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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It just aint the same no more...

Anime and manga are almost starting to bore me.

Yeah... you read that right... but before those that know me start to hyperventilate... I guess I should be more specific here...

Its the glut of cutsey/moe, harem and battle themed anime and manga that are starting to bore me. Its not the fact that they have the same themes and similar characters that puts me off; because that is something I have come to accept (Heck thats something any Adachi fanboy/fangirl would accept).

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What IS ticking me off is that people are putting more effort into character design than actually building up a character. Sure they are pretty to look at... but nowhere near as memorable as characters from an old school manga and anime.

I can barely remember the names of some of the more recent manga I have read (let alone the characters). Its not that I didnt like them at the time nor that I found them unfunny or uninteresting. Its just that they really were TOO generic for me to care to remember much about them.

There is a glut of emotionally disturbed/dark past pretty boys (or pretty girls), the dudes or dudettes who for some reason has been stuck into a harem situation (which they must pretend to either hate or be completely indifferent to...), the klutzy-cutesy or cutesy-klutzy kinds of girls with boobs bigger than their brains, the supernatural female characters whose costumes could have been pieced together using less fabric than a pillowcase (if that) and must also include some cute animal appendages. They all look the same, act the same and really dont have any standout qualities. This basically makes it impossible for me to actually remember their names.

What gives me hope is that there are some exceptions to the rule (Thankfully!) . We have characters like Kou Shuurei from Colorcloud Palace, Sawako from Kimi No Todoke, Integra Hellsing and Alucard from Hellsing OVA, Rock and Revy from Black Lagoon, Jin and Mugen from Samurai Champloo. Think about them for a bit (if you know them) I am certain that some scene or dialog immediately pops into your mind. You are able to remember some defining characteristic pretty easily.

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Its just not the same with the majority of the current breed of anime and manga. Characters are no longer as "strong" as they used to be. The character of the characters (so to speak) is no longer the driving force behind an anime and mangas popularity or marketability anymore... and that really sucks...

I think back to the days when characters like Rurouni Kenshin, Saito Hajime, Lupin, Fujiko Mine, Faye Valentine, Spike Spiegel, Yang Wenli, Reinhard, Captain Harlock, Maetel, Miyuki Kobayakawa, Natsumi Tsujimoto, Ken Nakajima were the norm, where the characters had enough "power" in them to make me remember their names... even years later...

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Thats not to say that the women did not rely on sex appeal, and the men werent pretty boys in the good old days... Its the fact that they were more than just that.... Heck Fujiko is (arguably) more "provocative" than any of the anime women in this generation... She was sexy and she knew it... But the point is that their characters were more important than just their appearance... They used their sex appeal, but it wasn’t their sole selling point... they may have had 'complicated' pasts, but they had more to offer than that...Again... using Fujiko as the example... her character was based on her utilization of her sex appeal, but she did it with style, and she knew how to take care of herself in a scrap.…

I wish I could bring back those days. But perhaps thats just me... the fact is that such manga are popular among the new generation of anime and manga lovers... So yeah... It just aint the same no more...

P.S. - The 'Grammar Nazis' have my apologies for the slang and poor grammar... its one of the devices I use to augment dramatic effect.

6 comments:

Selenium said...

"I think back to the days when characters like Rurouni Kenshin, Saito Hajime, Lupin, Fujiko Mine, Faye Valentine, Spike Spiegel, Yang Wenli, Reinhard, Captain Harlock, Maetel, Miyuki Kobayakawa, Natsumi Tsujimoto, Ken Nakajima were the norm, where the characters had enough "power" in them to make me remember their names... even years later..."

I simply have to agree with you on all this. I too will remember these names forever because of the ultra strong characters they were and the impact they could leave on me... :)

Now that I think about it... Kara no Kyoukai, was the only Anime I've come across in 2010 with strong characters (read Ryougi Shiki, Touko Aozaki and to some extent, Koukto Mikiya too...)

And in 2010 I've spent more time revising my Anime rather than getting onto some new ones...

The Laughing Man said...

Good to know someone feels the same way...

I just got the urge to let that all out sudden when I re-watched some of Lupin the other day...

Even though Fujiko can be a total b***h sometimes... she still can handle herself... and (in the words of Lupin) "I just cant hate her"...

After all she is my #1 Anime girl who I would like to have as a mistress.

Selenium said...

OK. Off topic but out of curiosity... which one did you actually intend to marry that you're having someone (as great) as Lupin just be your "Mistress"??

The Laughing Man said...

Probably Shuurei as of now... used to be that I liked Madoka more... but Shuurei does not smoke...

saya said...

Hi,

This is the first time i read your blog..
Even I love reading mangas and watching anime and J dramas.
I haven't read many mangas tho..
But what you have written is just so true.
I have hardly found some good mangas n anime in 2010..

Hope to get some great characters in future atleast :)

The Laughing Man said...

@ Saya: Thanks. 2010 aside. I feel the same way about most anime since 2000, I tend to prefer stuff from the 80's and 90's (as you can probably see).

BTW... Do you watch K dramas?