In a recent interview, retired Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki said: “Anime suffers because industry staff is made up of otaku who ‘don’t spend time watching real people,’ and are; ‘humans who can’t stand looking at other humans.”
Miyazaki claims anime is suffering a slow, self-referential death, drawing water from the same well over and over. It isn’t hard to apply this criticism towards books, video games, movies, and TV, too. But for our purposes we’re talking about a very popular anime, and so I’m going to take for granted that what Miyazaki has said is basically truthful at the baseline. It is not irregular for a medium to go through phases of severe insularity. And if Attack on Titan is any indication, anime is going through one of those periods right now.
Buckle up, we have a lot of ground to cover.