I know a lot of people who brand anime as yet another cartoon show. I ask, so what? Cartoons are fun, especially the good ones!
The first Anime I ever watched was Dragonball Z (courtesy of Cartoon Network) and oh boy, was I hooked! The concept of aliens, ki and transformations just blew me away. I never came out of that rabbit hole.
Since then, my interest has gradually grown and thanks to recommendations from friends and internet, I am proud to call myself a newbie in this sekai. The following things fascinate me the most.
Variety in genre – There’s something for everyone
There is action, fantasy, romance, horror, comedy, drama, mecha, sci-fi, mystery to quote a few; the list quite endless if you ask me. Whatever you are in the mood for, guaranteed that you would find some anime show for it.
The meaning of imagination taken to new levels
Most shows feature really crazy concepts and alternate universes that you just can’t view realistically. It takes you a few episodes to wrap your head around what the show is all about. Even after that, the writer keeps the show alive with twists and new concepts leaving you wanting for more.
The characters are real. I know, I know, they are not actually flesh and blood but they’re voice actors,but the feelings they evoke in the viewer are real. People can actually identify with them and they are inspirational to say the least. Vegeta from Dragonball Z is one of my favorite characters in the anime world. In the words of a close friend who is yet another Vegeta fan “Prince of Saiyans! He taught us being proud can be good. And that you don’t need to be a hero to be liked and trusted by everyone”. His comebacks are really witty as well. An inspirational character to say the least.
Lessons of Life
I do not exaggerate when I say that anime shows touch upon crucial life lessons. The plot lines might be unrealistic but they do explore at least one thematic issue central to human existence. For example, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood explores the themes of kinship, death and corruption. Friendships & nakamas are priceless in One Piece and most of them stress on the fact that “Nothing is Impossible”
I am an avid reader and one of major reasons why I love books is that they transport me to a whole new world. Anime is yet another way of achieving that – more so given that the worlds are so artfully created that they could only be a product of imaginative minds. You can lose yourself for a few hours/days in these universes.
Some anime shows feature a mind-blowing set of tracks for the background score. It’s not all just electro-pop with high-pitched voices, either. The genres range from instrumental jazz to operatic choruses, power ballads to heavy metal and everything else in between. And even if you don’t understand the lyrics, the music is usually enjoyable by itself. If you still don’t believe me, listen to this.
So, come on down, take a seat while we fire up the first episode. We might make an otaku out of you yet.
Till then sayonara, arigatou!