I’ve watched anime for a long time but as much thought as I’ve given to it, I’ve realised that I’ve not given any thought to it (if that’s makes any sense). Having read ‘10 reasons why it’s awesome to be an anime fan’ I realised that I’ve never given anime the shoutout that it deserves which is weird given that there are a lot of phases that I’ve been through and forgotten whilst anime has gone on to help form the person that I am today.
From before I knew what anime was, I was already watching it; shows like Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon and Beyblade formed huge parts of my childhood and even though I didn’t understand what was going on, there was always something about it that was appealing. A little while later I found what I would describe as my true gateway anime, Bleach. I could go on about how amazed I was by the art style and the fights but the truth is that it did way more than that, it made me open to watching Naruto and Reborn! From there the anime kept flooding in.
The first scene I was ever exposed to in Bleach:
During my schooldays, my friends and I would constantly talk about anime and it was honestly like we watched nothing else (come to think of it, on my sick days I’d just watch anime all day long). I can’t say that it’s always been plain sailing because there have been people in my life who have tried to make me feel pathetic for watching anime and for a while it worked. The thing is that as much as I tried to push it down I just couldn’t hide it, as if deep down I didn’t want to and I’m glad for that.
I do like to watch anime as a relaxation activity but at the same time, I’ve noticed that I’ve picked up mannerisms from shows that I’ve watched and whilst it’s not done anything for me socially, it’s still cool to notice that I pick these things up given that I don’t really tend to pick things up from shows. Anime has shown me that it can encourage critical thinking, something that I feel I’ve slightly benefitted from and I’m not sure how to explain it, but it’s taught me more about writing a story than anything else I’ve ever paid attention to. I’m someone who likes to imagine a lot of things and the way that I see some things, makes me realise that at my age, my imagination is still kind of wild and I love that; without anime I don’t think that would have been possible given that there are so many things that I see in my mind that I’m sure I’ve seen in anime.
These days I can’t lie, I’m not the type of guy that makes it immediately obvious that I like anime (other anime fans are able to easily tell though) but I don’t feel like I need to because of what I know it’s done for me and what it will do for me in the future. One thing that I haven’t mentioned is the confidence that’s come from being comfortable with watching anime, it’s another thing that I can’t explain but an inner confidence has come from watching anime and knowing that one day I’ll be able to show to my children (when I have them of course).
I definitely have to give more shoutouts to anime, the ideas, the mannerisms and pretty much everything else that helps to form myself, especially my creative side would not exist without it!