‘If you don’t like the hand that fate’s dealt you with, fight for a new one!’ – Uzumaki Naruto
The transmission of cultures has never been this advanced in age. Because of the prevalence of tech, we are exposed to so much happening outside our little corner. Due to that, there’s been an appreciation of the history and the culture of people far and wide.
A notable intrusion into the various lives of people has been the Asian culture and all that it entails, specifically; Korean Series and Japanese Anime.
The increasing influence of these two pieces of content is becoming phenomenal as it has increased the interest in the Asian culture generally and has brought people together.
So, it’s only right we talk about how much it affected the world around us as we know it and what it is, for the ones who don’t know and the ones who simply don’t think it’s worth a thought.
‘Assumptions do not generally help anyone, for which reason education is as pivotal as it comes.’
Assuming that Japanese anime and cartoons are all the same is saying all fruits are like mango. Between them are clear distinctions and generally, and observation is key in seeing it all. Cartoons thrive on the description of illustrated visual art that is two-dimensional.
Normally, it is a depiction of a painting or a drawing in a semi-realistic manner in a way intended for humor, satire, sarcasm, or caricature. The picture that should help with this visualization should be the popular cartoon we all know and love Tom & Jerry.
The word anime, on the other hand, is a short word for animation and it refers to all kinds of animations. The mention of animation is associated with one particular name – Disney.
Disney owns something more than just movies – they own childhoods and hold memories. They made animations a magical world for every child whoever set their eyes on it.
From franchises like Cars, How to Train Your Dragon, to Frozen and the like, they made 3D animation what it is. The difference however between the animations that Disney has done over the years and Japanese anime is simple.
First, the productions of Japanese anime feature computer or hand-drawn animations. There is a unique style that is used in the produced drawings that sometimes blur the lines of 2D and 3D and lastly, the themes and the character arcs governing the direction of the storyline and the plot differ immensely.
Japanese anime usually give the characters a mix of both good and bad qualities, and usually dedicates time to the creation of the individual stories behind the various characters.
Most of the cartoons and animations we see nowadays are either fictional of the figment of the imagination of the originators and creators and focus on clearly defining the hero and the villain. Japanese fundamentally draw inspiration from their cultural history, beliefs, and events of the past, to create a similar storyline associated with the tales and the stories they tell.
The idea of the consumption of anime predominantly by adults has been a contentious issue. Many reasons are presented in the frame of mind that these things were made for kids hence they are childish and generally bring nothing to one’s life.
The stereotype is one that has been spread across to adults who not only enjoy anime but also enjoy video games and comics; that these adults are kids who never grew up with anything to pursue in their adult lives.
‘Opinions they say are like noses and everyone has one.’
The truth is, many of the ideas we carry around aren’t usually facts we have searched out or pondered on; they are usually the stuff we have been exposed to and those images stay with us. Therefore, it’s easy to associate adults who watch anime to being antisocial or socially awkward people.
However, that’s not true – on the contrary, it is increasingly becoming difficult for people and society to spot the anime fans because they don’t fit the stereotype anymore. And secondly, anime isn’t just ‘cartoons’, it is culture and a lifestyle.
The colorful storylines and the build of characters tend to be as relatable as they come and that forms bonds and attachment that people don’t even realize, most of the time until they find someone else who offers a similar opinion or even a differing one.
It is intriguing the way the creators have approached their productions especially considering the views of fans and followers in order not to mess up the whole thing.
Making not only the main acts stand out, but engineering experiences around each and everyone involved which subtly opens the gateway to a million other spin-offs that can be done.
It’s not a surprise that in the anime Naruto, that runs for a good 17 years, fans never pointed to just the main character as the only one they connected to or fancied, but sometimes the villains as well as everyone’s ideals and thought process is unveiled.
Anime isn’t trying to get you to stick with the protagonist from start to finish, that concept is boring – anime tinkers with that a little. Sometimes they create situations where evil is familiar with the said protagonist which presents a moral dilemma as to whether to use evil for good or to just admit to the fact that having evil just makes one evil no matter what they do.
That not only offers the perspectives of the apparent antagonist and why they find themselves on the path they are on but the essence of core values in a person and why they settled on that. These are conversations that our generation isn’t even trying to have, and we’re seeing more people achieve new heights in evil every day.
In many ways, anime speaks a degree of realness that is missing as the times have progressed. It is unique because even in other animations and movies, we are losing those little elements. The best part is on a general note anime is not as time-consuming as people relatively think.
The anime nowadays runs a full length of 21 to 22 minutes per episode, which means you can do three episodes in an hour against watching a series episode that runs a length of 40 to 52 minutes; some find this time-saving.
They get to follow a story in short bits and can end up determining whether they want to continue following the anime after three episodes, which is just an hour.
For those that can’t wait for the next episode to come out as a video, there is Japanese manga which is their version of comics read in a different way that always stays ahead of the video releases.
It is not in whether or not one fancies anime; it is in the question that applies to everything else as well, what do you get from it? What value does it add to your life? Anime has come to stay in this part of the world and has brought so many people together in amazing ways – and that’s not a bad thing for a very disconnected world.
But like I said, assumptions do not help anyone – if you’re interested in getting into the world of anime, ask a friend. Let someone guide you – it is better than going off on your own in a bid to discover it.
You might find it quite disturbing if you chance on the wrong kind, for a lot do not know this – to every good side of things, there is the dark side, which you generally want no part. With greetings from our brethren in India, I say Namaste.