Has Idol Anime Killed Mecha Anime?
It’s interesting to look at the way trends in anime have unfolded over the decades. Some of these included
- The simple days of the 70s, when anime based on Western classics like Heidi Girl of the Alps reigned
- The maturing period of the 80s, dominated by mecha anime, which existed to advertise plastic models fans could buy
- The golden age of the 90s, when anime exploded in popularity and started introducing mature psychological themes that would attract older fans
- The rise of anime based on novels with ridiculously long titles like “I’m A Successful Light Novel Author at a Boy’s High School, but I’m Being Strangled By a Female Classmate who’s a Voice Actress who is Younger Than Me” (which is a real title)
- The loss of international DVD licensing in 2006, which led to anime embracing fetishes to get fans on board, culminating in the Heisei Imouto Bubble
- The huge boom in isekai (“another world”) shows, which is still ongoing
- And of course, the explosion in idol anime, which are among the most popular shows in the industry today.
One interesting discussion I had with my Twitter followers recently was, has idol anime killed mecha anime? Have shows like Idolmaster, Idolmaster Cinderella Girls, Love Live, Love Love Sunshine, Wake Up Girls!, Aikatsu!, Uta no Prince-sama and IDOLiSH7 killed off the venerable mecha genre of anime which reigned supreme for so long? Love Live Sunshine sold 70,000+ sales per $88 Blu-ray disc, compared with Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans’ sales of around 13,000 per disc, which makes me worry if there hasn’t been a permanent change in the industry in favor of idols.
What do you think? Has idol anime killed mecha anime?
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