebec is pretty cushy compared to some places. Our studios didn’t have stellar reputations for how they treat employees although I know a lot of people from other countries thought they were getting spoiled. Point is, every kid wanted to work there to the point that schools specifically aimed at teaching you skills for the gaming industry started to pop up all over the place.

I’m not sure how this potential new workforce affected the big studios, I’m sure it helped in finding qualified people since they had a much wider range to chose from but then again, it meant they didn’t have to be so careful with their employees for that same reason. This aid, one thing it did do, is usher in a rich and surprisingly lucrative age of indie game titles.

DBZ notary
for some reason Google gave me this when I searched for anime notary and I’m fascinated!

In the past years, a much higher number of indie games have become smash hits and for good reason, A lot of them were simply brilliant games. And that industry was born out of passion. It was people who either desperately wanted to make it in the mainstream industry but couldn’t, or people who were so passionate about their gaming hobby they wanted to pour their creativity into it on their own time. Some of the pioneers created the tools to make it easier for those that came after to create their own projects and eventually, a whole viable separate industry was born that gave gaming fans access to this huge expanded world of games with crazy mechanics and incredible stories.

I want that for anime. I want to be able to randomly stumble unto someone who made Kyousougiga in their basement or something. And I want them to have Marvel money. I want the industry to be able to afford giving people 9 month maternity or paternity leave. I would love for them to have ergonomic chairs and provide animators with the latest tools. And I understand that it sounds a little crazy to link all of that to a single random person saying, I really love anime, but that’s where it starts.

And this is why, I think anime’s increasing popularity is a great thing and I feel like people who are vocal and passionate about their love for it, are an asset to the industry.

Man I hope I didn’t make it worse. I went on this super long tangent about video games. Believe it or not, that’s the edited version, the first one went on for paragraphs describing worker’s rights in the province and comparing benefit plans. It was pretty bad. Well at least I tried.

Rini 2020 (10)
this is my anxious avi




33 thoughts

  1. No, no I got it and I am absolutely with you. I figured out a long, long time ago that the vote that counts in this country (USA) is a vote with your money. I don’t spend money in stores or with companies that have practices I don’t approve of. I spend money with stores and companies I do approve of and hope to encourage them. I make it a point to watch CR originals, Netflix originals, and Hulu for anime. I WANT them to see anime is popular and make/buy/license more of it. I do, in fact, know that my in-laws see my profile on some of my streaming services and probably do check out what I have watched. I know that I was introduced to anime through friends who brought over DVDs long before you could stream licensed anime and I’ve been a member at CR for … a decade? Yay you. Yay all of us anime fans!

    1. I just realized that people were understanding the opposite of what I was trying to say. If you’re gonna be triggered, at least be triggered about the right thing, you know…

  2. The earlier post just happened to ping a sad note for me. I remembered genuine pain attached to the disrespect some people had for anime watchers and my son hiding his love of the genre because of it.

  3. I thought the original post was very funny. I even thought rising popularity was a great plot device.

    It’s kinda rough when you light a candle to push back the darkness and a voice from miles away yells at you for trying to burn their house down.

    I thought it was a fun candle. Which sounded way more interesting in my head. But since I can’t think of anything better, I’ll just leave it there.

  4. Oh, my! A lawyer of all people talking about how important money is and then encouraging dishonest behavior in pursuit of same!!! I just don’t believe it.

    *wink, wink*

    Hey, you sat right there and fed me the ammo, Irina. . .in fact, it was just so blatant that I think it might be a set-up, and this one the actual joke post. . .you so sneaky!!!

  5. Oh and why you got the Broly and Paragus is because of the lawsuit againsts and from former Broly Actor Vic Mignogna, whose law suits are wrapping up and all. There is notaries there so .. there you go ! Secret revealed!

  6. I knew what you were on about I thought it was funny! Clearly you weren’t being serious!
    As for Anime becoming a bit more main stream I am all for it. However… do think that is a double edged sword.

    Gaming becoming more casual has made gaming worse.. not because of the community but because of shareholders.The same can be said about fandoms like marvel!

    “EA makes so much money with their card game.. hyuk hyuk.. lets copy it.. we like money”

    “Hyuk Hyuk.. deadpool made a lot of money! Let’s make Thor more like deadpool, more self aware and funny.. because money!”

    To me the beauty of anime is that it is very much a product of it’s creators and not of it’s fandom. It is unique and isn’t that “thing” we all like. If anime’s popularity makes it more something that is deiced by it’s test audience rather than it’s creator (of course manga would have to change as well then) I think we will lose something very important to what anime is.

    In other words , someone like Kyousogiga , because of the surreal take on japanese religions and or the visuals. I am however AGAINST people liking anime because it is trendy. As these by proxy will make anime less awesome.

    Shareholders will see them buy anything because it’s anime and think… Hey let’s make another one based on gatcha’s so we can make double the money. Nothing is cool because it’s trendy.. it can be trendy because it’s cool but it should not never be the other way around.

