90’s Anime vs Today’s Anime

Hello everyone, Justin here, and welcome to the Otaku Mind. Today’s subject is one I’m sure will spark a lot of tension. If you’re like me, you started watching anime in the 90s. You grew up with the classics like Tenchi Muyo, Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, DBZ, Sailor Moon, Outlaw Star, Yu Yu Hakusho the list goes on and till this day you still continue to watch anime because it’s something you enjoy and love. As we grow older we start to remember the good old days when everything was simple and blurt out to ourselves that the anime from the 90s was better than today’s anime. There’s multiple people out there who think along these lines and it makes me wonder, is that true? Was anime from the 90s really that good? I’ve seen a lot of today’s anime that I’ve really enjoyed and so have a lot of other people so I know they’re not all bad so why are we so hard on today’s anime as opposed to anime from the 90s?

Now me let just say I love the 90s. I grew up in the 90s and enjoyed every minute of it. The 90s gave us a lot of great animes but here’s a test for you. Name an anime you didn’t see on Toonami, Adult Swim, or Saturday morning that you can say you enjoyed. Most people who I’ve given this test to often say Evangelion and that anime is debatable on whether it’s good or bad but outside of this anime nobody can really name an anime. During the 90s finding anime was difficult and we only had these three sources to watch anime so they were kind of like a filter keeping us away from crap. No era is devoid of crap and there was definitely some crappy anime from the 90s. Don’t believe me, watch Anime Abandon and you’ll see all the ridiculous titles that came out during that decade. I think the reason why a lot of people favor anime from the 90s so much is because one they saw a very good show and two there’s that nostalgia factor. It was our first anime and the thing that got us into anime so of course we’ll love it no matter what but just because you love something doesn’t mean it’s always the best. Outlaw Star is an anime that really hasn’t aged well. I like it but not as much as I used to because I see the mistakes and shortcomings of the anime that I didn’t notice when I first watched it. Cowboy Bebop was great but had a few problems here and there that hold the anime back slightly. DBZ and Sailor Moon were great but the fillers and lack of character growth for the characters really is a letdown. All these animes were good but just like today’s anime they have their own problems that people often ignore because of the nostalgia factor. Probably my biggest complaint with the 90s was that 80% of the anime that came out during that decade was mecha anime which I’m not a big fan of. It was everywhere back then and it got pretty redundant as most of them felt the same.

Okay, so anime from the 90s have problems but why are we so quick to hate on today’s anime as opposed to anime from the past? Well a large chunk of that has to do with the internet. Again, back then finding anime was hard so we had to make do with what we saw on TV which was mostly the good stuff like I mentioned earlier. In today’s world, we have the convenience of being able to find anything we want at a clip of a button and that includes anime. There are hundreds of sites and simulcast programs out there where you can watch anime anytime you want. Because of this the filter is removed and we can now see all the good and the bad anime and compare them to each other as well as anime that we’ve seen in the past and share are opinion quickly with everyone. Another factor is maturity. As we get older we get wiser and when you combine that with the knowledge of anime you’ve developed over the years you begin to be able to point out why this anime is good and why this anime is bad. You get a sense of what you like and what you don’t like. Believe it or not in the past I used to really like Ikkitousen but now after watching a number of fanservice animes I can say with confidence how much Ikkitousen sucks and why. Another big factor is nostalgia. Because we watched anime in the 90s which was our childhood we treasure it greatly. They’re memories we all love and don’t want to forget and because of today’s culture we believe that if we point out the flaws of something that makes it seems like we hate it. But we don’t. Just because you point out the flaws of something you like doesn’t mean you hate it or like it less, it just means you’re self-aware of it. You can point out the flaws of something you enjoy and still enjoy it. Look at me, I point out the flaws of anime all the time and some of the animes I’ve reviewed are ones that I really like but still nothing is perfect, every anime is gonna have something bad in it and I feel that it’s my job as a reviewer to address this. I’m not gonna sit here and pretend that everything from the 90s was great. We got a few stinkers here and there and we chose to forget about them and just focus on the stuff that was good which we can’t do. You’ve got to accept the good with the bad and vice-versa, that’s how life works.

So which decade has the best anime? Personally, I like both decades of anime but if I really had to choose I would say I like today’s anime more than the 90s. For starters, the animation has really improved. We have amazing anime that blows us away with different animation styles, colors, fluentness, angles, and pace. The hand-drawn 2D animation from the 90s was good but at times it never felt like I was really there like the animation of today. We have more variety. Like I said a huge chunk of the 90s anime was all mecha but now we have a number of different genres to choose from and enjoy. We have sports animes that you can enjoy and comedy has gotten better. In the past finding a good comedy anime was hard and most of the comedy was usually a miss but now the comedy has become more universal where anybody can watch an anime and get the joke. The characters in today’s anime has become more relatable. You really find yourself getting invested into the characters and their problems. You cry with them, you laugh with them, and share all their feelings. Better stories, ideas, and philosophies to help shape your way of thinking. One Punch Man, Mob Psycho 100, and a number of other animes have changed the way I think about something. Attack of Titan and Kill la Kill have been some of the most creative animes I’ve seen and enjoyed. We also have fanservice and harem animes that actually have plot and thought put in to them. I know a lot of people think fanservice is a waste of time and hasn’t changed but it has. Take a look at Ikkitousen. This was what most fanserivce animes were like in the past but now we got fanserivce animes that have thought put into them on what’s going on and what’s happening. The only thing I will admit the 90s have over today’s anime was a great soundtrack and that’s a stretch as a lot of animes today have great soundtracks that are on par with anime from the 90s. The 90s anime was a good starting point that helped me get into anime and while there are some animes from the 90s I like more than today’s anime I still find myself liking today’s anime more than the 90s since it gives me so much more to choose from than the 90s did. We have to remember that what we saw in the 90s was limited to just the good stuff and every decade has something crappy in it that we would like to forget but can’t because if we deny the bad we deny the good, we have to accept both no matter what. If we had a full view of the anime from the 90s like we do today’s anime I think our opinion might change.

Well those of my thoughts, which decade of anime do you enjoy? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.

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