I think that me and Steve DenBeste are in full agreement on this-the latest round of anime is kind of sucking.
Worse, a lot of remakes, a sign of studios that are needing a serious creative boost (and I want to know whom thought it was a good idea to make a second season of Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan, so I can whap them on the back of the head with a two stroke guitar). Those whom are "in the know"-what is the average age of directors and anime writers these days?
Sadly, even the fansubs are getting kind of dull. Let's see, what I got recently was Soko No Strain, in which the main female lead's best friend is a doll that she talks to and never responds, never acts, never does anything but sit there, the entire series. The mecha were too curved for my tastes, looking more like mobile statues than weapons, and the whole concept of a war that takes place at relativistic speed was done better by, oh, Gunbuster and The Forever War....
My theory? Two-fold. The first is the export market has finally caught up with Anime-they know that eventually something will be sold to America. And, they want the next Naruto, the next Cowboy Bebop, the next Evangelion-the mega hit that will make them millions in DVD sales, toys, models, look-alike cosmetic surgery, porn... And, if what I can see on TeeVee and in the stores is what "Americans" like to buy, we're buying a lot of yaoi, drama, shonen-ai faire, and similar. No big mecha stories or "deep" plots.
Oh, and porn, lots and lots of porn...
Second? The cost of investment in anime means that a lot fewer chances can be taken. Like movies, if you don't have a "name" (voice actor, director, studio, etc), fans won't go to see the movie/anime. This means that this is the time for the independent studios to start making products. I do think that the Internet will save anime-if only because within the decade, somebody will make a complete series, produce it, master it, press it on DVD...and only meet once for the release party.
(And, if there's any justice in the world, I'll be writing the scripts and directing...).
I'm a tad frustrated...and I hope to see more neat stuff, and soon.