For a good while now my love of anime has been dwindling for the simple fact that characters are no longer relatable in any sense. Teenage boys who have 5 attractive women throw themselves at him acts as if he’s never thought about sex once. Women are reduced to ditsy sex objects for fan service. Show concepts are half thought out and poorly executed, and the average anime which is at best a 7 in my standards of today would have been easily a 5 or worse in previous years. I see more and more CGI anime that ruin great mangas with low budget designs and unwatchable framerates. The overall quality of storytelling for anime is diminishing and is being replaced with big tits, explosions, and unfunny banter. Yet, through all of this, I have hope.
Over the last 6 months, I’ve rewatched Code Geass, Yu-Yu Hakushu, Spirited Away, Your Name, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, Some of Toradora and Black Lagoon and I’ve realized what’s wrong with anime. All of these shows and movies have characters that have actual human characteristics and flaws. Some may or may not be amplified but none the less most of the characters in these bodies of work had clear goals, motives, we’re fleshed out, made you feel various emotions as you watched everyone on their journey. Even as I watched Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans I can still relate to space orphan children soldiers then I can with most the garbage out today such as Hajimete no Gal.
This is because despite facing unrealistic settings and threats characters acted as if they were real-life people. This simple concept of characters acting as actual people is sadly forgotten and overlooked which prevents me from suspending disbelief for many shows.
I’m gonna take a minute to address the fact that I know there are many shows that do not take themselves seriously nor should, but this article is to address the many shows that try to and fail horribly. I don’t expect realistic situations as most of anime is fiction yet, I don’t want characters to be plot devices and ONLY sexual exploits to sell fandom. I can overlook characters being overly sexualized if they provide a good narrative for the story. Deaths in shows should hold more impact on characters instead of people just moving on to the next objective hardly phased despite knowing them all season. A great example of what I would like to see more is how Roy Mustang was visibly hurt by the loss of Maes Hughes in Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood.
At the end of the day, all I’m asking is for anime/manga creators to put more thoughts into how their characters react and to make them act more human and more relatable. Great animes have great characters. Flawed at times but overall have way more redeemable charter traits that can be understood through on screen time and dialog about them.