“Anime is Running Out of Ideas”


The anime industry has completely run out of ideas of its own and is being forced to plunder manga at an ever increasing pace to make up for it, runs a recent critique.

An abridged translation of a Taiwanese editorial on the subject:

The editor-in-chief of Tong Li Comics [a major Taiwanese manga publisher which famously started out by pirating Japanese manga titles some decades ago] says “The speed at which Japan’s manga titles are being adapted into anime is increasing. Even titles which haven’t concluded are being picked up and turned into anime, if publishers consider the title to have latent potential.”

Lately even titles like “Beelzebub” and “Bakuman” are having anime adaptations announced, despite barely having 5 volumes out.

The anime industry can’t generate enough new ideas itself, but it needs to produce new titles and supply the associated markets – as a result it has had to rely increasingly on ever faster adaptations of manga.

The same thing seems to be happening with Hollywood – many novels and anime titles are being taken and adapted into Hollywood movies, and there are also a great many remakes of previous titles.

In both cases it looks as if they are running out of ideas of their own.

A recap of recent anime releases does seem to reveal an overwhelming majority are based on manga, light novels and eroge, with most of the successful original titles occupying the distinctly staid giant robot genre…

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    Comment by Anonymous
    23:06 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    watch gintama ^^, the anime explain how an anime is made and plan out lol..it was explained by Ginpachi sensei himself lol

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:11 01/10/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I love that shit

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:35 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I've never thought much of it, I always thought that working off a manga or a light novel was a good way to go since the story was proved popular enough.

    Then again, original titles like Eden of the East did show how effective originality on the part of the animation studios can be.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:28 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The funny part is that Hollywood has apparently run out of ideas as well (judging by the plethora of re-makes or comic book movies).

    The two should just swap stories.

    Avatar of EleutheroZeroONE
    Comment by EleutheroZeroONE
    21:45 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or to "old school"!

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:44 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think they should just revive old manga in anime adaptations. I wouldn't mind Mx0 or Ga-rei to be animated.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:50 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Okay, here's the deal most people don't understand. This was explained to me by people in the entertainment industry a long time ago when I made similar complaints.

    Let's say you're an exec at an anime company making US$100,000+ a year. (Heck, you don't even have to make that much, just enough to keep your family fed.) Your job is to greenlight new shows.

    Now you have two projects sitting on your desk to make into a show:

    a) An amazing new proposal from one of your company artists for an original show that's one of the best things you've seen in years.

    b) An adaption of a manga title with a decent following in some secondary magazine (not even JUMP) that's got a few chapters out. Not bad, could do well, but not even in the same league with the original idea in a).

    So which do you choose?

    "b" will win 95% of the time, maybe even more.

    Why? You ask? Don't they want to produce quality shows?

    Sure they do, but the most important factor here is fear, not quality.

    Anime are expensive to produce, and each one requires a lot of time and effort. A big show can make or break the company, and most of all- it can break your career.

    If you choose "a" and it's a success, you could literally be set for life as a genius producer who saw the talent for what it was and made it reality. Your name could be remembered like Yoshitaka Amano and Hideki Anno. However, if "a" flops, it's also 100% your responsibility, and you will accordingly have to explain to your wife why you didn't get the promotion, got demoted, or even lost your job.

    On the other hand, if you chose "b" and it succeeds, you'll get a job well done, and a promotion. (You're still a wheel in the system, but your company will be happy with you.) But, if it fails, then when you face your bosses you can say you did everything safe, and didn't take any major risks. You took a previously successful story and you picked a good crew to adapt it. Clearly the audience wasn't ready for it. Everyone will shake their heads sadly and things will move on.

    But you won't lose your job, and likely won't be blamed unless they really really need a fall guy.

    Which would you choose if you were them? With your wife, kids future, career, and $100,000+/year job on the line if you pick the wrong one?

    This, by the way, is also happening in Hollywood (in fact, it's the RULE in Hollywood) and that's why so many books and comics get adapted. It's also why so many focus groups are used with movies, so the producers can show the studio they're not to blame.

    Almost nothing good will come from the entertainment industry establishment for this very reason. It's the independents that take risks because they need to in order to get noticed, but once they're "in" they fall under the same system.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:25 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm sure back in the day before money was invented people told good and exciting stories around lets say a campfire or before children go to bed. Now with money in existence its either your life or your creativity/audience/etc in the ever-suffering entertainment industry - this is what we get for inventing currency as a way for living.

    Avatar of VZ
    Comment by VZ
    21:56 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Buillshit. Anime's been getting better than it ever has been in a long time. (late 90's-early 00's was the low point of anime for me). I LOVE the stuff that's being made now.

    Comment by soyokaze
    22:45 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Are you f'in serious? Unbelievable. Low point? Haha, that's a good one, low point started recently and it's more like a Mariana Trench than a temporary crisis.

