Not long ago, me and a friend did a panel at a geek convention in which we defied the idea held apparently by most old anime viewers that anime in the past was better than now. Our idea was to present ourselves as a middle ground; we think anime was neither better nor worse than now; but that we would have to fight mostly against those who think anime was better before.

We started by asking everyone their opinion on the subject. Predictably, most people argued that anime was better before. There were some neutral and one who thinks anime is better now, but it was clear most of the room supported the Old anime theory. We did our panel, gave our reasoning as to why this isn’t the case, and proceeded to the “round table” part of the panel, in which we expected lots of people would rise in disagreement.

To our surprise, no one disagreed. It was the prevalent opinion that our arguments had merit and their opinion about old vs new had changed thanks to it. None of them thought anymore that old anime was better.

So that has kinda encouraged me to write my opinion on the internet, that lovely place in which I’ll be insulted by people who haven’t read past the title because they’ll feel their favorite old anime is threatened, but hey, if my argument has such a success in real life, maybe I’ll manage something even on the internet, or maybe this will be my most controversial piece yet, who knows.

Let me say first that my argument is not by any means that new anime is better. There are things old anime did better, and things it does better now. There are new anime I find absolutely amazing, but also old anime. In fact, my favorite anime of all times is the original Macross (1982), although westerners may know it better as Robotech (not exactly the same series though)

In any case, there are several factors that I think make people believe old anime was better:

1-A hint of truth, but misplaced

2-Avaliability

3- Refusal to change demographic

4- Timeline compression

5- You remember the good not the bad

6- Low consumption

7- Following bad recommendations

8- Evangelion was better than new anime

9- Nostalgia

10- Cgi animation misconceptions

11- Misconceptions about fanservice

 

-A hint of truth, but misplaced:

First of all, as in all things, a lie is more credible if it has a hint of truth. There ARE things that are different from old anime to new anime. Art style for example, has been changing with time. Today’s anime have kind of a “standard” aesthetic that most studios imitate, and if you don’t like that art style or get tired of most anime looking the same, then it’s obviously a “bad” thing in respect to old anime. But the thing is, this is not a problem of new anime; it has always been like that.

About every decade there’s a prevalent style that studios tend to imitate, making it the “standard” style of the time. We had a time in which all anime looked like Saint seiya, then all anime looked like Slayers, etc. Is not that new anime looks the same, is that most anime at any given time looks the same. You simply find it most refreshing cause it’s not what you’re accustomed to see now, so if you go back to watch an old anime, it looks different. And there are always exceptions to this that have a distinctive art style, at any given era. Today’s standard may be that kind of “clean” or “moe” aesthetic but you still have lots of works like Angolmois, Carole & Tuesday, No guns life, Fairy gone, Pop team epic, Flip flappers, etc, that have very particular aesthetics.

It’s also true that there are certain topics or even certain narratives that are rarely done anymore; which by the way is not a problem of anime, but a problem of ALL MEDIA; just look at old movies and you’ll see topics and narratives you’ve never seen before; this is because in the past they tended to experiment to see what would be successful, but at some point they realized what the most successful thing was, and simply started to do copy after copy of the same product. That’s why today you have tons of “marvel” type movies that are basically the same movie over and over, toned down for casual consumption, and very few “godfathers”.

In anime, there could be said that mainstream shonen now simply copies the same product over and over, to the point if you’ve seen one you’ve seen all of them, and they’ve basically become a product for casuals who have never seen a shonen before. But this has a simple cause and solution that will come up in one of my points later, so I’ll not go into it for now. If you want to read more about what I think about mainstream shonen I have this other article, but that’s a different topic  https://www.kukuruyo.com/2018/02/26/mainstream-shonens-bad-default/

In any case, there are topics and narratives that are barely used anymore, but the same can be said in reverse. There are topics and narratives now that were barely touched before, and anime has in general gotten more serious over time. And with this I don’t mean that they are less funny, I mean for example that previously mech anime were basically just about a big superhero robot who beats endless droves of nonsensical enemies using nonsensical powers, but after things like Gundam and Macross came along, it started a wave of mechs viewed from a realistic standpoint that has prevailed till today.

The same could be said about other genres; there’s still a lot of typical anime, but there are also a lot more anime in which they try to explain why the protagonists win, instead of just asspulling the fight or the power of friendship. Series like the Fate saga go to great lengths to explain all of the details why one character can beat another due to their abilities and circumstances, and lots of series do it too, when in the past was more common that the protagonist just wins cause he’s the protagonist and remembers his deceased brother.

