So. Aren’t we all curious about what our fellow uneducated plebeians think of anime, even though we know the standard answer? Well, however much overused this phrase might be, reality is a bitch and anime doesn’t really attract people outside of the fandom. Guess what, I know this because I actually asked friends about their opinion. And then it was judgement time.
Something really sad was that when I told a friend that I was going to ask her some questions regarding anime, she responded with a reluctant and unwilling tone. WHY FRIEND WHY. Then as expected, she found anime “un-cool” and “un-interesting”. Ouch. Harsh, ain’t that. One thing I find interesting though, is that she had never watched anime or read manga. I was surprised that she didn’t even know what Naruto was– hey, at least quite a few random people do. Point is, this means that she has made premature assumptions and judgements about anime on an unfounded basis… although it’s only natural to have some sort of perception or impression beforehand. But why does anime have such a negative connotation attached to it? :(
Let me give an example. For a damn long period of time, i’ve always thought of the classic Pride And Prejudice as an outstanding literary romance unmatched by another other novel. It was one of the most renowned, most celebrated books and there were so many references to it in other works. Simply put, there was this elegant air around the novel and I marveled at its exceptional reputation.
Then I read the book, and it all fell apart. I mean, boy, Pride and Prejudice was no more than some random shoujo with such a male protagonist– Darcy! Rich, handsome and arrogant, yet without rhyme or reason (besides love, oh love) he completely changes just for the girl he loves, Elizabeth, whom I don’t like btw. I had totally understood his logic for his rudeness with the middle-class and low-class citizens who only cared to flatter him but then BAM. Elizabeth the self-righteous speaks and desperate Darcy changes into the perfect gentleman for her. It’s kind of sudden and hard to believe. Besides the commendable archaic and lovely style of writing that I enjoyed, I think that the plot made no sense although the characters were promising at first.
Holy shit, i’d better get back to the point. Ah. See, everyone forms a preliminary opinion of something they’ve vaguely heard of, and this opinion usually sticks. It comes around from the person’s impressions of subjects associated with that particular topic, and probably from hearsay or whatnots. And for anime, i’d say that the subject best associated with it, would be cartoons. *commence massive face palm* THIS IS WHY I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE CALL ANIME A CARTOON. Not that I care about anyone’s opinion.
So the big deal with cartoons is that only children watch cartoons. And hence it becomes a childish, immature subject, and an underrated interest. Why the hell do children watch cartoons anyway. Because of colorful visuals and exaggerated characters? Hell, why can’t grown-ups love all that too?! Why is liking K-drama or loving Twilight better (or more commonly admitted to) than watching anime? Just because the animation in anime seems resembles that of a cartoon? Anime can be serious(ly good). With a wide array of lovely characters, themes and scenarios to boot. It’s just like exploring many new worlds, experiencing and feeling so much more and then reflecting. About the term cartoon, I really feel that it’s being used with the speaker feeling that anime is simply about characters with sketchy lines and color doing useless, childishly entertaining things and that’s why I hate the term.
…Oh but my friend said that she does appreciate the manga art-style so that’s fine \o/ BUT STILL
Let me now speak of my love for anime. I admit that i’ve been too busy these days to watch anything. I tried out Vividred Operation and lasted one episode before killing myself with laughter. I cannot even.
Here are the Vividred lolis. I mean yes a story about cute young girls with magical transformation abilities and with the beautiful theme of friendship *adds sparkles* seems sweet but NO. And in fact i’ve been abstaining from manga, just for Math. Can you believe it, I ought to get a Nobel prize for that. But point is, anime has never and will never leave my life. The moment I heard this incredible piano piece by Telshter, (YES I’M A HUGE FAN!) I felt so touched and I don’t even know why. It happens, sometimes, after a period of not coming into contact with anime, and then randomly seeing or hearing something Japanese. I just felt so nostalgic and so happy. Anime songs are the best– especially a song from an anime you’ve watched– there’s just so much more depth and beauty to the song when you relate it to the characters and plot.
Why do so many people all over the world, be it children or working adults, still hold anime in their hearts? K-pop had a temporary surge in demand, a crazed craze that has already subsided. Maplestory didn’t last long, and neither did Skyrim. What is so special about anime? For me, it’s an entire collection of differing experiences and a whole new world to explore. There are so many different characters, and even the exaggerated archetypes are fun to watch– their subtle interactions, everyday worries and fears are so close to heart even in a fantasy scenario. We’re given excess to their innermost thoughts, and we come to love them. Let me share a quote from one of Japan’s most respected and talented persons ever.
Personally, I was never more passionate about manga than when preparing for my college entrance exams. It’s a period of life when young people appear to have a great deal of freedom, but are in many ways actually opressed. Just when they find themselves powerfully attracted to members of opposite sex, they have to really crack the books. To escape from this depressing situation, they often find themselves wishing they could live in a world of their own – a world they can say is truly theirs, a world unknown even to their parents. To young people, anime is something they incorporate into this private world.
I often refer to this feeling as one yearning for a lost world. It’s a sense that although you may currently be living in a world of constraints, if you were free from those constraints, you would be able to do all sorts of things. And it’s that feeling, I believe, that makes mid-teens so passionate about anime.
Yup, that’s Hayao Miyazaki! Only in anime can we observe the most absurd, the most wild, the most longed-for happenings and actions. Anime is never
(ahem) boring but in the end, the characters are modeled after humans and there’s always a touch of genuineness that I love. Even those insanely powered shounen heroes inspire us with their iron-will and unyielding tirelessness for their ideals, no matter how cheesy we find them. Anime is precious to us.
…yeah, so once an anime fan, forever
stuck in the dark abyss a fan! I’m glad that anime was part of my childhood. I love the unique art style. Watching anime really pumps me up sometimes, making me feel so full of life and courage and wonder at the world. Thank you anime!
Well well I think i’ve nothing left to say. Was that whole chunk of text terrible? Ah well, I really needed to say all of it! THE END, SUCKERS. And if anyone here doesn’t like anime then too bad.
MIKU DOES NOT WELCOME YOU. SHOO. We need to disinfect the world of all you commoner’s ignorance. Jk. I actually know that liking anime largely depends on a person’s childhood and it’s hard to get someone to enter the fandom after a certain age, especially after one has his/her own interests and perceptions. So I just hope that anime receives more love, and… the end. Have fun, everyone, and let me beat a hasty retreat.