What is anime? Anime is pretty popular but if you don’t know what it is, anime is a series of animated hand or computer drawn images. Hailing from Japan, anime is very colorful and full of extravagant / magical themes, but with all the anime nowadays, it can really range from the fantastical type to more grim and serious genres. You can really distinguish anime from regular cartoons by their artistic style, despite there being several hundreds, if not thousands of artists that compose these anime pieces. Some examples of well known anime production studios are Studio Ghibli (an anime studio I personally am a huge fan of), Toei Animation, and more.
After watching different anime series for a while, I’ve learned that there are actually some cool benefits that come with watching anime. If you currently watch anime, you’ll probably agree with the statements below. If you haven’t ever watched anime before, maybe these might interest you in getting into anime! At the very bottom of this post, I’ll also include some helpful words to know, as well as some anime series I loved!
Anime can be pretty educational
If you watch anime with subtitles, you can pick up on the language! I’m not a fan of dubbed anime because I dislike the voice actors & actresses (sorry to offend any dubbed fans but I just can’t) so I’ve always watched subbed anime. I can’t tell you how many phrases I’ve learned from just watching anime! Even though they might be short and basic, it’s still much more than if I hadn’t watched it.
Besides being fun and good-natured, there are series that can be fairly educational. It may not be the main focus of the anime, but you can learn a thing or two about economics and business or other topics such as PTSD and certain diseases you may not have heard of or known much of. In addition, it can help improve your drawings (if you do draw like me). Anatomy can be pretty hard and despite some anime being more “chibi” like, most animes have the right proportions and as someone who used to draw more anime-like stuff, watching them helps me out. It really depends on what you’re interested in watching, but there is great potential for learning a few things from anime!
You learn about Japanese culture
Besides the Japanese language, you can also learn other aspects of the Japanese culture: the amazing food they have (anime food always looks super appetizing and makes me hungry … IN FACT, I think I’m going to make a future blog post dedicated to showing the difference between anime food vs reality), different holidays and important celebrations, family traditions, beliefs, town vs rural living, and more.
There are so many genres, there is something out there for everyone
Just like regular TV show genres, anime encompasses a lot of genres. For example, there’s romance, comedy, sports, school-life, mystery, etc. To those who prefer watching magical girls, goblin slaying, or maybe pirates who can stretch like Mister Fantastic from the Fantastic Four, there’s something for you, too!
Anime helps you understand relationships and human psychology
There is something about anime that makes it different from your regular TV shows. A lot of animes deal heavily with relationships with other people, and gives us insight into how the characters think, how their mind works, and how they deal with life situations. We’re able to do this because we are often allowed to get into their heads and audibly hear what they’re thinking, which is something not commonly done with regular TV shows. This cool feature lets us form a stronger connection with the characters involved.
Important words to know when choosing an anime:
Here are some helpful words or terms to know when looking at “genres” of anime.
Harem: Type of anime where a male is surrounded by many women. Usually, the female characters are attracted to or interested in the male main character. There’s also reverse harem, in which a female main character is surrounded by many boys.
Shounen: Shounen, or “shonen” (少年), meaning “few years”. Shounen anime refers to anime boys 15 years old or younger and focuses on action and adventure.
Seinen: Focuses on young adult main characters, usually males between the ages 15-24. They tend to be more serious and perhaps more violent than shounen animes, although there are also comedy-focused seinen shows.
Shoujo: Focuses on young girls between 10 and 18 years of age. They feature action and adventure as well, but also more romance and interpersonal relationships.
Josei: Josei anime focuses on adult women. It frequently contains romance or slice-of-life, but can also involve action and adventure.
Yaoi/Yuri: Both yaoi and yuri anime focus on same-sex relationships, both romantic and non-romantic in nature. Yaoi centers on male relationships, and yuri on female relationships.
Slice of Life: This term is probably the most straight-forward out of the rest of the words here, but animes in this genre literally focus on “slice of” a character’s life, kind of like “a day in the life of …” whoever. Generally the themes center on teenage life, interpersonal relationships, romance, family, etc.
Ecchi: Ecchi is derived from the H letter (that’s how it sounds in Japanese) in “hentai”, which means pervert in Japanese. Sooo… this type of anime usually is filled with sexually provocative images, but toned down enough so that it can be viewed by the general audience.
Mecha: Mecha anime is also known as robot anime, in which it features utilizing fighting robots for battle.
Some animes I enjoyed watching:
- Death Note (genre: mystery, supernatural, thriller)
- Nagi No Asukara / A Lull In the Sea (genre: fantasy, romance, shounen)
- Ouran High School Host Club (genre: reverse harem, shoujo)
- One Piece (still watching!! genre: shounen, action, fantasy)
- Honey and Clover (genre: josei, romance)
- Kuroshitsuji / Black Butler (Shounen, dark fantasy)
- Tokyo Ghoul (shounen, dark fantasy, horror fiction)
- Fruits Basket (shoujo, romance, fantasy)
- Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (slice of life)
Do you like watching anime? What are some shows you really enjoyed? Make sure to leave it in the comments below!
Until then! ♡