Something about the anime fandom

Though not always the case, I do recall a thread on LibraryThing where a poster said that there’s not much of an overlap between those who like Japanese art cinema and those who like manga. It does seem oddly logical as there aren’t that many anime fans who’re that interested in Japanese wildlife, let alone stray dogs in Japan. Even then there aren’t that many Anglophone sources on those things so you have to go to Japanese language websites for that.

It’s also logical there aren’t going to be that many anime fans (or whatever) who’re into things like football in Japan (even though ironically that explains the existence of Captain Tsubasa so there’s going to be a market for that*). Well there are anime fans who do bother to know about Japanese women going after Balinese gigolos. But I suspect from personal experience, not much.

There might be anime fans aware about Japan’s social problems but the real issue may be that some anime fans might not be comfortable about the idea of Japan having a dark side or any other romanticised country really.

*Considering football’s also popular in Britain, there’s a comic called Roy and the Rovers.

Looking to the prose

I said before anime’s demise might make some anime fans turn to prose fiction instead as one of the more viable alternatives. The real question might be a matter of not only taste but also fan sentiment. Might some anime fans, starved of action and adventure, turn to Edgar Rice Burroughs and almost any of the older science fiction authors for that fix?

It wouldn’t help matters if a famous mangaka started doing Bible stories that it seems their favourite franchise might not be around forever, let alone in its expected form. So it seems if not anime, then similar prose fiction may satiate fan preferences. (Actually those who like fanservice might not like what he’s going to say.)

In lieu of anime moe girls, might Dejah Thoris be one of the more moe science fiction prose heroines around? Instead of Dragonball, they might turn to Tarzan and John Carter instead. A more radical option’s to turn to New Wave science fiction, go through the likes of Philip D Kick and Ursula LeGuin.

Some of it’s wishful thinking but anime’s absence might enable prose fiction to become a doable substitute.

Post-anime and the end of Japanophilia

Though Japanophilia did exist before anime and anime fandom, it’s more parsimonious to say that at this point Japanophilia has reached a near-pedestalised position in some fan perceptions. Something like a mere fantasy land. To be fair, this kind of idealisation isn’t unique to anime fans.

Somebody might idealise Germany without the grit and pain. Any country really. Bear in mind Orientalism can and did exist outside of Japan. There’s the original early 19th century Orientalism which focused on the Middle East and Turkey.

Then there’s the Orientalism of sex tourists (both male and female) whenever they patronise Southeast Asia. Actually even female tourists do head to Indonesia to find Balinese Kuta Cowboys. (There are also cases of Chinese men marrying Russian and African women so there’s that.)

I guess post-anime and anime’s demise might serve as a wake-up call. In the sense that it seems Japan’s not always anime-land and there are worthy ACG scenes outside of it. (There are people who do give Chinese and Korean comics a chance.)

It wouldn’t be any better if Japan wasn’t involved at all but I suspect anime’s demise might open the doors to enjoying more animation outside of Japan really.

Something for the family, after anime

I suspect if anime were to come to an end, if confirmed by a mangaka, I have a feeling anime and manga’s own demise might be a blessing in disguise. However for non-Japanese Asian countries and even African countries who all have their very own comics industries (comics do get published in Africa and I’ve seen some of them), they could all flourish in anime’s absence. As in more space to replace what’s left.

That’s not to say there aren’t any adult comics of these. But I suspect given government restrictions in some countries that they might constitute the majority of child and family friendly media. Actually it’s already happening to some extent today. If you look hard enough, Uganda’s even got the Katoto cartoons and even has a comic featuring a character resembling Samurai X’s Sanosuke Shigara.

Likewise Cote d’Ivoire’s got Aya de Yopougon which even got adapted for animation. (Same with South Africa’s Supa Strikas.) Kenya’s got Tinga Tinga Tales. Then you’ve got India which claims the likes of Motu Patlu (also adapted from comics) and this other production on Ganesha. Most of these are fairly clean family-oriented productions.

To stick to Asia-Pacific, the Philippines does have several comic strips going for it like Pugad Baboy, Kikomachine and Love Nuts. There’s also Trese and Darna, which the latter got several live action adaptations. There’s also Malayasia’s Upin and Ipin, which I’ve seen some on telly. Though not all of them are child friendly, they’re mostly notable enough to warrant mention.

Who knows as I think Africa and most of Asia are catching up real quickly. Though anime’s demise might actually be a good thing as it allows other countries in fill in a big gap.

The American replacement

I still think out of all the animation industries in the globe, America might be best equipped to replace Japan however as the top adult animation hub with India and China being the more kid friendly version. That’s already been years in the making considering there were adult-oriented direct to video productions such as Dante’s Inferno and any one of DC’s productions. Add online media to it, you get a solid future for American animation.

If it sounds strange, you might as well add in Spawn, Adult Swim and The Maxx for good measure. That still proves the point but it does open doors. Not only are Gremlins and the like getting animated adaptations, but that makes one wonder whether if a cartoon version of At The Mountains of Madness might even be feasible. Actually that’s been done before.

Disney and anime are no strangers to adapting prose stories. Warner Bros’s already that experienced in it, endlessly mining DC Comics for inspiration. Not to mention fan-made productions that in the wake of anime’s demise, American animation would be best equipped to make let’s say a Naruto out of Starship Troopers.

Anime’s loss–America’s gain?

I have a feeling American animation and Western animation in general might ironically benefit a lot from anime’s demise in the sense of effectively taking over its niche. Actually they’re on their way if you bring up Rick and Morty and almost any DC animation. Or any online animation.

That makes the most sense that given anime’s demise, animation studios will do anything to fill in the gap. I even said that prose fiction might also be a doable alternative. In fact, it’s likely Western studios will do anything to buy the rights to any prose novel and turn it into an animated production.

When it comes to adapting such works, might the likes of Starship Troopers be the next anime? A much odder one’s that without manga/Japanese comics, all the other Asian and even African comics (I’ve seen some) might fill in this big gap but with the Western comics being firmly for adults and edgy teenagers.

That’s already being attempted with Aya de Youpougon getting an animated adaptation, so did Supa Strikas and Katoto’s one such Ugandan production. Actually the Philippines’s very own Trese also got an animated adaptation. It seems highly likely that in anime’s absence, any other country will dedicate to its animation industry a lot more.

The coming of age for post-anime

I still think considering anime’s possible demise (if an anime professional were to say this), I have a feeling whatever problems it has and with some anime professionals escaping it I’d say the biggest problem’s that a lot of anime wouldn’t age well. Especially for the biggest reason that is anime professionals doing other things. Admittedly, by Sturgeon’s Laws almost anything else will age badly for the same reason.

That is a big circumstance will upend this. It’s like if anime fans did turn to prose fiction after anime’s demise, that would similarly turn their perception of anime upside down. In that if anime’s perceived maturity (as distinguished from non-anime animation)’s now turned on its head once we get to things like Dune, Island of Dr Moreau and the like. Even if childish prose literature does exist, in this case it’s the next best thing.

Or at least one of the more viable alternatives. (Some of it’s wishful thinking but if anime were to die, Dune might emerge as an unexpected alternative and perhaps one of the most potent.)