Most of my life I’ve watched cartoons. From the early days of sitting in my PJ’s on a Saturday and Sunday morning watching Battle of the Planets, Ulysses’ 31, Dungeons and Dragons. Episodes carved up and sandwiched between live segments of “Saturday Superstore” and “Going Live” to keep you watching for the next instalment. From Transformers to Warner Brother Classics, I watched them all, until…
I just stopped.
I’m not sure whether I got old or just didn’t have the time, or both. Cartoons had failed to catch my imagination any longer.
So lets move nearer to the present…
I’m a relatively newcomer to the world of Japanese Anime, a slow starter if you will. The choice is never-ending, there seem to be thousands of different genres and age ranges etc…etc. A minefield if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Fortunately I have the wisdom of the guys here to help point me on the right path. With services like Crunchyroll , being brought to larger platforms like Apple TV and PS3 I’m not short of things to watch.
So whats different? Why does Anime catch my imagination more than the cartoons of my youth? Well, truth is I still do watch those cartoon of yesteryear, but in a more rose-tinted and nostalgic way. If you sat me down to watch Ben 10 for example I’m pretty sure my hands will be around your neck sooner or later.
My experience of Anime is that of Choice, Quality and Subject. I’ve been “drawn” to the darker side, watching the likes of Death Note , Code Geass and of course Cowboy Bebop . I hope to cover the genres/sub-genres and quality of choice in future posts ( Cowboy Bebop Critique coming soon!). Anime has something that western cartoons don’t have. As well as more flippant fun and general enjoyment (Familiar in Western Cartoons), they cover difficult subject matter of a more mature nature, perhaps that is it in a nutshell.
Western Cartoons fail to grow as its audience does. The narratives do not resemble what we have come to expect from our viewing. It fails to test us, and challenge us. To WOW us and engage us. Anime does. It does this and much more, it is pure escapism, flights of fantasy. Shocks and amuses us. It is crafted, as a painter would to convey a whole host of emotions and feelings.
It is an Art.
It relates to us.
And as with any art form, there is good, bad and mediocre. But there is choice, and I know that as my tastes changes, somewhere, there is the right Anime for me. In Fact, If you know where to look, I truly believe there’s an Anime out there, Somewhere, for everyone….