Anime: Why I Watch It

Anime: Why I Watch It

            In an attempt to let you get to know me, I decided that I should write a post dedicated to the reasons why I watch anime. Bear in mind though, these are probably not all the reasons; just the ones that I can immediately think of and understand myself.

I LOVE STORIES

I have always been an avid consumer of stories in any format. Books, movies, video games, word of mouth. If I can hear or see or read a story, I’m completely and totally enraptured. And I think that that is the number one reason why I have continued to watch anime.

            Through anime, I’ve discovered hundreds of different stories. Even if some anime have the same themes or plots, the story is told differently depending on who is telling or writing it. Though some anime have similar settings, the way those settings are displayed and how the characters within them behave are so different that it is always enjoyable for me as the viewer.

            I absolutely adore it.

IT’S JUST FOR ME

Getting a bit personal now, I’m the eldest of two children and I am also a child of divorce. Since nobody in my family seemed to have time for me when I was younger, and I was loaded up with responsibilities and expectations, I needed something that was mine. Not for my sister or my parents, but just for me. And anime provided that.

            Understand, my sister is seven years younger than me, so she was watching children’s shows when I discovered anime. My mother only watched things that were grounded in reality and, while my dad loves fantasy shows, he doesn’t really enjoy animated content. So, in the absence of anyone at home who I could watch anime with, it became a sort of hidden treasure to me.

            This would carry on even into present day. My wife likes anime, but I love it, which leads to me sometimes annoying her with constantly talking about it. Because annoying my wife isn’t exactly the path to a happy marriage, I tend to sneak off to my little corner of our home to watch anime by myself.

            I love having the ability to just sit in a room by myself and watch anime. It is my best friend (no offense to my other friends) and I’m happy with that.

IT MAKES ME FEEL

As a male, I am a victim of the mentality that men aren’t supposed to show emotions in any public capacity. While it has become more accepted recently, the damage is done and it is what it is. But anime destroys that wall in me.

            I distinctly remember when I first watched the last episode of Anohana. I was sitting in a room a shared with another person at the time, tears streaming down my face, my gut in a knot, my heart aching, and my hand over my mouth. I remember wanting to throw my computer when Kamina died in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. I remember being so pissed at Pein (or Pain) for killing Jiraiya that I wanted Naruto to finish him off.

            Anime has this way of seeping in through the cracks of my otherwise nonchalant and stoic exterior. It fills me with emotions that nobody (outside of my wife, of course) is allowed to see. It helps me when I’m overwhelmed with an emotion and need to just let it out by breaking down my wall and forcing me to let those feelings fly, which I appreciate more than anything.

I’m sure that there are a plethora of other reasons I watch anime. I exist for theorizing and shipping and and fancasting and buying merch. Anime is as much a real part of my life as my family and my job. It has mentored me and made me a better person. It has helped me to meet some of the best people I have ever met.

I am proud beyond words to be an anime fan. And I know that my love for anime will never change.

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