Misconceptions about Anime|
I was getting my daily dose of slashdot and my interest was piqued by an article concerning violence and anime written by some bozo at the New York Times (Sorry you need to register to read it, Stupid NY Times!!@#$!)
The guy writing the article really underlined the whole problem with the non-geek perception of anime.. at least in the United States. Over here, its just another cartoon. And who watches cartoons? Yep, the children (Oh won't somebody PLEASE think of the children). His whole problem with these 'cartoons' was the violence and mature themes he saw in his extremely limited and feeble understanding of anime (evident from his description of Card Captor Sakura as an anime for young boys when it obviously is geared towards girls). I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't even cross his mind that not all anime is intended for the 7-13 age group.
My issue here is not with his assertion that there is violence in Anime, but with how he categorically lumps all Anime as Saturday Morning Cartoon fare that is only picked up to entertain the kiddies while you take a nap, or something. Its grating to know that we who enjoy an anime with mature, adult-oriented themes are in some respect, dependent on the mainstream populace to influence what gets picked up and brought over to the States. And with attitude towards anime as nothing but a cartoon for kids, we can be sure that more Pokemon, DragonBallZ and Sailor Moon are going to be the order of the day. One need only look to how Escaflowne flopped on Fox Kids to see how little these TV networks understand Anime, so little that they don't differentiate it based on target audiences.
Now, whether or not your average kid watching DragonBallZ risks being programmed into a violent automaton is a whole nother article, but I will suggest that kids seeing violence isn't an inherently bad thing. Most anime I've seen tackles violence in the context of 'Doing the right thing' and 'Good guys triumph over bad guys' These messages are worthwhile to send to kids, especially when the people involve struggle with the weight and impact of the violence they are having to committ as is often the case. It certainly beats the violence is funny attitude of Looney Tunes or Tom and Jerry, at least IMO.
Maybe its better Anime doesn't become mainstream anyways. When I tell Joe Jock that I like to watch anime and he says "What you watch cartoons" in a shocked voice, I know he's just automatically failed my potential mate pre-screening aptitude test. Monday Night Football gives you brain rot guys! *smirks*
Thursday, March 29, 2001