Anti-Anime Sentiments

Sometimes, when one reads manga too excessively, hungering purposelessly for more and reading it for the sake of reading it, one will feel sad. Then a post such as this one will be written after retrospection. Because right now I do feel sad and unproductive and stupid and i’m starting to want to hate anime. In my context actually, anime is a waste of time.

FFFFFFUUUUU no fuck me for saying that, but I really think so. What is anime? Anime is a hobby, an obsession just like many others out there like K-Pop, and anime is nothing special. An anime fan is pretty much the same as a Harry Potter Fan or a Twilight fan. Anime is entertainment, just as watching a movie is. And fact is, for my case at least, anime is a waste of a lot of time, period. Don’t you think that reading books is a much better option than watching anime? By reading books, you enhance your linguistic abilities, seek deeper thoughts and themes and get pulled in by the fantastic writing. Reading manga/watching anime is the lazy version of reading books. Too lazy to read all those pages, so instead, by reading manga, you get visual aids with conversational dialogue only.

How can reading manga be better than reading books? Books are definitely more beneficial. Anime is not applicable or useful in real life too. Obviously you might learn things when references are being used, but you won’t get the complete history or background of the object. For example, I learnt about Faust and Mephisto from a webtoon, but I only know that Faust sold his soul to the devil for knowledge. Shallow. Nothing about the meaning or insights i’m supposed to gain when reading about it when it’s referenced in a book. Today while out with my family for lunch, I felt so inferior to my brothers when they conversed because they had so much general knowledge and were so well-read. And one of them actively started reading classics like The Great Gatsby while I had never even heard of that book before. Yeah, I’ve heard of books like Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow. I know of animes like Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai and I could possibly name huge numbers of anime characters that my brothers haven’t even heard of, and tell them how Kakashi’s childhood made me cry when I witnessed the beauty of friendship.

But how could all these compare to the themes or knowledge gained after reading dystopian novels like Fahrenheit 451? And who in the real world would discuss anime as an adult? Plus my knowledge of history isn’t comprehensive at all (it’s pathetic really) and no way in hell is Hetalia going to help that. Even George Orwell’s Animal Farm could give some insights onto the Russian Revolution. Books impart so much knowledge, and the key is linguistics, because one’s vocabulary needs to be extensive. Communication is a part of everyday life and it would be essential to express yourself clearly and precisely.

Look at my frequently used vocabulary: hot, cool, awesome, gay, shit, good, so, like, nice –how…..what’s another word for pathetic?! Never mind. Back to anime.. Getting addicting to anime is really worrisome. It’s like taking a drug, detrimental though it gives short-term, fleeting pleasure. And long-term misery. I need to stop even though it’s painful. Speaking of this point, I guess I somehow knew that anime would have to only occur in a phase of life, and stop soon. That’s why this blog is called The Passing Otaku. With her fleeting adventures. Haha.

What reason is there for me to continue anime anyway? I’m not even a blogger that blogs to seek depth and pursue deeper meanings in anime, unlike some others. For example, this is a group of serious bloggers who actually seek meaning in anime. Just look at one of their posts: Colloquium: Literary and Religious Allusions in Shin Sekai Yori up to Episode 5. As for me, what do I read manga for? For useless reasons. I read manga to feel satisfied, to finish a romance story and feel contented, to satiate lust through yaoi, to ogle at hot characters, to feel alive through a strong female lead, pleased with a happy ending that was artificial. I am bound to these short bursts of happiness in the 2D. The sheer amount of time I waste on anime really scares me. What’s so good and special about anime? Why must I continue when there’s obviously more viable choices? I could start studying for next year now, and try flushing anime out of my life.

And then again, I read another post by the best author ever. And I began thinking of anime and how it has impacted my life. There are some lame examples of course, such as Kyoko of Skip Beat helping me in Speech and Drama classes. This, I swear, is true! She taught me to close my eyes, become the character, think as the character does, and act naturally. I was one of the best students for that class you know! xD And for another example, Air Gear and Fairy Tail both inspired me to train harder, to persevere and not to crumble under pressure. Many characters have inspired me, though book characters have done the same too. I somehow like comparing Itachi and Snape (Harry Potter). They both became my favorite characters of their respective series, but only after the revelation that they were anti-heroes.