    While someone liking things for the wrong reasons still can give a fan, I think the overarching issue is corporations who see people just follow a trend.. and than only start to produce trendy stuff.I dont think we are there yet, nor do I think these are bad people.
    Yet people just running behind a trend are the ones that are easy to measure and easy to please.

    While I hope the entire world will soon be able to tell me why Kamina is cool, I hope as few people as possible will tell me “He’s an anime character and anime is super hot right now bruh”

    1. I suspect we are more “there” than we may realize. There is probably a reason why one season will be full of rom-coms and the next will be full of isekai and then we have a whole rash of shounen. The studios are chasing the trend and not just creating good stuff.

      1. Isekais still can be pretty different from each other though, and there still is a uniqueness to romance to.

        There is just so many of them IMO because both of these forms are the easiest form of escapismn.. “if only I had more romance in my life” , “If only I lived in a fantasy world” are very basic imaginings.

        If we look at the stand out hits those seasons they tend to vary. We get a bit of action and standard shonen in the mix, but also stuff like Astra. We get Fruit Baskets, Demon Slayer and on average.. a fairly diverse mix of anime that actually get talked about and loved.

        I do think you are partially right, but plenty of Anime is put out to boost manga sales by their intended fans already. Isekai and Romance oftenly have good story arcs to cap things off after a season while you still want more. Action or sports have to end a season with a big W for the protagonist at the end of an arc and you can leave them alone after that much more. There is more closure. So as far as promotional anime go (not all anime I’d count as promotional) I’d say Isekai and romance are among the most effective once.. hence why I think there is so much more of them. They serve a different purpose and serve their purpose more effectively as in other genres.

      2. But that was the same in the 60s, except there was just like one or two shows that made it off the islands. So you would literally ONLY have rom-coms and only one at that. Storytellers try to craft stories people want to read or hear or watch. There’s nothing new there.

    2. I think I’m ery alone in being extremely optimisti in mainstream. I’ve been reading comic books for decades, way before Disney bought Marvel, and I really don’t think it’s worse now. Man hey use to tell the exact same story over and over again – good thing the image imprint took some chances because there was a real dearth of creativity. And I’m not sure why you think games are worse or even more casual. There has always been casual games. I mean tetris was a success and they immediately made dozens of clones and that was way before the industry boom.
      I agree hat shareholder control can be hindering but not as much as lack if funds.
      This said, I think I might be the only person that thinks this so I suspect I’m missing something. But hey, if someone starts watching anime because it’s super trendy, I’m happy to talk about it with them. I really can’t afford to be picky on who I will talk about anime with…..

      1. I do not think games are worse perse, but to me the experience is worse. Each game now is craftish or buildy, every game has this modern core about it.

        Fortnite generates waaaay to much of the total market and shareholders for others want it to be more like that. If its not, they wont approve.
        While many of the games on their own are great, it all becomes more the same game with a reskin to me. In Assassins creed you have to craft weapons nowaday, in every shooter you can now Parkour or dash or fly.
        While games still are great I feel zero compulsion to by nearly anything not nintendo as its all catered for the bigger crowds.

        I think the beauty of anime is how there is one we all love to bits, as it caters to niches and usualy very personal stuff..its why anime made me cry more than anything.

        While I do like the marvel movies fine, I felt more personally adressed in some old x-men comic i read, or even turtle ones.

        I have some friends inside the game buisness and I know the mentality is more, lets make a game that everybody likes, instead off what some people love.
        Expand the demograph is a very real shareholder influence.

        I honestly would rather find three people to talk about something we love, rather 20 people to talk about something we sorta like. I want to experience that excitment of… This is made for me, I want to LOVE.
        When we move to increasingly cater to wider audiences that happens less often.

        There is a beauty in sharing, but I think think of it like checkboxes, everone has a checklist with varying things. When popular ity hits you want to make sure everyone gets some boxes checked, however I will always remember how there used to be shows that ticked way more of my personal boxes, when they did not have to account for so many people.

        So while anime may not intrisiquely gets worse, it may get worse for me.. like scraping butter on to many sandwhiches.. some people like that.. but i like to be buttered up.

        1. I get what you’re saying. I find it charming that you picked two comic book examples that prove my point though. X-men was a flagship series that received a lot more resources and funding than other Marvel titles because of it and created tons of clones and cross overs. The stories were amazing because a much bigger team was working on it and they were allowed to push back print dates because the series was so much more popular than the average. As for Turtles, if it’s TMNT, they comics were always owned by Viacom(Nickelodeon) so they always had more resources than average.
          I also have a lot of friends in the gaming industry on all level. It’s a gaming town. I don’t think those that work for the big boys like EA have seen much difference. Ubi has changed a lot but they compartmentalize by game so it depends where you end up. I also know a lot of smaller and independent developers, a few of which worked for big studios and were only able to go their own way when games became a viable business and they could get investors and funding for their projects. I’m sadly sworn to secrecy for the moment but the second they release, I’m going to do a big post. I’m really excited about one of the games, it looks amazing and I’ve never played anything like it before. It is very weird though so I’m not sure if it will find an audience but heck, Stanley and Doki Doki became huge and even Yume Nikki has a cult following, so why not.

