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Newer Generation Anime vs. Older Generation Anime: What is the Go-To?

By Jessica Espinoza

From Cowboy Bepop (1998) to Bungou Stray Dogs (2016), older anime and newer anime are battling it out amongst fans. Older anime is known for its style, art, and never- before-seen storylines, while newer anime works on amplifying its animations, and competing against hundreds of other anime shows and movies.

Graphic Credit to Melissa Manohar

Barry student Autumn Davis, a sophomore theology major, believes older anime is of high quality.

“Anything before 2006 should be considered a classic anime,” said Davis. “For something to be classic, it must be older, have [a] top-tier anime storyline, high quality graphics for its time, and a solid fan base between generations,” said Davis.

Still, newer anime is popular for more than just its graphics. Newer anime includes more accurate dubs--or English voiceovers- -compared to those from the classic era. In addition, newer anime is much easier to find and is universally promoted more in media.

It is rare for an older anime to get remade with higher quality graphics and more accurate dubbed versions. Fans are a big part of promoting older anime, as they push these titles on new anime watchers because they believe everyone should see the classics.

Sophomore finance major Brand Nembhard also enjoys anime based on its quality. “I rate the quality of anime on how much impact it can make on how I think,” said Nembhard.

Graphic Credit to Melissa Manohar

Nembhard was introduced to anime mostly in the classic years—the early 2000s-- on channels like Adult Swim. The classic anime he grew up watching has had a major influence on the anime that comes out today, like Dragon Ball Z (1986) and Pokémon (1997), which have storylines that get reused in plenty of modern-day anime and gaming worlds.

This influence causes issues for long-time anime watchers, many of whom believe the newer generation of anime has problems with originality. Anime watchers are usually looking for something new and refreshing to watch.

Still, some anime watchers enjoy the new anime’s callback to the classics.

“I lean closer to the older anime because of the nostalgia,” said Nembhard. “The newer anime has my attention, though, because of the impressive visual graphic.”

Graphic Credit to Melissa Manohar

Some top anime for Nembhard are Dragon Ball Z (1986), Naruto (2002), and Boruto (2017). Davis’ favorites are X (2001), Cowboy Bebop (1998), and Inuyasha (2000).

Both students spoke highly of newer and older versions of anime, but as shown by their favorite anime, they hold a little more appreciation and preference for the older generation.

Graphic Credit to Melissa Manohar

“I always revert to classics,” said Davis. Still, a knack for the classics should not stop first-time anime watchers from appreciating the newer generation of anime, like Attack on Titan (2013), A Silent Voice (2018), and Demon Slayer (2019).

May it be the nostalgia that Dragon Ball Z (1986) brings, or the crazy fight animations in Demon Slayer (2019), all anime is worth a watch. Like Nembhard, who says, “the cool storytelling is both what attracted me and kept me engaged,” you too can find a cool story to keep you coming back.

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