If you talk about anime to someone, it’s more than likely that they’ll think about shows that are currently airing, or shows that turned big for whatever reason or even shows that they grew up watching as a kid.
It doesn’t matter who you’re talking to. Their taste or expertise is irrelevant here. No matter who you’re talking to, it’s probably rare to see people discussing the old stuff.
I’m not talking about what the Internet defines as old anime. I’m not talking about the so-called forgotten anime. Shows like Trigun or Chobits are not the topic of discussion here. Neither are shows like Space Battleship Yamato or Lupin the Third Part II. Of course, these shows are often forgotten about and underappreciated, but not as much as the old anime.
The old anime which I’m referring to here may be, in modern speech, be called the ‘OG Anime’. That is, anime from before the 1960s. But why am I talking about these? The thought actually came about after I watched Usagi to Kame – a 9 minute long movie from 1924 which is a retelling of Aesop’s The Hare & The Tortoise.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know productions from this era aren’t exactly easy to get access to. It’s more than likely that this is the reason why nobody talks about it. Particualrly for those of us outside of Japan, it’s a real struggle, the only access really being streaming sites or torrenting. However, if we imagine that these were easier to access, would they get the same recognition as other, more modern anime? Probably not.
Many would argue that it’s because the older anime aren’t exciting enough. They don’t have the special effects we have these days, nor do they have epic openings and sweet endings. But, sometimes, we don’t need all of that. Maybe stripping it down every so often would make us appreciate the art of animation more?
Usagi to Kame, for example, has a great little OST that I found myself singing along towards the end of the show. The animation, for its age, was also a pleasant sight, despite the actual tortoise looking slightly dodgy, for lack of a better word. There was nothing wrong with it. For nine minutes, it was nice to strip everything down and relax.
What are your thoughts on this? Would you watch the old anime if you could? If not, why? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time!
– Amelia x
7 thoughts on “Why do we no longer appreciate old anime?”
I think there are some people who quite like older anime, just like there are people who like older movies from Hollywood and the like. But the majority of the audience are always looking forward to what is next and what is new. Still, there will always be a small audience looking at what the new has been built on and so it won’t die out entirely.
I would watch more if I could. I actually just watched the take off the white serpent, the first full length anime movie. I was really good actually and I enjoyed it quite a bit! I am all for delving into the older more obscure past of anime.
There’s definitely fair amount of people that still watch and discuss these shows, some even exclusively. But you’re definitely right in saying that a lot of older shows and the discussion surrounding them tends to get swept under the rug in favour of the latest trend or new best-seller.
Personally, I think all shows are relevant enough to discuss so long as you have something interesting to talk about. I’ve never gotten behind this idea of only talking about what’s currently “hot” and tend to just talk about whatever I feel like at the time.
Hopefully we’ll see more classics be discussed some day. It’s a shame that a lot of people dismiss them simply because they aren’t current.
Old anime you had me at the title. I have never heard of this and certainly would give a watch for most def. old anime talk needs to stay alive, your keeping the talk alive by this discussion or from many will 😁
This was an interesting post. I didn’t know you had some animated works predating Osamu Tezuka made in Japan. It’s tough for me getting into newer anime because of work and my own creative projects, so a lot of the stuff I’ve focused on are from the 90s and 00s more or less. I do think that people should check out older anime because there are some timeless movies and series that aren’t current.
I remember reading about some of that really OG stuff, like Momotaro’s Sea Eagles, in some of the non-fiction books I was reading for the Ode to Anime Studios. I think their status as “forgotten” is a combo of the fact we’re all based on the internet, which thrives off the hip, new stuff and the cleaner-looking animation, and the point you make about accessibility.
If I could access them legally, I’d probably only give one or two particularly monumental works a glance through for the sake of completing my knowledge from the books though, because as much as it’s nice to know history, I’m happier consuming something more akin to/something that is the animation I know.