Is it possible for children and teenagers to watch anime and what is associated with it?
Modern teenagers are not addicts. Having received unlimited access to the Internet, they get acquainted with the world’s works of art — cinema, animation, music, books. Among all this diversity, there are also representatives of Japanese culture, including anime. Many parents fear for their children’s health and psyche and do not fully understand what anime is and how to treat it. Is it harmful? Or maybe useful? What are these big caricatures? Let’s understand in more detail.
- What is anime?
- We debunk the main «anime» myths
- How does anime affect the human psyche?
- What Happens When a Kid Watches Anime?
- List of Great Kids & Family Anime
- Tips for parents of anime lovers
What is anime?
Anime is Japanese animation, which is a whole cultural layer in Japan. Even the word itself comes from the English animation («animation»). Since most cartoons are based on books or manga, unlike other countries’ cartoons, anime is intended for different age groups. Children’s content is only a small part of the total number of films. Perhaps it was the adult and youth focus that allowed the anime to take over the world so quickly.
Anime are both series, short films and full-fledged films. As in normal cinema, the variety of themes and characters allows everyone to find the right images to their taste in this world.
Anime differs not only in a wide audience, but also in drawing features. Of course, everyone primarily pays attention to the unnaturally large eyes of the characters. It should be noted that the anatomical features of the era of Europeans and Asians are to blame. The Japanese like the big eyes of the Europeans, so they feature big-eyed heroes in their cartoons.
Fun Fact: The size of the eyes depends a lot on the character’s personality. One can say about Japanese animation that the eyes are a mirror of the soul. Through them we will learn about the main characteristics of the heroes. Kind and sincere characters are always portrayed with large clear eyes. Sly and mysterious have a narrowed, «bird-like» gaze. There are also anime in which human anatomy is preserved — it all depends on the animator’s style and the year the film was released.
For every taste and every age
Anime is a cultural layer where everyone can find something of their own. There are children’s cartoons, youth pictures, adult and family films. You can find genres for girls and boys, for women and men. For fans of sports, technology, romance, etc. On the scene – cosmic, school, historical, etc.
Just looking at one work, it’s unfair to draw conclusions about the anime as a whole.
Let’s try to understand what types of anime exist and who they are suitable for.
«My Neighbor Totoro», 1988
Anime for children under 12 years old.
The basis of the plot is a simple fairy tale with a moral that is clear to every child. The drawing is simplified and most closely resembles the classic western. The Kodomo anime best known to international audiences can be considered «Pokémon».
«Attack on Titan», 2013
Anime for older boys and young men (12 to 16-18 years).
At the center of these cartoons is the protagonist — a young young man stubbornly going to his goal. The audience is shown the phases of its becoming and its overcoming. Through the prism of adventures, the authors tell about true male friendship, wise mentors and bright love for a beautiful girl. A prime example is known to many «Naruto».
«My Little Monster», 2012
Anime for older girls and girls (12 to 16-18 years old).
The main character here is a girl who is supposed to become a personality. There is also friendship and love here. The male image is presented as very romantic, bold, mysterious and noble. One of the first cartoons that won the love of the Russian audience of this genre is «Sailor Moon».
«Police in a Pod», 2017
Anime for young men (18+).
These works are not intended for children. They can be filled with deeper meanings, philosophical reflections, erotic scenes and scenes of violence.
In Sinen anime, the issues of life and death, sacrifice, debt and many others are raised. The plots become less dynamic, but more realistic. Good and evil are ambiguous here and can exchange ideas at any time. A vivid example of the «death booklet» (banned on the territory of Russia — ca.where the difficult question arises: who has the right to murder, does the purpose of the money justify it, etc.
«Bunny Drop», 2011
Anime for young women (18+).
Movies are created for both men and women that reveal adult relationships. At the heart of the plot is a woman and her problems: career, family, relationships with children, husband, parents. Erotic scenes, sexualized images and scenes of violence can also appear here. A prime example of the anime anime «The Abandoned Bunny»: About a lonely young man who is forced to become a guardian for a little girl and learns to be a parent by sacrificing his interests.
