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Genre Relaunch

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So, some work had the gall to be a Genre-Killer in some fashion. But then another work comes along and manages to revitalize that entire genre! That of course would be the Genre Relaunch. Commonalities in a relaunch include Reconstruction, a Genre Throwback, a retool, or being an exceptionally good work.

See also Popularity Polynomial. This is a genre-related trope of Vindicated by History, and a subversion of Condemned by History.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Free! and Haikyuu!! have more or less relaunched interest in sports anime in the North American fanbase. While this is due to both being just generally really good anime of the genre, they also gathered a bucketload of an Estrogen Brigade, especially the former, which was straight up advertised as a female-targetted alternative to fanservice-y moe shows.
    • The two wouldn't have had nearly as big of a success had Kuroko's Basketball not created a decently sized core fandom primarily consisting of fujoshi. After the second season of Kuroko had ended, the fangirls happened upon Haikyuu which was animated by the same studio as Kuroko, and natural cross polination quickly occured. As the third and final season of Kuroko aired in early 2015, the fandom of that show quickly moved on to both Haikyuu and the final newcomer in the "fujo sports triangle", Free (which was probably introduced to that core base by virtue of some of the fangirl brigade members being Kyoto Animation fans) and the rest is pretty much history.
  • Although Re:Zero and KonoSuba were written by close friends and were conceived as satire of the then-dying and discredited isekai genre (specifically the overabundance of Cliché Storm and Marty Stu that was all too common), the commercial success and critical recognition of their anime adaptations in 2016 led to the mass resurgence of this genre to anime-mainstream soon after, with most of these new adaptations and works ironically playing the genre straight.
  • From the late 80s to the early 90s (basically the time right around the Bubble Burst), the anime industry as a whole was on a huge decline as a result of numerous big-budget films like AKIRA and My Neighbor Totoro underperforming at the box office, causing many to feel that there was a lack of interest in the medium and motivating many Japanese animation studios to work instead on Western animation. However, the runaway success of Sailor Moon catapulted anime back into mainstream attention (as well as quite possibly saving Toei Animation from bankruptcy) by focusing on capturing a broad general audience rather than the Otaku market; many studios vied to capitalize on the show's success in many different ways, and in the end anime itself was brought back into the limelight after it spent so much time teetering on the edge of an industrial collapse.

  • The point of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was to do this for classical art.

    Comic Books 
  • Trouble, released in 2003-04, was advertised by Marvel Comics as their attempt to relaunch romance comics, a genre that (in the west, anyway; it's still alive and kicking with manga and other eastern comics) had largely petered out following the mid-70's, and it was released through the newly-reinstated Epic Comics imprint, dedicated to publishing non-superhero material. This didn't work for a number of reasons — for one, the tone of the comic is far more along the lines of a crass teen sex comedy than the wholesome, pulpy romance comics of yore, and its early twist reveal that it was actually a prequel to Spider-Man by following the early sexual hijinks of a young Uncle Ben, Aunt May, and Peter Parker's future parents was thrashed by audiences — and the poor reception has left both western romance comics and Epic Comics itself dead in the water.

