Even though Japanese animations, also known as anime, have been gaining more popularity, it is still quite far from being either truly accepted or respected and this comes from the fact people simply aren’t willing to give anime a chance.
Based on Michael O’Connell’s “A Brief History of Anime,” although anime has been around since the early 1900s, it only began gaining popularity in the ‘80s and ‘90s. It has only continued its spread to the Western worlds, combining storytelling with beautiful and unique animations.
With such a large interest across the globe, people are still unwilling to look into anime at all. It’s understandable if they watch it, then decide it’s not what they’re interested in, but most people tend to simply dismiss it and label it as just children’s cartoons.
The world of anime can be extremely intricate, with sublime and unique plots along with complex characters which take the necessary steps toward appealing to a larger audience.
Let’s take “Death Note” for example.
With the power to kill anybody in the world with only a pen, a notebook and a name, this psychological-thriller delves into how society affects people’s morality and what exactly justice is. It tackles many controversial issues, ranging from what it means to play god to the grey area between good and evil.
Also many of the “Death Note” characters are quite opposite to the stereotypical anime characters people tend to think of such as over-powered males and magical girls. The characters lend themselves more to driving the plot with their various personality disorders rather than relying on their relatability.
While “Death Note” only has two seasons with 37 episodes total, there are a vast amount of animes that have well over 60 episodes such as “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood,” where the world becomes more immersive and well-defined with each episode.
If anybody’s curious about anime, but feel they lack the time and dedication it takes for veteran series like “Naruto” and “One Piece,” both over 700 episodes, there are many different movies for those who want a complete story in one run.
For most newcomers, the Studio Ghibli film company tends to be the starting point when delving into the animated movie side.
One of the best ways to ease someone into anime is through some of Studio Ghibli’s director Hayao Miyazaki’s heartwarming films that often deal with heavy topics such as destruction of the natural world, as seen in “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind,” and the power of staying true to oneself in “Spirited Away.”
Beyond Studio Ghibli, there are many movies directed and written by astounding artists. If anybody has a hard time believing anime isn’t an art form, then they need to look up Makoto Shinkai’s work.
From Shinkai’s six minute clip “Dareka no Manazashi” to his romantic fantasy drama “Your Name,” his art style is always breathtakingly stunning. Through his artistry, people can find a sense of realism interwoven in the worlds he has created and the characters he has cast without losing his signature style.
While anime is not for everyone, there are many people who have come to love and appreciate at least this small aspect of Japanese culture. If people continue to avoid anime without understanding it, they will never know if they could really end up enjoying it.