Japanese Animation (Anime) has gone through various changes over the years. These changes include art styles, quality and their impact on media in Japan. But what has intrigued me the most is its Social Acceptance here in the United States (probably everywhere else but I can only speak from experience here in the U.S.). 30 years ago, it was barely known at all. 20 years ago, it had a small following, mostly for what then would have been classified as nerds/dorks/etc. 10 years ago, while its influence on Western Media had already begun, it was still labeled as “childish” and for a certain audience. Nowadays, Anime is more prevalent and accepted in our society… or is it?
I am still flabbergasted at the negativity surrounding Anime. Somehow, TV Shows (from Soap Operas to Dramas to Comedies), to Movies (from Summer Blockbusters to Indie Films to Disney Films) to Books (Audio, Digital or Physical) to Podcasts to Comics and more have become universally accepted as appropriate mediums to tell stories in our mainstream culture; but not Anime. Why is that?
Whether it’s intimidation by the sheer vastness of the Anime world, inexperience towards its story telling potential, or naivety to how anyone can find something they can enjoy in the Anime world, people have let their eyes become glossed over when it comes to Anime. That is what I want to change. I want people to understand that there are people who love watching sports, and that’s okay. There are people who love watching horror films, and that’s okay. There are people who will binge watch the same crime shows over and over again, and that’s okay. There are people who watch every made-for-Netflix Holiday special, and that’s (sort of) okay. And then there are people who look down on (people who watch) Anime, and that is NOT okay.
Is there really an Anime for everybody? What makes Anime enjoyable? What makes it worthwhile? Those answers are: Yes. A lot of things. And you’ll find out soon. I want to address these concerns, and the lack of information regarding Anime as a medium/genre. I will, with my limited capabilities, try to make Anime more accessible to people. I don’t need people to LOVE Anime; what I seek is understanding and acceptance. And maybe, along the way, you find one or two or more shows that you really like. That would be awesome too.
Lets start the adventure!