My loyal readers would know that I’m a fan of Japanese animation, known far more commonly as “anime.” In fact, one of my more popular articles recently was my takedown of the Netflix live-action adaptation of the anime classic “Cowboy Bebop.”
(READ: We Need to Talk About the Live-Action ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Remake)
This may be a strange thing for many west people, even generations prior to mine. This was before the advent The SimpsonsAnimation was for children, so the only thing they were familiar with about Japanese animation is that of cartoons. Speed racer Sailor Moon. The truth is, Japan used this medium long before The Simpsons appeared. Vampire Hunter DHe was mature, and some others offered interesting commentary and points of view such as Angel’s Egg, An anime that inspired other amazing works.
My first exposure to anime was at the tender age of seven through various Studio Ghibli creations and then later on Toonami afterschool shows. Dragon Ball ZAnd Gundam Wing. My appreciation of the medium has grown over time. I continue to enjoy many programs from abroad today. Attack on TitanIt is easily my favourite show, and I will continue to go back to it. TrigunIf the mood strikes.
I’m always on the lookout for a new anime to watch, and upon discovering and trying a few new ones out, I realized that there was a distinct quality within anime that American television just didn’t have, especially when it comes to entertainment for the young. The fact that American media companies were publishing woke cartoons really made this point.
These include shows like “Steven Universe,” which forces LGBT and anti-racist concepts onto the kid to the point where it’s pretty much the only goal of the show. Arthur, once innocent, adopted BLM talk points in one episode and included a gay marriage scene in another. Sesame street has become politically charged garbage.
It is clear that American cartoons are too politically-oriented and have little substance. It was interesting to see what they had to say and to think back to what I watched growing up. It had programs that were dumb fun for kids, which I have no problem with, but some anime carried concepts with it that I’m glad I was introduced to when I was young.
You can take, For example. Gundam Wing made me consider the weight and cost of war and man’s place within it. When war was and wasn’t necessary. There were also philosophical ideas about violence or peace among the flying bullets, giant robots and space battles. What’s more, it wasn’t looked at from a tired anti-war perspective. Both sides were considered.
TrigunIt is a western-style spaghetti Western set in the future, and it centers around Vash, the expert gunslinger. It philosophizes on the value of life, and how taking a life can be a more difficult task than it seems. We learn that not all of our high-hopes and high-minded ideals are true. Sometimes the trigger must be pulled and not all people are able to live.
Full Metal AlchemistThe importance of sacrifice and morality, particularly in relation to familial bonds is directly brought into the limelight. This article talks about how loss can cause trauma and shows that wisdom without compassion or temperance may lead to tragedy or great evil.
These were shows I was watching in my youth, and as I’ve said about Cowboy BebopThese shows will age along with you. They become deeper and more interesting as you age, as you learn more about yourself and the world.
The anime programming is far superior to what America has to offer today’s youth. It encourages them to think and not tells them what they should think. Even shows that used to teach kids about science such as Mr. Wizard, Beakman’s World, or Bill Nye the Science Guy (before his turn to politically-driven science) are no longer possible in a western culture consumed by wokeness.
Yet, Japan doesn’t suffer from this disease and has science-based shows in the form of anime like Dr. Stone. It’s a show that puts a science-obsessed teenager from today’s world into a world where humanity has regressed to the stone age, and he must re-advance technology all the way back to modern times. This show is thorough in explaining how things are made, how they work, but it manages to keep the overall storyline moving along without being boring.
The cooking-oriented anime, another great example of educative anime, is also a wonderful example. Food WarsThe story takes place in an era where high-stakes cooking is very popular. The story of a young chef who tries to attain the fame and skill of his father, a master-chef, is filled with fascinating and detailed explanations about how to cook down to the ingredients and their origins. It even goes into science.
To be fair, these shows can get a little goofy and Japanese humor and American humor often diverge with Japanese humor roving into a cringy territory, but it’s not necessarily something that kills the overall viewing. It’s far and away better than absolute nonsense they’re serving up here in the states with very few exceptions.
Moreover, some parents may have an issue with Japan’s lack of modesty when it comes to the human body in some animes. The female figure isn’t exactly toned down in some of these shows. In fact, Japan has taken the opposite route Americans have in terms of animating the female form and openly make some of the female characters voluptuous and beautiful, whereas here in America, today’s studios go to weird lengths to defeminize females until they’re either oddly shaped blobs or look more like boys. What’s more, some anime have no problem showing the human body off, especially females, to near-nudity. Food WarsJokingly, one of my favorite jokes is that eating a well-prepared meal can be likened to having a sexual encounter.
Regardless, if I had to plant my 12-year-old in front of a television, I’d much rather he or she watch Food WarsMore than Steven Universe. I’d rather my son take in the lessons in science from Dr. Stonerather than any woke tripe PBS is dragging to the barn. I’d rather serve them Cowboy BebopOr Full Metal Alchemist than let them watch one minute of whatever nonsense Disney is trying to serve up nowadays with its woke rehashes of every property they’ve ever owned.
Every anime may not be good. There are, after all, millions of them, but I’ve seen a much stronger showing in terms of entertainment and edutainment from Japanese anime than I have from anything in America today. You can have originality in anime and real entertainment without the western political infection.
If you’re worried about what your kid is watching, give anime a shot.