Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Prologue to "10 Things I Hate About Anime!"

What an intriguing title eh?

Alright so let me first clear the air here. I've been watching anime (Japanese animations) and reading manga (Japanese comics) for years and years. I first started watching anime back in elementary school back in the early to late 90's before anime had really become mainstream and established an identity over here in North America. Yeah, we had Dragonball and Sailor Moon, but people didn't really associate them with Japaneseness so much. At this point anime was generally regarded by most people as being just another kind of Saturday morning cartoon for the kiddies. And I, being a kiddy at the time would watch em! But what was interesting was that my best buddy had these older brothers who somehow managed to get their hands on VHS tapes of the more adult oriented stuff (yes, these were the days before file sharing, young’uns!), such as Akira, and Tank Police, and Ninja Scroll and uncensored Dragonball Z and all manner of obscure 90's anime. Well, suffice it to say, I had never seen anything like it!

I don't really know why I chose this pic... it's from GTO though! An anime that I really don't hate!

As a child it was my firm belief that cartoons were awesome, in English and for kids. But then suddenly I found myself watching these dark, gritty, subtitled, Japanese voiced cartoons with nudity and violence and all kinds of crazy stuff! At first I rejected it. As a young kid I didn’t really appreciate nudity or feminine wiles (and you didn’t either! ADMIT IT! No 6 year old boy really likes girls collectively!) but eventually I started getting into it. Fast forward to middle school and my appetite for anime was insatiable! I would watch anything I could get my hands on (even if it SUCKED). This insatiability lasted till about the end of high-school when my tastes became way more discriminating as my accessibility to anime increased manifold with the use of newsgroups and file sharing along with my access to live action East Asian TV and cinema. Why am I giving you all this exposition? Because I want to convey that, generally, I like anime and I have a lot of experience with it. I am not simply one of these outsiders who view the anime watching community with a sort of contempt or intense scrutiny. I have nothing wrong with anime itself or those who enjoy it, I even went through an “otaku” (look it up!) phase for much of middle and high school and I still watch anime to this very day. It’s just that as I've grown older I've come to find certain conventions in anime, extremely annoying! Hence this list... 

And so…

This is actually going be a two part post. Post 1 is 10 things I HATE about anime, post 2 is 10 things I LOVE about anime. For this first list I'm going to list anime conventions in no specific order, describe them and my reasons for hating them and give an example of a series that is largely guilty of the specific, despised convention.

 Unfortunately I don’t have time to do now so this shall be an intro and it shall be in the next post! Look forward to it! …Please.

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