Anime. Is. Art.

Based on my experiences watching anime, I recommend everyone should try watching it because the animations are always beautiful, the fight scenes are action-packed, the characters have interesting development, the backgrounds are full and rich, the stories are unique, and the soundtracks always have cool songs, and not to mention the passionate fan community that you could have the chance to engage with. One huge mistake people make about anime is mistaking it as a genre itself, but it touches on a wide variety of genres including dark fantasy, psychological thrillers, space cowboy, timeless romances, and cyberpunk, they have intense, complex characters that rope you in. These are already some reasons why you should watch anime. It’s because anime. Is. Art.

Watching anime has benefitted me because it’s helped develop my love for film/TV. Now, I know you guys are probably thinking a regular TV show could have developed your love for film too, right? Well, the answer is no because Western animations are nothing compared to animes and that is because anime has a deeper level of storytelling that regular animations just do not. The first anime I ever watched was Naruto and after watching it, I went on to Blue Exorcist, then Sword Art Online, Erased, Hunter x Hunter, Black Butler, Haikyuu, Anohanna, Tokyo Ghoul, Assassination Classroom, and now Jujutsu Kaisen.

Moreover, anime has a way of touching on important societal issues, and it dives into mental health issues, gender identity, and social injustices as well. Anime has relatable life lessons that inspire people to be the best version of themselves. For example, Naruto has inspired me to never give up, Jujutsu Kaisen has inspired me to be confident in myself/my ability to help others, Assassination Classroom inspired me that working together pays off in the end, etc. These animes could inspire you too if you gave it a try. If you want to watch your first anime just for fun, or if you want to learn more about Japanese culture that’s okay too, it all depends on what type of genre you are into to get you started since there’s something for everyone.

Some background information on anime is that it started around the 20th century in 1917 when Japan’s film industry began. The legit definition is hand-drawn or computer animation. The first animators of anime began in the late 1910s with Oten Shimokawa, Jun’ichi Kouchi, and Seitaro Kitayama, the fathers of anime. The characteristic art style emerged in the 1960s with a cartoonist named Osamu Tezuka. It then spread in the decades following and developed a large audience in Japan.

There are three big animes called the ‘big three’ because of their worldwide population/audience. These animes are One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach, which I don’t recommend if you’re considering your first watch because they are extremely long meaning they may not hold a beginner’s attention span. However, if the plot appeals to you and you’re willing to watch all the episodes, then it would most definitely be worth it.

But, I can guarantee that if you watch any of the animes I listed above, you will want to watch some more. That’s just what anime will do to you. It has that gravitational pull that makes you want to keep watching. Again, anime has something for everyone with its diverse plots, intricate characters, breathtaking animation, and fierce fanbase. I hope this essay has persuaded you to start your anime-watching journey, thank you for reading!

Je’naay Burke – St. Laurence High School – DMSF Class of 2027