The Future of Anime

Originally found at this unavailable link and reposted below, with edits.

The Future of Anime

—by David Ho

People ask me about the future of anime in America. In those cases when no one asks me, I ask myself (to fill the void). So, you see, I am thinking about the future of anime all the time so you don't have to strain your brain with it. These are my predictions. Before I reveal my predictions, I feel obligated to mention that I'm basing them on the Immutable Laws of Human Nature. These laws were put forth by Scott Adams (of DILBERT fame). According to Mr. Adams, human beings possess qualities that are timeless and never changing:

1. Stupidity.

2. Selfishness.

3. Hormone-driven.

And since many are stupid, selfish and hormonal, it would be foolish of us to think that anime fans are somehow exempt; therefore, it is possible to predict the future of anime by predicting the stupid, selfish and hormonal behavior of otaku (extreme anime fans) in the future.

Prediction #1: Otaku will always be one step ahead of the general public in the areas of stupidity, selfishness and hormonal.

This is not so much a prediction as it is a keen observation. Anime fandom has always been ahead of its time. They are, in fact, living examples of what the rest of the world can only hope to aspire to. The future isn't even here yet, but we're already there! By the time the rest of the world starts dressing up in costume, singing badly at the top of their lungs, hoarding their collections of trinkets and trading-in their pornographic videos of live-people having sex for porn videos of cartoon characters having sex, otaku will already be on to the next thing that will make us more stupid, more selfish and more hormonal than ever before. Indeed, they are the foreordained children of the future! We should feel very very lucky.

The Future of Acquiring Anime

Let's face it. Anime is still hard to acquire. Sure, it has been getting easier, but it's still a long, slow boat from Japan to your local comic book store. Pesky things such as "distribution marketing agreements" and "international licensing" (not to mention the Pacific Ocean) clog the path of anime from the people who created it to the fan who wants it right as soon as the paint on the cels is dry. "Money" has never been an issue in the past, nor will it be an issue in the future since otaku are stupid and have always spent their money on anime instead of on smarter, more rational things such as food or tuition.

Prediction #2: In the future, otaku will subscribe to "anime services" that will deliver the latest anime to them directly as soon as it is released in Japan.

Fandoms don't care what it is as long as it's new. And since they want everything, and since there is something new coming out all the time, it just makes sense that fandoms blindly surrender their money regularly to some company every month and get a steady stream of stuff coming to them all the time. The difficult process of acquiring anime today (i.e. going from store to store, web site to web site, looking for anything new or different) would be eliminated and the results would be same!

The Future of Anime Conventions

Anime conventions, oddly enough, are not really 100% about anime at all. In fact, anime is probably only about 20% of the convention experience. Sure, some would like to believe that conventions raise the awareness of anime to the rest of the world and that anime fans are gathering to seek new anime they haven't seen before and that fans want a place to connect and exchange stories and information and ideas about anime, its past, present and future. Instead, they are really gatherings of otaku to accomplish one of several selfish goals.

1. To prove one's superiority over other fans by appearing to be the most knowledgeable (or opinionated) about a certain manga, TV series, etc.

2. To be reassured that they are not the only one suffering with anime addiction.

3. To see/buy/talk about stuff they already know or have seen before. New stuff they've never heard before doesn't matter at a convention.

4. To form cliques with their friends from around the world for the purpose of excluding other fans, thereby inflating one's self-worth.

5. An opportunity to harass industry guests for autographs, etc. in the attempt to magnify their own personal collection of treasure.

6. To be relieved that, as bad as they've gotten, there is still someone worse than them that they can laugh at and say, "Gee, those weeaboos are really weird!"

7. To have the opportunity to prove just how stupid they can be.

Prediction #3: In the future, anime conventions will not change at all. They will only get bigger and bigger.

All otaku will want to have the opportunity to accomplish one of the 7 selfish goals. As transportation improves and the costs go down, more otaku will find their way to the various anime conventions around the world. Even though otaku are generally anti-social creatures, nothing can replace that sense of "being there". As long as the conventions can continue to create a forum where otaku can satisfy their selfishness, they will keep coming and conventions will keep on growing.


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