    Films — Animation 
  • This has happened at least three times for the feature-length Disney Animated Musical:
    • Cinderella made the Disney musical popular for 1950s audiences after the genre had been killed off by the failures of films like Pinocchio and Bambi in the early 1940s due to World War II. It lasted until 1959, when the expensive Sleeping Beauty flopped and killed it off again.
    • The Little Mermaid (1989) reintroduced the world to the Disney musical formula in 1989, and 1991's Beauty and the Beast made it a viable (and profitable) film-making approach. This unfortunately led to numerous imitators in the 1990s, which (coupled with Disney's refusal to do anything but musicals throughout the decade after The Rescuers Down Under bombed at the box office) had turned it stale by the end of the decade. The popularity of 2001's Shrek essentially killed off the musical formula, which led to Disney not using it for almost ten years. However, 2009's The Princess and the Frog managed to make the Disney musical popular again with critics, 2010s Tangled made it popular again with families, and Frozen (2013) made it popular again with everyone else.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an interesting case. The genre it "relaunched" was one that never truly had a chance to flourish in the first place—the teen-oriented animated action movie. This genre experienced a number of high-profile failures in the early 2000s, such as Titan A.E., Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Treasure Planet, and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, causing it to be seen as box-office poison until Spider-Verse revived it.
  • Yellow Submarine is often considered to be the work that made people start taking the Western animation industry seriously again.
  • Subverted with traditional animation, as The Princess and the Frog and the 2011 Winnie the Pooh movie were intended to re-spark the medium in the West. But following the two's completion, Disney higher-ups closed up their 2D animation department once again as the box office numbers for these two didn't measure up to their CG counterparts. However, the success of The Secret of Kells and film distributor GKIDS' commitment to such films lead to hand drawn animation's revival in the independent film market.
  • After the success of The Rugrats Movie, studios began churning out multiple animated movies based on TV shows, all of varying quality. The over-saturation of these movies, combined with lackluster box office numbers, quickly caused animated TV to film adaptations to fall out of favor, with some even arguing they contributed to the decline of traditional animation due to "cheapening" the medium and coming out around the same time the All-CGI Cartoon was becoming popular. Despite the success of The Simpsons Movie, it wouldn't be until the critical and financial success of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water in 2015 when animated TV to movie adaptations would start to see a comeback. Ironically, its predecessor The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie was one of the last of the initial "wave" of TV show-based animated features, being released in 2004 just after the genre-killers Rugrats Go Wild! and Teacher's Pet.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Saturday Night Fever and Grease brought back the movie musical after the disaster that was Hello, Dolly!.
  • The Indiana Jones films repopularized the Adventurer Archaeologist genre.
  • Moulin Rouge! and Chicago did that a second time after the genre's reputation was killed by Xanadu and Can't Stop the Music.
  • 1998's Blade, 2000's X-Men, and 2002's Spider-Man brought redemption to the superhero movie industry after the travesty of the Schumacher Batman films and Steel had put the genre down for the count. This revival also ensured that subsequent films would be Darker and Edgier teenage- and adult-oriented films rather than the all-ages kind that had been before, such as The Dark Knight and Man of Steel. However, family-marketed superhero films are on the rise again, thanks to 2012's The Avengers, 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) and Power Rangers (2017).
  • Following the failure of Catwoman (2004), Elektra and Blade: Trinity, superhero movies largely avoided having leads that weren't white or male. It would take the success of 2017's Wonder Woman and 2018's Black Panther to demonstrate that gender and race were irrelevant when it came to the success or failure of various superhero movies. Since then, both Aquaman note  and Captain Marvel went on to make over one billion dollars each.
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise made pirates fun for the twenty-first century (although its influence has mostly been in literature, TV and video games rather than in more films).
  • The Disaster Movie genre was left for dead by 1980, but experienced a resurgence in 1996 with Roland Emmerich's Independence Day.
