Inquiring Minds Want To Know #13

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Question: After all these years watching and reviewing anime, how do you describe your journey? And what makes anime distinct from other mediums? From The Sudanese Otaku.

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Okay, so there are two parts to this question so I’ll take each one separately. First of all, how do I describe my journey? I don’t really think of it as a journey. I’ve always just loved stories and they’ve always been a part of my life. As a kid I watched things like Sailor Moon, Astro Boy, Samurai Pizza Cats (showing my age) and didn’t really get that these weren’t just like all the other cartoons or shows I was watching. I liked them more because the stories stayed with me a great deal longer than some of the other shows I watched, but I didn’t really get that it was anime.

Then as I became a teen and later an adult and started seeking out anime having been introduced to a handful of series, I started realising what a vast well of stories there were to discover. It was like I could just keep drawing up bucket loads of new things to watch and there was always more just waiting for me. Not all of them were good or interesting to me, but there was always more. And it wasn’t always easy to access them. It was sometimes a lot of work making sure something landed in the bucket before drawing it up.

However, now it is as though someone has installed a fountain in the well and anime are just continually gushing to the surface. Streaming services continue to improve access and there are more titles available than I could ever watch. Sometimes it is almost overwhelming. In fact, last year I threw out my extremely overly full anime to watch list and started over because there were just so many titles on it I didn’t even know where to start. Of course, less than a month later I was back in the same boat because I’d read a review of a show or a post that featured a title and be reminded that I still haven’t had a chance to watch it.

So while it isn’t really a journey, I have to admit, it is certainly fun getting lost amongst anime and just immersing myself.

As for the second part, I don’t know that anime is actually distinct from other mediums. I like that it covers so many different genres, and that many of the stories take risks and present ideas that might not ever be touched by American television. I also appreciate the standard format with episodes being just over twenty minutes. It feels like there is less time to waffle and drag things out which is an issue I find regularly in American shows these days. I find myself getting fidgety and bored as scenes take forever to get to a point.

Basically my love of anime comes from its range and the fact that there is always something new and different to try. It excites me and I feel engaged by it. So many good songs, great characters, weird plots and adventures to go on and even when it doesn’t work out, I don’t feel like I’ve wasted too much time on it.

The other thing I really love about anime (though this actually works for anything animated), is that I can watch more confronting material than I can handle when they are live action. There’s a distance between myself and the characters on the screen so regardless of how over the top it becomes I very rarely have that moment of wondering whether or not this is something that should be happening. Pretty much as long as it serves the story I can enjoy the event for what it is and consider it in the context of the narrative and the characters. Whereas, in live action, I might end up just feeling a little sickened by some events and can’t get the distance I need to consider why they may have chosen to present something the way they did. That isn’t actually something distinct for anime but it is a large part of why I enjoy stories that use this medium.

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Thanks for the question and now I’ll hand it over to the readers and how would you describe your journey? And what do you think makes anime distinct?


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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5 thoughts on “Inquiring Minds Want To Know #13

  1. I never really thought about it, but I agree with you that there’s a sense of distance between anime as oppose to live action. I could never watch the Saw movies, because seeing people getting tortured grosses me out. Horror is great, but torture porn isn’t really my thing. Yet I can watch death game animes and be okay with it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I kind of had a real life example of this the other day when I finished watching the first episode of Magical Girl Site which didn’t bother me that much. I could think about what was happening and consider whether or not there was a point, and I wasn’t overly disturbed by it.
      I went to talk the episode over with a friend who happened to be watching 10 Cloverfield Lane and it just happened to be near the end where things were going pretty badly and I had to turn away from the screen during a sequence and then cover my ears because John Goodman is too good at sounding like he is in pain. The scene in question was no where near as graphic as anything I had just watched, and yet I couldn’t watch it.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve come so far and yet… I started off with Sailor Moon, and here I am, all these years later, still waiting for more Sailor Moon. XD So, maybe it’s less of a journey and more running a large circle?

    Liked by 1 person

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