Dork Age Anime And Manga Discussion

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08:12:33 AM May 19th 2014
Pulled due to an edit war. Talk it over here, please.
  • As The New Tens move on, Shonen itself seems to be in a Dork Age. Of The Big Three that dominated the Noughties, only One Piece has come out relatively unscathed. Naruto and Bleach, while still technically popular, have both suffered massive backlashes due to many controversial plot developments, with even hardcore fans often having laundry lists of things about the series that they hate. Even beyond their own individual problems, they're sometimes seen as being emblematic of common Shonen problems (Such as a poorly balanced cast of characters, shocking plot twists that fans feel don't make sense, fights being won through Ass Pulls or brute strength instead of clever strategy, certain arcs and even the whole series going on for much longer than needed and certain characters being so powerful that they completely wreck the plot). Fairy Tail has a large fanbase, and it's focus on wizards give it an identity comparable to other popular series (Dragon Ball Z being aliens, Naruto being ninja, One Piece being pirates and Bleach being samurai, more or less). However, many long time anime fans consider it to be average, and it's anime was put on hiatus due to sluggish ratings and DVD sales. So far, it shows no sign of becoming as popular as it's predecessors. Toriko was for a time considered to be the replacement for Bleach, and was given a massive marketing push. However, it's sales only do barely better than Bleach, and it's anime was cancelled after only three years. In fact, when Bleach and Toriko were cancelled, they weren't replaced by new series, but by installments of some of Shonen's most enduring cash cows, with Bleach being replaced by Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth, and Toriko being replaced by the unaired-in-Japan Buu Saga of Dragon Ball Kai. Across all series, one of the most common complaints is that they're all Cliche Storms, with most series falling back on the same character archetypes and plot progression while doing little to innovate or improve on the flaws of their inspirations. With Naruto and Bleach in their final arcs, it remains to be seen whether any new series will be able to properly replace them and reclaim the popularity they once held, or whether Shonen will continue to be perceived as a stagnate genre populated by series long past their prime.
08:24:59 AM May 19th 2014
I wrote that based on many discussions I've seen regarding Shonen. Some of it may seem like personal opinion, but I was trying to be detailed, and properly express the complaints I've heard. The complaints about Naruto and Bleach aren't just a vocal minority, and I've been told that based on sales figures, Bleach has actually lost the majority of it's fanbase. I'm not sure how important Fairy Tail's popularity is, but I thought it was significant that one of the more promient shows outside the big three still seems to be trailing behind them. I figured Toriko's fall was worth mentioning, since it tanked pretty quickly despite being touted as the hot new thing. I'm also not sure how important it is that Bleach and Toriko weren't replaced by completely new adaptations, but I thought it might mean that the pool of really marketable shonen has shrunk. The main thing I don't know about is the state of lesser known series, if they get as much criticism as the more well known series, or if they're considered better than the ones that get a big marketing push. If they're still well regarded I'd be willing to let it go, if not then I think the evidence points to Shonen not being as well-regarded as it used to be.
08:33:43 AM May 19th 2014
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Well, I'm not as well-versed on the subject, so I'm not sure I can accurately comment. However, one thing I can say is that 'shonen' is a rather broad term — after all, it's an entire demographic. They cover quite a bit more than just the ones that you have mentioned, so I'm thinking it can be a little less generalised than 'all shonen is in the Dork Age', which it most certainly is not.
08:45:54 AM May 19th 2014
Yes, but shojou and light novels have their own entries on this page, so it seems unfair to say that those can be here but shonen can't.
09:43:35 AM May 30th 2014
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Huh, for some reason your post didn't show up in my watchlist. Sorry for the wait, although I wish somebody else would come along and chime in, considering I wasn't even the one who took down the example in the first place.

Here's the problem — you point out specific examples and then apply them to an entire demographic, essentially stating them to be representative of it all. The shoujo and light novel ones just talk about the medium as a whole without specific examples, and is mostly centred around the majority of them being viewed as copycats. By all means, write up an example explaining how these specific shows count — but I honestly have to attest on whether or not the entirety of shonen counts. It's a very large field, which has plenty of series which are still very popular, i.e. Attack on Titan, Gin Tama.

