There’s something about Dragon Ball Z and Death Note that makes them so unique. Even after watching them a hundred times over, we would still enjoy an episode of a classic anime on a late night with our favorite snacks.
Is it just nostalgia? Or is there something that new anime is just missing?
The End of an Era
The debate between old anime vs new anime can be said to have begun in the year 2000 – or when anime production houses switched to computerized versions of animation. This revolutionary change brought forward a huge difference in the way anime was created and perceived.
Old school anime is almost always based in the 20th century – depicting the world of older times. The entire industry of anime initially started off as a nationally subsidized method of promoting propaganda that was in favor of the current government. Backgrounds were mostly still, characters were minimal, and there was barely any movement involved in the scenes.
Slowly through the course of time, things progressed, and storytelling evolved immensely in the world of anime.
The Types of Evolution in Anime
Since we already know that modern anime vs old anime is a great debate, it is important to understand the processes through which anime has gone through over time.
Back when anime was only starting off, the introduction of Astro Boy in the mid 1960’s is what impressed audiences across the globe. This specific anime that was produced in Japan was the first to include minimal details in the anime – including joints such as elbows and knees, and unique features such as facial hair or a piece of clothing. Astro Boy was the beginning of the stylistic revolution in anime – one that continues to evolve in modern-day anime as well.
The basic concept of including minor details in characters was to successfully portray various emotions and body language, allowing the viewers to relate with the character more.
Today, anime has progressed significantly in relevance to stylistic evolution – especially in terms of colored anime, multiple characters, moving backgrounds, and smooth movement. This has provided more creative space to anime producers, allowing them to experiment even more.
Quality of Drawing
Anime is mostly drawn on a piece of paper, scanned to become computerized, and then colored through a digital screen. This allows artists to express their creativity freely on paper and then on computers – helping them create anime that is highly unique, complex, and beautiful.
However, both unique and beautiful shading techniques also existed in older anime. However, since computers were not widely available and software was unbelievably expensive, it became difficult for small production houses to invest their minimal budgets into these minute details.
In the modern world, anime creators have easy access to complex computerized machines that make their animation job a thousand times easier and quicker.
Storytelling & Economics
Regardless of the stylistic elements or the drawing, an anime can only truly be successful if it has an interesting storyline. One cannot simply assert the claim that when debating old anime vs new anime, old anime had ‘better’ stories to tell. Good plots are present both in older and modern anime, but there is more to the story than what meets the eye.
For huge anime industries like Japan, there is a significant correlation between the release of new anime storylines and the economic performance of Japan. This correlation stems back to the basics of how the production of anime requires a large amount of monetary resources and labor – essentially meaning that creating good quality anime is an expensive process.
Since it is important for production houses to profit off of the anime they create, it is highly convenient for them to choose to animate mangas that are currently popular in the market. Since many mangas continue for years before they reach a conclusion, production houses can become stuck in the process of continuing existing anime series for years on end. This route is mostly preferred during an economic recession when making profits is essential for the animators – but poses a great threat to the entire anime industry.
Similarly, when there is an economic boom, there is also an upward trend in the release of new and creative anime that may even be risky for animators to invest in. This allows them to enjoy more creative freedom as they can create anime that is fresh, intriguing, and sometimes even controversial.
However, the bottom line is that this correlation between the Japanese economy and anime production leads to an inconsistency of storylines. As a result, people are forced to believe that old anime was better than new anime – simply because ‘new anime’ is just mere continuations without the addition of any new content.
Why Was Old Anime Better?
As we’re comparing new anime vs old anime, we have already established that there is much that new anime lacks. Maybe that’s why we keep steering towards classic anime, or why newer anime is getting far fewer positive responses than older ones.
Here, the question arises: why was old anime better? Let us break it down for you.
No Plagiarized Characters
Old anime is unique. It stands out. It is creative. If you’ve ever wondered why, then it’s because there is no repetition of character design across different anime. For each character, there is an entire thought and creative process that sets its foundation – ensuring that it differs from all existing characters in the anime world.
