By Saweini S. Laloo
I will start off by saying that anime is not cartoon and it is most definitely not for kids only!
First of all, Anime is Japanese based animation and Cartoon is Western. Anime is more complex than cartoon and well, the artwork involved in it is beyond this world.
I grew up watching anime and besides my own personal life experiences, anime has taught me a great deal about life. Seeing is believing is it not? Well, through anime I have learnt certain valuable life lessons (no I am not exaggerating). Anime is not just entertainment but it is one of those things that makes one feel happy and warm like a cup of hot chocolate on a cold, rainy day.
I started watching anime since the day that I could see and comprehend the world. Those days they were airing Cardcaptor Sakura, Dragon Ball Z, Ninja Robots, among others. I never missed even one episode. The years went by and soon they were showing Naruto (my all time favorite).
I was then in my adolescent years, and like every adolescent, I was living in my own personal hell. Naruto was my source of escape from the real world.
I remember my heart beating so fast as the clock struck each minute closer to the show time and even faster while the theme song was playing. What was it about Naruto? Naruto is so much more than a weird- looking kid who reminds one of a cat that throws knives around.
First of all, those are not knives but shuriken and if you do not know them, Google it please.
Secondly, Naruto is an artwork that brilliantly displays the meaning of pain and loneliness, joy and love and so forth. The portrayal of such sentiments was able to move its audience in a great way. Proof of this could be seen from its influence on my equally tormented adolescent friends with whom discussions were held on a regular basis at every second that we could get in school.
Animations like Naruto, I dare say, has shaped many lives to this day.
There is a galaxy of anime out there.
I confess it is impossible to watch all of them but every now and then, a particular kind of anime comes to you and greets you and strikes you with such force of amazement that makes you think “Hey! Where the heck have you been all my life?”
A few years ago, during a particularly hot and boring summer’s day, I was looking for a short anime to watch. That was when I came across Hotarubi No More, which is a short animated movie.
The movie, which is just 44 minutes, is brilliant for its graphics in which every scene is like a watercolor painting. It was perfect for summer. The movie, though short and sweet, is touching and can move the hardest of hearts.
And like every Japanese animation, nature constitutes an important aspect. This attention to detail is especially prominent in the Studio Ghibli animations like Spirited Away, Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and in all other Ghibli movies. These are the legendary ones that every person (whether one likes anime or not) should watch.
The respect towards nature that most Japanese animators have portrayed in their anime has been transferred and intensified within persons such as myself. The attention to details from the fireflies in the forest, to the cicadas and crickets singing during hot summer days or during warm nights, has somehow made me more aware and appreciative of their presence.
The Japanese are masters when it comes to attention to details. Their animations reveal their familiarity with their surroundings and the pride that they feel towards their society. One notices how much respect and admiration they have for the things around them, particularly the simple things and those seemingly irrelevant moments.
There is just so much to see and learn from anime and if you have not watched one, I strongly recommend that you watch one. Have patience and appreciate the effort and passion of the animators that are almost always palpable through their pieces of art.
Maybe at the end of the day when you are all alone in your quite house, you will hear those crickets and cicadas and realize just how important they really are.
You’d Also Like To Read: