Moe Madness – coming to an end?

Ok so we need some stuff to kick start our little blog on how we perceive our world. We being slothota and I, and our perception of anime and things related. Perhaps a bit of an introduction is in order.

Risk is a crappy anagram of my name, and a huge improvement over any other name I have used online. I am a university student undergoing the final year of an undergraduate degree, all going fine until we all ended up in the hedge, or whatever.

University is where I found enlightenment from studies, whereby after a lot of initial scorn I submitted to the great god that can be anime. My friends (including slothota), delighted at my newfound devoutness, proceeded to shovel large amounts of anime down my throat, and so far I have enjoyed the ride.

If I am a bit of a lurker, slothota takes it to new levels. A lot of the time he operates on a different time zone, let alone planet, to me, but he has taught me much and I am eternally grateful (gad, hes gonna get such an ego trip out of that).

So yeah, enough of that and down to business.

What better way then with a bit of gloom?

According to A.N.N, the anime bubble I rode in on probably has burst. Hard times have hit the anime industry hard in America and Japan, with estimates that the Japanese anime marketplace in the United States fell to US$2.829 billion in 2007 from a peak of US$4.84 billion in 2005. While many are quick to blame the recession, critics are pointing figures square at the anime production companies. One producer claimed titles aren’t selling “because fans realised that more and more of the releases are the same kinds of bioshōjo and mecha elements added just because they are said to sell”. Yasuo Yamaguchi, managing director of the association of japanese animations (AJA), highlighted that despite the drop in sales and premieres of anime programs, there should be a restructuring of the anime industry in japan with emphasis of quality over quantity. This could include teaching anime production in national universities (ANN 2008).

I didn’t know really what to make of this when I first read the article, since the anime market here at least seems very resilient. The recession will hit pockets hard, but hopefully I have contributed a bit to the international economy by buying a Kagami Figma just today.

A restructuring would probably mean a continual drop in anime production releases for the time being, and if that means less blatant moe-madness and more samurai champloo style series, then perhaps that is a good thing. A lot of series recently have been relying too heavily on cute front characters as selling points. Mio from K-ON! springs to mind, the hype (well deserved in my opinion) behind her has grown into a huge fan base, but unfortunately the show itself isn’t very memorable. Don’t get me wrong, though. I look forward to my Saturday morning dose of K-ON!, its a funny show that does not try too hard to get the laughs, and it certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously. However, its riding in the shadow of the recently finished Clannad Afterstory, and Toradora, both of which successfully combined moe elements with good storytelling. Mio can’t support K-ON! forever, and neither should she have to. Hopefully from this restructure we will see more series appear that put the wow back in anime, that bring back the bling and glamour in that great god that got me hooked 3 years ago.

In the meantime, there is always Mio:

Gorgeous Mio

Gorgeous Mio

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