In addition, we must take into account that anime, as in our usual cinema, can be divided into genres: comedy, drama, adventure, soap opera, horror, mystery, thriller, action, erotic and pornographic (hentai) and many others.
Let’s explain separately what hentai is. This is the direction of anime, which is cartoon pornography and scares most Western viewers with its sophistication. Here, however, the cultural characteristics of Japan must be taken into account, where there are many social taboos. All the unrealized fantasies that have accumulated in society over the years poured into this genre. And of course everything hentai has an 18+ rating limit.
Why is anime so popular among children and teenagers?
Anime is a unique phenomenon that «grows» with its viewer. The child has the opportunity to watch anime that suits their interests and needs in the here and now mode, receiving new and new food for the spirit every year according to age.
As they enter their teenage years, children need examples of successful growing up, bright adventures, and «cool» characters that they can easily find in anime culture. Also through anime they find friends for themselves, learn the culture of another country. Some on this wave are learning Japanese to watch movies in their original language.
The heroes of Teenage Anime are the same teenagers who face difficulties, fall in love, and make friends. They have all the qualities befitting youthful maximalism: courage, wit, wit, mystery, talent, etc.
We debunk the main «anime» myths
Parents have many myths in their heads regarding anime culture and its influence on children’s immature psyches. However, not all allegations actually have any grounds under them.
Anime is cartoons for children
As we have repeated several times, the anime is not only aimed at a children’s audience. In Russia, mainly youth and youth anime is caught. Quite childlike anime and anime designed for people over 40 years old is practically not represented on the services.
Before you deliver an anime to your child, read the annotation and see the age rating of the cartoon. Then you don’t have to be afraid of sudden «non-childlike content» in the frame.
Anime is for girls
A myth based on the fact that in our culture, girls are seen as emotional while «men don’t cry». Anime is rich in emotional scenes and moral choices. The development of the emotional sphere is important regardless of gender. And Japanese animation also caters to male audiences.
Anime destroys the psyche
That’s also a myth. Child and adolescent psychiatry is primarily influenced by the environment – parents, classmates, teachers, grandparents. Cartoons, like computer games, western cinema and youtube can be a place where a child flees from the hated reality. And they can be a source of inspiration for reckless actions. But with the same success, they can become books. Let’s remember Goethe’s work «The Sorrows of Young Werther», which at the time triggered a wave of suicides among young women…
Therefore, you should first pay attention to your relationship with your child. And also to help him find his place in the real world.
Anime is about violence, death and cruelty
Yes, there are separate genres in anime such as action, drama, horror and thriller. This anime is not far behind the mass movie. Let’s remember, for example, the cult films «Saw» or «Cube», in which cruelty makes ends meet.
At the same time, there are many good, beautiful and charming cartoons in the anime, which have become a classic of world cinema and are recommended for family viewing. For example, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Walking Castle.
Anime is pornography
There is an adult genre in anime with explicit scenes — it’s hentai. It is marked with a rating of 18+.
Anime is dangerous and does not benefit children
There are good movies and bad ones, there are good books and bad ones, there are good anime and bad ones. When choosing a movie for the evening, we read the comments and ratings. Everything works the same way with anime.
Properly selected work can help a teenager to define himself in this world and get bright emotions.
Anime is a foreign culture
We live in the age of globalization. The cultures mix quickly, balance and complement each other.
Knowledge of different cultures makes our children more tolerant of the traditions of other peoples of the world. And also allows them to pay attention to the customs of their people, to understand how they behave in a certain situation, and as a representative of another culture. It doesn’t matter whether we get to know American, British, French or Japanese works of art.
How does anime affect the human psyche?
Since there are many different directions and age restrictions in anime, it is necessary to clearly understand that viewing works outside of age can have a negative impact on a child’s psyche. But this also applies to other videos, not just Japanese animation.
There are anime based on real and historical events. There are anime that tell stories of ordinary people in everyday situations. Of course, there are also adult stories with a wealth of violent and erotic scenes. However, anime’s damage is greatly exaggerated.