Another difference would be the length of the series, which really isn’t either good or bad. Old anime tended to be long series, while now they are usually confined to seasons, so they have either 12 or 24 episodes. This can be bad, in regards that they sometimes have to compress information, leading to a bad result, or also can be good, in that now anime don’t have so much filler as it did before and just tells you a good story in every episode. You still have series full of filler like Naruto or One piece, but they’re the exception rather than the norm, whereas if you watch old anime, sometimes is hard to not get bored at how much they repeat scenes and animations over and over to extend the episodes or how many episodes were just crap unrelated to the story. This is really a matter of personal taste, but if you prefer super long series, regardless of filler, you will prefer old anime.

One thing I’ll absolutely agree with the “old anime” camp is isekais. Isekais have basically a “pre-sao” and a “post-sao” era. Pre-sao, isekai just meant that someone got pulled to a different universe, typically medieval, and then they were involved in the main plot somehow. You had amazing isekais like Escaflowne, or the original “trapped in a game” Dot Hack. But when Sao came along it started a wave of isekais that use the exact same elements, which include an insanely overpowered and boring main character, a ridiculous way for reaching that universe (so much that “truck-kun” is basically a meme), and a harem of girls/boys who fall in love for the protagonist when there’s absolutely no reason for them to do so.

Most isekais after that are a copy of that, simply using a different thing to excuse the protagonist being overpowered. It may be a mobile device, or that he had “geek knowledge” about mechs, or being a super high level videogame skeleton, but they all basically follow the same pattern, and if you watch one, you’ve watched them all. Now it seems that after Konosuba arrived, there’s a craze of isekais that are parody of isekais, to the point that it has become a genre on itself, and is almost as repetitive.

Isekais are the best argument going for the Old anime position, but in the end, it’s just one genre, and there are genres that have, in exchange, gone better, like the already mentioned Mech genre, that has gotten a lot better since it got more serious, and modern animation allowed for detailed cgi mechs.

And boy does Mech anime look fucking good today.

Another thing I liked in old anime, although this is more a personal preference, is how there were more “pervert” protagonists, whereas now protagonists tend to be Beta males who are afraid of even visual contact with a woman, but considering the amount of people who dislike “ecchi” in anime, this is hardly an objective measure of anime being good or bad in the past.

Now all of that shows that this is a discussion with a lot of grey, and there’s a reason why my argument is not “new anime is better”, but “both are about the same”: because both old and new have good and bad things. And that’s why I’ll argue in this dissertation.

-Availability:

One of the main reasons why people think old anime was better is that they don’t realize that in the past they didn’t have access to all anime.

People today looks at the entire panel of anime for each season and thinks “woah, most of it is garbage; in the past, most of it was good”. Well, no. You simply have knowledge of everything available now, when you didn’t in the past.

I don’t have exact numbers for how many anime was released each season in old times; it would be a very difficult thing to know all of the series that appeared in Japan in, say, summer 1985, since there was no internet and no platform compiling this at the time, but we know that the amount wasn’t exactly small. Myanimelist has done an effort of gathering the info they can about every season ever, and while this obviously will be missing most of the crap anime of the time that no one bothered to write down or remember, you can still see the seasons are very packed of anime https://myanimelist.net/anime/season/1985/summer

I remember that I watched an old documentary about anime maybe 20 years ago, in which they interviewed Japanese animators and they said that more than 40 anime were released each week. So even if we don’t know the exact numbers, we know that each season was packed with lots of anime, of which we didn’t know probably even 10% at the time.

We are talking about an era before the internet, or when it was a very young and super slow thing. Getting information about what was being released in Japan in the 60s to 90s was not exactly a common thing, much less obtaining a copy of them. Companies only licensed the best seller anime, and the fansubing wasn’t exactly common either; not many people knew Japanese, much less had the knowledge to add subtitles to a VHS. I remember I saw Evangelion for the first time in some pirate VHS that a friend sent to me from one of the biggest cities (in Spain) cause it was impossible to find any other way (it wasn’t licensed yet). Also, you really didn’t have a way to know if an anime was good or not before watching it, cause there wasn’t anything like trailers going around, you mostly relied on mouth to mouth, and you tended to watch things that people told you were great, so you rarely watched some random shitty stuff by mistake.

Speaking of mistakes, this is a mistake that happened in 2001.

