"Anime Was a Mistake"

A quote appearing more and more thanks to influence from Hayao Miyazaki, one of the most famous, if not the most famous, director in the anime industry of Japan. In an interview, he said "Almost all Japanese animation is produced with hardly any basis taken from observing real people, you know. It’s produced by humans who can’t stand looking at other humans. And that’s why the industry is full of otaku!" Otaku brings about a negative connotation in Japan and even in America. ‘Otaku,’ which translates directly to ‘house’ in Japanese, usually gives off the idea of somebody who stays home indulging themselves without ever experiencing reality. Do you think anime is problematic?

  • This seems to be an exploration at dissociation as a result of anime, an idea that could be related to video games as well. Indeed, this topic could be extended to all media in general, though I like that it focus' on anime in particular. Perhaps refer to an article by Christian Metz titled "The Imaginary Signifier" (although that is very dense reading). – 50caliburlexicon 9 years ago
  • The main difference I see between anime and other media is the massive amount of fanservice and mass-production of single character products. Series seem to want you to pick a 'favorite', thus buying items of only that character and paying them large amounts of money. Not only this, but those favorites that are girl characters are depicted in slightly OC, sexual situations. Yet, many many people buy into it. The term 'waifu' only gained popularity through anime. It seems like these fans are focusing more and more on their favorite characters than the actual plot of the series. The reason behind all this "milking," as people have come to term it, is not just for money, but because the industry really is full of otakus, who find more interest in sexualizing characters than they do of the actual story and plot, which in turn makes the plot extremely useless and mediocre, YET people take these to genuinely have depth. A good example is Sword Art Online. I understand that women are sexualized in ALL types of media, but in terms of anime, they are sexualized in a more subtle way behind a plot with just enough depth to make fans think there is genuineness in what is, in actuality, stale material. I thought this to be problematic because it obscures the ability for 'otakus' to critically analyze a series when necessary. – psychedelicreme 9 years ago
  • Actually, I have the opposite opinion regarding Sword Art Online. I have not seen the second season with the gun wars, so these comments are in reference to the first season. I think that anime, in particular, does a very good job of showing the “dangers” of the Otaku lifestyle and living in a world removed from actual humans. Though in SOA its focus is the gaming world, there is an artistic correlation to the anime world, particularly in representation of the female body. One thing that I appreciated is the clever hypersexualization of women seen in most anime, because I think SOA does a commentary on that by showing how the female characters are in the game (its animation is comparative to the animes we are discussing) and how the female characters look in the real life world of the anime. The female characters are overtly sexualized in the games, especially Asuka in the Fairy King arc, but she is not so in the real world. Additionally, and though I may be reading too much into it, I do think that this is an excellent commentary on the objectification of women in anime and games. SOA shows how the hypersexualization of the females in the game/anime world contributes to the degeneration of the male mind and leads to them considering females as objects, little more than property. This is shown with Asuka’s father’s assistant who is obsessed with her beauty and her body, but has no interest in her mind, since he is quite content with her vegetative state. He basically wants to own her. He orchestrates her kidnapping and sexual abuse in the virtual world and attempts to physical rape her in the real world, because he sees her as a thing rather than a person of value. Even the premise of the show could be considered a commentary on the otaku. The game creator cares so much more for the worlds and people that he has created that he has no scruples entrapping people and stealing them (and their lives) from the real world, because he has more value for fantasy than he does for reality. I think anime is problematic when people cannot dissociate it from the real world. However, I think that is true of all media. If I only watched Soap Operas and rarely interacted with people, I would begin to believe that poor (heck middle-class) people do not exist, everyone is related at least through marriage, half of the people I know have a different father than who they think it is, and that it is perfectly acceptable to turn away from a conversation to have a soliloquy. I think it is easy to get obsessed with anime and that could skew one’s version of reality in dangerous ways. – Nocturngirl49 8 years ago
  • Because of what the majority of anime is, I think it can be problematic to indulge in it too much, depending on your state of mind or your mental health. Anime is a very idealized view of the world and the people in it. It's a fantasy fulfillment in many aspects, not the least of which is relationships. And if you are a young kid going through puberty and adolescence, and experiencing harem or romance animes, it CAN often be an encouraging thing to ease your mind if you are depressed, as it did for me. But it could also warp your mind into believing that it is the perfect world, whereas real life will eventually not match up to that idealization you have built in your imagination. I don't necessarily think it can cause disasociation with regards to human worth (specifically in men when they think about women), but this could occur in extreme cases. Just to be clear, though, I love anime. I don't love it as many others do, because I don't ever find myself watching it endlessly. But I own a decent amount, and I love quite a few dozen specific shows. So I totally get the appeal. However, the concept of "otaku" is a real thing, especially in Japan, and films/documentaries like "Otaku No Video" talk about it's extremes and how it can affect one's life and personal/social interactions. Therefore, anime exploration should be taken with a certain amount of caution. I also think the anime industry itself would do well to pull back on some of their most prevalent stereotypes and stylistic choices, because since the year 2000, the most popular anime series have become excessively one-note, and very pandering to the needs and desires of the 15 year old viewing market, which I think could be doing them more harm than good, including the fact that they're not getting as good television in general as they would have in the past. – Jonathan Leiter 8 years ago
  • What about anime like Hyouka, Durarara, and Tanaka-Kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge? – Santafox 7 years ago

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