How many times have you been told that anime is for children? I’m guessing an infinite number of times. I have been told time and again that these moving 2D drawings are only for kids. By whom, you ask? By my parents, of course! And by numerous people who had not watched even a single anime episode. I remember crying over a Fushigi Yuugi OVA marathon back in high school because my mom would not let me watch it, telling me it’s just cartoons and that I am too old for such things.
Fushigi Yuugi characters from L-R: Tasuki, Nuriko, Tamahome, Miaka, Hotohori, Chiriko, Chichiri, Mitsukage (image from Google)
Perhaps some adults perceive anime as some sort of childish cartoon due to the drastic lack of actual human beings playing each character. In short, it’s not a live-action series/movie. You could easily offend an otaku by saying that anime is just a cartoon. To be honest, I personally do not think that there is a definitive difference between an anime and a cartoon but that is neither here nor there.
Anime has a variety of genres and maturity contents, therefore it has a very wide audience from children watching Hello Kitty to 20-something adults (such as myself) watching Blood C or some other maturely rated show.
Saya Kisaragi from Blood-C (© Fanpop)
However, with the anime fan-base aging from early teens to late 20’s growing, more mature type of animes are being produced. A good example of that is what I had lately finished watching: Blood-C. Both the anime series and the movie, Blood-C: The Last Dark, contain scenes not suitable for very young audiences. It has a mature content rating of PG-13 (source: animefreak.tv). It contains gore, vampires (not the sparkly kind, I’m sure of that), and monsters. The story is captivating with a jaw-dropping conclusion in the movie. It is definitely not kid-friendly.
Despite this ongoing world-wide debate, I think it all boils down to the content of each anime, the story-line, the graphics (and I am not talking about how it is drawn), and the “lessons” that can be found in these that aren’t apparent in “regular cartoons”.
So what do you think? Is anime still just for kids or shall we concede to the fact that it is for adults too? Any thoughts?
Atashinchi, a humorous family-friendly anime about the day-to-day life of a “normal” Japanese family. (© anime-planet)