AnimeDo Vol. 1: Thoughts on the State of Anime in Japan



In the midst of this hot, hot summer, as the sun beats down the pavements of Tokyo, I settled in front of my TV with a bag of chips and a soda (and not the low-calorie kind) in my air-conditioned apartment with the curtains tightly drawn. It was time to watch the anime I’d been recording–all the episodes in one go.


This is, in my opinion, the right way to spend the summer vacation!


“What do you mean, it’s hot? My apartment is perfectly cold, though my anime does get me fired up.”


I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Ogawa; I’m the CEO of LOL, Inc, which runs Doujin World, the doujin and otaku news site that has kindly given me space to write a new column called “AnimeDo”, or “The Anime Path.”




Do you have to have a history of loving anime to be a true fan?

I love anime.


I always have. It’s to the point where I can look back to a period of my life, even from when I was a child, and know what anime I was watching late at night. But I’m not going to be the kind of fan that harps on my seniority or talks endlessly about my love for a specific anime.


That’s because all Japanese people, whether they’re hardcore fans or just casual watchers, have grown up with anime. We all have a little anime love in us. Of course, the key word here is “Japanese people”, since anime is a part of Japanese culture.


Ogawa, whose passion for anime is evident in how excited he is to talk about it.



Japan, the birthplace of anime

When I studied abroad at a university in America, I met a lot of American otaku.


“What’s popular in Japan right now?” they’d ask. “What do you think about this anime theme song?” I remember talking endlessly about anime with them. Of course it was all in English, but they used the Japanese word “anime” all the time. Don’t you think that’s interesting?


“Anime” almost sounds like an English word, in my opinion. It’s actually a shortening of the English word “animation.” But in that case, wouldn’t Enlish speakers shorten it as “anima” or “animat” in the English world? And yet, “anime” is the word they used. As a Japanese person, I felt a certain kind of pride in realizing this.


Ogawa and his friends from his study abroad days diligently playing Smash Brothers. Complete with America-sized snacks.


A photo of an Otaku Friend party (*Only people of legal age were drinking alcohol.)




Lately, in anime…

All that is a preface for what I have to say today.


I might have talked a little too much because I was hoping those who love anime like me would understand my feelings. It was sort of on purpose. But what I really want to talk about, fellow anime fans, is…


Don’t you feel like the anime industry lately feels a bit unstable?


I know a lot goes into making anime, from the designs to the animations, and I know what I’m saying might come across as rude to those who work so hard to make them.


But still, as a fan, even if it causes a bit of a stir, I want someone to hear what I have to say.


“It’s because I love anime so much that this has been bothering me…”




I have several concerns regarding the current state of anime. First:


  • Frequent broadcasting delays

The pandemic has caused challenges for distribution companies…At least, that’s what I keep hearing, but could there be other reasons for delayed broadcasts?



  • All of a sudden, long-shot scenes feel off 

Shots where the character is the focus of the scene are beautiful, but when the camera pulls back to get a wider view of a whole scene, it feels like the balance crumbles, or the coloring is unstable.



  • There are so many review episodes 

These days, it seems like there are episodes that review what happened previously every seven or eight episodes.


  • Seasons end in the middle of the story

Don’t you hate when you finish a season and you’re like, “What? That’s it?” And then they haven’t announced if or when the next season is coming out? I feel like that’s happening a lot lately. They end just as you’re starting to get invested in the story. I’m too impatient for this!


I’m not going to call out any specific titles, but I’m sure you can think of a few that fit the bill.




Who am I to say such things?

I’m just a simple anime fan. The opinions I’ve expressed here are really no more than posts on a blog.


That’s why I’ve decided to ask people who work in the anime production industry. I want to dig deep and find the answers to my questions, and then share them with as many people as possible through Doujin World.


I’m going to make use of the connections I’ve built so far, and I’m thinking of interviewing people in the anime world. If you’re an anime fan, I hope you’ll look out for future AnimeDo  articles!


See you next time!


I provide an anime prodigy education to my beloved daughter. Instead of worrying about her future, I believe it holds great promise.



Kyohei Ogawa

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