Advantages of anime
Bright colorful animation
Anime impresses with its image quality. Many cartoons are filled with bright colors, beautiful views of nature, exquisite outfits and very beautiful characters.
Vitality of the plots
Since most of the stories tell stories about people, the problems are very human and understandable for viewers. The multipliers tell of friendship, love, conflicts, losses and simple joys. It is so close and understandable to the viewer that it evokes a deep emotional response.
A variety of genres and directions
This is an absolute plus as everyone can find something of their own in Japanese animation. Here there is a fairy tale for a child, an adventure for a teenager, and deep cinema for adults.
Many philosophical ideas and meanings
Most anime stories touch deep philosophical questions, reveal complex motives of characters, force adult audiences to stop dividing the world into «black and white», because people are much more complicated than just «good» and just «evil» ».
In the anime you can see reflections on fate and destiny, love and hate, life and death. Japanese culture is very multifaceted in this respect and rarely gives clear answers.
Despite the presence of world-famous themes, most of the cartoons have no analogues in world cinema. Anime has its ancient history, so Japanese screenwriters and multipliers draw as they see fit without looking back and taking their cues from Hollywood or «Disney».
Most anime are presented as series or mini-series. The cartoon is divided into short episodes that allow you to tell the story in more detail and at the same time give the viewer a break.
Certainly an important part of any high-quality work of art.
Disadvantages of anime
Industry targeting an adult audience
Most animation works are aimed at adults. Cartoons on posters can be misleading, so it is necessary to read the annotation and pay attention to the rating, especially when choosing a cartoon for a children and youth audience.
Distorted human proportions
The immature child psychiatry reads in the cartoon body as beautiful. Compares the resulting image with his body and constantly loses. Adolescents may underestimate self-esteem because of this discrepancy. However, if the outside world regularly gives fair compliments in the person of parents and friends, this problem can be easily avoided.
Issues with Japanese animation voice acting
Most anime are voiced by amateurs rather than professional actors. As a result, serious mistakes, language errors and obscene vocabulary can occur in translations.
Same-sex love in Japanese cartoons is a fairly common phenomenon. This can be seen as propaganda. However, from a psychological point of view, this is more of a reason for parents to talk to children about an acute issue, in order not to stigmatize homosexuals and to help the child to determine himself and make his decisions. The calmer the adults talk about this topic, the less the children want to experiment.
Anime as a way to escape from reality
The departure from reality is not due to anime or computer games. It’s important to understand what a teenager runs into and plunges headlong into the cartoon world. After realizing a teenager’s problem with the real world, you can reduce the time he spends in cartoons.
See how much time and in which apps lead your child! Kids360 not only has the function of limiting the time (screentime) to work with the gadget, but also filters unwanted content that a child may receive.
Features in the interpretation of important ideas, meanings
Philosophical subjects (e.g. the subject of death) are treated differently than in European culture. This is due to the peculiarities of Japanese culture. A beautiful death or suicide in anime is a mark of honor and dignity, and sometimes the only way out. This can certainly affect a teenager who is in a difficult situation. But we must understand that the impetus for a reckless act can be both a lyrical song and an ordinary melodrama. Therefore, parents should pay attention to the emotional state of the child in order to take timely measures to stabilize his condition.
What Happens When a Kid Watches Anime?
Due to the plethora of misconceptions surrounding anime, some parents get terrified when they learn their child is watching Japanese cartoons. Don’t worry about the kid’s fascination with anime culture.
Step 1. Chat, try to understand
To start with him, find out what anime is so appealing to him? Share interest with him, watch the cartoon together, discuss his plot, characters, ask the child how he would act in a certain situation, whether he agrees with the actions of the characters, share your thoughts with. Let it be a friendly conversation, without notations from the category «What the fuck is your fish?» This allows you to maintain the child’s confidence and develop his emotional intelligence.
Step 2. Arrange a time for the views
In order not to interfere with anime with study and extracurricular activities, arrange with your child a time when he can watch his favorite animated series in peace.
Step 3. If the child is abusing, understand why
Anxiety can be caused by a situation when a child puts his head into the anime, forgetting about study and the outside world. He cannot control the time in front of the screen, and against this background, conflicts in the family are becoming more and more common. This is a similar situation with gambling.
