Anime: Is It A Weird Or Kid Thing
Albin E. Casilla Mendez
Multicolored “Shonen Jump” anime wallpaper. Photo courtesy of Wallpaper Engine.
Animeâs a topic thatâs between âweirdâ and âchildishâ to people that are not part of this community. But anime could be interesting to people who know nothing about it.
People tend to say two main things about anime: âAnime is weirdâ and âAnime is childish and for kids.â I understand why people would say that, because the drawing style is different for some people â from flashy bodies to strange scenes with strange characters â and even though scenes are presented in different ways and maybe abstract ways, the concept of emotions and how people feel sometimes can be weird to explain, and even why characters act certain ways.
Thereâs a character named Doflamingo in an anime named âOne Piece â at first this character is shown as someone that acts in a malicious, evil way because he just feels like it. Later on in the anime itâs explained in his backstory that he endured hardships from a young age, such as the breakdown of his family from the death of his mom and dad. After those and many bad things that happened throughout his life, he struggled with psychosis, to the point of killing his brother.
These types of lessons are very valuable in our lives, as we determine what we love or we want to accomplish.
Anime Is Still A Thing
You ever notice how older people seem out of touch with what the kids are into? No matter how old you are, there’s a good chance you don’t fully know what the people 10 or 15 years younger than you are obsessing over. Whether it’s music, games, or popular slang, you tend to lose track because you’re just not part of that world. When you do hear about something, it’s only after it got really big. So when anime got big, people heard about Pokemon. And that stayed in their heads, even years later. Now, so many years later, when someone says anime, those same people think “Oh man, is that still a thing? Didn’t Pokemon come out in the ’90s?”
Anime’s popularity has actually been growing pretty steadily since the 1990s and the Pokemon revolution. Revenue for Japanese animation grew every year from 2009 to 2016, according to the Association of Japanese Animations. It’s extremely popular in numerous markets, including China, Korea, and of course the United States. In fact, the global anime market was worth over $7 billion in 2016 alone. So yes, it’s very much still a thing and is increasingly more a thing each and every year.
Anime Characters Confront Complex Moral Decisions
There’s no way to discuss complex moral decisions in anime without mentioning Death Note, so let’s start there. For the uninitiated, Death Note focuses on Light Yagami, who finds a magical notebook that kills anyone whose name is written inside. He decides to use this notebook to kill criminals and improve society. Eventually, a combination of hubris and desperate attempts to avoid capture lead him to betray his original morals. Kids who watch Death Note tend to focus on how badass they think either Light or his detective opponent L are. Yes, L is badass but the biggest hook for grown-up viewers is the major question posed by the series: does any one person truly have the right to decide who lives and who dies?
Death Note is a classic example of an anime that poses moral questions, but it’s far from the only one. Another good one is Psycho Pass, which features the Sybil system, a series of tests that analyze your personality, your mental and physical health, your genetic heritage, and other traits to determine your station in life. Viewers of Psycho Pass have to grapple with the concept of free will. What does it mean? Is it real? Are our choices actually determined by traits we don’t control? How does free will factor into the creation of an ideal society? These are not questions targeted at kids.
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Anime Takes On Ethical Issues And Current Events
The kinds of food we choose to put into our bodies is actually a pretty serious issue, and not just in terms of our personal health. How far will we go to ensure our own survival? What about our own personal happiness? What kind of consumption makes you a monster? These aren’t issues kids are necessarily ready to consider.
That said, there are some really interesting adult-oriented anime out there ask these kinds of questions. Tokyo Ghoul, which is explicitly violent enough to disqualify itself as a kids’ show already, is one example. “Ghouls” are humanoid creatures who cannot survive without eating human flesh. Often, this means being forced to take human lives. As viewers watch Kaneki, who has been surgically transformed into a ghoul against his will, struggle to accept his survival needs, we have to ask: is it really wrong for ghouls to kill? Is it different from humans killing cows, chickens, and other animals for our own survival?
There questions aren’t easy to answer, and The Eccentric Family doesn’t attempt to do so definitively. Like Tokyo Ghoul, it forces viewers to think seriously about their own food choices in a way that’s unlikely to resonate with most kids.
