Even as a kid, I’ve always loved good stories and wonderful writing. Whether it is a novel, an autobiography, or a TV show, a good story is a good story regardless of the medium through which it is told. Before I started watching anime a couple of years ago, I’ve always enjoyed regular animated movies with my kids. I would download a whole bunch of animated movies for them but end up watching every single one before they do. And of course, I’m a keen follower of whatever Marvel and DC Comics release on the big screen.
Although I did watch cartoons on the TV as a kid, the only anime I could remember coming across was Pokemon. I remember Squirtle being my favorite Pokemon back then, and I still believe it’s the coolest Pokemon ever. I never watched Dragon Ballz, but I knew of its existence.
Even though I would sit my old butt down and watch animated movies like Frozen, I still had this misconception that anime was strictly for kids. I was dead wrong. Unless you have a thing for animes without concrete storylines targeted at horny teenagers and depicting little schoolgirls in skimpy clothes, I see nothing wrong with an adult watching these shows. Maybe there isn’t anything wrong with an adult watching these too, but I personally don’t find them interesting.
Besides, an anime is simply an animated movie from Japan!
Getting started with Naruto
Fast-forward to 2020 at the age of 34, I decided to watch one of the most hyped anime shows of all time, Naruto. It started out as nothing but curiosity, but a few episodes into the story, it became a daily routine. I found myself watching Naruto at every chance I got. I was able to complete the first part of the story on Netflix but was disappointed when I realized the rest 500 episodes were missing from the platform.
When I began, I had no idea how much I would enjoy it. The story and different arcs completely changed how I saw anime. I didn’t know anime explore things like philosophical ideas. While most mainstream movies are usually about good guys vs bad guys, animes like Naruto explore the backstories of supposed bad guys who were actually misled or had different thoughts on how to fix a broken world.
For instance, Pain’s speech in Naruto Shippuden’s episode 165 remains one of the most intense speeches I’ve heard on TV. While people still think animes are for kids, a villain explaining the cycle of hatred and its effect on the world isn’t a philosophical view a kid would give much thought to.
I’m just surprised it took me over 30 years to discover and appreciate this genre of TV shows.
Moving on with Death Note
Death Note is a very dark contrast to Naruto in every single way. With its modern setting and the main character’s take on social justice, Death Note is a depiction of what happens when a single person has so much power in their hands. The intellectual flex between Light Yagami and L was a very compelling narrative to see.
Although it is an interesting anime, a major event in episode 25 got me rather emotional. Yes, I admit that an anime story got me mad.
The silliness of One Punch Man is enjoyable
I randomly came across One Punch Man while looking for recommendations. Reading the synopsis might give the impression that it would be a boring story. I mean, it’s about a random guy who became an overpowered superhero taking down bad guys with a single punch. No serious fights, no fancy moves, just a single punch and the fight is over.
Even Saitama, the One Punch Man, became bored of his extremely short fights and started looking for a worthy opponent to challenge him. One Punch Man definitely ranks high on the list of the funniest and most entertaining anime shows ever. Sadly, there are only two seasons and the story isn’t yet complete. For the curious ones, the manga has more to offer.
Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer, and modern animes
With better technology, cleaner animations, and improved voice acting, modern anime shows are sure getting better. With shows like Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer, Jujutsu Kaisen, Dr. Stone, and many others available on platforms like Crunchyroll and Netflix, there is an endless stream of anime to choose from. And yes, these are pretty interesting and worth your time.
Still thinking anime is for kids?
If you have the time to sit through blockbuster superhero movies with a lot of powerful dudes beating up monsters depicted in CGI animations and saving the universe, I don’t think I have to convince you to watch anime shows. However, it should be mentioned that there are several sub-genres in anime and some of these are targeted at a younger audience. If you are just getting into anime, a good place to start is to check out the few ones listed in the article. There are also several articles on the internet listing top anime series to watch for beginners.
Regardless of how you see it or what you think, anime is not strictly for kids and nothing is weird with an adult enjoying it. Life is too short not to enjoy some good story just because of the platform through with its being told.