It is necessary to understand what exactly reality makes bad for the child, why he wants to escape to the cartoon world. Perhaps he is having problems at school, or there are difficulties in communication, or there are poor relationships within the family. Or maybe he simply lacks bright emotions and impressions.
Help your kid restore balance in the real world and you will see that anime will become a common hobby for him. If you realize that you cannot cope with the situation, do not be afraid to seek help from a psychologist.
List of Great Kids & Family Anime
There are many good and good anime movies that are suitable for family watching. Here we will quote those with whom it is worth starting your acquaintance with this world
«The Witch Delivery Service» (1989). Rating 6+
«The Witch Delivery Service», 1989
The work of the most famous filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. He painted such famous anime as Cast Away by Ghosts, Haul’s Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro and many other undoubtedly remarkable paintings.
«The Witcher Delivery Service» tells about the coming of age of a young witch who learns to live independently, take care of herself and her cat, make a living and deal with various difficulties. Cartoons are suitable for children over 6 years old.
«The Return of the Cat» (2002). Rating 0+
«The Return of the Cat», 2002
Brave girl Hara rescues a cat under the wheels of the car. Suddenly it turns out that this is not a simple cat, but a prince of the cat kingdom. And now the cat king is eager to marry the rescued one and Haru, who doesn’t want to be part of the cat world at all. She is waiting for an incredible adventure full of dangers and wonders.
«Avatar: The Legend of Aang» (2004-2008). Rating 6+
«Avatar: The Legend of Aang», 2004-2008
The anime tells about the good and evil of a magical world where there are magicians who can conquer one of the four elements. But only the Avatar is ruled by Water, Fire, Air and Earth. The avatar’s job is to maintain balance and harmony in the world. But what if the avatar is boy Aang, aged twelve, his friends aren’t much older, and the war rages around him? Aang will embark on a dangerous journey, master his own powers, grow up and set the world right.
«Children of the Sea» (2019). Rating 12+
«Children of the Sea», 2019
Tells about the adventures of a girl named Ruka, who came to her father on vacation. She meets twin brothers who grew up in the ocean. Together they investigate the disappearance of the sea creatures.
The cartoon is filled with beautiful views of nature and tells children about the need to preserve the ecology of our planet.
«Steel Alchemist: Brotherhood» (2009-2010). Rating 16+
«Steel Alchemist: Brotherhood», 2009-2010
Two brothers live in a world where magic is subordinate to alchemists. They are raised by their mother. The father who left her long ago is said to have been an alchemist. The brothers want to learn magic and spend all their free time doing it. But one day a problem comes to them — their mother dies. The elder brother loses his hand and leg while the younger loses his body entirely to revive it using alchemy (which is strictly forbidden). All they could do was encase his soul in giant armor.
The brothers embark on a journey to put everything back in its place. You must face difficult trials and hardships, learn new skills and make new friends.
Tips for parents of anime lovers
Before you condemn a child to watch anime and fear for his psyche, talk to him, get to know his passion, share emotions and experiences. Follow some simple guidelines and cartoons are a pleasant pastime, no cause for conflict:
- Determine the time when the child can watch anime in peace.
- Teach your kid to choose cartoons considering age rating and genre. Remember that you cannot constantly monitor your child. He will always find a way to see the «forbidden». So it’s important to explain why some cartoons should be pushed to a specific age.
- Spend more time with your child, communicate, and find interesting joint activities. This will not only strengthen a trusting relationship, but also receive bright impressions and emotions that are so absent in everyday life.
- Help your child understand Japanese symbolism and culture specifics. Not only is this fascinating, but it will also help avoid misinterpreting the ideas in cartoons.
- Help your child find more hobbies such as drawing or creating their animation work. The more interesting the real world, the lower the chance that the kid will disappear head first in the anime.
In any case, the easiest way to ban and taunt a child’s fascination is to lose their confidence. Be close to your kids, track their emotional state and be ready to come to their aid in any situation!
The picture on the front page: anime «Spirited Away», 2001.
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