The Anime World is Vast and Diverse

FUJINSEI KEMPO
Achieving Enlightenment the Otaku Way
~Cross-shishou

Osu!  Greetings, shokun!  Cross-shishou here again for another set of Fujinsei Kempo lessons.  I assume that you’re all working hard since the last lesson “Have Anger Issues? Maybe You’re Just a Saiyan?”.  For all of my Saiyan students, I hope that the previous lesson helped you control your violent instincts and made you accept your status as citizens of Planet Earth.  Taming your wildness and accepting your “humanity” will help ease your journey in achieving enlightenment the Otaku Way.

For today’s lesson, I’ll be showing you a video containing stereotypical impressions regarding anime that most anime non-watchers have.  I have a lot of stuff that I want to say about this video, but what I want you to learn from today’s lesson is that the anime world is like the world that we live in.  It is vast and diverse.  Generalizing anime into just a few characteristics is like saying that the world consists only of Asia or North America, which is very narrow-minded.  So are you ready for today’s lesson?  Let’s begin.  Osu!


The Anime World is Vast and Diverse

Before we start, I want you to watch the video below titled “Americans Watch Anime For the First Time” by BuzzFeed.


Uploaded by:  BuzzFeedVideo

Finished watching?  Good.  Let’s start.  First of all. . .

not cartoon-its freaking anime

Remember that!  You’re not an otaku, if you don’t know that.

Second of all, I’m offended for the anime industry at the comment:

“I don’t think it’s all porn, but probably a lot of it is, right?”

I can just imagine how this person developed her impression about anime.  It’s like experiencing a soapland for the first time, and then concluding that all spa establishments in Japan include massaging you to orgasm.

The next comment is acceptable enough:  “mystical type story lines.”  It seems like most anime that are imported by other countries have this “mystical type story lines”, so it’s understandable that anime non-watchers will have this impression.  But as an otaku, you already know that this is not the case.  The spectrum of anime genre is as layered and as diverse as all the people on Earth.

Afterwards, these Buzz Feed people watch two anime:  Attack on Titan and Kill la Kill.  It’s quite entertaining to watch their reactions as they watch an episode each of these 2 anime.  I’m not going to criticize analyze their every comment because then this post would turn into a multi-volume book set.

Form your own opinions regarding this video, but let me just emphasize that these Buzz Feed people only watched one episode.  One episode is NOT enough to form an opinion worth caring for, especially if you’re saying that opinion to an anime fan.  Beware of doing that.  Angry Otaku are a scary bunch, you know.  They should have at least done what our fellow blogger from 3 Episode Test does–watch at least 3 episodes first.

At the end of the video, it seems that most of them have their impressions of anime changed, even for just a bit.  One of the comments, especially, is right on target.

“[Anime] seems like a big investment to get into.”

Damn right it is!  Remember this, my dear otaku students.  Anime is not just a simple form of entertainment.  It is a way of life.  As a person seeking to achieve enlightenment the Otaku Way, incorporating anime and manga into your daily life enriches not only your very being but also the universe around you.  Anime (and manga) is filled with life lessons that you can use to help you become the best person that you can be (the Otaku Way, of course).

As you may have noticed, I have a negative reaction about this Buzz Feed video.  It’s very disappointing, especially since Arria is a big fan of Buzz Feed videos.  But no matter.  Arria is a big fool because she continually suppresses the great Otaku inside of her (ME, Cross-shishou).

Just remember anime cannot be slotted into a single category.  That is the biggest mistake you can make as an Otaku.  As a Fujinsei Kempo student, you need to understand the diversity of anime.  Don’t make the mistakes the people in this video made.  If you value anime as much as you say you do, you must have an open mind.  Erase all of your impressions or expectations before you even watch an anime.  That is what the ignorant does.


