Macross is arguably one of the most respected franchises in anime. It played a major role in gaining traction among tape trading circles back when anime fandom was first sparked in the 1980s and early 1990s, and is still highly regarded by fans today.
Further sparking the "anime is not as good as it used to be" argument found in some circles, the creator of major anime franchises Macross and Escaflowne Shoji Kawamori gave his opinion about the current state of anime.
Promoting Project Anima -- a collaboration between commerce companies DeNA, Sotsu Co., and Nippon Cultural Broadcasting for three new television anime projects in 2020 -- Kawamori spoke about the current state of the anime industry. Stating that too many current anime use templates like a magical academy, he added, "Sometimes I think, why are they similar?"
When speaking about Macross, Kawamori spoke about how much he wanted to differentiate the series from shows like Mobile Suit Gundam, "I tried to make something that was absolutely not Gundam. I thought of the GERWALK [the form between humanoid and aircraft] that doesn't have a humanoid shape. I kept getting told that it wouldn't sell if it wasn't humanoid and airplanes wouldn't sell. We made a prototype, and we made it transform before our eyes."
When talking about its reception, "I love Gundam. I love it, but I absolutely won't rehash it. The [Macross] idols were hated by Gundam fans. They always said singing in war was imprudent."
Kawamori does expound on points that some fans will most likely agree with, but it is also the nature of the seasonal release schedule. With so many new anime series being produced every few months, the similarities between genres are harder to ignore as popular trends often dictate which shows are ultimately successful. A major point of contention with current anime fans was the recent proliferation of the fantasy world "isekai" subgenre.
Sword Art Online was not the first "isekai" series by any means, but that series' massive popularity led to the boom of series that followed a similar vein of transporting people to a fantasy world and watching the fallout. As the amounts increase, the ability to differentiate themselves from their counterparts is more difficult to parse when looking at the outside.
As long as creators like Kawamori continue to produce new series challenging anime trends, then the fact there are certain trends at all won't be as big of an issue.