And anime got me onto blogging, where so many closet geniuses were hiding at. Reading some posts were really enriching, and i’m thankful for them. Got me into Japanese songs, made me intrigued by the unique way the lyrics made sense. Lyrics of Japanese songs are always meaningful. Anime influences my emotions easily and brought to me a wide array of characters which sometimes inspired me. I think it really shaped the way I view the world too. And so I enjoy anime, although I think it’s becoming a form of escapee for me. It should stop when i’m being over-reliant on it, and taking refuge in the warm shelter of anime, where I mostly waste time reading shoujo romance stories instead of practicing Math questions.

So….. moderation is key…? O_O I have no idea what conclusion i’ve reached. Anime is not something I can give up easily. It’s been with me my whole life. But I guess it’s high time to concentrate on the real world too, and gain knowledge so I don’t become an ignorant brat. And stop I should stop being lazy. This blog post shall be proof of my thoughts and resolutions. I wonder if my post flow will be diminished after this.. (but I still have more romance recommendations up my sleeve. Heh.)

The end. I think I just need to loosen anime’s control over me.

P.S. I’m sorry if this isn’t coherent. I fell asleep before writing everything haha. Oh well. All’s well that ends well.

(I was really afraid when I realized that I couldn’t even finish one chapter of any book without feeling bored and wanting to read manga instead. AND WTH I WOULD ONLY  READ STUFF WITH THE ROMANCE GENRE. I didn’t believe my laziness and….idk, one-sidedness(?)! But I guess now i’m going through anime rehabilitation lol. Starting from reading the pile of school books next to me, i’m going to break free from the Curse of the Inherent Procrastination inflicted by anime. Obsessiveness always goes wrong.)

Anime, y u so addicting!?!?!?

Self, y u so weak!!?!??!?

————————————————————————————-

Edit: Do read this article, ‘Is Anime an Inferior Medium?‘– it’s a really insightful piece.

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17 thoughts on “Anti-Anime Sentiments

  1. Rei

    I pretty much spent my whole life indulging myself only with animanga/Japanese songs and stuffs related to that before this year too. Actually, I still do, and the only things I can mention about what I like doing in life now is only animanga and its figurines. I tried to make myself like other activities, but I just couldn’t. I wasn’t able to devote myself to other things as much as I do for animanga. I had practically no sufficient knowledge of the world’s happening and I still don’t now. It is only till when important exams came or that I’m working now that made me let go of many series I was watching and only prioritize my favorites each week. I used to spend 80% of my time per day on such, but now I [can] only spend about 10% on the same day, but that doesn’t mean I love animanga any less. What I’m trying to say is that I think although you feel your life now consist of an unproductive hobby, when the day comes where you have important or much more useful activities to do, you might just slowly balance them out with your hobby without knowing and still feel the enjoyment you feel now with animanga, so don’t worry about it too much and just enjoy yourself. Of course, if you really feel like you’re wasting your time with it, then I guess it’s really time to get out a little and find something else to do.

    Reply
    1. Akari Post author

      Wow Rei, thanks!! Haha I think we’re quite similar. My life revolves around anime and it’ll probably stay that way for a long time. I guess it might be a little too late to start on something new (I once considered horse riding and taekwondo ya know xD) and there’s the slight apprehension of going for classes because everyone is so much younger, you’re the senior, and yet you probably can’t compare to them. Animanga is.. familiar zone that i’ve gotten so used to! And the the scope of anime is so vast, it just sucks you in forever.

      I feel you. Just yesterday, I had a day camp and was put into a group that did not have any familiar faces. It was rather awkward for me since I didn’t know anyone and icebreakers were really ineffective. I was alone for quite a bit and conversing with others was plain tough, until I heard two girls at the back talking about Sword Art Online and I immediately went to join them, and the rest of the day was interesting and fun. To summarize, I don’t know how to make new friends!! The only cool thing I can talk about is anime…. Yeah I think i’ll try striking a balance now, since i’m probably just disenchanted because i’ve gone over the top. Thanks, and yes I don’t love animanga any less either! :)

      Reply
  2. 2DT

    It’s okay to feel bad sometimes. Goodness knows, I’ve had more than my share of doubts.

