22 4 / 2013
“Condry outlines a modern industry where producers grimly concoct half a dozen cookie-cutter characters designed to sell mascot toys, and then pull a story out of thin air that vaguely gives them something to do. But is that really the ‘soul’ of anime? It sounds to me more like the very poison that is destroying the soul of anime, abrogating authorial responsibility, and dumping half-formed, ill-conceived camp on a dwindling bunch of consumers who may or may not be the audience. Furthermore, if you’ve spent all your money on sequins for your costume and have actually stolen the cartoon you purport to love, then I question whether you’re a ‘fan’ at all.
Not that that refutes Condry’s argument in any way. Much of the solipsistic world of moe, another contender for the ‘soul’ of anime, flourishes because of its very appeal to the one audience that producers know will put their money where their mouth is. The kids might have disappeared in a miasma of fanzines and cosplay parties, but there’s always more money to be wrung from the lonely thirty-something otaku, who’ll pay through the nose for a pillow bearing the image of his imaginary girlfriend. As Condry observed, the animators are usually concerned solely with the Japanese market, and disregard most aspects of foreign appeal. This, in turn, generates a body of work aimed at friendless shut-ins, which then gets dumped on the foreign market as indicative of ‘cool Japan.’”
-Robert Clements on Ian Condry on why I can’t really get excited about Your Favorite Summer 2013 Anime.