MARIA GARCIA/Coachella Unincorporated
Talking to a friend about anime is not something a normal person would do. Instead, most casual conversations about entertainment revolve around the latest episodes of popular shows.
If you ask someone what anime is, they usually respond with,”Oh yeah, I’ve heard of it. It’s those weird Japanese cartoons, right?”
Well they are Japanese, but they are not weird. Anime can be described in many ways. It is any and all animation, regardless of genre, style, or the countries of origin, although most anime might be Japanese.
My older sister first introduced me to anime when I was about seven years old, when I couldn’t really tell the difference between a cartoon show and anime. Cartoons are geared typically towards children while anime doesn’t have a specific age group.
As I grew older, I began to watch more shows. Then I was introduced to manga, the book version of anime. I was amazed at all the different things that came with anime. I learned that it was from the Japanese culture and, from that, came my love for most Japanese things.
For me, being the little otaku – very dedicated anime fan – that I am, it’s sometimes hard to get back into the reality of the real world. For me, anime helps me escape the real world where there’s so much I have to deal with. When I ‘ve had a long week of tests, I look online for new episodes to relax a bit. Other times, I just need to take my mind off of upcoming projects that are stressing me out and making me unfocused.
There have been times when I have cried over the death of a character or even from a sad scene; there have even been times when I got mad when a certain character did something. My family thinks it’s crazy how much I get into on a series.
I have found anime to be helpful. It can teach you things you never knew before; it even helps you on examining a person’s personality or why they act the way they do. There is some very intellectual anime, which makes you think about the actions a character takes as you and you have to figure out the reasons why before you see the next episode in which the truth is realized. I have even managed to learn a few words and phrases from some shows. It might not help in real life, but it’s fun learning something new.
There are some drawbacks, however. Some parents might not like their children watching anime because they believe it might be “part of a cult” or something to that extent. But anime is not part of a cult or anything that may be considered evil. Some animes also have blood and some gore sometimes but not as much as you would see in movies. That’s why a lot of animes, even manga, are for ages 13 and up. There are also many that are for younger kids to read because they really don’t have anything too bad in them besides the occasional “bad guy.”
To me, it doesn’t really matter because I get to explore new things with anime. There’s a lot of diversity out there with anime, and I think if someone wants to watch it and become part of the little anime community, they should. Nothing should really stop a person from exploring out the world, and that’s coming from a teen who has been watching anime for half her life.
Meeting another person who knows and loves anime is a shocker; but in two weeks, I will be surrounded by hundreds of otakus like myself when I attend the Anime Expo in Los Angeles.
Whenever I meet a fellow anime enthusiast, I am surprised and happy; in some cases, we end up becoming really good friends.
I have a feeling this will be a life-changing experience.
Maria Garcia is a sophomore at Olive Crest Academy in Coachella. She is a student reporter for Coachella Unincorporated.