In the next decade

Should anime survive in the next decade, it’s not just enough that Japan’s loosening its restrictions on immigration given their declining population but also a very aware international demographic. Many more anime (and video games) are international co-productions.

It’s been done before but would change in quantity. The DMC reboot might not the last DMC game that’s an international co-production. The next one would be an Italian co-production and expect Dante to sport a hooked nose just like his namesake counterpart. (One wonders what or how will /pol/ and /v/ make of this.)

Japan’s already cooperating with the Philippines on an anime which proves my point very well. It could similarly happen if they worked with Italy on a DMC game to take advantage of such audiences.

Cooperative Futures

Japan’s already cooperating with other countries in some industries but would grow in the coming years. Considering that video games are far more popular and mainstream than anime will ever be, it’s unsurprising that Japanese developers are more willing to accept and co-opt Western influences in their input. With some games, they’re very willing to work with Westerners.

Don’t be too surprised if that’s how the DMC reboot turned out to be and if history repeats itself, they’ll work with Italians instead. Working with foreigners could be their way of seriously reaching out to others. But it’s not just reflected in their gaming, technology and clothing industries.

I won’t be surprised if Japanese studios also wanted to reach out to foreigners by making their products more marketable to those. This includes censorship but it’s a necessary evil to court certain markets.

And if anime studios are going to decline in the next decade, those that persist would have to cooperate more often with foreigners from now on.

Outside help

It isn’t just the Japanese animation industry that needs outside help but also the Japanese video game industry to a greater extent if the Devil May Cry reboot and Street Fighter are any recent indication. This trend could continue if Japan’s population declines any further without immigration to balance things.

Japan is already trying to cater to international audiences real hard but could intensify in the coming years. Had Japan handed the next DMC game to Italian game developers, the characters and plot would be closer to both the Divine Comedy and the namesake poet’s life.

Dante’s really important in Italy and while the new DMC could be just as controversial, it could also feel more authentic and would help both industries. Not to mention that Japan was one of Italy’s allies in WWII, the other being Germany.

Japan’s even working on a Philippine co-production which could prove my point.

Can’t write to save a character’s life

On the topic of sexualisation, that sort of sexuality is best handled by certain people when done sparingly and with care like in stories like In Clothes Called Fat. Or as what some people have said about one anime called Cutey Honey, it’s done by people who’ve been in relationships as opposed to several other anime which seems to be made by people who haven’t been there.

That makes sense if only because that would mean seeing people as more than their sex appeal and becoming more perceptive to such things. Characterisation is one thing but that’s only doable if the character isn’t such a stereotype to begin with. That’s like the difference between Marianne Faithfull and Lara Croft. One’s real and fallible.

The latter’s completely subjected to her creators’ whims and desires. That itself’s off as I don’t play video games much but it examines the problems with writers trying to characterise female characters. They’re still fallible in what they do, it’s however a matter of open-mindedness and life experience to create more believable female characters.

That elephant in the room

Even if not all anime are this perverted, but for every Jojo or Saitama there’s going to be yet another super-cliched or sexualised anime that’s only appealing to a certain demographic. When coupled with that Japan’s got a rapidly ageing, xenophobic population and far fewer barriers of entry to outsiders aggravates things.

Japan might be improving itself though it’s a matter of time when it’ll reverse such issues or not. If not, some other country would succeed it in adult animation. Not that there won’t be anymore smut but smut has its time and place and it needn’t to always dominate characters and plot.

It could easily be redundant. While one might argue that characterisation can counteract those, not when the characters themselves are stereotypes. But it could be that some anime fans get mad if somebody criticises their love of porn. Don’t be too surprised if an anime veteran criticises the industry for being too sexualised.

It’s been there and knows it’s neither fun nor glamourous. Just ask how Shelley Lubben or Pamela Anderson feel about working in porn.

Death of an industry

There have been anime professionals and insiders warning others about anime’s true future. Anime itself wouldn’t completely die off but would decline in prominence and appeal due to factors like oversexualised underage characters and many of them being interchangeable stereotypes. Even plots are practically interchangeable.

There aren’t that many anime productions that stand out and appeal to people other than anime fans, let alone take even bigger risks. A realistic anime based on someone’ trip to Antarctica could’ve opened up to people more than they would with ‘Oreimo’. The latter indulges in things that are pretty gross and shocking.

Perhaps alarmingly in the near future, the West could churn out more acceptable serious cartoons for adults especially when they’re based on literary classics. This has been done before and isn’t unique to Japan either but but at that time, it has achieved where anime could’ve wanted to do.

Rivalry

As anime continues to decline, with its veterans and luminaries moving onto bigger and grander things, other animation industries will take its place. Over time, you’ll have wonderful animated productions for adults based on literary classics like The Divine Comedy and Canterbury Tales. It’s been done through though in here it won’t be so watered down.

Even animated adaptations of stories like Faust and Sorrows of Young Werther would see the light of their day. Though in keep in mind that for every high-minded adaptation, there’s going to be room for less loftier adult animation. Some of which is gross porn and one of them is adapted from the stories of Marquis de Sade.

What’s inevitable is that other animation industries will fill in Japan’s gap if or when anime dies anyways.