This means that the vast majority of people only had access to the very best anime that each year had to offer, and absolutely no knowledge of the amount of crap that released at the same time.

Now, you just go to any anime site and in a few seconds you see all of the 40-50 new anime, with a summary of the plot and a trailer, and you instantly know, without even the need to watch it, if it’s going to be crap. That makes you realize that most is crap, and makes you believe that today’s anime has a lot more crap than before.

Also, I would like to point out as a defense of anime both new and old, that in every single media, most of it is crap. Most movies are crap and go straight to dvd, or have low profile in theaters; amazon is completely filled with absolute crap books that are basically fanfics, because it’s very easy to publish, and is not as if the popular ones are much better (cofcofTwilightcofcof50shadesofgray), steam is filled to the core with cheap games that are borderline scam. Every single media is filled full of crap, but you simply select the good stuff.

In the past, the good stuff was already selected for you. It was the equivalent of cutting out every Steam section except the “best sellers” one, but making you think that those are the full selection of games.

Also, there should be mentioned that for many people their only access to anime was what was in TV at the time. That means that a huge lot of people ended watching the same anime cause it was all days on TV for years, so they all share a nostalgic sentiment for the exact same anime, and also because of that many watched the same anime year after year as it was emited time and time again. Basically, they grew up with those anime, and that lefts a bigger impact than just watching an anime for the 3 months of a season.

-Refusal to change demographic:

This one particularly irks me cause it’s absolutely the fault of the viewer and even if you tell them they usually still commit the same mistake again and then blame anime as a whole.

What I mean by the refusal of change demographic, is that anime; and it’s one of the great things about anime; differentiates between target demographics and has something for everyone. You have “shonen” anime that’s targeted to male teenagers, which stories that will be simple and casual, bidimensional characters, and topics that will be attractive for young men, like sports, battle, ecchi or teenager angst. You have “shoujo” anime targeted to female teenagers, with stories equally simple but topics for girls, like love stories, or cosplay, or yaoi, etc. You have “seinen”   and “josei” for adult men and women, with more serious topics, complex characters and plots, more intelligent narratives, adult characters with more credible reactions, etc, and a lot more labels like kodomo for little children.

Each of those are intended to be watched by people of different age and gender. When you’re young, you’re supposed to be watching shonen or shoujo cause they’re stories tailored for you, which a high chance that you like them. And when you grow older, you get tired of watching the same kind of story, grow up into different interests and problems, and feel more identified with the “seinen” and “josei” characters and stories. The shonen/shoujo anime gets, logically, too simple, repetitive and uninteresting for you.

The problem is, there’s a huge number of old anime viewers who absolutely refuse to switch from shonen/shoujo to seinen/josei, and yet, they complain about how anime has become simple, repetitive and uninteresting for them.

Well, newsflash, anime hasn’t got more simple, repetitive and uninteresting, it’s you who should have stopped watching “copy-of-naruto-number-345” years ago, and switched to more adult anime instead. But you don’t do that. Instead of navigating through the huge selection of anime every season, looking what’s the target audience and checking if it’s interesting for you, you simply watch the popular thing of the season that everyone is talking about. Well, the popular thing that everyone is talking about is fucking obviously going to be either a mainstream battle shonen like Boruto or a bromance like Yuri on ice cause most of the anime audience is young, and that’s what they like. But you have long ago gone past the time you enjoy watching Naruto beat an impossible opponent singlehandedly with no fucking logic behind it, and would probably enjoy a more complex approach with other anime.

Like, seriously, I can’t count the amount of people I know who complain about modern anime being just always the same, and yet the only fucking anime they watch is the mainstream battle shonen of the season. “Woah, old anime was better cause it had Full metal alchemist; what’s that? I would maybe like “No Guns Life” or “Tanya the evil” you say? Nah I will watch “My hero academia” instead; woah this is just more of the same, old anime was better”.

Rinse and repeat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop, seriously. Just stop paying attention to what’s popular among teenagers and take a look at what’s out, check the target audience, and watch new, more adult stuff that panders to your tastes.

And for fuck sake, if you find someone who doesn’t watch anime cause they think it’s all ridiculous predictable battle stuff, don’t ever, EVER, try to convince them by making them watch a mainstream shonen… the amount of people who must have been scared off anime by casuals telling them to watch something like Naruto or Bleach…

 

-Timeline compression:

Whenever we talk about “Old anime”, the first thing that should be clarified is what the fuck “old anime” means.