This concludes today’s Fujinsei Kempo teachings.  Reflect on your own approach when it comes to watching anime.  Do you make the same mistakes as the people in the video?  If so, try to adjust your mindset.  But putting everything I taught you so far aside, the most important thing that you can do for yourself is to ENJOY the wonders of anime, manga, and all things Otaku.  Goodbye for now.  I’ll be back soon with new lessons on how to achieve enlightenment the Otaku Way.

Osu!

~Cross-shishou
Founder of Fujinsei Kempo


Disclaimer:  Study and follow the teachings of Fujinsei Kempo at your own risk.  Fujinsei and its main author Arria Cross accept no responsibility whatsoever for the content of this post, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided above.  Arria urges you to blame Cross-shishou for any issues you encounter while following Fujinsei Kempo teachings.  But Arria wants you to remember that Cross-shishou is a mere alter ego, someone without tangible form.  So if you want to blame someone, you might as well blame yourself.  You’ve been warned.


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26 thoughts on “The Anime World is Vast and Diverse”

  1. “Anime is not just a simple form of entertainment. It is a way of life.” For me a day can’t pass without at least an episode of anime. It’s the way I cope with stress and also the way I feed my spirit with beauty and concepts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I was personally fortunate with my initial viewing decisions when I started to explore anime. Because otherwise, I might have gotten the wrong impression. Though I often did a lot of google image searching, and plenty of article research before ever checking anything out.

    I first watched “Magic Knight Rayearth,” which, although it is a very juvenile series in its construction with all of its repetitive character dialogue and overly-encouraging mottos, it nonetheless was the perfect show to introduce me to the popular anime concept of the “Prophesized Savior” genre: where normal teenage characters come from another dimension to defend a fantasy land.

    I later picked up Case Closed (aka Detective Conan), one of my absolute favorite animes from back when (I’ve always been a fan of crime shows). And then I picked up on what is perhaps my favorite anime franchise ever, Slayers: most especially the Slayers movies and OVAs.

    And as I continued on, I picked up Gate Keepers: my first modern-day sci-fi action series. Fooly Cooly: my first absurd anime. Cowboy Bebop: my first truly sci-fi outer-space anime. And Dirty Pair FLASH: my first so-called adult-ish action anime, with a fair amount of fan-service sprinkled throughout.

    So in my specific experience, I pretty much explored the whole gambit of genres one-by-one, which gave me a great over-view about what the rest of the anime world could be like. And it has thankfully kept me exploring more of it ever since. Some of my most favorite shows are now animes. And even my favorite movie of all time is “The Castle of Cagliostro.”

    I think if people were only willing to invest some time into researching their viewing decisions before jumping right in, maybe they might be able to sift through the crap and the clichéd garbage to actually find the good stuff. And then they wouldn’t be so quick to judge and dismiss anime so unfairly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I watched Magic Knight Rayearth when I was a still just a little girl, and I remembered being enthralled with all of those giant robots being controlled by these girls. I think I liked it even more than Sailor Moon. I don’t remember much about it anymore, but it still left a strong, positive impression on me.

      Good anime choices, based on the titles you included in your comment. Yes, I agree that you’re quite fortunate to get introduced in the anime world by watching titles that suited your tastes. Unlike in the Buzzfeed video where they showed this “Kill la Kill” anime with all those scantily-clad, huge-breasted female anime characters. It’s just one of those series that’s waiting to be criticized by newbies. Even for more “experienced” anime fans, I think that it also takes some time before we get used to these kind of ecchi scenes. Well, that’s what I think, anyway.

      And yes, you have a good point there. If people were just willing to take some time to research anime, they’d eventually discover a title that’d suit their taste and enjoy watching firsthand.

      Thanks again for another insightful comment. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I appreciate it when articles and posts are made about this subject, because it is something that I desperately wish that I could give a TED talk on, or something to that effect. As I think the only way that these misconceptions are going to get cleared up is if well-spoken otaku, or even just animation fans, can show others why they are not true.

    A lack of respect or understanding towards Japanese anime almost always stems from a lack of respect or understanding towards Animation in general.

