As part of Kai’s project I’m writing about “why we watch” anime or in particular why I watch anime. Sure it’s a good past time and it’s a form of escapism but I want to think about this differently. I’m curious as to why with all the forms of entertainment available for our consumption did we picked one originating in a foreign country which isn’t accepted by many of our our peers which I (and maybe you) can never openly discuss with more then a handful of people.
The reason I enjoy anime isn’t because it’s unique/foreign (I’m not a dirty hipster) It’s because of the variety. Now I’m not saying Western entertainment is bad. I enjoy quite a lot of western created television series, movies and games but the variety just isn’t there. A large portion of media productions created in the west is often tailor made for mass consumption and because of this it follows very strict story telling guidelines with the end goal of creating money. Often the final result is very dry and predictable in a lot of cases, there is exceptions to this obviously but that’s not what I want to talk about.
Now after thinking about that for a moment lets focus on anime. Sure there is a lot of guidelines for some anime, you know the drill. School, faceless male protagonist and then a cast of girls or whatnot which are all tropes. Those anime are the equivalent of a western comic book movie adaption, the same thing always happens but you can still enjoy them from time to time. I watch anime because of the unique stories which can be told and the sheer variety of anime out there. Anime is always questioning my taste in genres and just when I think I’ve seen it all something new and exciting comes along. It’s that unpredictably which I love and the sheer volume of anime created every three months which keeps me coming back for more. The unpredictably isn’t restricted to just the genres either a lot of good anime always keep me guessing and the format which I watch anime, one episode a week helps this as it give me time to guess the plot at regular intervals which isn’t something you can do with movies or games since you tend to view them or play them at your own pace instead of the predetermined pace given to us by weekly airing anime.
All those factors contribute to why I started watching anime and why I still watch it now. I don’t see myself stopping any time soon so as long as the anime keeps airing I’ll keep watching it and not being able to share it with anyone offline. I’m interested in seeing everyone else’s reasoning as to why they watch anime. You can also see the rest of the participants over at Kai’s blog post, he should be keeping track of them at the bottom of his post so if he isn’t please let him know in whatever manner you see fit.