It seems as though, at least from the perspective of someone who is slowly fading out of hardcore fandom, that each season has fewer shows that truly inspire. Instead, we get retreads of common scenarios intermixed with sequels filled with tired ideas. Of course, it seems like every season we get some new anime that will save the medium. This fall it was Kill la Kill, this winter it is going to be Space Dandy, and sometime in 2014 we will have the long awaited Sailor Moon reboot. I don’t really know what others think of Kill la Kill, but in my opinion it is mediocre, at best. That said, Space Dandy might end up as the greatest thing since sliced bread, or it could suck. It’s too soon to tell one way or the other (but I think it sucks)
And that’s the problem. What if it does? What if Sailor Moon sucks? Think of all the time and money that will be going into these series for simultaneous releases. What of the long term commitment to this series, at the expense of other series for each respective studio. Surely, us anime fans don’t need spectacle and flash when watching a series. God knows Bakemonogatari was relatively tame when it came to spectacle and flash. Azumanga Daioh and Lucky Star made addicts of all of us, and the production budgets here were comparatively small. Of course, the expectation is that these special, well backed anime, will draw in non anime fans, and act as a sort of bridge to the wider otaku world at best, and increased profits at worst.
But even should it succeed, it will not be representative of most anime out there. Do we really think that newfound anime fans will like Simoun? What of Angel Beats or Hyouka? I doubt it. Thus, the goal of making new anime fans won’t really be accomplished. We will win the battle, but lose the war. Anime may well turn out to become a more accepted worldwide past time, but will it be our past time. Or let’s say it takes 10 years before Japan realizes these strategies are doomed to failure. In the meantime, we get less true anime in the spirit we have become accustomed to. Either way, I think we, the long time otaku, may be the ultimate losers in this.
That said, I hope Space Dandy is successful, but I doubt that it will be.