I’ve been hearing the “old anime was better” since about the year 2000. So, “old anime” is anime pre-2000s? But wait, if they said that in 2000, it means it was already old anime by 2000, so it had to be at least about 5-10 years older than that, I guess. So old anime is the pre 1990-95? But wait, I’ve also practically never hear someone who argues for the “old anime was better” refer to a show that was released pre 1980. Japanese animation has existed since about the 20s, and anime per se is considered to have been born in the 60s, yet I see no one saying that “the old good anime” were the ones from the 60s and 70s. We don’t ever hear people saying that “Flying phantom ship” is the best anime ever. So “the good old anime” is the one from a very specific timeframe from 1980 to 1990-95? But wait, I’ve seen also lots of people talking about “the better old anime” refereeing to shows released in 2000-2010 or even in the 2010-2015s. So what, what timeframe are we talking about when people say “old anime”?

I’ll tell you: they’re speaking about the anime from the period that went from the first time they watched anime as kids, to the point in which they were adult enough that they started to have a standard of quality (or till they decided to jump into hating modern anime cause it was cool to do so). That’s why the timeframe in which anime was suposedly good changes so much. Some were kids in the 80s, but others were kids on 2010, and thus, for someone who was 15 years old in 2010, Hunter x Hunter (2011) is “good old anime”, but Gundam series from the 80s, or Ghost in the shell, aren’t really that much “good old anime” and more like “outdated boring anime”.

The problem here is that people compresses every single anime that they’ve liked through their whole existence into one imaginary frame of small time, and then set it against the last two years of anime. All of the favorite anime that they’ve had had since they started watching have appeared in very different times with a lot of space between them, yet in their minds they all released about the same time, in a magical golden era of anime that contains every single “good anime” ever, against this mediocre modern time that dares to have bad shows mixed with the good ones. Every single anime in that imaginary era was good, because only the good anime are allowed into this magical timeframe.

By that magic, Akira, which was released in 1988, gets lumped on with Evangelion, released in 1995, with Monster from 2004, with Tengen Toppa gurren lagan from 2007, with Full metal alchemist brotherhood from 2009, with Hunter X Hunter from 2011 and with the Monogatari series, and all of this comprises “old anime”, as a block that somehow happened about the same time despite being separated by spaces of 5-10 years between them in which somehow no bad anime was released.

And the funny thing is that, as I mentioned before, the “old anime was better” has been around since about 2000. So that means that series like Monster, Gurren lagan, FMAb or HxH all happened at a time that is supposedly worse than “old anime”, and then became “old anime” as time passed. I mean if you wait enough amount of time, any anime becomes “old anime”, so I guess that the trick is to complain that modern anime is bad till that anime gets old enough that you can use it as an example of why “old anime was better”.  Series like the Fate saga, Stardust crusaders, One punch man, Iron blooded orphans, Bungou stray dogs or Mob psycho have all been released about 4 or 5 years ago, so if you wait 3 or 4 years more you can claim they’re examples of why “old anime” was better.

By 2025, OPM will be “proof” that old anime was better.

In any case, the point is that comparing the anime of the most recent two years against a combination of all of the best anime that have ever existed since at least 1980 is not exactly a fair comparison.

 

-You remember the good not the bad:

This point ties with the previous point. People tend to forget the bad anime with time, and only remember the ones that have left an impact on them. Personally, I tend to forget bad anime from even one season to the next, and even the average ones I probably don’t remember them by next year. So you can be damn sure I don’t remember a shit from bad anime that I saw 5+ years ago.

This creates a false impression that there were no bad anime before, because you simply don’t remember them. You only remember the good ones and, as mentioned in the previous point, you mix them up in a magical “old era” in which they were only good anime and magically no bad anime released in the years between each of them, because you don’t remember any of them.

The truth is that Dark cat was released in 1991, Garzey’s wing 1995, Ghost stories in 2000, Eiken 2001, Boku no piko in 2006, Mars of destruction in 2005, and basically the vast majority of the considered “worse anime in history” are well within what people call “old anime” era. And if you have never seen one of them KEEP IT THAT WAY.

The show was so bad that the voice actors were given free reign to do whatever the fuck they wanted. And whatever the fuck they did.

 

-Low consumption:

Another point that ties with some of the previous ones is that many of the people saying that “old anime was better”, have a very low consumption of anime, if any at all. I know lots of people who pose that argument but they’ve basically not watch more than one anime per year since maybe 10 years ago, if they even watch an anime per year, or an anime at all. So obviously if you never watch any new anime, or very few, the chances that you find anything you like are, by logic, very slim.

