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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.
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.
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.
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