Depth of anime makes it worth a watch

This story was originally published in the sixth edition of The Lion’s Tale (May 5, 2021).

Oftentimes people are quick to judge when it comes to the subject of anime. It’s understandable as it’s easy to think of them as just “cartoons from another country” but there’s so much more to it than just that. There are thousands of different shows to watch and they can range from action to comedy to horror to romance. Each of these shows that are produced takes a great deal of effort. Each scene that you watch is all hand drawn first before going through several rounds of revisions. It then gets digitized where special effects are added in and edited thoroughly before getting finalized. One episode that’s about 20-25 minutes long can take up to a month to produce.

Aside from the hard work and dedication that is put into making a show or a movie, there’s usually a great deal of symbolism and hidden themes that are in a series. Once you really get into a show, you start to analyze what you’re watching and wonder how a certain aspect of a scene ties back to the bigger meaning they’re trying to convey. Anime isn’t always about the “cute aesthetic” and more often than not, there’s bound to be a deeper meaning depending on the show you watch.

Some examples of popular anime all over the world include: One Piece, Naruto, Death Note, and Attack on Titan. One Piece and Naruto  have been around for at least the past two decades and many fans have grown up with each of the lovable characters. The main character named Luffy from One Piece, and Naruto from the show of the same name have wholesome, fun, and rambunctious personalities that you can’t help but get attached to. Both of the shows have relatable characters and action packed scenes that take place in their own unique worlds while retaining a balance of fun and more heartbreaking scenes.

Attack on Titan and Death Note, however, carry more dark and complex themes overall. A myriad of symbols appear throughout the course of Death Note, such as the constant appearance of apples. The show also heavily questions the concept of what is right and what is wrong. The main character in Death Note is named Light, and his antagonist – whose name is L – go back and forth in their actions which can be taken as right or wrong depending on which perspective you take. Attack on Titan also discusses the concept of right and wrong along with the consequences that follow one’s actions. People in this fictional world fall into either the land of Eldia or Marley. Each side has a long history of conflict that also plays a major part of the show. At the same time the characters fight for their lives against the creatures that consume them known as titans. Both Death Note and Attack on Titan draw you in with their well written characters and all of the little details that make the shows what they are. These darker shows might not be anywhere near the first two when it comes to overall fun, but each one of them is emotionally moving in its own way, giving you a reason to give them a watch.

People tend to be judgmental when it comes to something they aren’t familiar with but anime is something that is worth a try. You can think of anime like any other show that’s produced in the US, and most shows have an English dub version as well. There’s a plethora of shows ranging from different genres, offering something for everyone. Anime may seem strange at first glance, but you’ll come to learn that it’s definitely worth giving a chance.