The worse part about this, is that many of these people, even if they have low consumption, are on geek communities or have friends who watch anime. So they basically see a lot of dumb memes and videos that make them think that anime now must be bad, but they never get to check it for themselves. I mean if you only look at the chart of anime in the season but never actually watch any of them, the only thing you have going are covers and summaries, which many times don’t really convey much, and at worst give you a bad image cause, as we pointed out earlier, most media at any given time is crap. If you’re in a community that’s all the time posting lewds from Monster musume and similar anime, you’ll get to think that all anime is based only in lewds, and if then you never actually check yourself if there are other stuff that is worth to watch, you’ll believe there isn’t.

So before trying to claim that old anime is better than new anime, make sure that your rate of consumption of anime now that you have a job is even close to the amount of anime you consumed when you were a teenager student with no worries in the world. Or at least you watch a decent number to be able to know what the fuck are you talking about.

 

-Following bad recommendations:

Tying yet again with previous points, like watching few anime or refusing to change demographic, many people commit the mistake of watching what’s popular or recommended by hyped friends, instead of material according to their tastes.

It’s obvious that the most popular thing at any given time in anime history is gonna be a mainstream battle shonen, or in some cases, a bromance, but mostly a mainstream battle shonen. You’ve already seen that one. Many times. If you’re complaining about “old anime” it’s to understand you’ve been watching anime for a while, so you must already have seen several mainstream shonens. It’s absolutely logical they’re gonna tire you out. They’re the same series, over and over again. So stop going back to watch another one.

And “another one” is what will be popular and people will recommend to you. Ignore that. Shows tend to become popular because they’re casualized, simple stories, that probably will have a lot of focus on ecchi, completely dumb battles won by asspull and many other stuff that are at the core of the complains of many people about “bad anime” and will no doubt add to your idea that new anime is bad. But the thing is that popular stuff was already that bad when you were younger, but you didn’t notice. Now you do. So you should have that in mind, and be wary of the popular stuff. I’m not saying you should absolutely refuse to watch it, but holy shit don’t take Boruto as an exemplification of what constitutes quality anime in 2019. It’s just an anime that got popular with the young generation in 2019. Go look for other less popular stuff that suits your tastes. You’re probably already at an age in which you will understand why people loved Ghost in the shell so much (substitute GiTs for whatever anime was considered Top art at your time and you didn’t understand cause you were 15).

If you’re gonna look for recommendations do it smart. Either ask friends who know what your tastes are to recommend a series that they think YOU will like, or ask on the internet for a specific thing that you want to see, and what you don’t want to see, so readers know what they should recommend.

“Recommend me an anime” with absolutely no other hint must be one of the worse ideas if you are wary of modern anime or anime in general.

 

-Evangelion was better than new anime:

I’ve used Evangelion here simply because it’s one of the most relevant anime series ever. It’s said to have even saved the anime industry at the time, and is one of the few anime that has managed to be insanely popular with both the teenagers and the adults of both genders. It’s the favorite anime ever of a lot many old timers (one of my favourites too), so even if others hate it with a passion, it’s still probably the best name to use for this point.

Still, the point isn’t really about Evangelion. You can substitute Evangelion with the “big anime” of your time or your favorite anime ever. The point is that many people base their argument about Old anime being better simply on one anime that was absolutely relevant to them. For many people that anime was Evangelion, but there are other popular names, like FMAbrotherhood (which again, 2009, “old”) or Code geass (2006) to name some. They liked this anime more than any other, and so that means that any anime that has come after it is worse, or even bad. I’ve seen this many times. In many cases even creates impossibility for them to consider any new anime as high quality, or even to enjoy new anime. Every anime is by default worse than their favorite anime and it will always be that way, so they watch anime in a kind of disheartened way, as if no new anime was worth the time cause it couldn’t possibly be as good as that one. I frigging love original Macross but I still watch any new instance hoping it will be better, and many times they’re amazing (Frontier) and other times they’re not (Delta).

Point is, stop treating all new anime as bad simply because no series manages to be better than the “best series I’ve ever seen” cause that’s not exactly a fair judgment. And don’t intentionally treat every new series as inferior because you WANT that anime to keep being “the best”. And maybe you should even watch that anime again to realize maybe it wasn’t that great as you remember.

