Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Why do we find it hard to connect with and enjoy Japanese Animation?

A lot of people here in the Arab World enjoy Japanese animation, unless they are strong willed sometimes these fans face problems with peers and parents that could lead them to lose interest and stop this hobby. Peers and Parents always tend to condemn them for watching anime stating that they should grow up, mature and leave cartoons for children. So why do you like Japanese Animation but most of people around you see you doing something wrong and being immature. To begin with Anime has been around for the past 50 years in Japan and for 30 years in America but the explosion and vast spread of anime occurred in the last 5 years mainly because of the people’s exposure to big hit mainstream anime movies such as Princess Mononoke. Interest in these movies led vendors to increase Anime in their stores. Moreover fast internet connection speeds have sprung fans and groups that sub ( the act of adding subtitles to Japanese animation) unlicensed anime (unlicensed anime are outside of Japan) and put them online for people to download. Relatively speaking compared to Japan we are still a little immature not that because we are stupid or anything, but because we haven’t been exposed to Japanese animation as much as they have. We are used to animation teaching kids fundamental and easily grasped moral lessons like honesty, bravery, and kindness to others. People normally generalize that since this is present in most animation, it must be true for all animation around the world. They don’t have hands on experience in watching anime that reveals how thematic, complex and mature they are. Adults tend to distance themselves from animation as a method of validating their own self image relative to their native standards. They are taught from childhood that animation and comic books are for children, continuing to take pleasure in watching animation will be perceived as a sign of immaturity and unwillingness to accept reality. Few Arab youth and adults are mature enough to disregard externally imposed arbitrary sanctions. It is hard for us anime fans admitting this interest. Many of those who used to criticize me for watching Japanese animation are now criticizing me that I haven’t watched any of the latest series yet. But well that is life, maturity has nothing to do with what you watch on TV, at least we don’t spend every single day watching a group of boys and girls sleeping, learning how to sing and eating, well maybe just once a week during primes and special nights J


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