At one point in consuming so much anime you might come across a show that isn’t based on any existing source. Not all shows can rely on manga, light novels, video games, and quite rarely these days, visual novels. This is called original anime.
Way back, anime used to be a means of advertising a work published by a successful creator to gain a new audience. One of many pros is seeing your own work done in a different medium. Though this is not the case for everyone. There are a lot of factors to consider when creating one and it may cause a divide to the target audience. Or worse, not gaining an audience or not even making waves. But at least you won’t be bombarded by any incoming spoilers since you will see how the story unfolds in their own way.
The very thought of original anime being on the same level to popular franchises is a pipe dream. If you haven’t notice every other season now has one or two original shows and they’re competing against more well-known series. This wasn’t the case during the early 2000’s and it’s a slow and steady shift since the 2010’s. There are prominent original anime during that time and it could reach such status is if passes a lot of hurdles. For original anime, it follows a similar gamble with added challenges.
While it is marketed as one, people can identify existing character dynamics and plotlines due their familiarity of the medium. I can also see those too. The slight difficulty there is having one identified as a separate body of work. It will be compared regardless of how good or bad the original anime is presented.
Almost all of anime studios started off their anime from existing sources and only a few was built on creating their own. Examples: P.A. Works, Trigger, and most recently, Studio NUT. There are also original anime created by more known studios even if most of their works are created with existing material.
A strength for original anime is they can create their stories at their own pace. Whether it would be 12 – 24 episodes, or extended into multiple seasons to be created as such, if it goes hand-in-hand with the production team. It may sound nice on paper but anime production isn’t complete with issues along the way. This happened to an original anime known as Stars Align where the story was butchered at the last minute causing the director to compromise. According to this article, he did promise a sequel but chances are so slim even half of the audience was dissatisfied with the cliffhanger.
Subjective from person to person, one possible shortcoming of original anime is how predictable or unpredictable the show is. I love being engaged to people who’ve seen the anime and creating up possible theories of what would be the ending and how it built up to that point. Once the anime does align to what one’s prediction is, it could make or break the enjoyment. I could see it happening and it all depends on how I react to it. Take note: it doesn’t exclusively apply to this medium alone.
What do you think about original anime? Is it a good sign we’re getting more variety than sticking to the usual? Let me know in the comments!