The more they stay the same, right? I read this and I’m like, so Nadesico is not really all that different than anime today, except:
- It’s still a breath of fresh air because if anything, liberal narratives are a lot harder to find in the lost generational gap.
- It’s a good benchmark from another era.
From a story construction and character development point of view, Nadesico’s formula is no different than most anime of its ilk today. We are still copying Ayanami Rei [Eva 4 notwithstanding]. We still have single-character eps. I daresay if anything we’ve came a long way since Nadesico. There’s more slick and style to how character intros and introspections are done today. Even just this season I can think of a couple oustanding examples, such as the really straight-faced showa comedies this season or even the make-an-eroge show.
Come to think of it, Utaware False Mask is really just a 90s anime fully rebooted into 2010 sensibilities.
The “deconstruction” aspect in Nadesico is arguably its strongest suit, so I don’t know what the guy who wrote that OUSA article a few years ago was smoking at the time. I mean let’s not forget the shadow Eva TV casted in its wake, for easily 10+ years…
Let me take this time to write more about my favorite anime of all time a bit, like how Nadesico has a clearly anti-right lean. This was 1996. In 2016 we are having our 2nd cour of GATE already, which is as right-leaning as anime probably gets these days, and for some time? I can’t think of something even more right. Paving the way up to this point are things like Strike Witches, Arpeggio, the MuvLuv franchise, and even Girls und Panzer. It’s not to color the military aspect of anime fandom as one thing or another but times like this it makes you wonder what sort of stories are told in those series.
Oh, and we cannot forget the various Yamato reboots after all! So very instrumental to Nadesico’s narrative.
[And since I already mentioned the 3-letter-word earlier, consider Evangelion’s treatment on militarism and otaku who fancy that.]
And it wouldn’t be fair, too, to not include the other side of the coin, the SAOs or the Mahoukas of anime world. I mean there’s some pretty outrageous material thematically and in terms of what sort of philosophy they perpetrate. Those shows are the jokes in Nadesico. In 2016 they are actually being taken seriously.
Too bad they’re not outrageous enough. I guess we still have things like Library Wars or Shimoseka, but those are not the kind of show that gets traction. Maybe this is why Vividred didn’t get as much love? I don’t know. Playing for the Magical Girls audience is like playing for the mainstream audience–it doesn’t really pay you back.
I guess it’s like what Akatsuki said to Akito about watching anime for diversity, versus the nature of the Jovian’s single-mindedness. There’s some middle ground here. Like Osomatsu-san, is this why that show is so popular? I don’t know.