Anime has been a part of my life for this long; I can’t imagine not being entranced by anime.
Speculating on the future can be very tricky and the more complex the system you are trying to predict the harder it becomes to be accurate as anyone who understands chaos theory and the butterfly effect will attest. But as anime fans we continually try to speculate on the future of our hobby. What shows will come out next season, what trends will become prominent, what fads will fade away, what will get licensed outside of Japan, who will be voice actors on what shows, and a multitude of other topics are constantly a part of otaku conversations. We may be wrong and we may be right in varying amounts but we are always trying to see if we can guess where this crazy train called anime and manga is going.
In an surprising turn of events everyone said they’d more than likely still be watching anime in 10 years. . . . well, I should hope so! This is the OTAKU Dairies afterall. But beyond the initial response, I found something interesting and possibly (unintentionally) pessimistic. A number of fans responded in the conditional form of “yes, . . . if there are still good shows.” or something similar to that effect. At first it seems like an obvious response, but at the same time it makes me think “what makes you unsure there will be good shows?” However, it must be said that many more people said plainly “yes,” “absolutely,” and “why wouldn’t I?” And then there were a few in the affirmative but with a theory that they would be a more casual fan in the distant future. So while the short answer was a resounding aye, the things ticking below the surface were still diverse.
Even if I get married, have kids, move, get a new job, or the such there will always be room in my life for anime.
I suppose that anyone willing to fill out a survey this long is in it to win it. Therefore everyone seeing themselves watching anime in the future should be unsurprising. I see this hesitancy to say anything without caveat being partially to do with the chicken little syndrome that tends to be a part of anime culture. There is always someone going around saying that anime as we know it is dying forever. Compounded with a weak economy and some turmoil in anime production companies in the present, it can be easy to make people wonder in 10 years down the line will they still be making shows that will interest them. F0r most people taking the survey there will always be something from them to watch but I understand where this fear comes from.
The people who are kids now don’t really seem to be growing up into fans like me over time. They seem to just grow out of it entirely, replaced by new kids just like they were.
Once the current recession passes and they figure out how to [make] money out of online distribution, I think the industry will stabilize at a level where there’s still plenty of good stuff being produced.
I think fandom will continue for all of eternity . . . there will always be a new generation to pick [up] where the last one left off. It may be possible that the “older” anime fans will dwindle but there will be people like me to pick up for them.
The advent of a generation that is internet savvy will only lead to more access to anime with less appreciation for it.
It will be a little less the “in thing to do” that it seems to be now, and fall back into the hands of the fans who loved and supported it from day one.
Asking what the future of anime fandom is is a very broad question to put to people because it partially depends on where you think anime fandom currently is; whether it is health or not or what that even means; and how you yourself fit into the whole scheme of things. I actually learned a lot from the answers in this section. One sentiment that really got me thinking was this theory that the gap between older fans and newer fans would continue go widen, age-wise. There was a prevalent idea that young fans are coming into anime fandom and then instead of becoming older fans they are becoming non-fans; they stick with it for a while but drop out soon after college. So while I didn’t myself think of this, I really found myself following the logic behind it and was able to apply it to what I’ve seen and experienced.
As long as acceptable strategies are found for legal distribution for new series shortly after their broadcast in Japan, fandom might contract for some time but never lose its appeal. Maybe.
. . . then in fifty years our fandom will die of old age like sci-fi fandom is about to do.
I think there’s going to be a point where things all balance out. The moe fans will have stuff to watch, and the not-moe fans will have plenty to chew on, too.
Some of the short term fans who liked it because it was trendy are starting to drop off from what I’ve seen, and the popularity is starting to diminish slightly.
. . . a majority of these young fans will eventually grow to become financially independent and upwardly mobile adults who will have children of their own creating a generation of people that are more receptive to anime and more likely to disseminate anime throughout the culture.
An important question is how long do most people stay in any hobby when push comes to shove. All hobbies will have fans who come in and leave due to a wide variety of factors. Is the ebb and flow of anime fans any different than fans of stamp collection, basketball, or even American comics? I can’t say what if any the difference is but I would be curious to see the numbers. As long as there is a steady stream of new fans there will always be some people who stick around to mature and expand their tastes. Opinions on the future of anime fandom ranged in optimism. There were predictions of everything from growth to utter collapse. Most of the participants felt that the bubble of anime and manga had burst and that there was still some normalization in the market to take place. Everyone seem to agree that anime adapting to online distribution was the key. How effective that would be and how quickly and effectively it could be profitable was a major point of contention. Most participants agree that the casual viewers would ebb and flow but there would always be a dedicated fans base that always carry the torch.
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