Why Is It People Ask Me To Justify Watching Anime?


A random question I asked back when I first started the blog:

Why do you watch anime?

I often wonder why this question ever even gets asked and why people felt you needed to justify watching anime. Its like walking up to someone standing on a football field in their uniform and carrying the ball and asking why they play football. Clearly they get something from it. Even if you don’t get what that thing is. And yet this question comes up over and over again.

Maeda doesn't need you to justify watching anime.

Why do you watch that?

You watch anime? How come?

Why would you watch that?

Go on, justify watching anime. Then justify watching anything else.

It occurred to me that the majority of the askers have no idea that anime is not a genre in and of itself and they really haven’t been exposed to much beyond the biggest of anime titles. Now, instead of sighing when asked this, I see it as an opportunity to educate. I ask the asker what their favourite movie/TV show/book is and then I list at least three anime titles that I feel they might probably find enjoyable. Sometimes I even convince them to give one of them ago. A much more satisfying exchange.

But how do others deal with this question?

Turning to everybody’s favourite corporate friend I decided to see what the internet had to say:

google search why do you watch anime
lots of people trying to justify watching anime

Good to know that anime beat out tv, movies and  Game of Thrones and that somehow people feel more need to justify watching anime then anything else on TV (or maybe that’s just google knowing me and what I search for). And of course the inevitable posts that come up when you run this search are ‘ten reasons you should be watching anime’ and various forums and discussion boards where people have asked this question.

Interestingly, when you change the search to why do you watch football, about midway down the first page you get news articles explaining what happens to your body and your brain when you watch sport. I can assure you, no news articles came up when trying to figure out why people watched anime. I’m assuming that’s because more people watch sport, but it is interesting that there aren’t any fan blogs in the first searches of this one giving ten reasons your should start watching football. It is kind of just assumed that the majority of people already do.

Fruits Basket Final Ep6 2

Reddit of course weighed in:

reddit 2

I’m going to be honest, back when I first published this post in 2016, I did try to get involved in discussions on Reddit but I more or less decided it was pointless. People just kind of throw their opinion out there but there’s no back and forth or exchange and the majority of threads seem to end up falling into the same patterns and comments as every other one so it just never really engaged me. I honestly don’t even remember what my sign in is anymore.

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Lastly, after dodging a large range of shots of girls in vaguely compromising positions, I came across this image that I think sums up a lot of the frustration anime lovers have when confronted with someone who still thinks Pokemon defines the medium.


It isn’t as though I actually get annoyed at people who think anime is for kids. Particularly if they’ve only been exposed to anime on free-to-air TV in Australia. However, it does get annoying when you explain about other types of anime to someone and they still stubbornly cling to the idea cartoons are for kids, even when many western animations are no longer all necessarily for children.

My question this week: Either why you like anime or how you deal with this question when asked it, or why you think people still ask this question?

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James