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The contraction of the piloted giant robot genre

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  • The contraction of the piloted giant robot genre

    Why did the piloted giant robot genre shrink so much after the 1990s? Starting with Mazinger Z, the genre thrived in the 1970s, 1980s & 1990s, but, since then, it's not as mainstream as it was and I'd say it has even become a niche market, with Gundam being the sole exception.

  • #2
    Allow me to provide, as an answer, a link to the English language translation of the 2013 Japanese government report "Japanese Animation Guide: The History of Robot Anime." Particularly pages 22-24 refer to constriction in the Japanese toy manufacturing sector, audience burn-out after the 1970s "Sunrise Era" of super robots, and the 80's rise of character-oriented anime inspired by the establishment of the monthly anime magazines and the rising popularity of "character goods."


    • #3
      Thanks John. That's a very thorough report and a great answer.

      Reading the report findings, I guess that without the US Children's Television Act, the American toy-cartoon market of the 1980s would've eventually burnt itself down the same way that the robot anime did in Japan. I kind of disagree with the report assessment of the return of robots in the 1990s. On the contrary, it seems to me that most successful series of that decade were rehashes from series of the 1970s/1980s and Evangelion seems to have been the only series from the 1990s that is still relevant today. The report even cites Gyrozetter from 2012, which, to my knowledge, was a big commercial failure.


      • #4
        Gyrozetter was a spin-off from an arcade game. I don't know precisely how successful either the game or the anime telelvision series were, but considering that the anime lasted through 51 episodes, I'm not certain that it can really be called a failure. However, the fact that it didn't get OVAs or a sequel series does say something about its relative popularity.