DotA: Defense of the Anime
Feyerah Klydell Evvs
"My dear, what are you watching?" the mother asked as she descended down the stairs.
"I—uh—I'm watching an anime, Mom." The child replied nervously.
"What, animes again? How many times do I have to tell you to stop watching those animes?" the mother exclaimed. "Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry or Rocko's are fine, but not animes!"
"Mom," the child complained, "what's so wrong with animes?"
That, my welcome readers, is one typical exchange in almost every household. It shows a child who seems to favor animes as much as the mother hates it. Many people think of Anime as a pure epitome of evil; same goes for its siblings Manga (a famous Japanese variation of comics) and Computer Games. All three of them were created to feature the realm of fantasy so much that their audiences tend to lose grip on reality. However, in so far as I (an avid anime fan) am concerned, it is not Anime that brings about the evil.
Dear readers, I would like to take the side of the poor little child deprived of Anime: What, indeed, is so wrong with Anime?
Animes were created as a form of Entertainment Media. "Entertainment" is such a broad term that caters the enjoyment of people that (yes) most of the time its audience become addicted to Anime and forget the boundary between reality and fantasy. I admit, Anime can be very addictive—so what? Drugs can also be very addictive. Is addiction the fault of drugs? No. It's the fault of the misuser and the abuser. Drugs are used for medicinal purposes and Anime's fantasies (like all other Entertainment Media) exist to chase away boredom and convey messages that could help its audience become better. Anime is inanimate—and seriously, we intelligent humans should stop blaming inanimate things because it's just so stupid. It's no different from blaming a statue for being toppled over.
I also admit that Anime shows violence and obscene things—and so do cartoons and drama-sitcoms (otherwise they won't be rated PG). I am not a cartoon expert, but I've never seen an episode in the cute, child-friendly show Tom and Jerry where Tom doesn't get beaten. He was often, if not always, beaten almost to death either by the very cunning Jerry mouse (who Tom wants so badly to kill and eat) or by any other partially sadistic character that hates him. Almost all cartoon series that aim for silly humor have their fair share of violence.
Whenever Tom falls headfirst, he's fine (alive and running, even) but then in real life, one's head would crack whenever one falls headfirst. Children watch as ridiculous Tom survives a deathly fall for the umpteenth time. I would not be surprised if they try doing such a dangerous stunt. They'd be thinking, "Silly Tom did not die after such a fall, so why would I?" Anime on the other hand, emphasizes the serious consequences of these violent stunts. The character that falls always ends up either in the ICU or six feet below the ground. No matter how the audiences idolize that certain anime character, will they ever try a deathly fall? "No," says the Law of Survivability.
In relation to violence, people often think that Anime does not promote good values. I am happy to break it to them that this is not always the case. With the exception of the Hentai (Pervert, Rated R) genre, all animes promote principles that are remarkably of good nature. One Piece, Naruto and Bleach are only three of the greatest Anime Series that uphold the development of goodwill within their audiences' hearts. These good Anime Series hold true to the meaning of friendship and camaraderie. This is the reason why they are dubbed the Big Three in the Anime world. I am proud to say that good Anime gives its audiences faith and hope in making this world a better place to live in.
All in all, Anime, an art, is not the reason as to why many children lack the sense of responsibility—it is their lack in discipline that causes this. I have nothing against any other Entertainment Media, or to the people who condemn Anime. I just want to say that everything has a yin and yang for existing, but all these are caused by the intentions and discipline of humans. If it needs fantasy to inspire one's heart to become better, then Anime is worth creating and watching. It takes little effort to open the mind to things that are not yet seen.
Can you not see? The dear little kid is genuinely happy seeing how the good-natured protagonist defeats the villain. To the child, good always triumph over evil—"cool, just like in the animes," the child would say as a grin spreads from ear to ear. Will you dare wipe that honest smile?