Last week, I linked into an article that discussed the deplorable conditions that some anime production houses were letting their employees work in. We're talking about ridiculously long hours, unkempt work areas and supervisors that just don't care. While that information was shocking in and of itself, the article also touched upon another issue in the anime industry. While the issue above is a serious one that needs to be addressed, this other issue is one that threatens the entire industry.
To many in the Japanese anime industry, it seems like most production houses are stagnating when it comes to content. While there is no shortage of new anime shows to check out, the subject matter and content within isn't putting forth anything new for the anime audiences out there. We're getting the same content and storylines, just repackaged with different faces and voices.
Indeed, I've heard a lot of anime fans express disinterest in most of what the new anime season has consisted of. I've yet to check out a single show from the most recent lineup in Japan, but I've read plenty of reviews and comments to know that the majority of fans are quite let down by the bulk of the content out there. Of course, creating that new and exciting content is easier said than done.
Do you think that the anime industry is resting on its laurels? Are houses right now just building off the successes of the past by just re-imagining that content? To take an old idea and revamp it/run with it is one thing, but to largely follow the same formulas, character designs and story arcs with slight changes isn't something that's going to cut it.