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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Hanayamata Ends:

And the manga graveyard grows.  So far this year we've lost Btooom! and Hanayamata, while still getting no new good series.  I think enough evidence is in to declare the entire manga industry dead.  Some old stalwarts can hold out until they complete their stories, but nothing new will ever be made and eventually it will all end forever.

All the good writers are writing light novels and web novels.  All the good new stories are light novel adaptations.  People have just moved on.  No good manga started in 2016, 2017, or 2018.  In 2015 we got Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare and Ad Astra per Aspera (which was promptly canceled after a few chapters.)  That's it.  In 2014 we got New Game and that's it.  In 2013 we got Mujaki no Rakuen and that's it.

In 2012 we got five new good manga series starting, which is bountiful, so we can identify exactly the last gasp of the manga industry.  In 2012 things were fine, and by 2013 it had all fallen off a cliff.  By 2016 there was nothing left at all.  In every year since 2012, more series have been ending than beginning, and I mean a lot more.

It's hard to judge which additional manga are going to end this year, because none of them have been translated so it's impossible to know if their plots are wrapping up or not.  But I suspect again this year more series will be completed and none will be started.  For an industry that used to contribute the source work for half of anime, it's bizarre to see it just totally fold.  But I guess Kodak Pictures was popular all the way until it wasn't too.  People have moved on to light novels, so I guess that's that.

Speaking of novels, I finished Earth Unaware by O.S. Card.  It was better than Mageborn, but still worse than, say, Baccano.  Any decent light novel author is better than the best the West can produce these days.  Sort of like how 85 year old John Williams was nominated for his atrocious Last Jedi soundtrack for the best movie soundtrack Oscar.  Literally, tottering old geezers are the best composers we can find to score our movies, while Motoi Sakuraba just did a fantastic job with Star Ocean 5 and Nobuo Uematsu hit it out of the park with Terra Battle 2 and Yasunori Mitsuda scored a masterpiece with Xenoblade Chronicles 2.  There's more talent in Japan in every single field than in America.  I bet Final Fantasy XIV is more fun than World of Warcraft these days too.

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