A Second Look at the Gross National Cool

Marxy adds to the Gross National Cool debate by sharing the thoughts of scholar Keiko Kawamata (from her paper “The Current State of the Japanese Content Industries”) on the topic. One point where I disagree is when she claims that “television anime viewing rates are down, and an overproduction of titles has lead to a decline in quality.” Ratings may be down (probably because of the rise in DVD rentals/sales), but I definitely feel that the state of anime (regarding quality of what is being produced) is, on the contrary, quite healthy. Sure, there is a lot of crap out there, but the titles that do standout I think represent a level of anime in the 21st century that was never seen in the preceding decades. There’s no way something like Satoshi Kon’s PARANOIA AGENT could have been made in the eighties or before that.