  • The Scream series did the same for slasher movies by hanging a massive lampshade over the genre's numerous clichés, while still employing them to scary effect. It took nearly a full decade for the resurgence to die back down, being done in by two things: a massive glut of uninspired, low-quality slashers that either couldn't emulate Scream's cheeky postmodernism, or simply didn't even try to, and the Columbine Massacre making any what Roger Ebert called "dead teenager" movies very uncomfortable because they were too close to that event.
  • 3D movies have had this a few times - in the 2000s, first with IMAX 3D, then animated flicks such as The Polar Express, and culminating in 2009's Avatar.
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy directed by Peter Jackson, it can be said, effectively brought High Fantasy (or perhaps even Medieval European Fantasy) in general to the attention of film audiences, but results from attempted films of this genre have been mixed. On one hand, we got successes like The Chronicles of Narnia, but on the other, we also got commercial flops like Eragon.
  • There'd hardly been any Sword and Sandal epic movies since The Fall of the Roman Empire. Then along came a little film called Gladiator in 2000, and the genre became big again.
  • The James Bond film Die Another Day almost killed the franchise and Spy Fiction genre, for verging too much into self-parody, continuity cavalcade and senseless/overblown CGI spectacle. The concurrent Affectionate Parody Austin Powers movies didn't help people take it more seriously either. Shortly thereafter, the much more grounded The Bourne Identity came out and was deemed "refreshing" for the genre. James Bond's producers would quickly follow on that trend (with some welcome renewed flair of their own) and the result, Casino Royale, was a success that revitalized the franchise through a Continuity Reboot. The Bourne series and modern Bond have respectively continued for several more films. And during all this time, the Mission: Impossible film series has continued, garnering praise for helping keeping the genre fresh particularly after a Soft Reboot with its third film.
  • R-rated comic book/superhero movies had declined after Watchmen underperformed at the box office, as well as studios believing that the R-rating was box office poison compared to the more economically viable PG-13. This sentiment was not helped by the fact that the few that did come out between 2009 and 2015 weren't big hits. However, after Marvel made waves with the likes of Daredevil (2015) and Jessica Jones (2015) on Netflix, combined with the smash hit films Deadpool (2016) and Logan, it seems that superhero media for more mature audiences may well be experiencing a resurgence. The unexpected success of Joker further proved that more adult-oriented and serious comic book films can be successful and has even surpassed the humor-heavy Deadpool to become the highest grossing R-rated film ever. A damn impressive feat in of itself, further impressive when it racked up eleven Oscar nominations, the most of any comic book film ever.
  • American Pie helped relaunch the Sex Comedy in the 2000s by combining it with the influence of John Hughes, whose style of teen movies caused the genre to fall out of favor in the late '80s and '90s.
  • Insidious, Cabin In The Woods, The Conjuring Universe and especially It helped renew interest in horror films in the 2010s. Before these were released, horror films relied too much on Gorn and Jump Scares, and were generally seen as a way to make quick bucks. After they were released, horror movies retained their low budgets, but made a conscious attempt to use the aforementioned tropes to good use. It also helps that horror films in the 2010's were more diverse than what they had been in any previous decade.
  • The mainstream Romantic Comedy movie genre largely died out in the 2000s, only sneaking in mixed with other genres for much of the 2010s and romcoms fell largely to television. This changed in 2018, with Netflix's slate (including The Kissing Booth, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, and Set It Up) along with the release of entries not focused on the genre's traditionally straight white protagonists (like the Asian-centric Crazy Rich Asians and the gay-centric Love, Simon) being credited with reviving the genre.
  • Ed Wood: While not box-office hits, this film and two Spiritual Successors by the same writing team (Scott Alexander and Larry Karazewski), The People vs. Larry Flynt and Man on the Moon, reinvigorated the Biopic genre in The '90s. Their subjects were not the kind of publicly respected/loved "great men" traditionally seen as "deserving" of biopics but disreputable, if not societal outcasts — yet were treated with kindness and dignity. On top of that, the first and last films took a playful rather than reverential approach, interpolating aspects of the subject's art into the style and structure of the film. This helped pave the way for films like The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, I'm Not There, Bernie, I, Tonya, and The Eyes of Tammy Faye, among others.

