Anime, once the exclusive domain of Japanese animation, has now become a global phenomenon. Tower of God season 2, the adaptation of one of the most famous Korean webtoons, has been confirmed, and non-Asian works like Radiant have also seen their own anime adaptations.

However, according to Masao Maruyama, the founder of Studio MAPPA, Japanese studios are playing it too safe with their marketing strategies, which mainly focus on commercial genres involving cute girls or isekai. This is causing the industry to lose out on potential from other countries.

The Situation of Anime: A Perspective from Masao Maruyama

Maruyama speaks not just about the world of Japanese animation, but also the strengths and weaknesses of Chinese animation. He notes that Japan is no longer training people in animation and that if China were granted more freedom of expression, they would quickly overtake Japan. Maruyama's warning is clear: creating new works means challenging oneself to create something new, and this trait is essential to success in the industry.

The problem of lack of free speech in China

Maruyama believes that if freedom of expression is given free rein in China, Japan could soon be overtaken in the anime industry. Furthermore, although Japan has more freedom in this regard, Maruyama believes that Japanese studios are not using it effectively, and instead focus on creating commercialised formulas that are made with the aim of making as much profit as possible.

The challenge of creating new works

Maruyama also recognises that creating new works is about challenging oneself to do something new, regardless of what has been done in the past. He claims to have inherited this trait of being selfish in its purest form. Despite this, he does not want to impede the creativity of directors, preferring to follow their talent rather than direct them.

Maruyama's legacy in the anime industry

Maruyama is a protΓ©gΓ© of the late Osamu Tezuka, known as the "God of Manga", and was a co-founder of Madhouse, as well as founder of MAPPA and Studio M2. He has played an important role in launching the careers of several acclaimed anime creators, including Mamoru Hosoda and Satoshi Kon. He has been in the Japanese animation industry for more than 50 years.

Reactions to Maruyama's statement

Of course, the news attracted comments from the Japanese, some expressing support for Maruyama and others being critical of his views. What do you think?


China's Potential to Take Over the Anime Industry

According to Maruyama, China's only limitation in taking over the anime industry is the series of restrictions imposed on freedom of expression. With more freedom, China could quickly rise to the top and produce masterpieces that were once the exclusive domain of Japan.

In conclusion, the anime industry is experiencing a global shift, with non-Asian works seeing their own anime adaptations and China poised to take over. Japanese studios need to step up and take more risks to remain competitive, while China needs to loosen its restrictions to fully realize its potential.

Renowned anime industry leader Masao Maruyama has expressed concern about the future of anime in Japan. According to Maruyama, commercialism is becoming a serious threat to the industry, and one of the reasons China has not overtaken Japan in the anime industry is because of restrictions on freedom of expression there.

Final reflection and conclusion

In conclusion, Maruyama has highlighted the need to maintain freedom of expression in the anime industry and to encourage creativity rather than focus on commercial formulas. It is important to keep challenging oneself to create new works that can keep the anime industry constantly evolving and growing.

About the Author

Sweety Otaku

One of the best parts of watching anime is how many times a show can surprise you. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. But if the Otaku know one thing, it's that anything is possible.

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