Anime in America has had a checkered history. It seems to make a splash for awhile and then fade away, only to rise once more before returning again to its familiar cult niche. Many anime lovers blame overexposure and “Americanization” to its recent dip in popularity, while others see a renaissance as just around the corner. What will it be – renaissance or redundancy?
No one can predict the future, but if those who have the money to invest in big budget anime films are anything to go by, all anime in America needs is a good storyline that American audiences can relate to. Astroboy’s less than enthusiastic welcome at the box offices in 2009 sent shockwaves through the industry, but was also a wakeup call. Astroboy flopped not because of its dazzling 3-D effects, but because he was too westernized for much of his fan base and too foreign for audiences that were not anime aficionados.
Apparently that hasn’t stopped Hollywood from taking another stab at the genre, though. Word is that after a twenty-three year hiatus, Mad Max is going to make his return to the silver screen as a big budget anime extravaganza. Whether or not it succeeds remains to be seen, but the fact that the project got backing proves that the industry still believes in anime. Read the rest of this entry »