Good ol Kai from Deluscar got a project running around the anime blogosphere and since I’m pretty oblivious to what’s going on around the local scene, I figured this would be a good way back into the community.
So as the title suggests, the topic this time around is a simple but deep question on Why do we watch anime?
Anime has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. I’m pretty young compared to the other anime bloggers so I don’t share “too” much history with anime as much as they do. Adding experience into that, I’m not the most eloquent writer either. If I can say anything though, anime and manga have been a crucial part of my developmental years and has made me into the person I am today. Whether or not that’s a good thing from your perspective, I might as well try to prove myself up to that statement.
Let’s get the most simple reason out of the way first: Anime is my primary source of entertainment. It brings us to both the improbable and impossible to our front steps and that alone is a great reason to watch it. There are not too many relatable things present in Western media with all its celebrities, sport stars, reality tv shows, and all that other crap. Anime is the entertainment medium that has something to offer for everyone: anything ranging from the simple reason of seeing pretty girls, to the intricate fight sequences, or the beautiful thematics and plotline. It’s practically got everything you can imagine.
The “fundamental” reason why I watch anime is because of the sense of escapism I get from it. Real life, admittedly, is a bother especially when you’re still student in any sort of institution. Anime to me is where I can drop my “student” ID and escape into a bizarre world filled with wonders. Consider it a “20 minute vacation” from anything going on in the real world. Anime brings out the “what if” question about life a lot and seeing all the different enviroments and worlds is something anime is really good at expressing. That’s not to say that all anime are completely fantastical, having a sense of realism can relate us back into the real world. While the realism element might be the exact thing I’m trying to “escape” from, relating yourself to the characters might help out in the real life as well.
That’s where another factor comes in. While I can name a few cartoon and real-life drama characters off my head, none of them rarely makes me think twice about how complex they are. Anime has probably provided the most amount of inspirational characters that influenced my life. Examples of such characters include Harima from School Rumble, Onizuka from GTO, Sugisaki from Seitokai, Iskandar from Fate Zero, and the list goes on. We can clearly see and feel the experiences the character’s feel, we get to know their thoughts and characters. While one of the main “nitpicks” I have against anime, when I’m trying to introduce it to a highly western crowd, is the amount of internal monologue they have. This works like a double edged sword for me. On one point, it helps me relate to the character a lot, it shows me what they feel at that exact moment and once again puts me in their shoes(plus it usually ends up being comedic). On the flipside, it might seem very silly for any western viewer watching anime for the first time. On the small subtopic of West vs East, I can easily vouch for anime being the more “thought provoking” medium of entertainment. Of course, a large amount of anime nowadays don’t require heavy thematics and rhetoric to comprehend but one can’t deny there’s usually a hidden gem or two each season.
So as we get to know the characters, we get walk in their footsteps. We can place ourselves into a given universe. The sense of immersion becomes a humongous factor when it comes to familiarizing yourself to a certain anime. Me and my brother are HUUUGE cases of this “immersive” experience. If I’m introduced to a new game or series, I will probably spend at least a week learning everything I can about….everything there’s to know about a given topic. Examples of that being me stuffing my head full of Warhammer 40k during middle school, learning about the Metal Gear series and it’s convoluted plotline, extensive (to a fault) info on the Big 3 (Naruto, One Piece, Bleach), and recently Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (with it’s ungodly amount of characters and stands). Immersion for me, is a large factor for enjoying something.
While I’ve covered my “philosophical” points I might as well get this out here
One of the main reasons I wanted to make this site in the first place was because…well I wanted a videogame review site but my income was (and still is) fairly low so anime became the next choice. I thought that if I had my friends work together with me, it would have enhanced the experience. While my lazy-ass friends stuck around for around a month, the site basically broke apart and here I am 2 years later. The original 4 members (including me) were all good school friends and I personally started to drift apart from them after my change in schools. Although my plans for a wonderous community died in my hands, it was anime that brought back one lazy-asshole back to the site (thanks Light) and subsequently Light is the person I keep in contact the most actively compared to the other two guys. Anime has, basically, kept my friendship intact. While he’s still a lazy asshole, his friendship still means a lot to me. (plus, 99% of the guys in my current place watch/know anime, so yeah, more escapism for me to do)
Anime for me has evolved into a more…complicated part of my life than it was years ago. Anime’s quality has changed through the years, but the fundamental essence is still there and it remains a huge part of my life today…I couldn’t possibly imagine what I would be without it.
