Is anime childish?
“Anime is for kids”.
“Anime is childish, and those who like it are weird”
No matter where we go, anime fans often get these phrases thrown at them for seemingly no reason. So today, I would like to debunk this question once and for all.
Is Anime Childish?
Now, let’s take a look at one of the most famous anime series within the Western community.
Yes, this shows is indeed, needless to say, childish.
I mean, just look at these weird hand movements that these so-called deadly ninjas are performing
These sorts of anime are simply perfect for elementary and middle school children because, well, it’s easy to imagine a kid running down the hallway while doing a naruto run.
What’s more, these anime shows features fighting scenes that are at most as violent as a PG-13 show.
After all, themes such as friendships and the motivation to never give up often times appeal to younger teens and children than grown adults.
So yeah, anime shows are definitely childish.
Are They Really?
Now, let us move on to the anime that most mainstream, non-anime fans have probably never heard about.
Are these anime childish? Well, you can say so.
Like every superhero’s show, Boku no Hero Academia’s whole point is to have its audiences root for the growth of a protagonist – who goes on to become powerful as the show progress.
That’s HELLA childish.
I could see why most teenagers love Boku no Hero Academia. In fact, I love it as well as a teenager, and even now.
Maybe I am childish myself, who knows…
Next up is Sword Art Online, featuring an overpowered character who successfully defeated the bad guys and obtained his own ultimate harem.
Honestly, that entire plot I just described there sounds like yet another PG-13 superhero show. Cliche and childish! But for some reason, I find myself continuously hyping up in every fight scenes.
Ultimately, Kirito has grown onto me as a protagonist. Although I have been watching anime for a long time, like a LONG time, overpowered anime characters still manage to excite me every single time.
What About The R-Rated Stuff?
Next, let’s move on to the more violence shows that anime fans claimed are DEFINITELY NOT FOR KIDS.
We have shows such as these.
Sure, like all forms of media out there, the intended audience range definitely varies.
Anime is no different.
Indeed, Goblin Slayer and Another are anime shows not meant for kids, depicting sexual assaults, gore, and violence.
However, when compared to Western gore movies such as the Saw series, these anime are simply not comparable.
After all… ANIME IS ONLY ANIMATION!!
Some of you might disagree, but I find that completely true.
That’s why horror anime featuring jump scares and gore are oftentimes not scary and attractive as psychological horror genres.
Hence, the term mind-break in anime.
So yeah, anime is truly a childish media.
But, despite anime being childish, does that really mean its viewers are also a bunch of childish people who can’t do a single right thing in life?
They say your childhood is probably the best stage of life, and that you should have the most fun of life. Isn’t that what anime is for? To entertain?
For me, despite being labeled as ‘childish’, anime is an utterly beautiful medium.
There are ups and downs in life, and anime is where I can take a break and simply not give a damn about a single thing in the world.
But isn’t this true for all mediums of entertainment out there? Whether you’re watching Games of Thrones, The Office, or any other real-life shows, aren’t we all just trying to feign ignorance?
Childish Anime And Parental Love:
Recently, I have watched an anime series called Kakushigoto. The plot is simple enough: Gotou is a single father. Through his daily lives, he tries to hide his job as a manga artist to his little daughter, Hime.
That’s basically the entirety of the show. At best, Kakushigoto is an episodic, slice of life, comedic anime series that does not follow a set plot.
However, there are so many lovely and wholesome moments within the show.
Unlike spoiled 10 years old children, Hime shows careful considerate towards her father, Gotou. When discussing her birthday party, she genuinely did not want to place an unnecessary burden on Gotou.
Therefore, she prevented bringing up the topic in the first place.
Another scene was when Hime wanted a puppy, but due to her dad’s busy schedule, tried to refrain herself. In the end, Gotou, being a lovely father himself, got Hime a puppy and vowed to take care of it himself.
Despite not having a family of my own, I felt as if Kakushigoto has given me many wholesome and great parenting advice.
It taught me the responsibilities of raising a family.
It taught me the balance between work and family life.
And most important of all, it taught me the meaning of parental love!
You see, Gotou never wanted to reveal his job as a mangaka because, in a way, he is trying to protect Hime. I can somewhat relate. After all, my parents keep small trivial matters to me all the time.
I still love them nonetheless.
Despite all the misunderstandings their secret has caused me. Despite all the times they annoyed me sometimes.
I still love them at the end of the day.
Isn’t that the same sort of love as Hime towards her father?
The fact that Kakushigoto can depict these emotions so vividly to their inexperienced viewers is truly an amazing feat.
For such childish media like anime, aren’t these lessons something amazing to look forward to?
Does it really matter if anime is childish?
Childish Anime And PTSD:
We then have anime such as Violet Evergarden.
The show talks about Violet, a former soldier who was suffering from PTSD. Having lost everything in The Great War, her only hope in life was the dying message of her beloved Lieutenant.
Violet struggled to decode the most basic human emotions.
She must undergo specific training, take odd jobs, and expose herself to the daily human emotions.
In one job, Violet must write future letters for a daughter of a dying mother. Could you imagine the mix of emotions the daughter felt as she read the letters of her deceased mother?
Related: 6 Sad Anime That Will Make You Cry
In another scene, Violet takes on a job to help a writer finish his screenplay. Years prior, this man has given up his writing due to the unexpected death of his daughter.
However, upon working alongside with Violet, mourns and sadness filled the man’s heart. The memories of his daughter flowed into his minds, and I have never seen a sadder, yet more hopeful scene.
Seriously, Violet Evergarden has taught me so many significant life lessons.
It taught me the meaning of true love.
It taught me the meaning of grief.
It taught me how to move on.
And most importantly, it taught me empathy.
You see, as a former soldier, Violet was made to kill and slaughter the enemies in her path. She once never cared about those seemingly pathetic emotions. That makes her the ultimate weapon in The Great War.
However, as she takes on these jobs, Violet realized something. People’s lives matter. At the end of the day, soldiers are mere humans. They break, they grief, and they love.
Ultimately, Violet Evergarden shows us the process of PTSD recovery and the lessons a former heartless soldier has learned throughout her reincarnated life.
Sure, a fragile-looking girl being the ultimate killing machine was childish and far fetch. Perhaps, such a setting would only excite young teenagers.
But wouldn’t you agree that Violet Evergarden showed us, normal citizens, something only a true soldier would understand? Would you still agree that such childish media is, at the end of the day, a meaningless farce?
No one knows the answer to that question but you who is reading this long and dragged out rant.
As for me, sure, anime is an extremely childish media.
But that’s what makes it so beautiful.
Anime Is Childish:
I am not here to decide for you whether anime and its viewers are childish or not. There will always be those who are ignorant of other facts and opinions, no matter their accuracy.
As for me, if such a childish medium of entertainment is able to show me these valuable life lessons, 9 out of 10 times, I will choose anime over everything else.
Because it’s childish.
Because it’s expressive.
Because it’s beautiful.
And who wouldn’t want that?