    Avatar of RaspberryKisses
    Comment by RaspberryKisses
    23:13 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    well i don't want new i want same thing with little differences i don't care about innovation

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:47 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    it's easy to figure it out ~~~ their whole life are into drawing~ they barely use their brain

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:04 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hollywood is indeed out of ideas, but I don't see a connection to many "novels or anime" in Hollywood. In fact, I see almost none.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:44 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well I certainly welcome more adaptions from novels. Maybe, just maybe, we'll start seeing more serious and less moe anime.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:43 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is a simple overreaction to trends that (largely) don't exist. The percentage of anime series released every year that are anime originals has remained more or less the same for the past decade.

    Besides, completely original ideas are risky because they have to entirely earn their audience rather than relying at least partly on an established fan base. Being original doesn't necessarily automatically make the series good, either.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:29 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    time to start paying the ladies at CLAMP to make anime.

    Avatar of moebius22
    Comment by moebius22
    23:21 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    No surprise really.

    That's why I rarely watch new anime. I'm more likely to re-watch series like The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Bubblegum Crisis 2030, Mazinger Z, or Jungle Emperor over newer fair like Naruto, K-On, and Full Metal Alchemist.

    Avatar of Lannando
    Comment by Lannando
    23:30 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Out of ideas 4 animes is bad, but the world will end when hentai anime run out of ideas

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:31 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    FUCK YOU YOU TAIWANESE MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!! so what It just mean we see our favourite works animated sooner bakuman and beelzeub are superb manga and deserve their animes dead man wonderland too as well as Mirai Nikki and most mangaka 's dream is that their work be turned into an anime If studios are more open to it then turn off your jealous butt hurt and get over it and I hope Psyren is the next to get its anime

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:42 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    As long as it's entertaining and not 80% to 100% the same as other stories it's fine.
    There are lots of manga titles that would be fun to watch as anime like goudere, onidere, mysterious girlfriend x, subeteni iya garu, medaka box, etc.
    Even some mangas already have a 1st anime season with ongoing mangas like nagasarete airantou, seto no hanayome and rosario+vampire II. This last one should be done to replace the not-so-good capu2 adaptation.
    Anotherone I'd really like to see continued in the anime is Kenichi, and many more!

    So yeah, I think there are enough anime ideas, maybe not enough awareness from the studios of these ideas.

    Avatar of EleutheroZeroONE
    Comment by EleutheroZeroONE
    21:42 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    They can always try going back to basics!

    Avatar of Sukunai
    Comment by Sukunai
    20:25 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    A logical conclusion, but perhaps the truth is anime is now so much easier to produce/market/distibute, that paper forms are simply unable to outpace it any more.

    Video has been copying paper since film became a viable market. Anime is not doing anything unique.

    Avatar of Korpseman
    Comment by Korpseman
    21:28 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    We're all going to be reduced to watching those shitty Hollywood films.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:34 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nana to Kaoru anime.

    Just putting it out there.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:17 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anime ran out of ideas a long time ago. We've all been had.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:16 18/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    don't tell me they just recognized it now

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:29 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    nekomonogatari ^^ go, goo...

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:20 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i see this happening not only on anime but also on cinema and television shows...

    example, all the marvel movies comming out, that crappy twilight movies, or even lord of the rings

    all of those arent original ideas, but ppl seem to enjoy them anyway

    Comment by PhillB
    08:02 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    No wonder.

    However Hollywood has a slight advantage over anime productions. They do let foreign talents to take a chance (FTW Chris Nolan and Quentin Tarantino). But truly, anime can barely be imitated by overseas producers, so they're in some kind of ideal gridlock.

    All I can say is try harder.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:23 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    moe killed anime,

    get rid of it

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:44 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'll never understand why they haven't TRIED to make an anime adaptation of Resident Evil 1, 2, & 3.

    I'd pay top dollar for it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:36 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This would be awesome beyond words.

    Avatar of Syobon
    Comment by Syobon
    10:41 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    or silent hill!

    Avatar of Shirakawa
    Comment by Shirakawa
    13:04 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Still waiting on sequels to Full Metal Panic!, Ghost in the Shell (though SSS was still a fairly recent release), and wish someone could take anime to a new dimension, but that would be asking too much right? Manga is still fun in its original format, but anime can seem to be more one dimensional imo.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:03 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I believe that this has less to do with an industry running out of ideas as it is an industry less willing to risk a loss on something that may fail
    When everything must turn a profit to be of any intrest, those titles that would be of any risk will not be produced. The ideas are out there they are only waiting to be discovered.

    Avatar of TyChan (Is a Girl)
    Comment by TyChan (Is a Girl)
    02:24 22/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't know if they do or not but I doubt it wouldn't be so bad if they just expanded their market and looked outside of Japan for ideas. I'm sure somewhere out there is an idea worthy of turning into an anime and would pull the company some money.

