Anime goes to the underground

If it sounds odd for post-anime to look up to Western comics and especially American underground comics, this makes sense should anime die (somebody else might say this too) then inevitably certain professionals will look to substitutes for inspiration. In the absence of Japanese anime, the only thing that has adult comics and animation in abundance would actually and necessarily come from the West.

Whilst there may’ve been anime referencing Western stuff or being influenced by it before, post-anime would look up to anything Western as a viable alternative since anime’s demise. I mean if/when anime dies at all, maybe and perhaps strangely enough the next anime might actually be either American underground comics or European comics.

(I have a feeling a prominent cartoonist might be equally influenced by Moebius and Japanese comics.)

Or at least highly influenced by either one of them. But that’s still saying that if/when Japanese anime’s not around anymore, it’d inevitably be wiser to turn to the likes of Moebius and Vaughn Bode for inspiration.

The new American animation

Like I said, I have a feeling that if anime or rather Japanese anime (as the very word in Japan and to some extent France’s used to encompass non-Japanese productions) were to die and if another Japanese professional were to confirm it, substitutes might inevitably take its place. That substitute could be American and at this point, there’s a substantial number of adult American productions.

I mean Netflix can claim Castlevania and recently He-Man in addition to Bojack Horseman. Likewise Gennedy Tartarkovsky’s got Primal in addition to your Rick and Morty. These are some of the productions I can name of. But these are also really, really likely since the Internet already has a lot of adult animations around. That’s if you hard enough.

Likewise there’s already a good number of American equivalents to Japanese anime smut: the Tijuana cartoons, some Penthouse and Playboy cartoons, some underground comics and any of Zone’s animations. (Some of them are even true equivalents to Japanese porn doujinshi.) I still think Western animation in general’s in a good position to replace anime should it die at all.

It wouldn’t be any better to some extent but one that would have good ramifications for the global animation industry upon anime’s demise.

All anime are adverts

Somebody already said it and when you start taking the likes of Gundam into consideration (anime franchises closely entwined with and are part of toy brands), then the argument’s going to be very sound. I mean it’s like how some anime fans shun certain animation productions for being toy commercials yet some of their favourite anime blatantly are. Very much so with Gundam.

(Especially when it comes to every toy produced.)

There are anime that aren’t made as adverts such as Mount Head. On one hand, they’re truly personal works and on the other hand, they’ll never be popular enough to spawn both a large fanbase and toy lines. But that would mean having to look hard enough to find something this uncommercial. (Though being this detached from the general anime subculture’s enough to spare it from its worst excesses.)

Not to mention not only are some anime made to advertise the comics and novels they’re based on but also tend to be backed up by sponsors. Especially corporate sponsors and the odd fact most anime are currently aired late night, made to function as informercials for Blu-Rays means there’s a better argument for anime being hollow corporate enterprises than you have with Western animation.

Whether if some like ir or not, there’s a way better argument for anime as toyetic (since most of them are almost always made to market figurines for certain audiences) when you think about it.

For old people

I still think that in almost 40 years time, the only people who’d personally know anime well by then are pensioners. As strange as it sounds, things like Lensman used to be a bigger deal back then too. (Green Lantern’s heavily influenced by Lensman just as Star Wars owes a lot to Dune.) There’s even a possible precedent for it. Anime professional Hideaki Anno had a feeling anime might not be around forever, the next one will confirm what he said but saying that anime’s own demise’s partly due to sexualising minors a lot.

(That’s something not too many anime fans would like to hear or realise, since almost all anime characters are sexualised teenagers but ones targetted to old hardcore fans.)

Anno also said that Taiwan and other countries might even overshadow Japan in the forseeable future. This is already happening now as they’re already making their own animations a lot. I could go on saying that even Africa’s catching up a lot with things like Bino ands Fino, Supa Strikas, Katoto and Aya de Yopougon. Rao help if the next Naruto’s an African production. (It’s actually somewhat unsurprising as Nollywood’s already increasingly this well-known.)

I have a feeling that some Japanese mangaka might move to neighbouring countries for good (well one already did, however to France) soon as Japanese anime declines. The decline might’ve more to do with growing sexualisation than with financial ones. If true, then I still think the only people who’d fondly remember anime as it was are old people. Maybe not always the case but Rao help if the next Gundam anime’s actually mostly headed by Filipinos that’s when Anno’s own predictions come true in a way.

