But for most of us, this was our introduction to anime, or through Yu-Gi-Oh, Beyblade, Medabots, Dragonball, the list goes on. Yet I believe each one of you watched at least one of these shows as a kid and as a result, it will always be affiliated with nothing more than simple childhood innocence and fun and couldn’t possibly stimulate you on a mature, adult level right?
I can already hear the frustrated sighs among some of you. As I type, my phone is continually abuzz from updates from my best friend, updating me as he restarts the series as I write. Although I did have to stop to fully take in the emotional rollercoaster that is the ‘Bye Bye Butterfree’ episode, and if you have no memory or feelings about this event of feels, then you had no childhood or soul! But it did get me to thinking that what is it about anime that makes adults so enamoured with it? And before I get lynched by anime fans, Pokémon’s Japanese, it’s animated, so no need for mean words.
So is for the art form? The worlds they’re set in? The story lines? The characters? That extra element of escapism it can offer? The very fact that the great entity that is Netflix insists that I must like it because I watched something else? Regardless, I continue to be astounded by both the style and rich tapestries they tend to weave (I have tried to achieve the anime hairstyle and it looks ridiculous on a stocky white kid, I must admit).
Whether it’s from the childhood Saturday mornings with Pokémon and Yu-gi-oh, the teen years of various Final Fantasy titles (which have a very loose interpretation of the word ‘final’) to the adult forays of Death Note, Psycho Pass and as of last night much to the prompting of my friend, Rhidian, the first two episodes of Attack on Titan. Even the cover to my book has an element of anime in it (I know, it’s a shameless plug but somebody’s got to do it).
But the art style aside, I think a lot can be learned creatively from this quite frankly underrated industry. Each idea is pretty unique. I think even the most tranquil series I’ve watched so far follows a story line I can guarantee has never been replicated before – a show called Barakomon where a famous calligrapher is exiled to an island and consorts with the locals… and that’s about it. Quite mild really. But still relies on the relationships to really see through the series and that’s still something that shouldn’t be overlooked simply because it’s animated.
This whole blog so far has been trying to convince you that anime should be given your time if you’ve ever found yourself liking anything like Lord of the Rings, Supernatural, or even a lot of fantastical video games. All share similar components that can shape a wonderful plot in an imaginative new world. So if I haven’t scared you off by rambling on for far too long, I hope this has been a somewhat pleasant introduction to the bright world of anime, where I will do my best to provide further insight into on my amateur journey into it.
Hope you enjoy!
Images provided by Sam West. Article edited by Vicky Lord.