Happy new year my Otaku-Darlings… one week late.
Making plans for the new year after one week of 2017 feels a little like insider trading on the stock-market, but real life occasionally leaves time to sit down and be all deep and self-reflective. Either that, or I desperately wanted to talk about how great Ouran Host Club was and forgot. It’s a fail either way, but we shan’t fail anymore.
Back on track I go
It’s time to sit back and think about what we hope to see in 2017. As reexamine what was popular, both this year and years prior, gives me an idea of what I’d like to see this 2017. While I can’t speak for all of us (and I pity the person who tries) I can offer what I would love to see.
- Focus Always on the Plot
Attack on Titan did really well this year. AOT was an oddball series that really hit home with both anime fans and non-anime fans. It’s a brutal, graphic story that would have been shut down several years ago, but now it thrives, why?
Because the writing is just that good; the setting is exciting; the action is fast-past, all that good stuff. But above all, because the plot betwixt all of this is gripping and people wanna see how it ends. The biggest mistake of new anime, which causes far too many of them to fall into decay, is the tendency to put all the pieces together with nothing in between to bind them. But if you can find that plot-glue, you can put just about anything on screen.
Case in point, HBO runs a series where rape is common and people drop like flies. All the time. Because if you want shock-value, you need that plot to be near perfect.
Make it good, and I’ll watch the whole world burn
- We’ve Seen It All. Be Aware of That.
Two series that took off in s years past were One Punch Man(2015) and Puella Magi Madoka Magica(2011). The former made people laugh, the latter made them cry, but they were effective at one thing: Lampshading their respective genres.
Your audience has now seen a lot of anime, An understatement that should you scare creators. Thanks to the wide canyon of knowledge that is the internet, anime is now an overflowing commodity. The audience now has a visual library to rival the local branch in town; thus they know when you start repeating yourself. Hence, when series like One Punch Man points out some stereotypes, mercilessly mocks them, then presents them up to eleven, it’s gonna resonate. Resonance will equal views.
Beyond the monetary incentive, shows like this really flex the creative muscles and lead to plots that are interesting and experimental. By doing more Fourth-Wall Breaking series (non-obviously we hope) we’ll see more crazy stories that will leave us in tears, laughter or fist-pumping.
- Fantasy Anime Is a Great Crowd-Pleaser
When it comes to people who watch anime but insist that they “aren’t really into anime” I often find they’re watching some kind of Fantasy anime: Attack on Titan, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fairy Tail and the like. In short, the non-fan fans will gravitate towards things that are more universal than traditional, and that’s a market that needs to be tapped more.
Fantasy is the key to getting more viewers because it reaches far more people than your traditional Shojo, Shounen, or even Harem anime. Every culture can appreciate the fantastical, the strange, and the downright amazing. It reaches all types equally, and the added cartoon animation makes it harder to limit the fantastical scope strictly to the imagination.
Take from the show with literal plot armor
- We Love you, Love us Back
I know, and I think we all should just admit it, we are a finicky lot. We’re a difficult to please lot and making something for us is never an easy task. That said, all we ask of you, really, is for the art we love to love us back: give us the effort, plain and simple.
Anime is a saturated medium with so many series littering it just for the sake of TV time. We don’t want something to fill the empty air, we just want a story that had real thought nestled in the bones. If you can do that, you’ll have the fan legions that legends speak of. It’s a new year, so go out there and make something exciting.
Do you have any new year requests? Feel free to share in the comments below. And, if you like what you see, tune in Wednesday for a new post every week as well: The Otome Review, where we review romance games for girls. And don’t forget to like and follow for more content just like this.