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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 some 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 subversion of Deader Than Disco.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Free! and Haikyuu!! have more or less relaunched interest of sports anime in the North American fanbase.
  • Although Re:Zero and Konosuba were written by close friends and were conceived as satire on 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 

    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 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, 2010's Tangled made it popular again with families, and 2013's Frozen 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., Atlantis: The Lost Empire, and Treasure Planet, causing it to be seen as box-office poison until Spider-Verse revived it.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit is widely credited with revitalizing the Western animation industry and bringing it out of the Dark Age, though Yellow Submarine is often considered to be the work that made people start taking the medium 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, and ironically help revive wide-release 2D animated features in the West after killing it a decade earlier!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Saturday Night Fever and Grease brought back the movie musical after the disaster that was Hello, Dolly!.
  • 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 (2012), 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) and Power Rangers (2017).
  • Following the failure of Catwoman and Blade: Trinity, superhero movies largely avoided having leads that weren't white or male. It would take the success of 2017's WonderWoman 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, and announcements of projects like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Birds of Prey show that this trend isn't slowing down.
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise made pirates fun for the twenty-first century (although its influence has mostly been in literature 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. In a huge twist of irony, the director, Wes Craven had actually made Scream to kill the alling genre off once and for all, but his attempt instead end up revitalising it. 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 by way of Too Soon.
  • 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. It's often stated that the Game of Thrones HBO series has re-killed High Fantasy, however, by raising the bar too high to compete.
  • There'd hardly been any Sword & Sandal epic movies since Cleopatra had come out in 1963. Then along came a little film called Gladiator in 2000, and the genre became big again.
  • 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.


    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 with the success of single-camera comedies like Malcolm in the Middle, Scrubs and The Office 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.

  • 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. 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.
  • 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.

  • 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 and Getting Crap Past the Radar.

    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 
  • Nintendo and the NES single-handedly brought the home video game console market back from the dead in North America, after The Great Video Game Crash of 1983.
  • Titles such as Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and the Telltale Games Sam & Max: Freelance Police retool helped restart the popularity of Adventure Games in America after roughly a decade of dormancy. Note that this genre was never dead overseas, however; it largely mutated into genres such as Visual Novels.
  • Depending on who you ask, the strategy RPG genre was revived by either Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, or the first Western release of Fire Emblem on the Game Boy Advance: three games that came out in 2003.
  • The rise of Kickstarter has caused a spike of interest in reviving the Point-and-Click adventure games. In particular, Double Fine's Broken Age raising over a million dollars in a day has caused a lot of Follow the Leader. Similarly, a few companies are hoping to use Kickstarter to revive Interplay-style RPGs like Fallout and Planescape: Torment.
  • The success of Castle Crashers revitalized interest in the side-scrolling Beat 'em Up.
  • Starting in the mid-2000s, there was a resurgence in popularity with older styles of video games from the 8-bit and 16-bit era, with many existing franchises from the those eras seeing revivals heavily influenced by nostalgia.
  • The recent success of Shadow Warrior (2013), Wolfenstein: The New Order, and DOOM has created a revived interest in old-school style shooters.
  • Space simulators in the vein of Elite and Wing Commander are headed in this direction in 2014 thanks to the advent of crowdfunding, helped largely by the success of Star Citizen's campaigns (leading to record-breaking amounts of funding), as well as the critical acclaim and commercial success of Elite: Dangerous and the amount of press revolving around games like No Man's Sky.
    This also resulted in resurgent demand for joysticks, to the point that new high-end HOTAS and dual flight stick setups were released to market just to cater to the relaunched space sim market. When you need precise analog control over all six degrees of freedom, keyboards, mice and gamepads just don't cut it any more.
  • Guitar Hero Live and Rock Band 4 were released in 2015, restoring interest in the instrument-based Rhythm Game that died in 2010. Unfortunately, it died almost as quickly as it came back, sending it back to the grave.
  • The turn based tactical genre seemed to be heading down the drain around the start of The New '10s, until the one-two punch of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Fire Emblem Awakening came out to near unanimous acclaim and commercial success.
  • The Stylish Action genre reached peak popularity during The Seventh Generation of Console Video Games, with titles like Devil May Cry, God of War, and Ninja Gaiden all being pioneers of the genre and inspiring imitators like Heavenly Sword and Dante's Inferno. However, near the end of the seventh generation and the beginning of the eighth, the Soulsborne genre eclipsed stylish action games in popularity and profitability, with Dm C Devil May Cry and Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z proving to be divisive installments in their respective franchises that flopped commercially, and God Of War 2018 choosing to go with a more Souls-like approach to its combat system. Bayonetta 2 was the only holdout during this time, but the failure of the Wii U, which it was exclusive to, prevented it from gaining the same level of exposure as other games. A few years later, however, the Nintendo Switch came along, for which Bayonetta 3 was announced at the end of its first year as an exclusive, with ports of the first two games releasing several months from them, giving the franchise the exposure it needed. The next year at E3, Devil May Cry 5 was announced and was released in 2019 to rave reviews and commercial success, reviving the franchise after a long hiatus. Astral Chain was also released the same year as a Switch-exclusive title, and managed to sell over a million copies despite the exclusivity. Then in 2020, the kickstarter-funded The Wonderful 101 Remastered, formerly exclusive to the Wii U and originally a sales flop, managed to accumulate the funds needed for PlatinumGames to self-publish it on the Nintendo Switch, Steam, and the PlayStation 4 in less then several hours. Overall, the stylish action genre has seen a resurgence near the end of the eighth generation after years of it laying dormant, with the Bayonetta games, Devil May Cry 5, and Astral Chain proving the genre is still alive and well.
  • With the success of games like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Mass Effect, and Fallout 3, the Western RPG genre has generally been shifting towards a strong focus on a single character, first-person perspective, and action-oriented combat. Enter Pillars of Eternity, which was created by industry veterans as a love letter to the older party-based narrative style with mechanics heavily borrowed from tabletop RPGs. It's done well enough to spawn a sequel and inspire similar games like Pathfinder: Kingmaker, which may well indicate a resurgence of that style as a sub-genre.

    Western Animation 


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