 

-Nostalgia:

I don’t think I have to say much here. Aside of being probably the most used argument on the internet against the “old anime was better” I’ve already mentioned several points that directly tie with nostalgia, like not wanting to switch demographics or not realizing that a show is bad when you’re a kid, or not wanting to let go of your Old favorite anime.

Old popular shows tended to be as bad as today’s popular shows. Difference is you were a kid, and now you have in your mind that sweet memory of how great that show was. Reality is that if you watch that show again, you realize how crap it was. I still remember trying to watch Saint seiya again some years ago, and I went from sweet memory to “why the fuck I watched this abhorrent shit” in less than an episode. I also watched some Slayers recently and time hasn’t really been good on it. I think the only popular show that I saw when I was a kid (I’m 36 so we are talking the 80s and 90s here) that I still tolerate today is Dragon ball. Everything other mainstream shonen of the time I find horrendous if I see it again.

Speaking of Dragon ball, it serves me well to mention an example. I remember when Dragon ball Battle of gods came out I had discussions with several people who claimed the animation was nowhere near the “quality” of the original Dragon ball series. Battle of gods has quite the good quality so this was quite the thing to say, but these people were absolutely convinced that the old Dragon ball series had amazing animation. At one point someone mentioned the fight with Freeza as some kind of legend in animation, far better animated than BoG. My only response was to go to youtube, search for the fight, and put a link to it. The discussion was settled right there. The animation was crap, and they recognized they kinda remembered it a lot better.

Yeah this really isn’t the best animated fight ever.

I see complains now about Dragon ball Super being bad, because things like “it has a lot of bad humor” or “everything is solved with transformations”. Well, sorry but Dragon ball was the same back then. The difference is you were a kid back then, and you are now an adult trying to watch Dragon ball, so you notice all the bad stuff.

Well there’s a lot that could be said about the nostalgia factor, but I said I wasn’t gonna say much about this since it’s a very much spoken topic on the internet, so there’s that.

-Cgi animation misconceptions:

Cgi is one of the arguments for why new anime is “bad” and is one of the most misinformed ones. People think that cgi has only been used in like the last 5 or 10 years, but reality is it has been used since the early 80s. Macross already used it in 1982. The thing is that when cgi is used correctly, you just don’t notice, and that’s what happens in most anime.

There’s a point here in which you can notice but probably wouldn’t if i i hadn’t told you.

Cgi is used for a ton of things, from backgrounds to items to vehicles to special effects in fights (you think ufotable does their shit by hand?), to missiles and all kind of weapons and even people, but you just don’t notice. In fact, the problem here relies in a few anime that have tried to use cgi for humans without having the actual quality to pull it out.

Shows like Berserk or the dance scenes in Zombieland saga have given CGI a bad name, but those are the exception, not the norm. In most cases you don’t notice that it’s there, and even on those you do, it looks cool. Initial D got popular in part cause the cgi cars looked so well in comparison to how bad the 2d drawings looked. Mech and battleship anime has benefited greatly from cgi, giving us more credible and impressive mechs, and recently some anime even manages to pull off humans done in cgi with impressive results.

This show is full cgi, and i tell you, it’s a good show

A couple of low budget shows don’t take away from the advances in cgi. In fact animation as a whole has gotten a lot better. There shouldn’t really be any doubt that modern anime is better animated than old anime, but there’s always someone who tries to compare an old high budget movie with a new low badget series as if that was any kind of fair comparison that proves anything.

Fact is average anime today looks decent in animation, while old average anime looked like crap in animation. There are some old movies that were so godly made they can keep up with anime today, but again exceptions rather than norm, and they would still be beaten by todays movies of similar budget.

 

-Misconceptions about ecchi:

Let’s be clear first that I’m not in the slightest against ecchi; I’m in fact a porn artist, I basically live from doing ecchi. But it’s evident there are a number of people into anime who dislike ecchi, or at least ecchi in excessive quantities. Be it because of their ideology, or because they think that if an anime has ecchi in it, it means it has a bad story (which isn’t true by the way).  We also should make clear that is not the same a show that HAS ecchi and a show ABOUT ecchi. A show with ecchi is just a normal show with a specific plot and story, that happens to have sexy characters or some sexy scenes in it, like for example Evangelion, which has sexy characters and a couple of ecchi scenes through the series, but no one in their right mind would say it’s focused on that to the point it ruins the story; and a show “about” ecchi is a show with a complete focus on ecchi that usually has nothing else going for it other than the ecchi itself, like Monster musume. And I must say that even I dislike this later case, although some people even prefer for anime to be that way. Some anime manage to pull it off though, like Keijo, which is about a sport of girls hitting each other with their butts and boobs, but manages to put all the weight on the sport and humor rather than ecchi scenes.

