It’s all in the title. This week i’ll be using the topic of “How We Choose Our Anime” as an excuse to talk about how I choose my anime before covering one of the reasons watching Anime is good for us.
I’ll be the first to admit that i’m cheating this week. While everything in this post is from my own mouth (or keyboard, as it were), the latter half is a comment I made on Froggy-Kun’s post a couple of weeks ago: Does Watching Anime Make You More Intelligent?
I’m not entirely sure why I decided on this topic, because my method for choosing which anime I watch isn’t all that interesting. Maybe I should start by saying that I don’t keep up with all of the newer releases, instead preferring to go back and see what i’ve been missing out on over the past 15 years or so. Unfortunately that means that I can’t keep up with all of the Attack on Titan/Oreimo/Free talk that’s been flying around lately. While this approach does limit my involvement in the Anime community, I think it would be a waste to ignore all of the great series that have already been released, so i’ll probably continue as I am now…and never ever be able to catch up >.<
Though it’s not like I watch things in order of their release – i’m far too lazy for that. In general I just watch whatever I have in alphabetical order (I told you it was boring, right?), unless there’s some reason for me to do otherwise. I’ve mentioned Weiss Schwarz in an earlier post, which is one of the things i’ve been using to direct my Anime habit lately. While there are only 3 decks out at the moment (Fate/Zero, Madoka Magica and Sword Art Online, which I haven’t yet watched), I plan to use future releases to decide what I need to watch. All the better to decide whether each set is worth throwing my money at.
Froggy-kun’s post asked an interesting question that i’m sure many people would respond negatively to. My response was perhaps a little different than what was expected, but I think it’s still covered by the topic of Why Anime Is Good For Us. Beyond literal intelligence, I think that Anime (and fictional stories in general) play a big part in helping us develop our moral and interpersonal intelligence. By watching Anime we are exposed to situations, people and ideas that we would not normally encounter in every day life, and by simply viewing these things we are encouraged to examine them from our own point of view, and from there apply the conclusions we come to in everyday life.
How would we react to that situation? Did those characters make the same decision we would have? Why was their response different or the same? How do we feel about the choice that was made? Why do we feel that way? Is it because that choice was morally right/wrong? How did the other characters react to it?
Because we are separate from the events on the screen, we almost unconsciously practice putting ourselves in other people’s shoes. Even stereotypical characters have real life counterparts, making them just as relevant as the charismatic, outgoing protagonists most people focus on. Speaking of charismatic and outgoing, characters with specific traits allow us to compare and contrast who we are to who we want to be, becoming role models that can allow us to shape ourselves.
Watching Anime is like experiencing life in a way that we wouldn’t otherwise. It may be an exaggerated, potentially warped take on what we are used to, but the same values apply and therefore can be developed from the aforementioned experience. Though these aren’t the reasons people would generally give when you ask them why they watch Anime, I think they are at least one of the reasons we find it entertaining. We don’t think about it consciously, but by watching Anime we encourage our minds to develop and grow.
And there we go! That took a lot less time that normal =)
“The right man in the right place can make all the difference in the world.” – Half Life 2 (G-Man)