Why Did Pretty Buckled Japanese Boys Go Out of Style?

In a world where rough and gruff is the new heroic norm, commenter Paradox Me wonders why everyone is hating on Japanese character design lately.

What the heck happened in the last ~6 years that made Japanese character design into such an undesirable thing? I have never seen so many people rage over things like "belts, buckles and zippers" or "young pretty boys."


What do people want from character designs these days? Plain leather armor or bulky plate mail? Everything done in the most realistic fashion possible? And who wants to go on a quest to save the world with a group of scruffy, middle aged men?

These kinds of designs didn't seem like a big deal last generation. Why now?

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