    Avatar of Lurkerman
    Comment by Lurkerman
    13:04 20/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    ... Thats just silly... did Lupin the 3rd, Space Captain Harlock, Doraemon, Ranma 1/2 or Orphen wait until their "source material finished printing"? I get that they are waiting less time to pick up popular mangas and turn them into animes, and what does that have to do with creativity? They've almost always turned popular media into animes, its kinda what their based on! Hell, with Gainax making alot of anime-first series, I'd say that Anime is acually coming up with more new ideas than the industry used to! And give Hollywood some credit, I mean yeah, the do tend to just do the same thing over and over, teal and orange posters this, write a melodrama about an popular person/company that, but for all these constant reprints and reprints, they do still make the occasional movie that stands out, and those are the ones that we should be focused on!

    Avatar of MkMiku
    Comment by MkMiku
    16:27 22/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The solution sounds obvious, but I think they should just stop recycling the same ideas.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:33 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "That's So Raven"

    -Raven host alliance
    Warhammer Online:: Iron Rock

    It can't be "Huge In Japan"
    -Frankthe was here

    Avatar of Uncommon0taku
    Comment by Uncommon0taku
    17:27 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Its sadly too too true,... Unfortunately there are huge problems when a title is rushed into an Anime format.
    1] Bad Writing (of character dialog)
    2] Horribly Animated, as in some cases "Mutillated" by the Animation House, of a title.
    3] Background music sux, as well as the Opening & Ending Themes.
    4] English Subs are a joke.
    5] Producers are not as dedicated to producing a good product, so the series runs for 12 episodes (or less) and then it get abandoned. There are hundreds of 12 episode series as well as a few with only a few episodes. That are interesting and rather quite good, unfortunately were abandoned for various reasons.
    It really sux when you're left hanging at the last episode with so many lose ends unresolved.

    I was really bummed that there are only 7 eps of Candy Boy, its a really sweet story.
    On the other paw, Candiate for Goddess had cute characters, but the story was weak and the music sucked monkey balls!

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:55 20/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This happens since..1980? (dragon ball and its eternall fillers for ex) nothing new.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:35 20/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    they should travel more and learn to listen
    life is more interesting than movies
    find ideas in reality

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:14 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    You're saying that like it's a bad thing... Most anime only animes are pretty goddamn uninspired and shitty.

    That being said, i don't know of too many good mangas that hasn't been turned into anime yet, i hope there are some good i don't know of, i would like to see Vagabond and Vinland Saga though... and a remake of Berserk that runs up to date, i hope i live to see the day.

    Avatar of YoKozo
    Comment by YoKozo
    05:02 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    How old's this thing? If these people did research, they'd know that Bakuman has currently nine volumes, and the chapter count right now is enough for a tenth volume.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:57 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It isn't like new manga is some huge source of ideas. A lot of it is just the same as anime, a copy of older and/or ideas.

    I wouldn't mind an anime adaption of some overlooked stuff though, such as Enchanter, ID or mirai nikki.

    Avatar of Bigall
    Comment by Bigall
    01:49 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    So that's why Supernatural is been adapted...
    Saying that it might be good that the Japanese Manga and Anime start to explore other horizonts... There is still a lot of space for new and imaginative stories.

    Comment by Math
    02:07 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Exactly, the people dont notice that the reason why anime is running out of ideas is because the japanese themselves are becoming more stagnated as a population with the pass of the years.

    You can say that based on their own economy, that is dropping every year and now had lose to China the title of 2nd bigger economy of the world.

    Imagine how bad this should have been to the japanese pride...

    The japanese youth now are raising without dreams, without the hope for a bright future in contrast to the youth of the 70s and 80s, they are still the remanescents of the ''lost decade'' of the 90s...

    IMO the best solution to it it's like you said, explore other horizonts, if the japanese doesn't have more ideas surely the people from other countries, that have lived much different lives and have much more experience in certain subjects that most japanese dont, have.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:58 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    As long as Gianax is still making anime,Anime wont be completely un-original.
    I blame the other studios for being lazy.
    Some manga are just better as manga and while some of that like naruto and bleach depends on which you were exposed to first,Typicaly animes should not be made out of books that are short.

    Whoever did chobits stretched out four books to near 30 episodes.This is a habit you cannot do.
    ALso trying books that arent done put unessassary problems
    Strianing the manga artist to hasten his books,Useless filler animation inbetween book releases,all of that equals horrible waste of money and time.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:13 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    This shouldn't be a surprise considering how some storylines are recycled over and over and over and over again, with harems, fantasy, sci-fi, love stories, etcetcetcetc...

    Avatar of DenkouNova
    Comment by DenkouNova
    01:34 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    >implying that wasn't the case fifteen years ago
    Almost every "classic" from the '90s -- the anime everyone had seen back in the VHS age, Kenshin, The Slayers, etc -- was from a manga. After that Love Hina, Excel Saga and the like had been animated before the manga ended. Fuck.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:28 19/09/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    How is this any different than when the Dratgonball manga was adapted into dragonball and dragonball Z?

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