The previous year was an interesting case in anime. It was the year of many few minute anime and the massive usage of CGI. What should producers do to make this year better and stronger?
Trends come and go, some stay and others leave. The movie industry went wild with 3D-technology, remakes and monster movies. Many anime adaptations used light novels as source material in recent times and studios started to experiment with other formats such a series with only few minute episodes each week.
The reasons I could think of in producing short series is to create and promote new franchises, on the other hand to cash in on relatively cheaper to produce series. Using CGI is more worrying than it seemingly looks like. Producing anime is a costly and risky activity. If the anime doesn’t result in a breakeven point or generates revenue, it remains risky.
Ways to cut costs are therefore always present. CGI is easier and quicker to make, therefore a justifiable alternative for producers in comparison to traditional methods. Some studios are better in masking it and others such as Tokyo Ravens and Unbreakable Machine-Doll are examples in which the CGI doesn’t fit the animation. But which trends do I want to see or which do I want to return?
What I missed in 2013 were series that had soundtracks that made me go wild. Attack on Titan used tension to build up epic moments. Angel Beats! and Guilty Crown used fantastic soundtracks to stimulate atmosphere. I would love to see a series that can create those same epic moments with not only its storytelling, but also with the soundtrack.
Another thing I would love to see, or rather not see, is less CGI. If I would like to see CGI, I would go watch Tangled or Frozen. Disney is a benchmark at introducing, creating and mastering animation techniques. They even develop or improve software to create certain effects that couldn’t be done with ‘traditional’ CGI software. Anime should stay more true to its roots and minimize usage of CGI.
As I stated earlier, anime remains a tricky business and studios are heavily reliant on sales. They should brainstorm about new business models such as digital distribution on a larger scale. Although as I’ve said many times before, existing copyright won’t allow this. Studios could use product placement to generate money and become less reliant on those sales.
To some it all up I would like to see: less CGI, more engaging soundtracks and studios exploring new business models. You can share your thoughts in the comment section. Maybe you have something you would want to see this year, making 2014 an even better year.