Omamori Himari: How Many More Catgirl Cheesecake Anime Shows Can Japan Produce?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 16, 2009 in Animation |

This is a promo for the upcoming anime series Omamori Himari (おまもりひまり) which is due out in January 2010: It’s your typical boy meets supernatural samurai catgirl type of story. Now I know that this type of show always appeals to the fanboys, and is a sure fire break-even proposition from a marketing/merchandising point of view — but over the long run it doesn’t bring any new fans to anime.

Of course one could argue that’s like critiquing Hollywood for making too many high-budget low-intellect action films where stuff blows up or complaining that Bollywood just makes musicals. However I’m a student of anime history and I know for a fact that in the past there have been a wide range of shows that reach into many different genres. And I’m not saying this to yammer on about “the good old days” because there were plenty of bad titles back then. However my point is that in Japan there’s the creative talent in place to try something new.

I guess I’m also pinning my hopes on Japan because the market for original animation in the United States seems to be in a sad place. The golden age of cable television seems to be quickly fading — gone are the days when you’d see an animated show for grownups on Cartoon Network or MTV. There are shows like The Simpsons that are sad reminders of this lost age when producers took chances. However with a recession what I’m seeing are bad copies of the copies of The Simpsons.

So I don’t begrudge anyone their pet bonding sessions with Himari the white cat demon girl, but I like to see at least one or two shows take a chance every now and then. To me that’s part of what always made anime so special — although to be fair anime has been in ruts before (the great robot glut of the 80s comes to mind).


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