10 Harsh Realities Of Watching Modern Anime Series

A split image of Hange from Attack on Titan, In Another World With My Smartphone, & Horimiya couple

Anime provides audiences with limitless entertainment and certain stories that feel like they’d be impossible to tell anywhere else. Longtime anime fans have likely noticed that changes and new trends influence the different shows that come out of each decade. Modern anime series have so much to offer, both in terms of animation and the ability to tackle more niche genres of content.

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These series ambitiously explore ideas that would have previously never been possible, but that doesn’t mean that the current slate of anime programming is infallible. Not every modern anime custom is desirable, and there are certain truths that any fan needs to accept before going on a big binge.



10 There Are Less Ongoing & Longer Series

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One trend of many prominent modern anime is that many will run for just 13 or 26 episodes instead of telling a lengthy, ongoing story. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but even the new anime that run indefinitely break themselves up into smaller seasons rather than a non-stop run.

Shorter anime have plenty of advantages over shows with hundreds of episodes, but many anime do end up feeling more disposable because they so quickly come and go. It’s a lot harder for a show to build a legacy when it only has two dozen episodes to its name.

9 There Are Bigger Breaks Between Seasons

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Group photo of Hori, Miyamura, Yuki, Tooru, and Iura in Kyoto from Horimiya.

One frustrating custom that’s come forward in recent years is that an anime season will end on an ambiguous note, and it’s unclear if a second season is going to happen. In the past, concurrent anime seasons would have fairly seamless productions where audiences aren’t left waiting.

It’s now a surprise when a new season for a show gets announced several years later, sometimes at a point where audiences have already given up on new episodes. This isn’t the best strategy, especially since an anime’s fandom can cool off in the lengthy interim between seasons. It’s still never quite clear when an incomplete anime is actually finished.

8 The Growing Trend Of Mandatory Anime Movies

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Akaza kills Rengoku in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train.

Popular anime series have had complementary feature films for decades, but a lot of the time, these movies are treated like supplemental stories that aren’t necessary to see in order to understand their respective series. Modern anime series still subscribe to this idea, but there are an increasing number of anime movies that tell canonical stories that are mandatory to watch.

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Demon Slayer, Jujutsu Kaisen, Dragon Ball Super, and Fruits Basket are just some of the modern series that have taken this approach. Sometimes, anime will even use movies as their grand finale where they end their story.

7 The Growing Burnout Of Overworked Studios

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Denji attacks a Devil in Chainsaw Man.

There are some acclaimed animation studios like MAPPA, Wit, ufotable, and Studio TRIGGER that do prolific work. However, they seem to have difficulty turning down opportunities even when there’s already too much on their plates.

Whether it’s telegraphed with the finished product that ends up on the screen or not, there’s an unhealthy amount of burnout that’s going on as animators are overworked and pushed to adhere to deadlines that are sometimes unrealistic. Beautiful visuals or not, this is not the best way to make anime, and in most cases, it’s not sustainable, and it reaches a breaking point.

6 The Abundance Of Isekai Series

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Mochizuki Touya looks at his phone, chibi style, in Trapped In Another World with My Smartphone.

Some anime genres prove to be evergreen, but it’s only natural that others go through cyclical phases. There’s a major push toward isekai series, whether it’s in a fantasy world or a virtual MMORPG setting. Many of these series don’t bring any fresh ideas to the genre, especially since they all aim for a similar broad level of subversion.

It’s become the norm for these isekai anime to have laborious titles that are more like expository sentences than flashy names. This level of self-awareness has become so commonplace that it no longer means anything.

5 There Are More CG-Dominant Anime

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Guts swings his sword in 2016's CG animated Berserk.

There are many versatile animation styles that studios have at their disposal. Technology has become more sophisticated, and there are certain techniques that are now more practical and inexpensive, like the use of CG animation over hand-drawn materials. CG has a polarizing place in anime where there’s no definitive answer.

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There are companies like Studio Orange where CG is their specialty, and they know how to get the most out of the medium, while others will turn to it as a crutch, and it’s obvious that it’s an awkward consolation. There’s a growing compulsion to turn to CG animation just because it’s available rather than if it aesthetically serves the story.

4 There Are More Incomplete & Abandoned Adaptations

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Archangel challenges the survivors In High Rise Invasion.

In the past, any confirmation that a manga was receiving an anime adaptation typically meant that the whole series would be told, even if that happened to include some changes. Modern anime will swoop in to adapt some of this generation’s most popular manga, but now even good ratings aren’t a guarantee that the entire story will get told.

There is an unfortunate amount of single-season anime that begin fascinating stories, albeit ones that only scratch the surface of their source material. These anime, even when they’re still satisfying, don’t manage to do their source material justice.

3 There Are More Reboots Than Ever Before

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Lum gloms on Ataru in 2022's Urusei Yatsura reboot.

Reboot culture is at an all-time high, and every storytelling medium is going all-in on legacy sequels and reboots of the biggest properties of yesteryear. Reboots have been happening in anime since its advent, but it currently seems as if they’re at peak popularity.

As time continues to move forward, there are now an increasing number of series that are fair game for reboots, like material from the ’90s. Urusei Yatsura, Trigun Stampede, Laughing Salesman NEW, and Spriggan are just a handful of the recent anime reboots that have taken over.

2 It’s More Common To Have Anime Switch Studios Mid-Series

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Esconar blocks Meliodas' kick in The Seven Deadly Sins.

The changing behaviors that surround modern anime production mean that it can take much longer for a series to produce individual seasons rather than a continuous cycle. When it becomes time to produce a second season, there’s not always the guarantee that the original anime studio or production staff will be available.

Rather than wait, it’s become common for anime to switch animation studios — sometimes several times over — to keep production moving. This often causes dissonance, and it can be obvious that a new team is working on a series rather than seamless uniformity carrying on through an anime’s entire run.

1 The Fandom Can Be Toxic & Gatekeep Content

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Young Eren in Paradise in Attack on Titan Final Season.

There’s a growing level of entitlement that surrounds many mainstream franchises, where debates are more liable to provoke arguments that foster discussion. This is a generalization, and there are positive and negative sides to every fandom. That being said, modern anime does come with some gatekeeping attitudes where a vocal sect of fandom will try to take ownership of a series or indicate that they know best.

These aggressive personalities can alienate newcomers or taint the medium in general. So many anime fans are friendly, curious, and want to help people discover new shows, but there are still areas to cautiously navigate through.

NEXT: 10 Modern Anime That Would Have Thrived On Classic Toonami


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