    But please, stay a little longer. I’ve just returned, and I’d really like to get to know everyone better. Fandom is vast and strange, but if you can make a friend– one really good friend– then none of this will be a waste. I can promise you that.

    So let’s be friends. Nice to meet you! I’m 2DT. :)

    Reply
    1. Akari Post author

      HI! :D Umm yeah, I guess I can never fully quit anime since it’s been with me for a really long time! I’ve tried abstaining from it before, but when I walk the streets and see any Japanese shop or (even worse) observe any person that seems to fit the criteria of a (shoujo) heroine/male lead, I would go home and binge on manga. Anime is rooted so deeply in my life that I see it everywhere.. it’s fun looking at the world through anime-lens really :)

      And it would be great to make friends of this fandom! There’re so many interesting people out there! Y-YOU WANNA BE FRIENDS?? But god, i’m but a mere mortal! You know, when I clicked on my notifications and saw your icon there I sorta hyperventilated. AND YES. You’re the best author ever! I’m a really huge fan of yours!

      Thanks a lot, and anime has given me experiences (like this one, your one comment. I screen-shotted it btw haha.) way beyond most things in my life have, and i’m truly grateful for that. Thanks again!

      Reply
    1. Akari Post author

      Hello most respected and honorable and dearest and coolest sir, THANK YOU! I was just being a whiny brat by complaining about anime when it was me myself making the anime experience unproductive… I think i’ll read in moderation now and roll over to the productive side too.

      Reply
  3. lvlln

    This was an interesting read. Thank you for sharing such personal thoughts with us; it’s something that’s difficult for many, probably most, people.

    As I was reading the post, I found that the flow of your logic tended to follow mine. That is, when you started off by deriding anime/manga for being less productive than literature, I thought, Of course it is, but that doesn’t mean it’s worthless or a waste of time. Certainly, it’s great that you’re analyzing yourself and thinking about how you spend your time, making sure that you’re not wasting it. As you said, anime/manga is a hobby, and people need hobbies. Some hobbies are more productive than others, but if it gives you pleasure, and as long as it’s in moderation – that is, you don’t sacrifice other, more important stuff for it – you should consider it time well spent.

    Maybe reading classics like The Great Gatsby or Animal Farm would be the “more important stuff” you should be doing instead of watching anime. Maybe if you really feel that way, you should take steps to make that happen. But if you don’t, that’s okay too. It’s good to expose yourself to such works, no question, but if you force yourself due to external expectations, you’re not doing anyone a favor, least of all yourself.

    In the meanwhile, have fun! Cherish that time you spend, keep being aware of how it makes you feel, and I can guarantee, you won’t be wasting time.

    Reply
    1. Akari Post author

      Thank you for being here! Haha you’re right, there’s really nothing wrong with anime as a hobby, and it just boils down to moderation and self-control.. (which I have a startling lack of) Also, the reach of anime is vast and far, and there’re many interesting and insightful pieces definitely worthwhile to read too! I think what I should cut down on are the romance-tagged manga, namely shoujo and yaoi. Immersing myself in such a perfect, romanticized world ain’t good for me either because I might get unrealistic expectations when choosing boyfriends in future! And I don’t enjoy the thought of being a spinster……

      I guess the love of knowledge and books have to be cultivated. I must keep in touch with the real world and at least be considered rather well-read. I had a friend who didn’t know what the ‘Trojan Horse’ was and I was like, seriously!?!? Then I realized that other people probably saw me in the same, shocked light when they see that I don’t know any of Edgar Allan Poe’s work.

      So yes! I’ll try to have a more mature mindset and motivate myself to advance as a more knowledgeable person too, but I won’t give up anime as my dearest hobby. Thank you once again! :)

      Reply
  4. moritheil

    It doesn’t matter how you get into things; it matters that you get into things. Let me clarify: you got into anime, which then got you into blogging, which opens the doors to the whole community on the Internet. Any number of things could happen from then on. Business and job opportunities, philosophical revelations, really anything. Now you might say “that’s the power of networking,” or some such, but it could equally be said that that’s the power of anime.

