Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

10 October 2016: There sure are a lot of adults in anime lately

This butt is over-18.

Anime sure loves high school boys. Arguably, the only characters anime loves more than high school boys are middle school girls. Whether you agree with this assessment or not (and don't take it too seriously, okay, this is why I don't have comments enabled), I don't think I'll get much opposition if I claim a lot of (mostly shitty) anime skews towards school-aged protagonists in school settings. In the extreme, you even get shows such as Guilty Crown or Kakumeiki Valvrave where preserving a school's social structure is the single most important goal of the characters, despite living in a state of war.

Mentioning adult nude transformations is going to poison my search engine standings.

We've also had a wave of bullshit magic school stories such as Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei (The Irregular at Magic High School), Gakusen Toshi Asterisk (Asterisk War), Rakudai Kishi no Eiyuutan (Cavalry, Chivalry, What the Fuck Ever), among countless others. Will anime fans ever tire of this? I suppose not if people only remain anime fans while they are school-aged themselves, but otherwise...probably?

Takane, you ain't.

Thankfully, we've either hit a statistical anomaly this season, or perhaps things are actually changing. Maybe one snuck in there somewhere, but (not counting Pretty Cure), I can't think of a single magic-school show airing during the autumn 2016 season. In fact, surprisingly, there seems to be an inordinate number of shows featuring adult lead characters this season, even if some of them are only "adults."

You can tell he's an adult because he's fat.

I saw a comment on the Twitter recently about how the success of Shirobako signaled to the industry that perhaps there was a market for shows with adult characters after all. [Edit: Link.] I can't claim that there is a concerted shift in anime production thanks to this, but this season we have Keijo!!!!!!!! (Hip Whip Girl), Gi(a)rlish Number (Girlish Number), Fune no Amu (The Great Passage), TO BE HERO, Nazotokine, Drifters, and Long Riders all starring over-18 lead characters. It's also possible Shūmatsu no Izetta (Izetta of the End) and ClassicaLoid also count (although I'm not sure), and there are probably other shows I've overlooked due to my lack of familiarity with them—shows such as Yuri!!! on Ice.

Chitose and Gojou
Adults appreciate expensive meat.

Additionally, we also had New Game last season, and technically Thunderbolt Fantasy, too. I'm not counting ReLIFE, though. That is most definitely school-life bullshit despite featuring adult leads.

Ai and Bodyguard
Uh oh, sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

Is this just a flash in the pan for anime with adult lead characters? I guess we'll find out together in a few years, assuming current readers are also future readers. If the current body of viewers outgrows anime, then I suppose we'll go back to all school shows all the time. Of course, we'll probably still get a lot of school-based shows with teenage leads even if anime fans aren't outgrowing this particular hobby, but maybe we'll at least get a bunch of May-December hybrid shows such as last season's Amaama to Inazuma (Sweetness and Lightning) and this season's Getsuyōbi no Tawawa (Tawawa on Monday) (can you fuckin' believe it?) featuring adult and adolescent characters sharing the spotlight—anime for wage-slaves who still consider Yukarin to be 17.

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Autumn 2016 progress report: So far, so good »»

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