As an admirer of anime and cartoons (or cartoonime for the sake of simplicity). I must admit that I am a slow-moving lover of both animation subgenres. Even though I have a greater passion for one genre than the other, I still believe that both of these sectors are in decline overall and have been since the 1980s.
But I do want to be clear about one thing. I do think that Japanese animation has gradually gotten better in recent years. Having said that, I am a little concerned about the new Youth Ordinance Bill that Tokyo, Japan, enacted. Even though there is currently only a modest amount of restriction, this could serve as a precursor to much more extensive censorship. You see, once a government makes a tiny modification to the social structure, they frequently move on to make larger alterations. Click here aniworld
Let’s return to the topic of corporate cartooning, though.
As you may already be aware, the 1960s through 1990s were the height of the popularity of cartoons and anime. Cartoons and anime were broadcast at this time on well-known broadcast TV networks like CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX. All of the aforementioned stations were airing a Saturday Morning lineup with a wide selection of cartoon episodes to watch. However, things started to shift in the middle of the 1990s.
The first major network to remove animated cartoons from its Saturday Morning programming was NBC in 1997. The decision was made for a number of reasons, including economic ones, Disney’s acquisition of ABC/Capital Cities, the rise of KidsWB, and the strict censorship imposed by the Federal Communications Commission, which required that television stations air at least three hours of educational programming for kids each week.
But that is not where the narrative ends. The introduction of live-action children’s and teen programmes then started. Television networks switched their emphasis from animated shows to live-action shows as a result of the transformation since they recognised a new market and opportunity for them in terms of ad revenue. In reality, networks started to recognise that live-action toys, goods, and games may be just as successful in the marketplace as cartoon goods and toys. By the way, a lot of networks used the sale of popular cartoon show products as a big source of income and possibly as the primary justification for airing animated programmes.
Naturally, these occasions sparked a quick change that saw major television networks concentrate on live-action programming for children and teenagers rather than cartoons or anime, which was just plain awful.
However, the issue that major television networks or studio production are currently facing is… They are first and foremost a business. They aren’t just businesses; the majority of them are corporations or at the very least subsidiaries of corporations.
What does this have to do with anime or cartoons, some of you may be wondering? A lot.
Let me first briefly describe the function of a corporation or public company. A public company’s goal is to increase shareholder wealth, not to raise revenue. Yes, you read that right. A company’s primary objective is to grow shareholder wealth, usually through an increase in assets or profits. But what does this have to do with how terrible cartoons and anime are? Again, a great deal.
Most individuals are unaware that a business may become less valuable if its current growth is less than that of the previous year. If this happens, it’s possible that many of the company’s investors will sell their equities faster you can say “hot potato.”
then what? Right? Okay, in order to avoid situations like that, firm executives continue to make difficult decisions (well, maybe not that difficult for them, but difficult for others who are affected by them). These choices are typically not pleasant because they frequently result in the layoffs of employees, the outsourcing of jobs, and the reduction of production budgets. This might all have a significant impact on an animated production.
Many of you have probably noticed some of these inconsistencies while watching an anime or cartoon, I’m sure. Have you ever noticed how one scene appears to move really well with tremendous detail but the next just seems so poorly done that the main character is barely discernible? Yes, that is typically what happens when a show or scene is outsourced to another nation or handled by a fill-in animator rather than a trained expert.
However, some shows can just look horrendous, so I usually pay close attention to the studio name and steer clear of any other animated films they have done. But it goes without saying that studio companies’ efforts to save costs are the real source of these mediocre films. Workers’ salaries and benefits, if available, make up the majority of companies’ greatest balance sheet costs.
However, when costs are reduced, some of the best directors, writers, or animators frequently lose their jobs. Such things have a big influence on upcoming animation efforts. In fact, it’s possibly the primary factor in the failure of many cartoon series after one or two seasons. I’ve seen series that, for the first one or two seasons, were fantastic, but after that, something simply seems to be lacking; this generally happens with the animation, the plot, or perhaps even the voice acting.
But really, how can we hold the businesses responsible? They’re simply following the current trend of de-financialization, which results in survival of the fittest as businesses merge, sell, or are acquired. Which, for the most part, results in monopolies or too big to fail businesses (I fail to see why governments don’t view them as monopolies). This is primarily the cause of the significant (unfavourable) change in virtually every industry today. I mean, I’m sure most of you have observed how much worse today’s games are than those from the 1980s and 1990s. With cartoons and anime, the situation is similar.
Another way to look at it is that you are less required to manufacture high-quality goods the less competition there is. And from the 1980s to the present, many small, privately held businesses either went out of business or were acquired by a large firm since less is better for larger businesses.
The flashier and more attractive cartoons of today are undoubtedly a result of advances in computer technology and perhaps a better supply of kitchenware. But in reality, if you look past the flashing, gorgeous eye candy of modern special effects, you’ll see that many of the old cartoons and anime were much superior. In fact, several of them were entertaining while also being educational.
But it’s all down to monopolies, corporate monopolisation, or should I say stock market deregulation. Companies no longer prioritise quality or pride in their work; instead, they simply seek to discover ways to satisfy their shareholders, which invariably entails raising revenues or assets to support business expansion. Which frequently leads to poor business decisions, affecting individuals at the bottom of the ladder more so than those at the top, more often than not.