  • The spy genre had floundered with the end of the Cold War, such that a major subtext running through GoldenEye was whether or not spies like James Bond were still relevant. 9/11 and The War on Terror answered that question with a very definitive "yes".

    Live-Action TV 
  • This happened at least twice in the Game Show genre:
    • Jeopardy! helped re-popularized quiz-type game shows, which were previously thought dead after the rigging scandals of the 1950s. In fact, the show's signature "answer and question" format was inspired by a discussion between creator Merv Griffin and his wife about those very scandals. Between the 1950s and Jeopardy!'s debut, most game shows were either Panel Games or very low-stakes parlor games such as Password.
    • After a rather dormant period in the late 1990s, the genre got another major reboot in 1999 with the success of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? The show revitalized the entire genre and was the Trope Maker for many game show elements in use today — All or Nothing money ladders, Lifelines, dramatic sets and music, Commercial Break Cliffhangers and of course, massive payoffs. This led to the Who Wants to Be "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" trope.
  • As mentioned on the Genre-Killer page, the once great genre of British telefantasy was pretty much killed by Crime Traveller (some might argue that it was killed by the cancellation of Doctor Who, and Crime Traveller was just a death rattle). Since Doctor Who's revival in 2005 showed that there's still a vast audience for SF&F, we've had Primeval, Merlin, Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes (2008), Torchwood, Being Human, the Discworld TV movies... Meanwhile, the revival of Doctor Who is credited with bringing back the concept of family shows, that is, programs that the whole family could gather together for.
  • Live network television musicals entered a dormancy in the middle of The '50s. NBC revived them in 2013, with a The Sound of Music telecast starring Carrie Underwood. While it scored high ratings, it took two more years for the medium to re-enter critical favor, when NBC broadcast The Wiz to great acclaim. A few months later, FOX opened the door for other networks to stage their own musicals, by airing a warmly-reviewed Grease production that scored even higher ratings than The Wiz did.
  • With both Friends and Frasier ending in 2004, people started wondering about the future of the three camera sitcom (a.k.a. the ones with Laugh Tracks) with the success of single-camera comedies like Malcolm in the Middle, Scrubs and The Office (US) gaining steam. How I Met Your Mother in 2005 helped keep it around, but it was the enormous success of The Big Bang Theory that kept it going.
  • Dinosaur documentaries, first popularized by Walking with Dinosaurs, was gradually killed off due to derivative works having lower budgets, less accuracy, and a tendency to anthropomorphize the animals too much. This culminated in the failure of the film adaptation of Walking with Dinosaurs, which killed off the dinosaur documentary for nearly a decade. Then came Prehistoric Planet in 2022, which had the quartet of amazing visuals, up-to-date behavior, formatting closer to an actual nature documentary, and being narrated by renowned biologist David Attenborough. Following this, interest in the genre exploded, and Netflix announced it's own speculative documentary, A Life on Our Planet.
  • While the Soap Opera genre wasn't dead by any means in 1979, it was viewed as a hopelessly corny throwback appealing mainly to the Daytime Drama Queen demographic. A year earlier, Glory Monty took over as executive producer of General Hospital, and completely overhauled the show by adding more youth appeal stories, quickening the pace with more short scenes, and throwing elements of Crime Drama and adventure stories into the mix. While Monty hadn't planned it, there was also Luke and Laura codifying the concept of the Super Couple. Between all this, GH began picking up a huge number of new viewers, peaking with the 30 million who watched the wedding of Luke and Laura in 1981. As a result, other soaps began emulating GH, and the genre as a whole got a strong second wind.
  • Specific to France: Adaptations of French literature and Historical Fiction had gone moribund on French TV since the 1972 adaptation of The Accursed Kings. The big success of the miniseries The Count of Monte Cristo in 1998 caused a revitalization of the genre on TV, and Gérard Depardieu himself went on to lead more adaptations (such as Les Misérables in 2000).

