Kai recently posted an article on his philosophy for watching anime and has asked others to share why they watch anime. Those who remember my history of anime project will know how I got into anime, so I’ll just summarize why I have found anime to be better than other media.
I got into anime at a young age during the early 90’s and that was because anime just plain beat everything else that was on TV at the time. Lets be honest here, would you rather watch pretty girls transforming into battle heroines or an aardvark help his friends.
Moving along, as I grew up, I discovered the other joys of anime. Violence was a big no-no for kids, after all, it would cause them to become hitmen and serial killers, dragging society into anarchy. Naturally, TV was full of shows trying to teach kids that bullying could be resolved through dialogue, which was rather boring so I naturally gravitated towards anime like Rurouni Kenshin. It had amazing sword fights and bloody injuries, and more cool action scenes than anything on TV.
As I hit my teenage years, everyone stopped watching cartoons and started watching teen drama. Lets consider two teen series: The O.C. and School Rumble. Both feature a delinquent “tough guy” from the wrong side of the tracks that tries to get with a girl, but lots of stuff happens to keep them apart. The O.C. has drugs and alcohol, School Rumble has flying fish missiles, which sounds more entertaining to you?
I’m sure romance also plays a big part in everyone’s teen years. The one big heart-throb movie that seemingly everyone my age watched was A Walk to Remember. Now compare that with a series like Toradora. Both series brought tears to my eyes, but A Walk to Remember brought tears of sadness while Toradora brought tears of happiness. Why would anyone want to be sad when they could be happy?
By the time I finished high school, everything was a duller shade of grey. I needed something shocking and exciting to keep me entertained. TV had some options in the form of Survivor and Fear Factor, but when you consider that some people eat rats and worms on a regular basis, it’s not THAT shocking. Hollywood offered the Saw and Final Destination movies, but they lacked “oomph”. I needed something more traumatic; I needed Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. I think the fact that a whole bunch of horrible stuff happened to little girls made Higurashi no Naku Koro ni was more shocking than anything else available.
Shocking people only works for a while though and I was again on the search for something different, something fruity. Glee is probably one of the fruitiest shows on TV in recent years with teenagers spontaneously breaking out in song and dance every episode. Compare that with Mawaru Penguindrum, arguably one of the fruitiest anime to air in recent years. I’ve already discussed this series in length, so I’ll just leave you with this screenshot comparison.
Lets summarize everything I’ve just gone through: anime is sexier, cooler, funnier, happier, darker, and fruitier than the other media I had available. From my point of view it just made sense to watch anime, and for these reasons I continue to watch anime and encourage others to give it a try too.