    When people close their minds off to the idea that animation can be dark, gritty, serious, profound, tear-jerking, or just plain “mature,” it irks me so hard I feel like I’m getting punched in the stomach.

    One movie is not like all other movies. One food-stuff is not like all other food. One country is not like all other countries. These things should be obvious.

    So therefore, why is it fair to say that all animation must be like all other animation? Or that “cartoons” are only made for children? I’m sure plenty of parents have made the poor mistake of passively allowing their kids to watch an animated show or film, never once thinking to research the title first, when it turns out to actually be something like “Fooly Cooly” or “Paprika.” Perfectly sound and very interesting titles for when you’re a seasoned teen or adult, but just as with mature content on TNT, SPIKE, USA, or HBO, it’s not entirely fit for kids; and plenty of it they likely won’t understand anyway.

    Animation of all kinds deserves to be heard, it deserves to be understood, and it deserves to be respected on an individual basis and as a whole. In the case of anime, it just happens to be our main import for foreign animated productions, which has caused it to both become an enormous sub-culture of fandom and geekdom in the US, but also a prime receiver of unfair labeling and insulting generalizations.

    I can somewhat understand the misconception that the majority of anime is porn, because at face value, anime porn can look almost indistinguishable from non-porn when nothing sexual is occurring. And with so many fan-service heavy and ecchi titles being brought over to the states, it’s conceivable that anyone could develop the misconception that a large majority of anime is porn related, if not simply heavy on the T&A. But just giving that conception a little more thought dashes the notion immediately.

    You can’t build an entire animation industry on porn alone. You have to make productions that are suitable and accessible to all ages and walks of life. You have to have the shows for pre-schoolers, you have to have the shows for the pre-teens, the shonen shows for tween boys, the shojo shows for young girls, you have to have the gritty serious dramas and the cop shows for the older teens and semi-adults, and you have to have the quieter more low-risk titles for the much older and less thrill-seeking viewers.

    It’s the same everywhere else, with all other television and movie industries. So why can’t it also be true in Japan? We might not tend to make nearly as many animated series for all ages, but that’s because our culture says that animation is primarily for kids. A few shows break through that mold and become favorites of all ages (Family Guy, King of the Hill, Futurama, Regular Show), but most do not. Sitcoms and Dramas are in far greater abundance, and live-action is a far bigger industry in the US because we value actor’s faces far more than their voices. Animation in Japan is also built on a different discipline and a different approach to production, which results in a far greater volume of animated tv shows and films than we could possibly produce.

    Bottom line, you cannot fully judge something simply by the few outliers that you see. To truly understand anything, you must be willing to learn what it is, to research it, maybe even to experience it, and to give it more time than a single half-hour of your time.

    And I completely agree that anyone attempting to try an anime for the first time should give it at least 3 episodes. Or in the case of something like “Soul Eater,” better make it four. Because I didn’t get fully invested in that show until the first actual story-driven episode began: which occurred after the first three episodes, which introduced us to each of the Meister and Weapon teams.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for your insightful comment. This is one of my intentions for writing a post about this video: to urge people who appreciate anime like us to think more critically about the misconceptions newbies have regarding anime. Of course, I also wanted to share my outrage at these misconceptions; but just like you said in your comment, one of the most effective ways to clear out these misconceptions is to have a well-spoken otaku present the facts about anime. I’m not talking about myself, but at least I did my share in posting this video and I’m very pleased with the response, including yours.

      I would appreciate it very much, and I’m sure that others will, too, if someone will clear these misconceptions to the general public. But honestly? I don’t really care that much. Well, I CARE, but not to the degree that I would want everyone to accept anime. I couldn’t care less if people don’t think much of anime. Just don’t disrespect and belittle it to the point that it makes me want to punch their faces. I feel offended, but I also accept that people have different tastes. However, like you and many anime fans, it makes me sick when people have these negative preconceptions about anime without really knowing all the facts. They talk like they’re these know-it-alls, generalizing anime to be only for children or for perverted adults, when they haven’t even watched 3 seconds of any anime episode.