Why Do People Think Anime Is Childish
|Joined: Oct 2018 Posts: 762||People who think anime is childish never watched anime growing up and therefore had their impressions built by society instead of from actual experiences.Each and every person who has said, I dont watch anime , hasnt actually watched anime.They project their image of what anime is onto the entire medium, which is as silly thinking that all TV shows, comics & cartoons are the same.At some point in time due to some unknown factors/causes, it became culturally accepted to think of those who watch anime as nerds/geeks/weebs but if you watch South Park or any other cartoon, then thats somehow different.Ignorance. Lack of experience. Projection.Those are the essential reasons as to why people think things that arent true. You can always die. It’s living that takes real courage.” – Himura Kenshin.|
|Joined: Aug 2018 Posts: 24||It!s actually very simple and completely reasonable: animation in the west is either for children or one those South Park-esque comedies you mentioned.Why would people waste their time trying something they are pretty sure they wouldn’t enjoy based on past experiences with animation, just because a small detail like the place of production being a different country.Also when people are told on the internet that it’s not childish do you honestly expect them to believe it? What group of people obsessed whit childish things, would not say ‘It’s actually meant for adults’ even if it clearly isn’t.|
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It’s Not Poorly Written
One of the easiest ways people will dismiss something is by calling it stupid or lazy. It’s a catchall insult that really doesn’t mean much, and it’s been levied against anime since it first showed up. It’s also pretty relative. What qualifies as stupid to one person wouldn’t be so dumb to someone else. Objectively speaking, however, anime has been lauded more than once for its powerful storytelling and exceptional imagery.
One of the foremost anime filmmakers in the world is Hayao Miyazaki. His films include Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Howl’s Moving Castle. His 2001 epic Spirited Away ended up being the highest-grossing film in Japanese history, according to the Wall Street Journal. More than that, however, Spirited Away is critically acclaimed with an incredible 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and it took the Academy Award for best animated feature in 2003.
Howl’s Moving Castle was nominated in 2006, and The Wind Rises was nominated in 2014. Other anime features such as When Marnie Was There and The Tale of Princess Kaguya have also received nods. The fact is, anime can and does deliver some very exceptional storytelling perhaps people just need to be open to experiencing it.
Why Anime Is Definitely Not Just For Kids
With complex themes, ethical dilemmas, and more, it’s clear that not all anime shows are made for kids and instead are meant for adults.
Here’s why anime definitely isn’t just for kids. Anime has been around since the early years of the 20th century, but the style didn’t catch on right away. The specific animation style rose to prominence in Japan during the 1960s thanks to Osamu Tezuka, who is credited with creating the first anime TV show, Three Tales. In the decades since, the popularity of anime has risen tremendously and allowed for this form of animation to diversify. Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia represent two of the most popular recent animes.
However, there is still a belief that anime content is meant for younger audiences just because it is animated. This stigma is not only true for anime but is a broader claim that any piece of animation entertainment receives. However, there are plenty of examples of animated content that are either made for adults or have ideas, jokes, and moments that are included with them in mind. This isn’t just the case with the latest Pixar movie, though, as anime also offers content for more mature audiences.
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Theyre Comfortable With Being Weird
Unless you also watch anime, you probably think anime nerds are a little bit weird.
Thats okay, we kind of understand because very few of us were born watching anime. Most of us also thought it was weird at one point or another so, in a way, we can sympathize with you.
Anime nerds are used to being called weird and many of us are actually much more comfortable with ourselves because of it.
Why Do People Like Anime
There are so many misconceptions about anime. Some people believe anime is meant for children. Some people think anime is pornographic. Some people think every anime is exactly like Pokemon. And none of that is the truth.
Anime is for all ages and can fall under the category of comedy, drama, adventure, or action. There is something for everyone.
So why do people like anime? The list goes on and on.
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Anime Is Animated While Manga Are Books
Terminology can be a tricky thing in any industry. If you’ve ever listened to a group of doctors or nurses trying to explain something to each other while they toss out medical jargon, it can be a little overwhelming to the untrained ear. Similarly, what seems obvious to someone who’s deeply immersed in the anime culture may as well be ancient Greek to an outsider being exposed to it for the first time. It’s made worse because some terms are used interchangeably when they really shouldn’t be.
Though it seems obvious, the word “anime” refers exclusively to animation. Anything not animated really can’t be anime. If it’s in a book, it’s manga. Even if it’s a book about a popular anime, it’s now the manga of that anime. If the anime came from a book, then the reverse is true it’s the anime adaptation of manga.
Another point of contention is how you refer to anime for a general audience and anime that is strictly adult. The adult stuff is something else entirely, and it’s definitely not the same thing, so you need to be careful with what you’re Googling.
I Can Watching Anime Induce Violent Tendencies Within The Children
In genres of anime such as Shonen, theres a lot of casual violence portrayed. Children might watch Hunter x Hunter, Inuyasha, or any similar show and find the characters hitting each other in an entertaining manner.
However, this is not specific to anime. In American animated shows such as Tom and Jerry, or Indian cartoons such as Chota Bheem, etc., such incidents are present. Furthermore, the Marvel comics and movies that the children love depict similar violence. Despite consuming these forms of media, children generally do not develop violent tendencies.
