Have you ever told someone that you enjoy anime only to receive judgement for having ‘childish’ hobbies? Or have you been that person to judge another based on their pastimes of watching such animations? Well I’d like to explore the much more diverse world of anime and manga than what is regularly perceived by those less informed about this topic of modern Japanese culture.
When referring to anime (supposing that no one’s jumping to conclusions of hentai) images of the popular Pokémon or Dragon Ball often spring to mind. Such shounen series’ where, typically a school-aged boy stars in an exciting, often fantastical, world, are great for children but they’re not the only ones who regularly view these classics. Either for the nostalgic feeling or pure interest for this genre of anime, we adults do enjoy these imaginative and adventurous, action-packed shows!
Moving on, we have anime like Durarara (that’s a fun word to pronounce!) which focuses on the dark underworld of Ikebukuro. Legends of Dullahan and the demonic blade, Saika feature alongside the constant struggle of colour gangs in which great amounts of violence ensue. Though great in comedic value, this series is not one I’d expect to see in the possession of a child.
The producers of Durarara, Brain’s Base, released Baccano back in 2007 which follows a similar pattern in the way it’s presented. The difference is, Baccano is highly violent with a much deeper storyline that, not only has the potential to confuse children leaving them baffled but may leave them with nightmares about particular gruesome scenes.
Attack on Titan, similarly, is an anime that could scare the living daylights out of the younger generations. Its wonderfully engaging storyline is an emotional rollercoaster often filling you with hope for the characters before crushing your very soul as the series progresses.
Another noteworthy series would be the fairly recent Psycho-Pass which is centred on moral philosophy with plenty of reference to the human condition. This series really gets you thinking quite deeply and personally, I find it absolutely captivating.
Finally I’d like to mention Madoka Magica which is a magical girl anime where young, school-aged girls are followed through a story drawn with an attractive, bright art style. At first glance it looks perfect for young children to watch. However have you ever heard of the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’? How very wrong you would be to present this to such innocent souls; this cutesy show takes a rather dark turn and truly stays with you after reaching the conclusion of the series.
I’ve only just brushed the surface here with anime that simply doesn’t fit into the category of ‘only for kids’ but hopefully this will help change misconception that anime is produced or intended solely for children.