      And besides, one of the Buzzfeed people in the video got it right when she said that anime seems like such a big investment to get into. It would be so cool if people are all open-minded and willing to understand about the complexities and range of anime genre, but the truth is, there are only very few who are willing to invest their time on anime. I’m just glad that we’re included in the people who make these investments.

      Anyway, thanks again. I appreciate your thoughtful comment. And if you ever do a TED talk about anime, I would love to know about it. Keep on watching anime. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Whoa, thanks so much for sharing this video. Some of the viewers were clearly more closed-minded going in, determined to resist enjoying what they saw. But the open-minded ones were so fun to watch! I love when you can surprise the uninitiated with something that totally blows their expectations out of the water.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right. I really like the last one who said that maybe she’s going to watch the next episode of “Attack on Titan” because it just went beyond her initial impressions. But like the other commenters, I agree that “Kill la Kill” was a poor choice to show to these newbies. With all those boobs and barely-there costumes, “Kill la Kill” is just waiting to be criticized by the uninitiated in anime.

      Like

      1. I think the criteria behind this pick were literally violence and sex -in this case erotic content. Which, let’s be honest, is what appeals to the lowest common denominator. These titles also showcase briefly what anime are capable of, ie. the seriousness and craziness they can delve into and these characteristics shatter the image of “cartoons are for kids”.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think you’re right. Well, this is Buzzfeed and they mostly concentrate on providing entertaining videos. So yeah, I think that they chose these anime mainly because of the violence and ecchi content, to provide the maximum entertainment from the reactions of the anime newbies. Oh well. It’s offensive for anime fans, but I admit that it’s an entertaining video for anime non-watchers who don’t know a fig about anime.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sure we’ve all met people like this. Despite Western animation getting more into the teenage and young adult market, anime is often seen as either for little kids or for perverted adults. It’s kind of unique, since if a person was to say, “I’m into reading,” they could mean anything from Peanuts to War and Peace, but most people would just think of typical novel-sized books. But anime (and, to an extent, manga) as a hobby is believed by many as the person is into one of the two extremes.
    Fortunately, we fans have made some progress. I remember back in high school, almost all manga was stocked in the children’s section in the bookstore. I was buying Sailor Moon years ago and got spotted by an English teacher. He didn’t understand why a gifted student like me was buying a children’s series. Now, more sophisticated titles are getting attention (and anime and manga often have their own section. Even some Western books and television series are taking cues from anime and manga. There’s still a ways to go, as evidenced here, but yay for some progress.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed, that’s why anime fans like us get offended when anime is called “cartoon.” Non-watchers of anime just don’t understand it, and they rely on their misinformed impressions that anime/manga, like you said, are either for children only or for perverted adults.

      And I understand what you mean about people acting so surprised and bewildered when they see a “gifted student” picking up anime/manga. Indeed, when I was younger, I hid my passion from everyone else but then I got tired of it and decided to be just proud of loving anime and manga. So what if others don’t understand my passion, right? Anyway, thanks for your insightful comment. Cheers!

      Like

      1. It doesn’t make sense to think that people who enjoy anime are weird. It’s like saying you are weird if don’t watch Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, or any other mainstream show (these are the only examples I could think of). People should be more open and stop judging a book by its cover.

        Like

      2. That’s right, but it’s difficult to remove the preconceptions of other people, so we can either ignore them or correct them. I’m tired of correcting, so I just ignore. I understand that people have different tastes and not everyone will like anime as much as we do, but just like you said it’s unfair when people think we’re weird just because we like anime and they don’t. I’m especially irritated at those who spout these judgments without doing their research firsthand.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. First of all thanks for this nice post ^^

    I’m gonna be blunt here, I didn’t really like their anime choices..