Your examples do not apply to the entire demographic, is what I'm saying.
02:23:34 PM Jun 2nd 2014
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Sorry, but I don't see the difference. The shoujo and light novels talk about the whole medium without examples, and mine was also about the whole medium. They are large fields just as shonen is, so saying it's only a problem with shonen doesn't make sense to me. The page also has a detailed example about how anime in general was seen as being in a dork age for a few years, and that's obviously must larger than any one genre. Things like Attack on Titan seem to be the exception to the rule, compared to past decades which had a lot of well acclaimed series. The fact that Shonen Jump's last attempted cash cow, Toriko, burnt out so quickly makes me doubtful that anything else they have is better. If other series were better than what the current most popular series are, then odds are they would have become big hits in their own right. The anime community is semi-organized, so a well written series can go from being obscure to getting a lot of acclaim in just a few years. But these days, the most popular series more often than not aren't as popular as the most well known series of yesteryear. It suggests a drop in quality.

I feel you're splitting hairs. I'm putting it back in. Once again, I would be willing to let it go, but I need proof that the medium is seen more postively than it appears to me. I will also not accept the idea that you can criticize one medium, but not others. There are always going to be exceptions no matter how bad a certain genre is in, but when the genre seems to be struggling in general, it can be reasonably qualified as a dork age.
01:15:25 AM Jun 17th 2012
I'm of the opinion that the entire anime medium itself is caught in a collosal Dork Age where the prevailing trends are fanservice-bordering-on-outright-porn (usually of disturbing prepubescent-looking characters) and mindless moe with actual PLOT being a offhand consideration, if they bother with it at all. I mean, just compare the series coming out these days with as little as 5 years ago and it's just plain depressing how much more generally SHIT everything is. It's like The Dark Age of Comic Books for anime, only with Hotter and Sexier (and Refuge in Vulgarity) rather than Darker and Edgier. But I'm not sure if the Dork Age trope is meant to be applied to a medium as a whole, even if it is because of recurring trends affecting the majority of properties. Would it be an appropriate listing?
02:46:50 AM Jun 17th 2012
No. It would not be appropriate. This is a YMMV trope, but that does not mean a whole medium can come under it. Not all anime comes under what you're saying.
02:05:46 PM Jun 17th 2012
I'd say no. That falls under Nostalgia Filter.
03:46:52 AM Apr 22nd 2014
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The "anime and manga in general" entries in the Dork Age section need editing in the entire other way if anything. I'm not against plotting 2007-2010~ as a dork age, but there is some questionable stuff in there.

1. " Even the Western fan-loved Gurren Lagann didn't make much of a splash in its native Japan aside from figures of the resident Ms. Fanservice, Yoko." TTGL sold 20k on average per volume, not exactly Bakemonogatari levels, but that's pretty darn good all things considering. This should be removed.

2. "And don't get some anime fans started on the wake of Ecchi series popularized by Queen's Blade and Ikki Tousen. While these series tend to do poorly in the ratings, they make up for it in figure sales." Interesting fact, ecchi series? Existed before the anime "Dork Age". So this really isn't relevant to the entry

3. "Artistic titles aimed at reviving anime have also suffered as Fractale, Aku no Hana and Shin Sekai Yori sold poorly in BD sales which in the former's case led to Yamakan's retirement." I can already tell you that at least two of those three show's are pretty debatable in quality and artistic merit. I'm not sure if it's really fair to say that Aku no Hana and Fractale failed because hurr durr Japanese fans.

I would go ahead and rectify this myself, but considering the oft politicized environment in the post moe-schism world that defines the Western Fandom, I want some sort of approval first. I would suggest someone who has better writing skills than me revamp the first entry, cutting out some of the sub entries and merging them. The main entry itself needs revision since it claims that the dork age is of the "new tens", which is outright refuted by the sub-entry claiming a 2011 renaissance. It's just a mess
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