Anime has gone through many changes throughout the years. It’s evolved into a completely new medium since its early days and has even made its way into the mainstream. As anime has changed, it’s developed plenty of notable trends that define each decade and era. Some of these characteristics are still a big part of anime today, standing the test of time and becoming well-known staples of the medium.
However, not all anime trends suffer. Many have come and gone in the blink of an eye, and with more series released now than ever, this has become even more frequent. While fans mourn the loss of some past anime trends, most have become outdated relics that everyone is glad to be rid of.
10 Anime Now Have A Lot Less Pointless Filler
One thing anime has become infamous for throughout the years is tons of pointless filler episodes. Many series have loaded up on fillers in the past, buying time while they wait for the manga’s storyline to progress. Titles such as Inuyasha and Naruto have become well-known for their filler, and many fans go out of their way to skip these episodes.
While filler is still a reality, anime nowadays has far less of it, much to fans’ delight. Overall, modern anime keep close to the manga, and most episodes are plot-worthy is some way.
9 Series With Hundreds Of Episodes Are A Thing Of The Past
It used to be a popular trend for anime series to run on forever, racking up hundreds of episodes during their time on air. This was especially true for genres like shonen that rely on fight scenes that carry over for several episodes. While more content is always great, such long series can be daunting for new fans to try and start.
Thankfully, modern anime series tend to stick to a fixed amount of episodes, making them more approachable for newcomers. Long anime are perfect for committed fans who are used to the length, but with anime moving more into the mainstream, it’s good that the trend is becoming a thing of the past.
8 Harem Anime Have Gone Out Of Favor
During the ’90s and 2000s, harem anime were huge. They were a part of nearly every genre, and it was impossible to get away from them. However, in a modern anime landscape, harem series can’t compete. Many fans have grown to dislike the trend, seeing it as overused and too focused on fanservice.
There are still harems here and there, especially within the isekai genre. However, these series are often criticized by viewers and the harem aspect is looked down on by most. Though it was once a funny and popular dynamic, it’s become overused and in poor taste over the years, and no one really misses it.
7 Poorly Translated Dubs Are Few And Far Between
During the early days of anime, dubs were often infamously bad. It’s a big reason why there’s still such a fiery debate about sub vs dub today. Many early dubs were poorly translated and had terrible voice acting that usually failed to match the characters.
Some argue that’s still a problem today, but even the biggest dub haters have to admit that dubbing has come a long way since the beginning. Nowadays, most are pretty faithful to the source material and have better acting throughout. Though old dubs are funny and enjoyable in their own right, modern dubs have finally gotten it down and are much better.
6 Bad Anime-Only Endings Have Mostly Phased Out
It’s well-known that anime often airs alongside their manga. So when the series catches up to the manga’s storyline, they have to start relying on filler. Sometimes anime have even gone as far as creating their own endings, rather than waiting for the manga to conclude first. Anime-only endings aren’t always bad, but they’re usually poorly received by fans who prefer the manga’s story over whatever the anime comes up with.
However, some are infamously bad and ruin an anime adaptation altogether, such as the endings to Soul Eater and Fullmetal Alchemist. This used to be a much bigger problem within anime, but not anymore, most series tend to stay as faithful to the source material as possible, making a better experience for fans.
5 Boring, Blank-Slate Protagonists Are Harder To Come By
One thing many past anime have suffered from is a boring, blank-slate protagonist. Normally, this main character is a beyond-average guy with no memorable features or abilities. Yet, somehow he always winds up as some kind of chosen one, or a supernatural beauty falls head-over-heels for him.
These protagonists still pop up occasionally, but they’ve thankfully become few and far between. Even when an average guy protagonist appears nowadays, he usually has more personality and is much more likable than those before him.
4 The “Prince” Characters Are Now A Relic Of A Forgotten Trend
During the ’90s and 2000s, many anime series featured a pretty-boy “prince” character that the main female would fall in love with instantly. This character archetype was all over the place in magical girl and shojo series, one of the most notable examples being Yuki Sohma from Fruit Basket.
Many of these characters had little personality outside of being kind, handsome, and “princely” and yet the heroine somehow was completely enchanted by him. These days, that archetype has been long forgotten, replaced instead by characters with more depth and interest.
3 Lead Male And Female Characters Used To Have Violent Slapstick Relationships, But Not Anymore
For a long time, the lead male and female characters in a series often had very unhealthy, borderline abusive relationships. It didn’t matter what genre, this was almost always the case, with goofy and obnoxious main guys who constantly get pummeled by an overly angry main girl.
This routine used to be considered funny by audiences, but now it makes fans uncomfortable. Luckily, characters are usually more fleshed out in modern anime, with the main pair displaying more affection and support for each other than in the past.
2 Comic Relief Characters Are Less Annoying And More Developed
Anime often heavily relies on comedy, no matter the genre. As a result, there’s usually a designated comic relief character that is mostly used as a running gag. While these characters are fun, it gets old seeing the same annoying character over and over. In recent years, comic relief characters have flourished with more depth than before.
Many are portrayed with the same respect as the rest of the cast, and they develop over time to become more than just the goofball of the group. It’s refreshing to see these characters taken more seriously these days, and it makes for a more enjoyable series overall.
1 Localizations No Longer Add Westernized Names And Culture
Anime fans mostly agree that anime with subtitles are far superior to English dubbed versions, and a big reason for that is due to the many poor localizations of the past. Many anime dubs have been censored and changed throughout the years, often losing a lot of the original subtext in the process.
What makes it worse is when localizations change up names and throw in Western culture that wasn’t originally there. Some of the most infamous examples include the ’90s dub of Sailor Moonand the 4Kids version of Yu-Gi-Oh. Thankfully, anime localizations are treated much more respectfully these days and maintain the integrity of the original.
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