The quickest thing I can say is that this has a complicated answer. There is a middle ground that needs to be reached here that cannot be seen by many people. It is easy to look into the past and see series that have stood out over the years, but what about the bad series that you have never heard about? For fans who watch shows season to season, what happened to that show that was over hyped from last season; did it fall flat? Anime is more complicated then we realize.
To start things off, I think Sturgeon’s Law is strongly in effect here. 90% of anything, or in this case, anime is crap. Since more anime is produced these days then a while ago, then more crap is producing but also more good shows are produced. It’s just harder to distinguish the two when everything is thrown in our faces once every 12 weeks. We need to determine by ourselves what is good and what is bad. I know that my own personal filter stopped me from watching one of my favorite anime from winter 2015, Maria the Virgin Witch, until 2015 was almost over. Forty shows a season makes everything more complicated and makes it a research project to watch the shows that they may like.
Waiting and having patience is also a major thing that is essential when it comes to newer anime. The viewer has to either wait a week between each episode or wait until shows are done for the season and how the general opinion of each show is cast. If the viewer choses to watch an episode each week, then you have to give some liberties to the show in hopes that it will get better over time. If the second option is chosen, then the viewer is unable to talk to other people about the passing shows and has to have patience for the season to be over.
Older anime does not get away from having issues either. Many shows have reputations for being above and beyond, but how much of that is nostalgia? Some anime series have their reputations of being great because they honestly deserve them. There are a number of these throughout the bunch, but other shows don’t deserve their reputations and come from pure nostalgia of being watched during the viewer’s childhood and are not quality works. On the other hand, there are older shows that are amazing but don’t have the attention that they deserve like Bokurano. Have you heard of Bokurano? It’s a great mecha destruction that is on a similar level to Evangelion, yet not many people have heard about it. Finding gems that didn’t have the attention they deserve requires a lot of research also and that result might not be fruitful.
Anime is a complicated art form that requires a lot of research to find things that are enjoyable and amazing to watch. This may lead to finding some trash anime to watch, but will be rewarding in the end. Newer trash or older trash, it’s still trash. Older trash just has a stronger stench. Anime is something that needs to have time put into it for it to end up rewarding. Whether it’s older anime or newer anime, it’s out there and its fun to watch it.