Understanding Anime And Why It Matters To Someone You Know

We all have that one parent, that one friend or a combination of the two; multiplied. We hear the rebuttals, we suffer the labels and side-eyed glances. Why then does Anime matter to that person? Why does it fill their lives, their dreams or their hopes? It is such a human thing to scoff at something so foreign, so alien that we often shudder those around us for enjoying something different. For me I was fortunate enough to have a mother who cared less about why I enjoyed Japanese animation or Korean pop. She wanted me to focus and enjoy what I loved without impedance. Understandably many of you out there either are in a situation where a family member or friend doesn’t understand or maybe you are the friend or family member who doesn’t understand.

So why do they love it? Frankly speaking, why do you love the activities that you engage in? We all have an interest, a burning desire if you will to enjoy a hobby of sorts. That can range from the simplistic all the way up to overly complicated. We enthrall ourselves in sports, fashion, card collecting, televised dramas and home projects. Most of these are hobbies for the majority and careers for the select few. What one must understand is that they too will run into a situation where someone finds something weird about their interest. You may collect old fashion or maybe old socks and that in of itself is pretty odd. Just because you love it, doesn’t mean someone will see eye to eye with you. Anime gets a bad glance because of how it is portrayed by the few to the many. It is seen as a lair of sinful delight, showy skin and tits abound. Fan service is its own issue, but frankly speaking you are taking an opinion at only face value and on pocket change.

Why a person loves anime can be so much deeper than what you think it is for. For you only see the scantly cladded women and men, you only see the childish like humor and skits. What you fail to see is a world that has substance, that offers adventure on the cheap; that offers an escape from the mundane. To them (and myself) anime is an artistic window, a collection of vibrant worlds full of so much wonder and enjoyment. Sure, there are the red light districts dotted here and there, but there is always going to be a red light district in any hobby. Photography has it’s lewd scene, gaming has its lewd scene. Heck, even sports can get pretty… interesting and sexually tense. It doesn’t have to be just lewd; it can be cultural.

You hear a different language, see unique things and you can’t help but see it as alien. The biggest step for anyone is to detach yourself from bigoted stances, from a view that your culture is the culture. It’s not and shaming a family member or a friend for liking another cultures artistic medium is insulting to say in the least. They enjoy it because it widens ones view, it creates a perspective that is greatly needed in todays world. Instead of mocking them for not fitting your standard of how a person should be, evaluate your world interests. More likely than not you have an interest in Europe, The United Kingdom or South America. There are plenty of individuals out there who would think you strange to have a fascination with those cultures. You become the oddity, the strange one with too wild a view.

But they collect those plastic figurines and froth at the mouth over them. Isn’t this not the same thing a sports enthusiast does with a favorite team, driver or player? Is this not what you do with fictional t.v. drama characters as well? You may fawn over the dashing Karl Urban but trust me, someone thinks that is creepy as heck. What one collects is what makes one happiest. I collect figures from the shows I’ve enjoyed. Not because I’m enamored with their character or I have an urge to proclaim my undying support for them. I get figures as a physical representation of the shows I’ve enjoyed over the months, years of watching. Maybe asking them why they collect them and having an open mind to the idea goes a long way in learning more about that person. Too often do I see people comment on how they cannot showcase a figure(s) because a family member is against them doing so.

What they fail to see and understand is that we won’t live up to an expectation, nor will we ever be a perfect carbon copy of the interests you share. A friend, especially a parent, is supposed to be understanding of ones interests; ones passion. To have that support is the difference between someone feeling accepted, feeling as if they aren’t being isolated because they happen to enjoy something different. Anime is a tapestry of interwoven pieces that add up. It is a medium that is so diverse in theme, content and quality. It goes beyond just a normal hobby for some and other just take it entirely too far. I’d encourage an open mind and one that is willing to look past preconceived notions that are formed on lacking information and false information. Ask, take the time to understand and you to might just understand why it is that a person you know loves anime.