    Reply
    1. Akari Post author

      Hello, and thank you :D Methinks you’re right. Anime has definitely brought me to a whole new world (both in the fiction sense and the online community sense) and I’m beyond grateful for that. It’s really great to find bloggers of the same fandom because the things they post are just brilliant! Yes, and as one thing can lead to another, I’ll never know what more I can find on the internet. It indeed all stems from anime. The online community is vast and valuable and there’s so much to be gained from it. Thanks again.

      Reply
  5. Pingback: A digression from Vuc « The Moritheil Review

  6. schneider

    You’ve reached a point in your hobby where you need to grow. You need to gain breadth, by going out of the way to watch shows that you usually wouldn’t, and depth, by thinking and reflecting more on what you watch. Breadth helps you widen your horizons–most of the questions and negative thoughts you have about anime right now indicate to me that you haven’t been watching shows that are different from your usual anime diet. Go find good shows from genres you wouldn’t touch on your own, just to see why people think they’re good. Don’t be afraid to pick up the classics. Lots of people love them for a reason. Even if you don’t fall in love with them yourself, the experience will lend you perspective. It could be as simple as “Ah! So this is what anime fans at that time loved!” or something loopier like “wow, I can’t believe a 70s kid show could be this dark and violent!”

    Depth is also important. You’re wondering if anime isn’t deep enough, that it’s a waste of one’s time. Well, a hobby will only be as fulfilling as how deeply a person invests in it. You might be only feeling the way you do because you’re not picking up what’s important from what you watch. There is a lot you could learn from anime, if you only let yourself learn from it. Anime and manga have inspired me to pick up new skills, talk to people (I’m a huge introvert), seek a job, and let go of a lost love. All because I thought of what I watched or read on a deeper level than “I like/don’t like this”. Don’t feel like criticism is way out of your league. Anyone can do it, and by criticism can we gain a better appreciation for the entertainment we consume, which helps us refine our tastes by learning what truly moves us.

    So the next time you watch an anime, ask yourself questions. Why am I watching this? Why do I like it? What’s wrong with it? Doesn’t this remind me of something in my life? Reflect. Go rewatch an anime you really like. What made you fall in love with it in the first place? Do you still love it? How much have you grown since then? You might even discover something new about yourself!

    Also, don’t undersell yourself. I’d say that someone who reaches the top of her drama class because of Mogami Kyoko is awesome! There is nothing lame about this; what’s lame is when you look down on yourself, when you should be the first to believe!

    On a final note, anime and manga aren’t inherently inferior to books. While the latter does require more thought and involvement to appreciate, there are stories that anime and manga could simply tell better. You might think they’re inferior because there’s much less variety in them, but that’s because they’re a medium of entertainment that’s less than a century old. It doesn’t need to be one thing or another.

    Hang in there!

    Reply
    1. Akari Post author

      Oh man, thanks so much! You’re right… i’m sure that there’s loads to gain from constantly questioning and reflecting on the anime I watch and like you said, I could possibly understand myself or other people better too. I guess whether anime helps one grow or not boils down to each individual’s willingness to actively learn and truly think about the issues at hand brought out by the story. Thanks for letting me see that! I’ll do my best.

      Reply
  7. ajthefourth

    Hey, I just wanted to say that I loved this post. I also wanted to add that you shouldn’t somehow feel that watching anime/reading manga solely for enjoyment is somehow inferior to picking apart religious allusions or using a literary work as a frame of reference. The fact is, both are equally important. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. ^ ^

    Reply
    1. Akari Post author

      Hi there, and thank you! :D Haha yeah.. but I feel really bad when i’m just watching anime/reading manga for pure entertainment (and for really prolonged periods) because in the long run, if I don’t do anything more thought-provoking to help me grow as a person, i’ll simply end up as an ignorant fool.. So yup! I aspire to be a thinker like you who would go beyond the surface of entertainment values and delve into ideas. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I should at least try to reflect and learn more of anything, while still enjoying the anime! xD Thanks!

      Reply
  8. Alex Ramsey

    Yeah, I agree that anime is really addicting and I just recently got over it after two years of enjoying, fangirling, laughing, crying……And a whole lot of emotions. It’s okay if you watch anime/read manga for enjoyment; many people do that and it is perfectly fine. Even I read manga pointlessly! I have never thought about the hidden meaning in some manga but came to know about it after reading it somewhere. I also agree that there must some balance between anime and academics. I loved your article!

    Reply

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