The spread of Asian culture within the United States has become popular among many, especially with the upward trends of TikTok and Boba. Similar to those trends, anime has taken off and become one of America’s favorite forms of entertainment. Anime is a style of animation originating in Japan that is characterized by colorful graphics […]
The spread of Asian culture within the United States has become popular among many, especially with the upward trends of TikTok and Boba. Similar to those trends, anime has taken off and become one of America’s favorite forms of entertainment. Anime is a style of animation originating in Japan that is characterized by colorful graphics depicting characters in action-filled plots often with fantastic or futuristic themes.
Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, and One Piece are all names that you might be familiar with, but there are shows that you might not have even known were anime. Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Beyblade are all anime cartoons many in the CB community grew up with. For students like Xavier Metcalfe (‘21), Avante Lee (‘22), and myself, watching anime has become a part of our lifestyles.
It usually takes a significant event to influence people to try something new. I was thankful to stumble upon an anime while watching Nickelodeon one day. Xavier Metcalfe had a similar experience.
“I got into anime from first seeing a Naruto episode on Adult Swim after falling asleep with Cartoon Network on,” says Xavier. “I thought it was the coolest thing ever seeing those ninja-like people fight and have some sort of powers. So that is when I started to look into anime and start watching it.”
Avante had a different experience when he began. He says that he was introduced to anime through one of his best friends. Many anime watchers can get caught up with watching ten to hundreds of anime, but each enthusiast has their favorite which will always be unforgettable to them.
“My favorite anime has to be Dragon Ball Z because it’s just a classic,” says Avante.
“I think my favorite anime probably has to be Berserk,” Xavier says.
When a community is excited or passionate about a topic, there are always outsiders trying to assert hate and ignorance to bring them down. For the anime community, it is the constant labeling of anime watchers being weird or nerdy. Xavier and Avante have different opinions on why people continue to hate on anime watchers.
“I think it’s because it’s kind of like a cartoon in some ways,” says Xavier. “Most people watch with subtitles in English over Japanese voice acting. It is hard for some people to focus when they are hearing one thing, but have to read another.”
“I think it’s because people just listen to what other people have to say about anime,” Avante says. “They just become followers.”
In the anime community, there are two types of viewers: sub and dub. Sub anime uses the original Japanese voice actors for each character with the addition of English subtitles for translation. Dub anime uses voice actors that speak English to translate what the Japanese voice actors originally said. The division between sub and dub viewers is real and often creates controversy.
“I prefer dub because with sub I can’t watch TV with subtitles,” says Avante. “I get distracted very easily.”
“I prefer sub because it gives an authentic feel to watching anime as this is how it was intended to sound,” Xavier says. “Japanese voice actors are really good at conveying a wide variety of emotions and certain things just sound way better in Japanese.”
With a multitude of different genres, anime is something that anyone can get into and enjoy. Avante and Xavier believe there is nothing stopping anyone from giving it a chance.
“I would tell people to give it a try because at first I thought it was weird until I gave it a try,” says Avante.
“Give it a try, You might like it. There isn’t any harm in trying,” says Xavier. “I think a good anime or starting point to watch is One Punch Man. It’s 13 episodes and if you don’t like it, you can stop watching anime.”
A very popular anime that I would recommend is Attack on Titan. The show starts off strong on episode one with a cliff-hanging ending that leaves viewers wanting more. There are four seasons of the show available on Hulu.
If it interests you, take a break from watching The Office or Grey’s Anatomy and start watching anime because you may enjoy it more than you think.