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17 thoughts on “Understanding Anime And Why It Matters To Someone You Know

  1. This was a well thought out written piece. On a personal level my family are fully accepting of of my love for anime but you might put me in the bracket of ‘taking it too far’ when you make your licence plate number after anime lol just many layers of understanding different people have. My friend does not understand my love of Japanese cartoons probably never will but she still asks about it sometimes. I Just think surround yourself with others who love it as much as you do

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Lita! I’m embarrassed to say this is a one hour write up. It’s rough in areas, but I’ve made improvements here and there. Also having an anime inspired plate isn’t that far :p

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think there are way too many people that immediately judge others without even knowing sometimes what things are about. When I sometimes tell people about Anime, they listen politely and then snicker “so you still like cartoons?” Oh well……Luckily not everyone is like that, and I can tell you, my mother who is turning 70 this year, loves Anime. She has watched several series and movies 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That is really awesome! There are sadly many out there who’d much rather judge based on lacking knowledge. It takes “too much time” to invest in understanding…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good piece. In many ways, all fandoms share some ground in how people approach them, whether that be anime, sports or something else. It is amazing how a bit of public perception can create a negative view for most though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed. Which is sadly why when I vocally advocate for anime the first response I usually get is, “oh those Asian cartoons with the naked girls.” Far from the truth for most anime…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aye. I think that, unfortunately, people tend to focus on things that they can perceive as negative at times. Then, you also get the thing where it tends to be the people at the extreme ends of any fandom that make the most noise, so that leaves people thinking that their behaviours and likes apply to the majority. It’s a shame because anime is a wonderfully diverse medium that has some really strong examples of multiple genres.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I liked this article. I think that these pieces are important to write.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for thinking so! It means a lot to me as I endeavor to become more proficient in writing these deeper discussions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem, thank you for writing it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Anytime! Thanks for the support in reading and sharing.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Of course! Look forward to reading more excellent content 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Gah, why am I just discovering this blog now… Fantastic write up.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a fantastic post that a lot of people need to read. My parents don’t understand my interest in anime at all. They’re the types who just go ‘Aren’t you a little old for cartoons?’ no matter how much evidence I present to the contrary that anime isn’t little toddler cartoons. And I still like western animation too, so that just makes it even worse. I’ve given up on trying to convince them otherwise.

    I used to think I was fine on the Internet, and to a degree I am, but just going out and about is usually hit or miss to me. I’ve met numerous people who have instantly believed I’m a weirdo because I have an anime avatar or a Japanese-ish sounding username. I’m extremely shy, so it’s basically just gotten to a point where I won’t talk about anime with someone unless I know they like it too.

    I wish more people were more willing to learn about something and understand it rather than write it off on stereotypes. There’s hope. Afterall, look at comics. Comic books used to be seen as something complete shut-in nerds were interested in and now the interest is more widely accepted. The stereotypes are still there (Stuff like the Big Bang Theory doesn’t help) but it’s quite a bit better than it used to be. Considering the culture gap, it might be significantly harder, but I suppose we in the fandom will always have each other. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Valentino Senpai January 7, 2018 — 1:20 am

      Have you tried showing your fam an anime like Black Lagoon or Gangsta, or a show that really could grab the attention of a mainstream audience? Doing that might change their opinion.

      People are relatively accepting of anime and it’s fans but one of the problems is that a good percentage of the community fits a lot of the stereotypes. It also doesn’t help that they’re the more vocal fans, comics and video games had the same problem but overtime the fan base had more “normal” people in it who weren’t the stereotypical anti social, fat lazy neckbeard that lives in a basement. The same thing is happening in the anime community, more and more fans don’t fit into the stereotypes but are pretty invested into the medium. The highest problem is what happens in anime, for every classic like Ghost in the Shell you get like 5 highschool DXD’s and let’s face it the tropes in anime don’t sit well with mainstream western audiences. The only real way to get anime slightly mainstream is to expose the so called “normies” and give shows like Cowboy Bebop, Gangsta, etc a bigger spotlight.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My family doesn’t understand my hobbies, I don’t understand their hobbies, and we all coexist not understanding each other’s interests and ribbing each other about them. I’m pretty lucky.

    Liked by 1 person

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