New anime, on the other hand, is too repetitive. The same character design will be plastered on the face of different characters in different anime – making the viewing experience far less enjoyable. New character designs are extremely basic, follow the same guideline, and have no uniqueness that sets them apart from the crowd.
However, there are a handful of new anime shows that (at least) attempt to be unique. This includes The Rising of the Shield Hero, One Punch Man, and even Kill La Kill.
Other popular anime, such as ‘Fairy Tail’ for example, continue to copy the character designs of various preexisting characters.
The reason why old anime still has a wide fanbase is due to the originality in their storylines. With the right amount of characters, romance, suspense and context – people cannot resist becoming hooked to the intriguing storylines of older anime.
There are so many examples of good storytelling in old anime. To name a few, there is Death Note, Monster, Nana, and Code Geass.
The reason why these classic anime continue to gain fame is due to their thoughtful amalgamation of a deep and meaningful storyline and relatable, simple characters.
In modern anime, there is a general lack of thought that goes into the production and animation process. This can be attributed to factors such as:
- Decreased quality as they try to produce too much anime in smaller time frames.
- Competition in the industry has led to production houses rushing for release
- Lower quality control over the content
- Less focus on storytelling, more focus on fan-service.
Creativity and Innovation
Sometimes, you may stop and wonder: why was Death Note ever so successful? Well, because it was original, innovative, and creative. Not only did the creators come up with an extremely unique storyline, but they were also able to execute it perfectly by adding the elements of suspense and romance within the anime. To date, there is barely any anime that compares to the success of Death Note.
The key behind the success of old anime was the idea behind their animations. Since their concepts stemmed from originality, they were able to achieve the extraordinary. In modern anime, however, there is a major lack of both uniqueness and creativity. Instead of trying to create something new and risky, animators stick to the safe side and simply recreate and repeat the same stories over and over again.
Modern Anime vs Old Anime: is it all that bad?
If we were to say that modern anime lacks all the factors to being successful, we would be blatantly lying. Through newer technologies and more ideas flowing through the minds of animators, there is much that modern anime has achieved in the past two decades that distinguishes it from older anime.
In simpler words, here’s what makes new anime good:
With the advancement of technology, it is no lie that anime is becoming more and more visually appealing. With tiny little details included in characters to the unique combinations of colors that are used – anime creators are currently on the peak of creating beautiful anime.
Some of the latest anime with outstanding animation include Violet Evergarden, A Silent Voice, The Ancient Magus Bride, God Eater, and Your Name.
If you have ever watched classic anime, you will be quick to notice the general lack of fan-service. In modern anime, there are many shows that appeal to the viewers by including a wide range of scenes for the mere purpose of fan-service. Some of the most obvious examples include Food Wars, High School of the Dead, Free! Eternal Summer, and Keijo.
The truth is that most of us cannot resist the super cute CGI in modern anime. Those big eyes, fluffy cheeks, and tiny little sizes of characters make anime all the more interesting to watch. Modern anime has successfully been able to bring this new form of animation style into popularity – especially with shows such as Lucky Star, New Game!, and K-On.
The Final Verdict
We started off on the debate of old anime vs new anime, and we have considered a wide range of factors that contribute towards the success of these shows. To bring this complicated debate to a final conclusion, it is important to understand that as society progresses, there is technological advancement that contributes towards changing consumer tastes.
While older anime may have been era appropriate back in the 90s, there is much that they lack in terms of modern technology and the introduction of new styles of animation. If there had been no change in anime over the past 50 years – people would have easily become bored of it.
The reason why anime continues to be popular is due to its diversity. While there is much inspiration that can be taken from older anime, modern anime is more suited towards the preferences of this new audience. As a result, there is much more content being made in the world of anime than ever before.
I hope you enjoyed this article, new Anime Vs old Anime ; Which one do you like more? Let me know in the comments section below.