But Have You Tried Anime?

We can all agree that 2020 was not the best year for most of us. The endless quarantine left us to find new mediums of entertainment. I found myself indulging in new genres of shows and movies that I would have never given a chance before. I even finished Inuyasha an anime, in its entirety. I enjoyed watching Inuyasha since I was about seven or eight, but I never watched all of it until last year. Viewing it now is so much different than when I was a kid. I could actually appreciate the plot, and it made me realize how much I love a good demon slayer show (kudos to you if you noticed that). 

 

Finishing Inuyasha left me with that empty feeling we all get after watching a beloved tv show come to an end. It left me wanting more, but I just could not find a new show to fill that void. That's when my brother suggested another anime, My Hero Academia. And down the rabbit hole, I fell, well more like jumped into. The world of anime is so diverse and different from American cartoons. There is literally something for everybody, and thanks to Netflix, Hulu, and Crunchyroll, it’s not hard to find. 

person holding a remote control pointed at TV streaming netflix Photo by freestocks from Unsplash

As I got more into it and began to watch various shows, I tried to put my friends on as well, but they were resistant. They couldn't find the appeal in “childish/weird” shows. We all know how annoying it is when others put down something you like without giving it a fair chance. Even though I just got into anime, I had to defend it like it was my life. American cartoons and Japanese anime are not the same things - not even close. 

     Angry Leslie Knope Giphy

First, the animation is different. Cartoons are more cartoony if that makes sense. The things that happen in cartoons are events that could never take place. Animals hitting each other with anvils, being able to stretch body parts naturally, and the animation is sort of plain. Animated movies are when imagery becomes more astonishing and detail-oriented.

Anime is more realistic. The characters look more human-like and are bound to realistic expectations. If someone is super strong or stretchy, there’s a reason behind it. It’s important to the plot. The animation style itself can also be quite beautiful. Demon Slayer a newer anime on the scene, has reached such popularity because of this, among other elements.

Moving on, anime is made for all audiences. Cartoons are mostly made for children, and adults came in and took a piece of them. Still, it has been directed to those two groups. Anime is made for everyone. Every age range can have their pick of what they would like to watch. On top of that, the dialogue is not held back like American entertainment. I believe this is a big reason why anime is so appealing as well. It’s real and raw dialogue no matter who the audience is. There is more freedom to it and thought into the plot that American cartoons lack.

For me, I watch cartoons when I want to watch something mind-numbing (which I don’t mean in a bad way). Something I can jump into at any time and have a couple of laughs, knowing everything will be fine by the end. Contrary to that, I watch anime for a good plot, beautiful imagery, and meaningful lessons that anyone can learn from. I’m not saying all cartoons lack these components, but they are few and far between. Both styles are entertaining and enjoyable to watch, but don't put either down because it doesn't satisfy you at first glance. 

Monica and Rachel high-fiving Giphy

Anyone that dumps on anime, I automatically ask, “But have you tried anime?” It’s easy to say you watched an anime and didn’t like it, but have you genuinely given it a try by watching more than one show? Of course, you’re not going to like every show, so you have to find the genre that compliments your entertainment style. I said before there’s something for everyone, and it was the truth. Just ask your weeb friend for some suggestions; they will have several tailored for your taste. If you don’t have a weeb friend, I’ll be your weeb friend, and recommendations are on the way.