Anime, the Japanese form of animation, is no longer an unknown word. Despite its popularity around the world, many people have only a vague understanding of the term. One of the most common misconceptions people have about anime is that it’s only for kids.
I was one of the majority who had a very limited understanding of the medium, until I really discovered anime. Since then, there has been no turning back.
Contrary to popular belief, anime is not a genre of entertainment but rather a medium that includes shows and movies of drama, comedy, sci-fi, romance and much more. It’s so diverse in how each show/movie tells its story, portrays its characters, creates entire worlds, and designs new species and landscapes.
Those who don’t have a good understanding of the word can argue that anime is for kids only. However, keeping such a closed mind will only prevent people from enjoying what is arguably the golden age of animation. Different anime cater to different age groups and all of them can be cherished regardless of your age. These are just some of the things that make anime so special.
Also, contrary to popular belief, anime is not an abbreviated form of “animation”, but rather the Japanese translation of “cartoon”. Therefore, in Japan, anime refers to any form of cartoon, regardless of origin, genre, or type. However, outside of the country, anime usually refers to animation that originated in Japan.
Anime in the West
Although it’s been around since the 1950s, anime really took a leap forward in the West towards the end of the 20th century. Releases like “Akira” (1988), “Princess Mononoke” (1997), “Dragon Ball” (1989-1996), “Sailor Moon” (1992-1997), among others, helped popularize the anime in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. .
The animation styles and themes of these shows/movies went on to influence many shows over the following years, such as “Batman Beyond”, “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, “Voltron: Legendary Defender”, and the “Boondocks”. ”. And at the start of the 21st century, anime has established itself as one of the most popular mediums in the world.
The themes explored in it relate to a wide range of audiences, which makes it all the more watchable. Each scene evokes several emotions due to your investment in the shows. An action scene will have you jumping off the couch while the loss of a character will leave you in tears.
anime in india
Indian youth growing up in the 2000s would be quite used to anime, thanks to popular shows like ‘Crayon Shin-chan’ and Doraemon’. Because the cartoon-like shenanigans displayed childish behavior, many mistakenly thought these shows were cartoons. Actually, both of these shows are anime that have been dubbed into Hindi.
So how did these shows become popular here? Both shows made their way to Indian screens due to the fact that many national channels then did not want to invest in new Indian anime shows nor did they have the funds to buy the rights distribution of American cartoons. Therefore, they bought the rights to reruns of those shows that aired in Japan in the 90s and dubbed them. Shin-chan and Doraemon slowly became household names and icons for children all over India due to the weird and goofy situations the characters would find themselves in in an average episode.
“Dragon Ball” and its successor “Dragon Ball Z”, were also two series that were very popular with Indian audiences in the early 2000s. The story of Son Goku and his quest to become stronger probably influenced children all over the country. . His endless determination and aversion to backing down, as well as his constant need to improve himself, was a constant source of entertainment and probably caused many children to shout the series’ catchphrase “KAMEHAMEHA” as they gestured. with their hands in their homes.
Although anime was never foreign to India, its fanbase only started growing exponentially after the pandemic hit in 2020. Better internet accessibility and free availability of anime are said to have contributed to the growth of the industry in India. During confinement, it became a way to escape boredom. Each show or movie was different and their genres and settings varied from a show about ninjas to pirates to a sad romance to a light comedy about a samurai and much more. The plethora of options available ensures there is something for everyone and even those with the most specialized interests will have a show just for them.
There are generally two ways to watch anime – either with a subtitle or with a dub. Sub means watching original Japanese versions of shows with subtitles in the language you prefer, while dub means watching a version that dubs the original audio with your language’s audio, eliminating the need for subtitles. securities. These two options ensure that no one misses anything due to a language barrier. The dubbed versions, which some say are slightly inferior to the subtitles due to the lack of the original audio, open the door for people who didn’t want to try the anime due to their stigma regarding the difference in language.
After the pandemic, shows like “Naruto”, “Attack on Titan”, “One Punch-Man” and “Jujutsu Kaisen” among others have become very popular and India is becoming one of the most major anime markets in the world. The anime’s rise in popularity has also reportedly led to an increase in interest in Japan, with many fans expressing their desire to visit the country.
For anyone willing to shrug off the stigmas and popular myths regarding the medium, anime will open the door to a whole universe of entertainment, one that we can’t even begin to comprehend.
Some popular shows for anime beginners
‘Death threat’: Probably the most popular show for newcomers, the story revolves around a bright, bored high school student named Yagami Light whose life changes after he comes into possession of a book allowing him to kill anyone, by writing his name. What follows is a crazy cat-and-mouse story, which raises questions about good and evil and the idea of playing god.
‘Naruto’: This coming-of-age story of a young orphan ninja, whose dream is to become the Hokage (leader) of his village, is a very popular show due to its colorful characters, mystical world of ninjas and especially the story of the underdog at the heart of it all.
“One-Punch Man”: The name literally reveals the plot of the whole series as it is about a man who can defeat anyone with just one punch. While it may sound silly, One Punch Man’s lighthearted and quirky approach to the superhero genre along with the brilliance of lead character Saitama (who has an existential crisis due to his strength) have made the series beloved by all. .
‘The attack of the Titans’: With one of the best storylines in the history of fiction across any genre, “Attack on Titan” transformed a simple story about battling great monsters into a masterpiece about politics, racism, religion and much more. It is widely regarded as one of the best-crafted television shows due to its complex storyline.
‘Haikyu!’: A show about volleyball may not seem so interesting, but “Haikyuu” managed to capture the hearts of anime fans all over the world. The high-stakes intensity of the matches, the humor, and the relatable nature of the plot and characters are what make “Haikyuu” such a fun watch.