          1. I get the power of a big budget though but I feel there is a cap-off point. At some point more money wont improve our shows, so while I do not mind it becominf more popular I just think there is a cap off point.

            I do feel our feedback is still being used to improve but if 50% of the fanbase sorta speak says.. I dont care about characters or plot.. I watch it because its popular and I like it for that reason too.. than its harder to do.

            Bethesda changed a lot, Blizzard/Activision changed a lot, or at least to me. I used to love the direction of multiple companies, now I can only really gel with Nintendo , not perse by the developers or the games but the culture around them.

            We can gain enough money to cover a rose in gold, and it will look fancier, last longer, and can even function on as a hardend weapon now.. but if you were origanilly in it for the scent of it, you are gonna be left out of the new awesomeness or its not as impressive to you.

            Utopian wise, I agree with the concept but a goof example is horror movies, they now have bigger audiences so the majoriry gets dumbed down..with more blatant exposition, less subtext.
            They look slick but i dont get that kick I used to get out of it anymore.

            I am shifting more and more to crowdfunded passion projects as those have that passion and cater to a more select audience but if crowdfundef anime becomes a thing I think i migght end up with the short side of the stick

            1. I think one of the big differences is that you seem to mostly look at AAA media and huge studios whereas I tend to follow up on much smaller businesses since my tastes have always been sort of weird (regardless of whether a particular medium in “mainstream” or not). I think rising popularity affects these fields differently. Although I still think it’s an overall improvement. Just from the fact that 20 years ago I could only watch 2 anime on tv and to be 100% honest, they weren’t all that great. I’m sort of surprised I stuck with anime all things considered.
              I think that crowdfunded projects are amazing and really only exist because of popularity. Well I guess that’s sort of a given..they are crowdfunded. I think I’m tired, sorry about that.

            2. I just might be coming from a worse mindset than I usualy am, you make a lot of sense..I feel alien lately. Like everything is running foward and I just just keep falling behind.

              I like some indie studios indeed but its still retro stuff I mostly love. I just cant go foward as much as fast as others I guess. Even If I dont like the new direction there is still old stuff for me to love.

              You go forward young whippersnapper, Pinkie wil stay here with some candy , in case you ever want to look back. You are more progresive than me.. so now I think Erina-Kun is cool and hip!

  7. I don’t think there was anything wrong with your previous post titled “Is Anime Cool???”…

    Anyhow, I think it’s pretty clear that you just want to talk about how you want anime to be more popular so it gets more attention and love to help it grow as an industry.

    The bigger the industry, the cooler it is after all.

  8. Anime become mainstream in someways is great. It means we get to share this great artform with others. More money is being spent (on the animators hopefully) and more chances to get second seasons of shows. I welcome that with open arms.

    I don’t welcome the other part of that though. The arrival of clout chasers, ideological warriors, and people who haven’t accepted the strange, sometimes insane, way that anime works. That culture war is not sold separately from mainstream success. It is the price it has to pay for all those eyes and all that money. That culture war almost destroyed the video game industry, and is currently doing a serious number on comic books.

    Anime fans are more than willing to welcome new mainstream attention. But they won’t trade it away for moral grandstanding and ideological extremism. But it’s a reality that anime have to quickly come to terms with.

    1. Wait there’s anime clout? Can I get it? What can I trade it for?
      I actually welcome ideological debates about anime. I think any medium (and person) becomes stronger and richer when its tropes and preconceptions are challenged. Since I personally believe that anime has a lot of fantastic foundations I really don’t see how expanding it’s thematic horizons could be detrimental. After all the alternative is stagnation and that’s usually way worse.

      1. Debates and discussions are welcome, I like having them!

        But this is the internet we are talking about here. It won’t be done in good faith, and that’s the problem. Too much of “the discourse” on either side is wrapped up in ideological dogma and grandstanding, where “I’m right” is more important to “Let’s look at the whole picture”

        In our WordPress family, I know everyone here is going to be emphatic, to see other people’s viewpoints, even if we disagree, sometimes strongly. What about everyone else, where clicks are how they make money, and everyone is forced to talk in under 240 characters.

        Again debate is great, welcomed, encouraged, but it must be healthy and fare, and not viewed as an attack on the person.

        1. I like to err on the side of freedom of expression I guess. I do understand the pitfalls of everybody having an opinion but I’ve live through the alternative enough times to know that for me it’s worth it. I prefer wading through a sea of bs to get to the single grain of sand of sincerity than not having the option. I have to emphasis though that it may not be the best way to go about it. It’s a trauma based reaction and those are rarely rational. I just haven’t seen an alternative that truly works yet.

          1. That’s an interesting view to have, and it is not invalid. We have different views on this, and yours is totally valid.

            Our experiences I suppose, dictate how we view something like this. I won’t lie, I see the dangers and pitfalls far more the advantages, though I acknowledge their presence.

Leave me a comment and make my day!