To elaborate a little more, the book LoTR is about living with death. The mortality of men is compared with the positive immortality of the elves and the negative immortality of the barrow-wights, ringwraiths, oathbreakers and the torment of the corpse-lights in the dead marshes, but that's obvious and surface level. The ents are in a state of denial about the collective deaths of the entwives and their own incoming species-death, which denial leads them to increasing madness and dementia as more and more of them transition into huorns, with old-man-willow called back as the foresign of their inevitable fate and lasting legacy. Bombadil's domain has clearly undergone by present the fate that Gandalf prophesied in the event of Sauron's victory, diminishing in boundary and strength until he is as nought. The Shire's precarity and vulnerability bring home the transitory nature of life by making legacy and the home that was fought for no proof against time and malice and ignorance. Frodo ignorantly opens up the story by saying that 'you can't go home again' is because you yourself are changed by the journey, it is only after the Shire is in ruin that he understands that home must inevitably change as well. Legolas and Gimli's conversation on the stonework of Gondor is not a character moment so much as their culture's perspectives on mortality at that higher level, with the immortal the more optimistic of the two for a reason.
The fantasy anime that anyone is talking about right now is Frieren: Beyond the Journey's End. It is talked about because it very consistently echoes Tolkien's driving theme, more clearly and more gracefully than the movies.
Not only are things not worse, they are not even much different.
When people have complaints about the modern state of fantasy, say the depictions of women, it's common to weaponize Tolkien. "Even a fuddy duddy like Tolkien had Eowyn, Galadriel, and Lobelia Sackville-Baggins was a badguy at first but was sympathetic and even courageous and dignified in the end; even the old maid nurse in the Houses of Healing who spent most of her lines on gossip and ignorance held a role of meaning and dignity." But that's overlooking Goldberry, skewered by Mrs. Collistero at length in the previous video; and Arwen is a noncharacter at best until the appendices where she is a punching bag for dramatic tragedy just in order to make Aragorn that much more dignified and kingly. When people have compliments for modern fantasy writers, regarding, say, sex or race, they punch at Tolkien. One of the GLOWING reviews for Game of Thrones that was written when the show was still considered 'good' praised it specifically for having more incest than Tolkien, which is bizarre considering that the novelization of Children of Hurin had finally been published that year. Pratchett was right about Tolkien becoming the Mt. Fuji of fantasy writing.