Anime is an art form that I have been exposed to quite recently. Although I personally love the medium and what it has to offer, it does have some facts that newcomers just need to know before trying it out. No, this isn’t a list of me trying to teach you all the important Japanese words, the history and origins of anime or even a class on Miyazaki films. Think of this as a warm up exercise before you start running or playing. Now, let us begin.
#4 – Anime is weird
I have come to love Anime as an art form and I do believe that more people should check it out. But that doesn’t change the fact that anime can be a bit weird at times. On some occasions, it has some really questionable content (like incest and gratuitous fanservice) and on other occasions, it has some really questionable characterizations (like moe and Tsundere, the meanings of which I will not bother talking about) and designs (such as what they do with the nose). When it really comes down to it, its ultimately a difference in cultures, so naturally there is a difference in art forms.
#3 – Anime is not always mature
Yeah….I said it. Anime is a medium that isn’t really as mature as many people make it out to be. Many fans will come and tell you how deep and thought provoking anime is as a medium. While there are certainly a good amount of anime that belong to that group (Cowboy Bebop, Baccano, Wolf Children, etc.), not all of them do. Some anime like Full Metal Panic, Redline, etc. are shows that are really entertaining and worthy of watching not for something deep, but more for their overall entertainment value. Sure, some of these anime do have dark moments and mature aspects to them, but they aren’t necessarily for adults. In fact, anime is far more suited towards teenagers most of the time. So, if you come across an anime that isn’t mature in its themes or storytelling, don’t be shocked.
#2 – Anime is different
Seeing that it is an art form from another country, it is only natural that you would find it different. Anime is not like American animation at all. In American animation, there is more focus on fluid animation rather than design, whereas Anime is the other way around. Not just in its animation, but anime is also different in the way it presents it story. Unlike most American cartoons, where they intend on making the rules of the world simple, Anime tends to make it more complex. Sometimes this method works (Bacanno and Death Note are good examples) and others where it doesn’t (like Soul Eater and Sword Art Online). Anime uses more exposition as well. While this is not necessary for all anime (Miyazaki’s movies are a good exception), it is certainly a predominant thing. Anyways, the point is that it is a completely different art form and it takes time getting used to it.
#1 – Find the right recommendations from the right reviewers
This is something that I would advise to any anime newcomer. You need to find the proper gateway and to do that, you need to find the right reviewers. Sure you can go and find lists on the net and stuff, but I prefer reviewer’s opinions because they give a better idea of the show you intend to watch. From my side, I would recommend checking out Youtube channels such as Glass Reflection and Gigguk. These guys give great reviews and the perfect recommendations, in my opinion. In fact, if you are someone who really wants to get into the medium and you are searching for a place to start, check out Glass Reflection’s 25-ish recommended anime, it is a great starting point.
As for me, I would personally recommend Cowboy Bebop and Baccano as great gateways to the medium.....but again, my tastes may completely differ from yours, so keep your eyes and ears open.
So that’s it for me guys. Thank you so much for reading. Do you agree with these points? Or do you want to add anything more? Feel free to comment below.