Hideaki Anno and the start of post-anime

Since the director Hideaki Anno said that Japanese anime might decline between five to 20 years from now, should another anime professional say similar things they might as well be confirming what he said earlier. Whether if anime fans like it or not, Anno even said that Taiwan might replace Japan as the centre of Asian animation though I think it’s much likelier for China and India to overtake it.

Rao help if that anime professional also says that Southeast Asia might replace Japan in general when it comes to Eastern comics and animation. I think that’s already happening to some extent with Malaysia’s Upin and Ipin airing on the Disney Channel, The Philippines can claim Barangay 143 and Trese. I could go on saying similar things about Africa. South Africa’s got Supa Strikas, Nigeria has Bino and Fino, Uganda claims Katoto and Cote d’Ivoire has Aya de Yopougon.

As for post-anime, I still maintain the opinion that the real difference’s that post-anime looks up to Western comics and animation for inspiration, especially as a viable alternative now that Japanese anime and comics are gone. If Japan is the hub for anime, could China be the hub for Oriental post-anime? (One wonders if Nigeria and Kenya might be the new African hubs for animation.)

It seems if Anno and his ilk were to be believed, Japanese anime might not be around forever and sometimes anime’s best replacements are from Japan’s immediate neighbours.

Redundancies

When it comes to Wally West actually returning to the Flash stories, it’s really a case of you be better careful with what you wish for. Especially when it comes to Barry being the current Flash and Bart being Impulse/Kid Flash but not when Wally’s now an adult man that it’s going to be difficult making him distinctive anyways. Especially if they have the same power set really.

Not that Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures is any better but it does make the family members distinctive in their way to whatever extent. The fact that almost any former protagonist (at least early on) becomes a supporting character, often a mentor’s a good way of dealing with it in addition to differing personalities, circumstances and abilities.

The former protagonist-turned deuteragonist/tritagonist mentor’s actually a pretty good role, especially whenever a new protagonist shows up that they still have importance in helping the new generation. This is something that may’ve happened in the Flash stories to some extent but that involves actual character development. Jotaro Kujo was a delinquent.

In that by the time he started mentoring Josuke and Giorno, he pretty much grew up and became a reliable (though not always so) big brother figure. Same with Joseph Joestar to some extent. Logically in the Flash, if Barry’s still around and Bart’s his grandson then he should’ve replaced Jay Garrick in his role.

Especially now that he’s got to mentor the next generation Flash, even if Bart may not always accept it. Again not always the case but when it comes to a new generation of protagonists, Barry Allen (and to some extent Wally West) should’ve gone the way of Joseph Joestar and Jotaro Kujo. In the sense of being wisened, somewhat reliable mentors (even if it’s not always so).

That would’ve been a way to preserve their integrity without being made both redundant and go out of character.

The real problem with bringing back Wally

I think the real reason why would Wally West become murderous’s actually because he’s made redundant by both Barry Allen and Bart Allen. I mean if you have this two around and Wally shows up as another Flash, it’s going to be hard trying to make either one of them stand out. Let alone without becoming unrecognisable.

Wally West being the Flash made much more sense if Barry either retired or died (which happened in canon) with Wally stepping in and replacing him. However if Barry’s still around as the Flash, then it’s going to be that hard for Wally to stand out from his shadow for good. That’s even the case in real life to some extent whenever it concerns still living relatives of dead icons.

John Lennon will always be better known than Sean Lennon. David Bowie will always overshadow his director son. Narratively speaking, the only way to keep all three men around’s to alter one or two of them. That even happened in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures where whenever a new character comes around, at least in the older stories, the former protagonist becomes a supporting character and often a mentor.

That did happen in the Flash comics proper though I think JJBA pretty much got away with it to some extent by making the characters as different from their predecessors as possible to some extent. Power-wise and to some extent, the protagonist themselves. It wouldn’t hurt if Bart Allen became a detective whilst Wally’s now a stay at home father to two teenagers and Barry being the new Jay Garrick.

That would’ve been better what we got but that also involves a lot of pragmatism and hard thinking really.