Anime, you’ve probably heard of the word one way or another. It may be from an ad, a neighbor, friend, son, daughter, siblings or, in extreme cases, your parents. And if you’re not part of the culture then it’s either you belong to the lost ones who can’t bring to sum up what to think or you’re a part of that group that finds Anime as a useless and mindless sect.
In this blog post I’d be running down on the things there is to know about anime. Read on. Who knows, even if you don’t have someone close who is an Anime fan at the moment, maybe soon you’ll have one and find yourself feeling lost and perplexed in our rich culture.
What is anime?
Anime is the abbreviated form of “animation” in Japanese. Technically, it should refer to anything related to animation but outside Japan, people consider it as a special category on its own which pertains to Japanese animation alone.
Most Anime fanatics, Anime Otakus as we like to call ourselves, don’t want to associate anime with the rest of the animation or cartoon industry outside Japan. And for safety reasons, I advise you think the same as well. Otakus can be very aggressive regarding this matter.
True enough, for me at least, there is a big difference between Japanese animation and animation from the rest of the world but I still think animation is animation. *Otaku readers, please spare me the bashing
Ok, we now I know what anime is but what exactly is it?
Leaving its etymology aside, anime as a whole is characterized by plots diverse enough to center on a genius high school boy that was turned back to a small elementary kid to something as insane as an elementary school girl which, near the end of the story, will be found out to be a being capable of altering reality itself. And it’s so visually vibrant and graphically stunning that calling it colorful would be an understatement.
Seriously, with most anime series having characters’ hair color to fill in a color palette, how in the world would you not call it colorful?
Anime is weird!
For one, though Anime Otaku(s), as Japanese would call one who more or less has an unhealthy obsession with something, are very common nowadays, we still have that label as being “weird.”
Who could blame non Anime Otakus? As an otaku, I also find myself to be weird sometimes; I indulge in long hours of watching Anime and collecting action figures to even going as far as cosplaying (putting on costumes of characters) on Anime Conventions which, if I might say, is not cheap!
…But what the heck? I enjoy what I do and don’t see myself quitting in the near future.
Anime is useless!
Most people say that anime is a very bad influence. My parents at some point even banned it inside the house. But truth be told, I am still a decent human being and halfway through with medical school. I think anime is the same with any other literature or media, its effects more or less still depends on the person watching.
Another thing, as much as there are a lot of garbage in anime, there are also a lot of enlightening ones. Take for example these amazing quotes:
“The worst part of being strong is that nobody asks if you’re ok.” –Accelerator of A Certain Scientific Railgun
“Life is basically like a soap bubble. It rides on the wind, flying here and there… and before you realize it – pop! It’s gone. When it’s about to disappear, you think that you could’ve flown higher. But by that time, it’s already too late.” – Sakata Gintoki of Gintama
What do I do to become an “Otaku”?
Start by deciding which anime to watch first. There are a lot of genres to choose from. They have clear cut genres for little boys (shounen), little girls (shoujo), young men (seinen), young women (josei) and many other common ones like mecha, slice of life, school life, harem, etc.
Some genres are written in romanized Japanese so if you’re new, you might not know what they are. Feel free to ask me questions by leaving comments or messages.
But, guys, before you start calling yourself or dreaming of becoming an Otaku, let me tell you that it is not a very light word. As I’ve already said, it is what Japanese people call someone who has an unhealthy obsession with something which often results to being withdrawn from society. In Japan they even go as much as bullying and calling otakus as rejects of society.
If you live outside Japan, you’ll probably be okay. In fact, most Otakus outside Nippon proudly declares they are a member of the cult.
I’m an otaku and I hate it. How do I change?
If you really believe you are one, I’m sorry to say that I don’t have the answer. There were several times when I wanted to outgrow this obsession but, sadly, all attempts were futile.
Maybe find other hobbies?? Ok, fine. That was a lame suggestion but… I failed remember? Now go find a psychiatrist.
That’s all folks. I know I said all aspects of Anime but I decided that anime is too big to explain in one blog post so I decided I would exclude everything about manga, gaming and cosplay. Don’t worry. I promise to talk about these things next time.