    I mean I like that they chose Attack on Titans but I don’t think they should’ve shown Kill La Kill to ppl who do not know much about anime especially that most westerns look at Japanese anime as a perverted and sex based cartoons.

    I think they should let ppl new to anime to watch super bloody exciting anime like Attack on Titans, Tokyo Ghoul, Fate Zero.. etc.

    But if they wanted to show them something a little low key than those then they got the big names like Naruto, One Piece, Fairy Tail, Bleach.. Maybe go with Death Note or Noragami at least.

    However, if they are looking to give them something cute and funny then they could’ve shown them K-ON, Nichijou, Tamako Market…

    But never ever EVER show them half-naked girls and expect them to understand what anime is really about.

    I think Kill La Kill was -with all due respect- a poor choice to show to newbies…

    That’s my personal opinion ^^

    Oh and one more thing, I know they are new to anime but I hated their reactions to the word “Japanese anime”.
    As a huge anime fan… I hate it when ppl look down on Japanese Manga & Anime and belittle it just coz they don’t understand it.

    I mean seriously, comparing anime to sponge bob is a slap in the face.. or maybe even a kick on the face hahaha.

    again .. that’s my personal opinion and I do not mean to offend anyone 😄
    thx again ❤

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Totally agree with everything you just said. Showing non-otaku Kill la Kill is like asking people to get the wrong impression; of course they’re not going to get it. And seriously, so many other better options for a first impression!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. You’re welcome. I felt offended as an anime fan when I first watch this, and I just had to share it with fellow anime fans.

      Indeed. I don’t agree with their “Kill la Kill” choice because, just like you said, it’s a poor choice to show newbies. It’s just waiting to be criticized by them.

      I’m curious to see what their reactions would be if they were shown the other popular anime like OP, Death Note, etc. But I get the feeling that if they spew some negative stuff about ONE PIECE, I would go ballistic since it’s my favourite series.

      Anyway, I have the same opinion as yours so don’t worry too much. I also hated their reactions at the world “Japanese anime”, but oh well. They don’t really know what it’s about. I, too, was incensed when they compared it to Spongebob, but for the sake of keeping this blog friendly to most ages, I decided not to include my opinion at the part because I’m sure that I would’ve said some pretty obscene words.

      Well, you haven’t offended me, but we’re definitely offended by the video. But if you think about it, perhaps they’re just over-reacting a tad bit since this is for a “show”. But I’m not sure. Perhaps that’s what they really felt while watching. Oh well. Anyway, thanks for sharing your opinion and for dropping by here. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Personally, I don’t care for the reaction of ppl who obviously do not want to watch anime and do not appreciate it.
        Anime and Manga are in my opinion art and I think it’s cruel of them to look down on the hard work of mangakas or anime studios.
        I mean, who cares if they became interested in it or not.. it’s their loss hahahaha 😄

        a while back I saw a post of ppl mocking a guy’s room coz it’s full of anime and manga stuff like figurines, posters and so on. However, they admire another guy’s room coz it’s full of sports stuff like jerseys and posters and so on. I think it’s stupid and mean and I really don’t see the difference between both rooms ..
        I mean they both are filled with things the owner’s of those rooms love. So, why is it wrong for the anime guy but so cool for the sports guy !!!?
        I don’t get it and I really don’t care enough to know their reasons hahaha.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know, right? I also couldn’t care less if people like anime or not. I understand that people have different tastes. What I can’t stomach are those people who act like these know-it-alls, spouting all of these nonsense about anime being only for children or for perverted adults. I’m like, get your facts first, people, before you make all of these generalizations.

        Well, that’s just so sad. Those people who are mocking the guy with a room filled with anime and manga are idiots. They don’t understand a thing about the complexities of anime and manga, and they just go with their misinformed misconceptions that anime/manga is uncool and dorky. Ugh, makes my blood boil.

        But anyway, thanks for dropping by and sharing your opinion in this matter. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

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