A Beginner’s Guide to Anime

Edited by: Maya M. Haidar (UG21)

In conversation with Nishant Borah, Head of Ashoka’s Anime Club

Q: What are your film and television recommendations for beginners to anime?

For a quick introduction, I would suggest movies like: 

  • Kimi no Na Wa (Your Name), a romantic fantasy film that follows two young adults as they switch bodies and develop a relationship that goes beyond the realm of human imagination and control.

  • A Silent Voice is an intricate account of bullying, redemption, and relationships. The plot revolves around the question of  whether humans are strangers to one another or if that is just a narrative that is set up by their society.

  • Garden of Woods is a romantic drama that seeks to create a vision of love based on traditional Japanese beliefs and etymology, one that finds itself in loneliness. 

  • Little Witch Academia takes place in a prestigious school for young girls training to become witches. Inspired by a witch called Shiny Chariot, Atsuko enrols in the Magical Academy to become a witch. As she struggles to fit in due to her non-magical background, unexpected adventures come her way.

 As for TV series, I recommend: 

  • Death Note is an all-time classic about a school student who discovers a notebook that allows him to kill people by writing their names inside. Fast paced and sensational, the show’s intricate uncovering of criminal acts is breath-taking.

  • My Hero Academia is set in a world where having superhuman ‘quirks’ is the norm. This show follows a guy trying to balance the hero world with his domestic duties while evil forces attempt to remove heroes from the face of the earth.

  • Full Metal Alchemist is set in a fictional universe wherein alchemy is one of the advanced natural disciplines. It follows two alchemist brothers searching for the philosopher's stone to restore their bodies.

  • k-on! revolves around four high school girls who join the light music club of an all-girls private high school to try to save it from being disbanded. 

Q: What are some streaming platforms for anime?

 Prime Video and Netflix have a diverse range of anime, while films and shows can be streamed for free on 4anime.2.

Q: What about free manga online?

You can try mangakaklot, mangapanda and mangarock.

Q: What is your favourite anime?

I like One Piece, a fantasy anime about a kid who dreams of becoming a pirate king. It has been greatly appreciated for its artistic expertise as well as its portrayal of emotion and humour. 

Q: What plans does the anime club have for the semester?

Firstly, our main goal is expansion. We’d like to have more people on board and will begin inductions next week. Secondly, we’d like to diversify the club to include manga and light comics. We are currently working that out with the administration.

Q: What is endearing about anime and manga that is different from Western animation and comics?

Anime is one of the only mediums that are not censored by the way in which critics think. Unlike shows that often find they have to conform to the opinions of western media, creators make what they want and not what people want to see. The artistic style and colour palettes can be played around with. Anime also challenges the notion that animated media is for kids. The way in which the dialogues are written makes clear that narratives are not dumbed down for a particular audience. Finally, the music used in anime is a central part of the viewing experience.