The Downfall of Anime

The expanding field of Isekai anime includes 2020's "Mushoku Tensei". Photo source:

By Aryaman Chutke

To all my fellow anime fans out there,

Are you a veteran anime watcher? Have been looking through the recently released popular anime lists looking for the next binge, but can’t seem to find anything that’s on the same level as the OG’s, such as Naruto, Bleach, or One Piece? Well, I’m in the same boat.

As I look through all the new anime releases lately, I keep noticing a disappointing trend. First, it was one, then two, then twenty. There seems to be a wave of medieval fantasy isekai anime (where the protagonist is teleported to a different world) being pushed out every couple of months. Now, I have no qualms against the genre, but when it’s the same kind of thing over and over again with almost no difference, it starts to become a pain.

This article isn’t just about spamming isekai anime, but also about how modern anime has taken a turn for the worse. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but almost everything that is released these days is at most twenty-four episodes long, many only even being twelve. Not only that—the content is so empty and overly sexualized to the point where it probably drops your IQ a few points. Even our old, once-beloved One Piece has received negativity from fans all over. Usually, they will release a new episode which is roughly twenty-four minutes long or so. Out of that, they give a recap which is literally five minutes long, then an opening song and ending song which takes another one to two minutes each, and then the episode itself has replays of scenes from the last episode!

That’s not even the worst of it. These episodes are like Lays chips bags; the ratio of air to chips is ten to none! Every episode is 90% useless filler content such as nonsensical yelling and chatter while the characters stand around, and only 0.001% is actual storyline content (the other 9.999% is recap and theme songs). It’s as if in every episode one of the characters takes one step forward and yells for sixteen and a half minutes and that’s it! This isn’t just from me either. I’ve heard multiple accounts of people saying it’s too slow. To top it off, they release a new episode every what? Two weeks?! That is a ridiculous amount of time for the fluff in each episode.

Now, getting into the good stuff: if you want quality, you can generally find it in more dated series such as the big three (Naruto, One Piece, Bleach), Dragon Ball, Great Teacher Onizuka, Inu-Yasha, Dororo, Yuu-Yuu Hakusho, Hunter x Hunter, and Attack on Titan. Now, I am aware that there are some distinguished modern titles such as Demon Slayer, Dr. Stone, and Summertime Rendering (all of which I am a fan of). However, they are declining in number in comparison to the other junk that is being put out there.

What makes these older anime better, you ask? These older anime were created as pieces of art—and I don’t mean visual art—but the art of the mind and spirit. They contain deeper meaning and morals which can be applied to reality, allowing viewers to lead a more enriching
and satisfying life. They can relate to people’s problems and arouse hope. They can be inspirational and so, very satisfying in the end.

Naruto is a great example of this. Naruto, a young boy who’d lost his parents and is resented by his village, manages to climb his way to the top of the social ladder. He achieved his dream of becoming the leader of his village, surpassing the expectations of all those who looked down on him and subsequently changing the hearts of all those who hated him. He did so with extreme perseverance and the forming of strong bonds with his peers.

It may sound cliche, but in today’s society, everyone has issues in their lives that could be solved through these lessons. These older anime also contain a lot more episodes and are more content-dense. Naruto has around 700 episodes, starting from his childhood all the way to adulthood! This way, the audience feels personally connected with the characters. They can resonate with their problems to the point where they actually empathize with them as if they were real people. However, in modern isekai anime, the protagonists are usually given all their power.

They are somehow naturally always the epitome of a moral human being, bringing no inspiration to the table. This even puts viewers down, for it seems like some people just get to where they are by chance. Viewers thus wish they would do the same, weakening their mentality.