17 thoughts on “hippiefreak’s Simplistic Philosophy on Watching Anime”
I’m not the most eloquent writer either, which I’m still working on, but that’s a discussion for another time xD
Anime always had been quite a diverse media, compared to other typical Western medias. It can be as sweet as moe, or it can be as hellishly violent as it can be, and because it’s anime, the limits to how extreme it wants to be is limitless, compared to real shows. Escapism is quite the fundamental basis behind every anime watcher indeed, the worlds created by anime tend to create that sense of magic that no other media could replicate. Characters had always been the ones who drive a show, and indeed, another thing anime did that no other media (from what I had experienced) wasn’t able to do, is creating that immense depth in their characters. Immersion into anime universe had always been a pleasure, and I can only imagine what the feeling would be when we can “literally” immerse ourselves into MMO worlds, like .hack or Sword Art Online.
Nice to see how your blog came about too, lol. Team blog is definitely difficult to manage but they do have their pros too. Games are indeed expensive, especially the new ones, though they are still easily affordable during the PS2 era..
It’s been a while since I got writing stuff like this
Thanks for the comment and the cool project Kai 🙂
So I read your carnival entry here. Good stuff brother, brother..OH, BROOOOTHER!
While anime wasn’t the greatest influence in my journey to becoming an Overlord, I cannot deny that it helped get a promotion. In all honesty, the first world I truly dove into and wanted to become a part of was Mouretsu Pirates. That world kicks so much booty patooty.
Ah, that’s why I only limited myself to announcements concerning games I care about and occasional video game reviews. It’s too much of a hassle to make a legit gaming site. Besides, there are as many gaming sites out there as there anime blogs. It’s best to stick to anime until you feel you’re ready to step up to talking about games full time.
As for making a team blog…meh, I’m currently doing just fine on my own. However, if you truly feel you need help posting more stuff, you could find someone who has similar tastes as yourself dood. That reminds me. What happened to that other guy who is also part of Animetree?
The world I would love to be a part of would be Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure…although I’m not too keen about the rule that a lot of side-characters and main characters end up dying
Same here, in terms of games, I got nothing big I’m looking foward to at the moment. Except for Fate Extra CCC
Light’s still around, he just doesn’t do anything except comment on a few things once in a while
I can relate to the sense of community. As I entered the world of anime, I wanted to discuss and even write about it myself. Anime gave me a community were there are so many opinions. So many styles and genres to explore, that it as you mentioned, gives such a great way of escapism that isn;t experienced in live action series that often. I think also what enhances the escapism is indeed that possibility to do everything in an anime. Everything is possible, and for each their own genre.
It’s interesting to read someone else’s view on the world of anime. Good post.
While I would reply with something more elaborate, I can’t help but to say: thank you and thank you for visiting/commenting
Haha, thanks for replying to my comment:p
It’s always nice to have a reaction to something you said
That’s why I’m always happy to get comments 😀
Planet Jojo’s too weird for me to be a part of. The show’s good, don’t get me wrong. Actually, I never was interested in entering a Shounen Action world.
I actually have many games I’m looking forward to…cash to buy them on the other hand…
There’s only a handful of shounens I would be in, Jojo being like 1 out of 6
I’m saving up cash for an anime convention lol, helps that I have nothing that I want to buy
There are no cons where I’m from so I might as well buy other cool stuff.
I think it’s interesting that you bring up the notion of anime giving you inspirational characters in a way that other mediums do not. I find myself in a similar boat, although I can list quite a few characters from books that rival and even surpass those of anime. A big reason for this is another aspect you bring up: inner monologues. If any other type of live action attempted to pull of the amount of inner monologues that anime does, it would feel very out of place and poorly directed. Yet it somehow works for anime in most cases. I do, however, hate voice overs in almost every case, be it in anime or live action; it just feels like a lazy way of explaining something instead of showing it.
First off, thanks for visiting/commenting Marina, I rarely see you here
I guess I could have mentioned a few literature characters here and there (one of my favorites being Sydney Carton from the classic Tale of Two Cities) but since this post catered to anime, it didn’t feel “too” right mentioning them.
Yeah, I showed one of Fate/Zero’s fight scenes to some of my friends oblivious to anime and the only thing they had against it was the inner monologue.
By voice overs, do you mean dubs? Cause I actually have a very small list with good dubs
No, when I say voice overs, I mean those scenes where the character’s voice narrates what’s going on, like history/backstory, instead of showing it to us through actual scenes or dialogue.
And I do have a good reason for not being around much! I just moved and have yet to get my own internet connection >.< I'm having to leech off of whatever free wifi I can find.
Some good examples of my own for characters who have inspired me include Balsa of Seirei no Moribito, Erin from Kemono no Souja Erin, and Juuni Kokuki's Youko.