  • Thrash Metal had a resurgence in the mid 2000s on the backs of bands like Evile and Municipal Waste.
  • Boy Bands were practically D.O.A. after the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC faded in 2001-02 . The Jonas Brothers were popular for a few years from 2007 to 2009, but that was more of a pop-rock act as opposed to a traditional boy band. B5 were also briefly popular during the mid-2000s, but their popularity was mostly limited in scope to the Radio Disney tween audience. Following the success of Justin Bieber, "classic" boy bands like Big Time Rush, The Wanted, and JLS started popping up. JLS and The Wanted had good success in the UK, but were nowhere near as popular as acts like Take That and Westlife were and made no impact internationally. Big Time Rush, meanwhile, had a hit show on Nickelodeon, but as a band weren't very successful mostly because their launch was parallel to the rise of Bieber.
    • The act that would truly re-ignite the Boy Band craze formed on the next season of the hit UK show The X Factor. One Direction were put together by Simon Cowell after their members narrowly missed the cut as solo acts. Although the group finished third, their debut single "What Makes You Beautiful" debuted at #1 in the UK. One Direction would go on to achieve massive worldwide success, and even broke into one market that most of their predecessors failed to make it in: the United States. The Wanted also had a massive global hit with "Glad You Came" around the same time One Direction started to break through, but their hype was quickly extinguished by their rivals.
    • One Direction would go on to dethrone Bieber as the biggest teen phenomenon in the world. The Canadian's sales figures began to plummet and he started to lose awards and records to the boy band. Other boy bands like Union J, The Vamps, Emblem 3, Midnight Red, and IM5 are looking to achieve success, but it's unlikely that any boy band — or Bieber-esque solo singer, for that matter — will overtake One Direction any time soon.
    • After One Direction went on hiatus, BTS would follow in their footsteps and subsquently take on the "massively popular boy band" mantle, once again proving the boy band concept is still viable.
  • This happened to Disco of all things in 2013. Daft Punk's "Get Lucky", Bruno Mars' "Treasure", and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" were able to revive worldwide interest in the disco genre, leading to several followers and even expanding to other forms of R&B in 2014.
  • After Loveless made all other shoegazing works pale in comparison, the genre died in the early-mid '90s. It's since seen a resurgence in the '10s, lead by the Brooklyn scene rather than the traditional northern English scene.
  • Political Rap is having a resurgence, though it is mainly limited to the Flemish scene. One of the most famous political rappers there is Keondalini.
  • Nu Metal has seen something of resurgence since around 2012, after dying unceremoniously in 2004. Bands like Issues, In This Moment, Hollywood Undead, Of Mice & Men, From Ashes to New, Emmure, and Saint Asonia prove the genre isn't completely non-viable like it used to be. Throw that in with various deathcore bands like Suicide Silence, Whitechapel, Upon a Burning Body, and Attila taking noticeable influence from the genre. Add that with the fact that bands who previously abandoned the genre returned to their roots, most notably Staind, Slipknot, Papa Roach, and Linkin Park. It'll probably never be anywhere near as popular as it once was, but it's something.
  • Adele's second album 21's massive success singlehandedly brought back R&B and neo-soul genre to the mainstream pop music.
  • Hair Metal has seen a minor resurgence over the years, after dying unceremoniously in 1992 with the rise of Grunge. Bands like Black Veil Brides, Dirty Honey, The Darkness, Reckless Love, Crashdïet, H.E.A.T and Crazy Lixx, along with parody/tribute act Steel Panther, have managed to prove the genre is still viable even if it still has the '80s stigma stuck to it. Throw that in with older hair bands such as Night Ranger, Tesla, Stryper and Mötley Crüe returning to their roots.
  • Led Zeppelin-style hard rock began to see a resurgence in the late 2010s after Greta Van Fleet gained a surge in attention and popularity.
  • Grunge has seen a minor resurgence in the mid-2010s, after dying unceremoniously in the mid-1990s and evolving into the polarizing Post-Grunge. Bands like Milk Teeth, Fangclub, Muskets, My Ticket Home, Speedy Ortiz and Citizen have proved "true Grunge" isn't as dead as hardcore fans of the genre think it is. It'll never be anywhere near as popular as it once was, but it's a notable revival nevertheless.
  • After dying off in the late-90s following an identity crisis and the smash success of Radiohead's OK Computer being it's death knell, Britpop saw a minor resurgence in the early 2010s, with bands like DMA's and All the Young fusing elements of the classic Britpop style with modern Indie Rock.

  • No matter what one may think of his politics, it's hard to deny that Rush Limbaugh did this with non-music radio in general, and talk radio in particular, starting in the late '80s. His openly and proudly partisan style, made possible by the repeal of the Fairness Doctrinenote  in 1987, caused radio broadcasters to realize that there was still money to be made broadcasting news and talk shows, leading to a proliferation of right-wing talk radio hosts in The '90s.
  • The success of The Howard Stern Show around the same time, meanwhile, demonstrated that there was also still a market for less partisan and more comedic talk radio content, leading to the rise of the Shock Jock as a new breed of radio host focused on Vulgar Humor.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Role-playing games like The Black Hack and similar "retro-clones" have created the Old-School Revival movement, which aims to replicate the mechanics of the First and Second Editions of Dungeons & Dragons and other games of the early stage of the roleplaying moment. The impact of this revival has been so powerful that even the Fifth Edition of D&D aims to follow a similar design course.
  • Prior to the OSR movement, in the latter 90s the trend in RPGs was toward character-driven, combat-light games like the Old World of Darkness games. Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition brought back the old-school Dungeon Crawl, and proved that players could still enjoy going into a dungeon and hacking their way through a horde of orcs.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation