Anime has experienced numerous transformations. The art has evolved, and certain genres grow in popularity while others lose steam overtime. Anime series come and go, which is especially true now. Recently, there has been a shift towards shorter series. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, shows ran much longer. Now we’re lucky to even get a few seasons out of an anime. On the one hand, it allows fans to digest a plethora of titles. On the other, fans who get attached can sometimes finish and anime feeling unfulfilled. Which leads me to the first trend of 2016: animes based on light novels.
Personally, I have never read a light novel, but I have seen some amazing (though short) anime adaptions born from them. A current favorite among anime fans is the “Durarara” series. The story takes in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo, Japan. Though there are many characters to follow, they all have one thing In common: The Dollars. The Dollars are an anonymous gang without any rules. Operations are discussed on a website where they can post in forums and chat about situations happenings all around the city. Though the story is complicated, it is easy to follow and genuinely exciting. The third arc (and possibly the last) of “Durarara!! X2” airs this January. With many more light novel based animes in the works, it is a trend that continues to grow.
At the end of 2015, anime fans were blown away by “One Punch Man.” The 12 episode series follows the story of an unsung hero named Saitama (One Punch Man) who easily defeats monsters that constantly attack City Z. Though he is always saving the day, he gets no recognition for it. Instead, the citizens give credit to lesser heroes and sometimes wrongfully ridicule Saitama, though, he doesn’t seem to mind. As one of the most influential animes to grace television in years, it is believed to have set the stage for many like it. The highly anticipated series “My Hero Academia” is scheduled to air in April 2016. It is being called “the next ‘Naruto’” and will be carrying on the superhero theme made popular by “One Punch Man.”
Recently, it was announced that the beloved manga series “Berserk” is getting an anime adaption in 2016. Though, it comes with some controversy among fans due to the fact that it is animated using CGI. Between 2014 and 2015, we saw quite a few instances where CGI was used momentarily. “Sword Art Online,” “Attack on Titan,” and the “Fate” series are some great examples of well-placed CGI. However, “Berserk” is different because it is mostly comprised of CGI, something we have yet to see. Will CGI be the next big thing to hit the anime industry? As we enter 2016, it seems to creep into anime further and further. Ultimately, it’ll be left up to the fans to deny or accept it. Overall, 2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year for anime.