By: Wai Law
The following are my thoughts on anime, it’s what I normally think when I get into a discussion with someone who says they hate anime for whatever reason, and my own opinions on things regarding anime.
There’s a huge social stigma around watching anime, just for the fact that anime is drawn.
“That’s for little kids.” “Grow up already.” “Stop watching those weird Japanese cartoons.” “Don’t be a weeaboo.” Are things that you normally hear when you first tell them you watch anime, and it infuriates me to no end.
First of all, anime is not for kids! At least not all anime is directed to kids. Drawing is a medium, not a genre. If the artists believes that the best way to tell his/her story is through the use of manga and anime, then it’s his/her right to do so. Sure there’s anime directed to little kids, but there are also shows with very mature plots, gore, psychological dramas, and romance dramas, things that a child would never understand, or not comprehend.
Another stigma is brought on by the fact that there is R rated content in anime, most particularly in “hentai”, and people have come to believe everyone that watches anime, must be a pervert.
Not everyone that likes anime, would like to watch tentacle rapes, not everyone who watches anime would even like watching characters have sex or even like watching shows that are nothing more than fanservice, with a vague, badly written plot.
Again, there is anime for everyone, you can watch anime of any theme, category, you like, and not all anime is the same. Just as not every movie or tv show anyone ever watches is the same, except maybe anything produced by Chuck Lorre.
Lastly the last group everyone associates anime with, are the weeaboos. People who became obsessed with anime, with Japanese culture, or rather their idea of Japanese culture, and try to act as though they were Japanese. These people are considered to be annoying, maybe because of their rejection of their own culture, and the fact that they try to replicate Japanese language, dressing as though they knew any of it.
Weaboos to me seem a little ignorant, they have generalized the entire Japanese culture, as anime watchers, as people who would try to be cute and weird and quirky. They glorify Japan’s food, language, and what they think is the way all Japanese people dress, act, and do all day.
People tend to see all people who enjoy watching anime as weeaboos, because they are the most noticed group, since they tend to be loud, and dress weirdly (think cat ears, goth Lolita outfits, ninja bandanas), but I assure you that this group of people do not represent a majority, most people just enjoy watching anime, and don’t find any reason to replicate anything that they watch in the shows, nor they find a need to incorporate Japanese words, or phrases in a normal conversation, (e.g. kawaii).
Please don’t hesitate to watch an anime because of a group of people, or what you’ve heard about anime, there are great shows that deserve to be recognized, and I assure people everytime they say they don’t like anime because of their plots, or for their sexual content, that there are many kinds of anime and some might be right around their alley, they can be interesting, cute, tearjerking, funny, strange, whatever you can think of.
If what you don’t like is the artstyle, the way humans, and animals tend to look in anime, though, I have no problem with that, it is much more of esthetic and looks, that you find difficult to watch, and not the story, nor is it because of a misconception.
My point in conclusion, is give anime a try, you don’t have to like it, you don’t need to watch anime, but don’t knock it till you try it, and don’t think you’ll like an anime just because everyone seems to like it, when you are looking for recommendations on what anime you should watch, a sensible person would ask you about your interests, do you like action filled shows, or do you like a laid back funny story? You may come to understand the variety that can be found in anime, and even come to like a specific genre.