Is the anime industry about to die out? Neon Genesis Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno thinks so.
Talking to RIA Novosti, a Russian news agency, Anno talked about how the current anime industry will be meeting its end in about five to 20 years, reiterating that decline and death are inevitable most especially when Japanese animation has already peaked. However, a new resurgence will come after this decline and death. What Anno is unsure of is whether or not fans will wait for anime's rebirth.
"Perhaps there might not be the conditions that have existed up until now that have led to the creation of interesting films," he clarified as to what could possibly cause anime to decline and die.
Anno believes the collapse will signify the end of Japanese dominance in animation, paving the way for other countries in Asia to make their mark in the field. While these other countries are getting richer, making them more capable of producing animation for their local audiences, Japan will not be experiencing the same growth, contributing to the end of anime. It doesn't help that there are fewer animators in the country, already a scarcity given Japan's small population.
He points to Taiwan as a possible budding leader, describing that a recent trip to the country showed him how passionate and energetic Taiwanese animators are. In Japan, animators are merely moving through inertia.
Anno is also of the belief that Japanese animation will have to learn a certain level of flexibility, allowing it to adapt new methods that will aid in making interesting anime in a whole new environment. Working conditions will also have to improve because the current business model is no longer working.
The Evangelion creator is not the first to have gripes about animation in Japan. Famed director Hayao Miyazaki made in known last year that he feels the quality of anime shows is declining because those who are making them are all otaku. As these people don't spend enough time being around other people, this is reflected in the quality of their work. Miyazaki explained that to animate people, it is important to spend time watching others.
Whether or not anime is truly entering an age of decline and death is yet to be seen. Many fans don't feel the threat, most especially when studios are steadily churning out a good number of shows every season.
Photo: Danny Choo | Flickr