For example, while kids do watch anime such as Dragon Ball Z that have many fights, they rarely think a Kamehameha will stop their mother from feeding them veggies or friends from poking fun at them. At their age, these fights only serve to captivate them with their array of colors rather than moves.
If Popeye wasnt able to make kids eat spinach, then anime such as Attack on Titan wont make them eat humans. On that note, please dont let your children watch AOT. Everything mentioned above is only in regards to shows meant for children.
Like any other form of media, parents should monitor the anime that their children watch and make sure that they dont divulge into shows rated for adults. While kids understand the difference between fiction and reality to an extent, they are still impressionable.
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Ii Does Watching Anime Really Affect Childrens Mental Health
Many parents are concerned about the effect of watching anime on their kids mental health however, there isnt much to worry about if the content is being consumed in moderation. Overindulging in any form of media is not suitable for anyones mental health, let alone children.
Obsessing over anime is normal and not something to be worried about. It should be treated as the childs interest, similar to how others obsess over Disney movies or Marvel.
It only becomes an issue if the kid uses anime as escapism, i.e., watching anime for an unhealthy amount of hours. However, this danger is once again present in all forms of media. Parents should be present to regulate the time they spend on anime and teach them how to separate fiction from reality.
V Introduction To New Cultures
Anime is a central form of entertainment in Japan, and it introduces the international population to an entirely different culture. While it starts with the children wanting to learn Japanese to watch anime without subtitles, it soon transforms into a genuine love for the language.
Not only does it connect the children to a world across seas, but they also grow up with a more open mindset and acceptance of others and themselves. It helps them learn about new things and see life from a fresh perspective.
Anime also introduces people to so many different forms of entertainment, not limited to Japan. The OSTs present in anime have allowed people to discover Korean bands and dramas, and simply put, broadened their view of the world.
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People Watch Anime For The Artwork
Even though you might be used to watching live action films and television shows, creating an anime takes just as much hard work and talent. There are a lot of intense battle scenes, detailed characters, and vibrant background visuals to create.
Every art style is different, so you could watch a dozen different shows and never seen a character drawn the same way twice.
Films like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke have breathtaking character designs and background artwork that looks surprisingly realistic at times.
However, it doesnt always have to be that way. When it comes to anime, there are endless possibilities. A character can have superhuman powers or shape-shift or have any combination of features.
There are no limits with anime. The scenes are not restricted to what can realistically be filmed on a set with physical people, which means a show could have ghosts, pirates, samurais, or space cowboys. Anything could happen. And it will look beautiful in the process. It might even inspire you to start drawing yourself.
Snow White With The Red Hair
Disney’s Snow White is a much darker film than it seems. The evil witch tries to murder the innocent princess for no remotely sympathetic or relatable reason. Meanwhile, Snow White herself needs to journey through a menacing forest to get to the dwarves’ cottage.
Snow White with the Red Hair isn’t nearly as dark. Nor does it have any dwarves. In fact, Snow White in this family anime is Shirayuki, an herbalist with rare red hair. She runs away from her home when she’s forced to be a concubine for Prince Raji. While there is a poisoned apple, it’s not a major part of the story. Furthermore, there’s more character development with this Snow White than the original.
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Iv Is Anime Addictive And Influential
Anime is a form of entertainment in the end and is addictive. The responsibility to make sure that the kids consume it in average amounts falls upon the parents. Watching anime should not be alienated and instead be considered an interest just as any other.
However, when we talk about influence, the ideologies in anime might indeed prove to be detrimental to children to an extent. There have been cases where fans of death note carried a book around, noting down the names of people who wronged them. While obviously, that did not do any harm, it still gives us a glimpse into how convincing anime can be.
While most anime contain socially appropriate themes of justice and good vs. evil, there are times that the personal ideologies of the creators that are not always good show themselves.
However, as I have repeatedly mentioned, no danger present in anime is particular to it. These issues are present in all forms of media, be it movies, books, or video games. Till the children turn a certain age, the content they consume should be regulated by the parents strictly.
But the question that now arises is that if anime is similar to other forms of media, why should the children watch it?
Iii Is Anime Actually Just Glitter
As I mentioned above, anime technically means any content originating from Japan. This means that everything from cartoons for kids to porn for adults can be considered anime. Unfortunately, whenever most think of anime, the image that comes to their minds is of hentai shows.
Due to this, many parents think of anime to be porn disguised as aesthetic glitter-covered cartoons. This is absolutely untrue.
Once again, regulating and monitoring the content children consume is of utmost importance here. Just like one would make sure not to let their kids watch Fifty Shades of Grey, they need to do the same with hentai or any anime meant for adults. With a quick google search, the list of genres the show falls under is visible, and it is effortless to find articles and blogs listing anime meant for children. I will be providing some titles under the 4th section of this article.
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