Reflecting on Anime in the 2010s and the Turbulence of Life
If there is any a more potent reminder that time is starting to move more quickly, it is the end of a decade. In just a few more months, 2019 will end, marking the beginning of another 10 years. Before I inevitably forget to write my obligatory end of the year post welcoming and hoping for a better next year, I wanted to take some time to talk about Anime in this decade, what affect it has had on me, and where I see myself going.
A Decade of Anime: A Medium Growing Stronger
I’ll admit that, given my younger age and relative inexperience with older series, this next statement is going to be incredibly biased, but anime in the 2010s has been a truly wonderful experience. It seems to be the case that as the medium has grown in popularity, especially in the West, the diversity in its genre’s and overall storytelling has gone up. Part of it is likely due to the overall growth allowing for experimentation and risk at animation studios, such as at Studio Trigger. However, part of it also seems to come from the influence of and involvement of cultures and people outside of Japan, such as with LeSean Thomas and Kevin Pinkerton.
Many Studios, including the previously mentioned Trigger, alongside others like Madhouse and Ufotable, have been pushing against the grain when it comes to anime’s generally less polished nature. Ufotable in particular has done amazing work, and has seen great success in this this year’s Demon Slayer.
The mainstream acceptance of anime in many more places across the western cultural landscape has also meant an increased an number of fans getting involved in the medium. Of course, in the short term, as someone who writes about anime, this generally benefits me, but it also means that those who enjoy it are less likely to be isolated from others who share the same interest. More discussion can only serve to enhance and expand understanding of these shows, which will serve to enrich future discussion.
It seems as though anime in the during this decade has gone through sort of cultural shift that video games went through in the later part of the 2000s. As more people became familiar with video games, and the medium started getting mainstream acceptance, people came to see it as just another thing people do. Anime has, slowly, but surely, gone through roughly the same process.
2010 Anime’s Affect on Me.
I try not to treat certain eras of any given medium of entertainment as a monolith, because every era can be defined by a quite a number of things. However, Anime in the 2010s did seem to be noticeably different, for a lot of the reasons I already mentioned. The result of this, at least for me, is that I have only become more fascinated by the possibilities of anime.
Another effect is one that I have mentioned pretty often at this point, but is worth repeating here: without a lot of the shows from this decade, I probably would not have gone as deep down the rabbit whole into anime as I have. Growing up with anime has defined a large part of who I am, and through all my ups and downs it has been there with me, even if only in the background.
Anime with the Most Personal Impact
I have watched a lot of anime, most of it from this decade. However, I wanted to quickly shout-out some of the shows that have had a pretty profound impact on me and on my general approach to life.
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
After seeing the goofy English title and a few small snippets from the first episode, it was hard to imagine that this show was going to have any serious impact on me, but man am I glad to be wrong. Bunny Girl Senpai is a show that I can only really describe as deceptively wise, in that it is a show whose messages can only really come from people who have a lot of life experience. Granted, that is nothing special in an of itself, but it also came to me at a point in time when I needed to hear it.
I could probably write an entire separate article even longer than this one likely will be about how much Yugioh and other cards games influenced me as a person. But, as is true a lot of others like myself, I would have never gotten into the card game if it were not for the anime it spawned. The show kept me entertained for hours, and I would always go onto YouTube and rewatch a lot of the duels from the show, and While I do not play much of the game or even keep up to date with the latest series anymore, the franchise still has an important place in my heart.
March Comes in Like a Lion
I don’t know if I need to say much at this point, but I will say a little anyway. Rei Kiriyama has been one of the more relatable characters that I have ever come across, and his story, despite being fairly distant in subject matter, is incredibly saddening even just on a human level. The feeling of the not knowing who you are is a universal one, and March Comes in Like a Lion conveys it incredibly well.
Looking Forward to the Future
I think what I am trying to say with this post overall is that anime is in a really good place, both for me and as a community. There are so many wonderful elements of anime to enjoy, and it is definitely much easier to be a fan than it was in the past. Here is to another decade of anime, making friends, and enjoying life.
How do you guys feel about anime in the 2010s? Let me know in the comments below.
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