Seriously, whatch Keijo, this shit is too good and totally self aware.

In this regard, it could be said it’s true that there are more anime “about” ecchi in modern times than before, but this isn’t much relevant, since the argument given against modern anime isn’t that some shows are ecchi focused, but that most shows (some even say that ALL shows) have ecchi in it in too high quantity, and since they relate ecchi = bad plot, this means by extension that most new anime has bad plot.

The relationship between a show having some ecchi scenes and the plot being bad is one so ludicrous that should fall by its own weight. A show doesn’t stop having a good plot, good characters, good fights, good development and good direction because in one episode there’s a bath scene. That’s plain out stupid, and it doesn’t even deserve to lose time on it. If you believe that, the problem is you, not anime. The same could be said of people who believe this makes the show bad cause that makes it “sexist”. Sorry, again that’s a dumb argument that doesn’t even deserve time and the problem is you.

The point that needs to be addressed here, is the belief that “old anime” didn’t have fanservice. In this case I see a combination of “remember the good stuff, forget the “bad” stuff” and the refusal to admit that their favorite anime may have a “defect” (by their perspective). Because old anime was fanservice as fuck.

In fact some of the most hardcore fanservice scenes I remember come from old anime. Ninja scroll had a scene in which a kunoichi was tied up and fingered. “Crying freeman” had basically sex scenes. Lots of old anime had characters naked on screen, while modern anime uses different types of censorship, to the point they make jokes of it like “mysterious beams of lights”. I remember reading the old Mazinger Z comic not long ago, and there’s a part in which two women fight naked while they slice people into pieces with their hair; I don’t know if this got into the anime though, but if it didn’t was because they took it out, not because it wasn’t there.

You don’t believe it? Take a look at this huge compilation of fanservice in old anime:

https://www.kukuruyo.com/2019/10/23/fanservice-in-old-anime-compilation/

And it’s not even the nude or sex scenes, completely normal anime had sexy outfits for the characters, but people just didn’t care. Slayers  was a show that was in tv when I had about 15, and one of the main girls had huge boobs with common jokes about it. They also joked about how the protagonist was flat, and there were several girls like Martina or Naga who basically wore a bikini with shoulder armor. It has factually more fanservice than shows that today are considered “too fanservicy”, but it’s all the same considered one of the “old good anime”.

If anything I would say the problem here is people who have started to complain too much about fanservice. Some do it because their ideology tells them that any sexual representation of women is bad (the male fanservice they don’t mind), some because they watch the popular shows with fanservice instead of the shows they would like, some because they’ve somehow led to the dumb idea that any expression of fanservice means bad plot, but whatever the case, it’s the number of people complaining about it what has increased, not the amount or intensity of fanservice itself.

If we were talking about Moe, it would be one thing, since moe really started ramping up after shows like Lucky star and K-on, but moe is a different beast.

 

-Finalle:

There probably are other arguments that I haven’t laid out for this misconception, but these arguments seemed to be enough to convince the audience at the convention. In the end is a combination of nostalgia with misinformation and accessibility. You will have bad and great shows in the time from 1980 to 2000, and also bad and great shows from 2000 to 2010 and 2010 to 2020.

Now, since I don’t wanna leave with just an assertion that they exist without pointing out which ones, I will show some modern anime that I think are great and at the same level, if not more, than anime from my teens, in case you want to check on it for yourself. Since it’s not really clear what constitutes “modern” and “old” anime, i will use examples that i consider relatively recent.

-Re: Creators

I may be biased on this one, cause i’m a cartoonist and this anime talks a lot about the process of creating characters. It’s kind of an inverted isekai, in which several characters from fiction begin to appear in the real world, and split into two sides. The series have absolutely amazing fights, but it’s not really focused on that, but rather on character development and the process of creation of a good fictional story. I consider the villain to be one of the greatest ever in anime, and this anime to be one of the best i’ve seen.

 

-Shin sekai yori (From the new world)

I don’t even know in which genre i would classify this anime, except by saying it’s great. The story follows the life of a group of kids in a village where everyone has psychic powers, but also hide a lot of secrets. It looks like a rather plain premise but the story and characters are so very well made, and there’s so much more happening than it seems at first. Be aware that this gets very dark.

