Hi I'm Hamilton and I have opinions on things! I'm from the south (lets keep that on the down low), I read lots of manga, and watch anime (less than I read manga), I also play way too much video games and like RPGs and Shooters.
Follow Me on Twitter @Im_Hamilton if you wish
Stuff I Like:
Some of my favorite manga(s?) I've read are(in no particular order): Berserk, Zetman, Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, Gantz, Blood Lad, Air Gear, Black Jack, Naruto, the first few Bleach arcs, One Piece, Gintama, Hunter X Hunter, Ratman, Black Cat, Gamaran, Shingeki no Kyojin, Cage of Eden, Fairy Tail, Magi, Slam Dunk, Akira, History's strongest Disciple Kenichi (I've Read way more but this list is getting long)
I like anime too!: Most Ghibli works, Eureka Seven, [C], Samurai 7, Casshern Sins, Gurren Lagann, Trigun, Hellsing, Durarara, Dragon Ball(and Z)
Music I like: Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Oberhofer, Modest Mouse, the XX, Matt and Kim, Crystal Castles, No Age, Pavement, Neutral Milk Hotel.
Games I Like: Fallout 3, Chrono Trigger, Dark Souls, Skyrim, Minecraft, Day Z, Portal 1&2, Counter Strike, Street Fighter, Marvel Vs Capcom, Assorted final fantasies.
I should be doing my mountains of AP homework, but this blog in my head was screaming WRITE ME
and I couldn't focus grr.
Every time before I read a manga, or start an anime, I check the Wikipedia page on it, its an instinct by now, albeit a bad one to have, as I often get some serious spoilers, and on the Wiki page, on the right is a box explaining all adaptations of the product, and when I look up anime 60% of the time now, the anime is based on a light novel. For the ignorant, light novels are essentially the Japanese equivalent of Alex Cross or James Bond novels, shortish series based books, of course they don't usually last forever, sort of how manga comics end smoothly, whereas American comics often dont tell a continuous story and last longer. But, the most impressive thing about all these light novels, and their adaptations, is their uniqueness as a whole, typically when I watch an anime based on a light novel, its pretty well done, and unique compared to the manga industry(which I still like a lot more than the light novel industry). Which is why I think this light novel revolution occuring could have a very positive effect on the anime industry, but also some negative effects, mostly on the surrounding industries.
The brilliant Baccano! was originally a light novel series
Haruhi, Baccano!, Boogiepop, Durarara!! all of these acclaimed and beloved anime began as light novels, and none of them are even remotely similar to each other, which is the brilliance of the medium, most of them are so different, defying the onrushing standards of ripoffs and similarity (Bleach, Kekkaishi, Yuyu Hakusho, Nurarihyon No Mago pretty darn similar) and keeping the anime medium thriving, and the manga industry wondering what to do. The revolution spawned from two things, the downturn of the manga industry, and Haruhi fucking Suzumiya. I've been saying this awhile now, but the manga industry is more interested in playing it safe then getting the next acclaimed manga, which concerns me, because more and more we see demon demon hunters and average school life manga, the lower I slide into depression (not literally). I think the lack of creativity spawns from the consumers who are buying the most manga today, otaku, and children, children aren't discerning enough to care about similar shounen manga, and (the hardcore) otaku want cute girls doing average stuff, thus all the cute girls doing stuff manga, and monster killing manga.
I could name soooo many more but this is preeettty long
Anyways, Haruhi. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is a light novel series written by Nagaru Tanigawa (I won't delve into the plot because it's somewhat complicated and you probably already know the whole thing anyways reader), and in case you didn't know, its really, really, REALLY, popular, and deservedly so. What the anime does so well (so I'll assume the novel does it really well too) is blend together a bunch of genres to an incredibly effect, its funny, smartly written, and it has a really good plot, even with all the different genres backing up against each other. Anyways, Kyoto animation picked up this light novel series, and it was a smashing success, it had such incredible widespread appeal, but also niche appeal (for the otaku) which is why we still hear of the series today, you know you tried the dance at some point. Well, as with the manga industry, popular things are just asking to be copied, and all the studios started looking for the next Haruhi, but in a good way! Because instead of just ripping off our favorite high school club, they just started adapting other light novels! and much like regular novels, light novels are usually pretty different from each other, and we have anime diversity!
Whoever designed this ending sequence deserves 80 emmys, for it's sheer popularity
Now we've seen the good effects its had on the industry, but what about the bad (its mostly bad for manga and games :'(). The spike in the popularity of light novels has it's negative effects, and the biggest negative effect, is on manga, because light novels are drawing away their audiences, and the manga industry has to go with the safe bets. These safe bets mean the aforementioned kids and otaku, but the manga industry won't go back to it's full glory until it starts spreading out like light novels, and we start seeing really great stories coming along more (the industry isn't dead, there's tons of great manga out there for you to read, you just have to wade through the crap). But less important, is the impact on the games industry, because the two don't mix well, and by that I mean visual novels(ugh). I HATE visual novels, because they aren't games, and bolster the same problem the manga industry has, lack of creativity, but the two can coexist. Persona 3 and 4 perfectly exhibit how visual novels and dating sims (the two dreads of japan in my opinion, sorry if you like them) can become enjoyable elements of a game with an already great base, but sadly, we don't see much else like Persona.
Takeshi Obata Says it best
In closing, drop me a comment! Do you think the status of the manga industry is critical? Do you like all these light novel based anime? What do you think the manga industry needs (if anything)?
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