Is any genre “oversaturated”?
Meta context: This post was created as a stopgap measure, so it reflects the time it was written (the time of which will easily become apparent when you read the post). I think it still has some measure of use though, or else I wouldn’t put it out…
The winter 2018 anime season makes one wonder if the “cute people doing cute things” subgenre – which is to say, combining “cute girls doing cute things” with its hypothetical all-male counterpart – is reaching peak mass. However, by the virtue of a genre being only as big as a person thinks it is, there’s technically no such thing as “oversaturating a genre”. There are only new, potentially polarising and potentially inventive ways to spin the genre.
Take Girls’ Last Tour this past fall season (2017). That took the slice of life genre and stuck it firmly in post-apocalyptic territory. Even if it didn’t match up entirely to the real world or it got mixed reactions from the fandom, the point is that it exists. No anime fan in 2007 could’ve predicted that people were getting excited over two girls in a tank wandering the world and thinking about philosophical questions. Just have something like that for the “cute girls doing cute things” subgenre and already, you get something interesting. In fact, there’s already something like that out there: Gakkou Gurashi.
I guess one part of the problem with so many shows coming out every season is that people forget what’s already been done, and they become cynical as a result of looking at the glass half empty. The fact that we even have a subgenre in anime that doesn’t really seem to exist in any other medium is already a testament to what can happen within anime’s boundaries, and those boundaries keep changing and evolving. Therefore, even if a genre hits some definition of “full capacity”, there’s always some idea nobody’s ever thought of waiting in the wings to revolutionise people’s thinking forever. Certainly, genres can “die” or wane in popularity, but since they are concepts, they can always be resuscitated…
…and I think that’s one way anime can be a lot greater than other genres.
So, do you think there is such thing as “oversaturation” of a genre, or am I just being crazy?