 

-Violet Evergarden

You probably have heard about this one, since it was widely used when the animation studio got burned in an arson. The story follows a girl who was raised as a doll for war, lacking empathy or feelings, and when the war ends, tries to work as a letter writter. It’s filled with lots of small sad stories from the people who hire her, so you better watch with some tissues close by.

 

-Binbougami ga:

This is an extremely hillarous show. In fact, i would say humor anime in recent years probably is the best it has ever been, with lots of very funny shows. This one follows a girl who drains “good luck” from people around her, so the gods send a goddess of misfortune to her house to compensate. Lots of references to other animes.

 

-Girls und panzer:

This is a very misleading anime. The first time anyone gets told about this anime, me included, you think it’s gonna be just girls doing cute moe stuff, with tanks in the background. Big mistake. The series is actually focused on the tanks part, pays great attention to detail on the specs of each tank, it’s relatively realistic (movie aside), and the tank animation is just mindblowing. A complete must watch that even non anime fans like.

 

-Hinamatsuri:

Another hillarous show. The protagonist is a kid with psychokinetic powers who gets sent to this word to presumably enslave us, but she’s too lazy to do it, so it all turns out into a daily life with psychic powers. I don’t really like daily lifes so it says a lot that i liked this one so much. Very good characters and very funny.

 

-Houseki no kuni (Land of the lustrous):

A full cgi show that’s just visualy beautifull. The story follows a race of gemstones who live quiet lifes, except they have to defend themselves of the attacks of some mysterious entities from the moon. It has a different way than usual of narrating the story and i quite enjoyed it.

 

-Kanata no astra:

One of the most recent animes, and one i waited for every episode each week. The story follows a group of teenagers who go on a field trip to another planet, until shit goes horribly wrong. This anime manages to efficently mix mystery, thriller and humor. You spend half the episode laughing out loud, and the other half wondering who’s the villain and what are the secrets behind all that’s happening.

 

-Kyosugaiga (Capital craze)

This is another anime i can’t quite place in a genre. Only thing i can say it’s that it’s beautifull. The story goes about a monk who has the power of making his drawings come to life. One day, a black rabbit falls in love with him, and the goddess gives her a temporal body so she can declare her love. But the rabbit doesn’t give back the body, and the monk draws an entire world for both of them to live. It’s mostly lighthearted, though it has a couple secrets and dark moments. Watch the serie rather than the ovas though.

 

-Schwarzesmarken:

This is suposedly a prequel to the Muv luv series that can be viewed without watching Muv luv. I don’t know if that’s true or not cause i haven’t watch Muv luv, but i can at least say i understood this anime without problems. The story is about an alien race invading earth before the fall of the Berlin wall, and the germans fighting them with mechs, but rather than focusing on the mech battles, it focuses on how absolute shitty was to live in Germany at the time. Stazi hillarity ensues.

 

-Expelled from paradise:

This is a movie that won several awards. The story sets in a future were humanity has been almost wiped out, but there’s a space station in which many of them live as digital data. One of their agents is sent to earth with a mech to track some hacker that’s trying to fuck them up. The story is interesting considering it’s less than 2 hours, and the fights are brutaly cool.

 

-Tsurezure children:

Another anime that had me laughing till it hurted. It’s composed of small romance stories among different couples, each weirder than the last. Short episodes so you can watch it in no time as well.

 

-Thunderbolt fantasy:

This is one of the most amazing “anime” that i’ve ever seen. It’s done using entirely real life dolls and special effects, imitating old style samurai anime, and the result is mindblowing. Just watch for yourself, i can’t say any more that would convince you.

 

-Grand Blue:

An anime that reminds a lot to Golden boy. It follows a group of university students who spend their days drinking till they pass out. And sometimes they do diving. But mostly drink till they pass out.

There are a lot more anime but i can’t be here forever, if you want some quick names: Aho girl, Bungou stray dogs, Dumbell nan kilo no moteru, The Fate saga, Flip flappers, Free, Golden Kamuy, Iron blooded orphans, Hsone to masotan, Inuyashiki, Joshikousei, Konosuba, Little witch academia, One punch man, Promised neverland, Patema inverted, Saga of Tanya the evil, Suisei no Gargantia, and Darling in theNO i’m joking 🙂

And Kemono friends. And no i’m not joking there.