Anime: Why it Deserves a Second Look
All Opinions by Damion Wallace
November 7, 2016
Anime has been around just as long as American cartoons, but have only really been taking over America in the last few years. Anime in recent times has been skyrocketing in popularity all over our great nation, and becomes more accessible to Americans as time goes on. With its own category on Netflix and websites like Crunchyroll, which is like Netflix for anime and gains new subscribers every day, a cultural movement is taking America by storm. My personal favorite animes are Gurren Lagann, Kill La Kill, Inuyasha, and Durarara. America and Japan have a lot of cultural differences, and although anime is called “weird” by most, I believe it is a beautiful form of art that deserves more appreciation.
There are many different types of animes, just like american television. There are animes based in reality like Welcome To N.H.K, and Hetalia: Axis Powers or shows about sports like Kuroko no Basuke, which is about basketball and The Prince of Tennis. Shows like Death Note, Psycho Pass, and Durarara are like supernatural crime dramas; Sword Art Online and Cowboy Bebop are Science Fiction; there are also great fantasy animes like Fullmetal Alchemist, Naruto, and Fairy Tale.
Amine always have the best openings, and there are many American movies inspired by Anime. Disney’s The Lion King is heavily inspired by Kimba The White Lion. Christopher Nolan even acknowledged the fact the his hit action movie Inception, was influenced by an anime called Paprika. Also, the movie The Matrix is very similar to Ghost In The Shell, which is a long running anime series with a dark dramatic tone, slow motion scenes, and action-heavy fight scene, just like The Matrix.
Anime isn’t a genre of cinema, but an art style. Although most anime are based on fiction, there are great non-fiction animes. Anime even has its own genres like “Harem” anime, which focuses on the idea of love triangles. Anime is primarily made in Japan and, unlike American cartoons, most are not made for children. They can feature violence, blood and gore, sex, and obscene language, but none of that should be a problem for the average high schooler. Anime is mostly directed towards men, but women like Waukee junior Kaylee Wurth and junior Libby Storts make an exception. Wurth’s favorite shows are Naruto and Sailor Moon, and Libby Storts also enjoys Naruto and Code Geass. “The art and the music; Sailor Moon has amazing animation!” says Wurth when asked which aspects of anime were her favorite. Wurth also really enjoys a neat story. “Naruto and Sasuke’s fight almost made me cry, Naruto is the best,” she shares. But her favorite character from Naruto is Sakura. “I appreciate that she loves Team 7 and wants them to reunite.” Wurth’s favorite weekend activity is laying in bed, turning on netflix and rewatching the Chunin Exam Arc. which is a part of the show where Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura must complete a life or death test in the “Forest of Death”, where only 10 squads out of 20 will pass.
Sheldon Fox, a senior and our current student council president, is a big anime fan! “It’s a lot different than anything we see in America, and I love me some waifus,” explains Fox. His favorite animes are Code Geass, Naruto, and also, Death Note.
“They all have great in-depth stories with characters with many different ideals and goals,” says Fox,“Anime has many different genres and millions of stories; you have to find the ones you like.”
Sheldon Fox’s all time favorite show is Code Geass, which focuses on the journey of Lelouch Vi Britannia, a former prince that has gained the power of Geass, which allows him to use mind control. He uses this power to overthrow the Holy Britannia Empire, which has conquered most of the world’s major continents. The animation is very average, but the story can grip a viewer until the very climactic ending.
If you appreciate good animation, most animes have teams of passionate animators that work day and night to create fantastic fluid drawings. Some of the best animes based on animation are Samurai Champloo, Gurren Lagann, Fate/Zero, and Attack on Titan
Anime never fails to entertain, and impress me. Animes that I would recommend for someone that have never watched anime are: Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, Sword Art Online, Death Note, Bleach, Soul Eater, Attack on Titan, and Cowboy Bebop. Some of those are available on Netflix. Waukee also has it’s own anime club that meets Thursdays at 7:30 AM. If standard western entertainment gets drab and boring, anime could always be a great alternative.