Although I tend to write on subjects that are related to Ranka on this blog my first love has always been anime. Most people probably don’t know this but I have been an anime fan for long before Ranka was around. So I thought I would write about what it is that attracts me to anime but also to be fair what I wish it did better.
Writers who just want to tell their story
The biggest thing that originally attracted me to anime was that very often stories were not created for the audience to consume but rather just an expression of what the author wanted to create. Roles were not defined by how popular a character is or what we wanted and that made for vastly better stories in the end. I think partly this comes from the fact that most anime originate from manga which takes away many of the pandering and other factors that often ruin stories. Sadly this is not as much the case anymore which is very disappointing.
Willingness to tread new ground and take risks
Something I find refreshing is when the writers take that extra chance and do something that may not work out. For example a somewhat older anime called Touka Gettan aired it’s episodes in reverse starting from episode 26 and ending with episode one. Did it work out? I would say no, although I found it very interesting and I give them all the credit in the world for having the guts to try this.
One thing that anime allows for is an unlimited imagination when it comes to writing. This has made for lots of stories that would not otherwise be possible even if CG is making this less a factor now. Granted this also has it’s downsides as it makes anime tend to favor escapism which can kill an otherwise decent story.
Cute factor and moe
I admit it I love cuteness, I wasn’t always like that so this is something that has grown on me while watching anime. Still anime does cute like no other and moe which has spawned from it is another evolution of cuteness.
There are two good things about Japanese culture that adds to anime. One I find it a good thing to expand my mind about other cultures and two I personally just like Japanese culture. Sure it has it’s downsides like every culture but it really does fit me at least. This is probably the most underestimated reason why people either do or don’t like anime.
I will admit anime characters are not all that deep in fact most could be defined in a paragraph, still I really love anime characters. I suppose that much is obvious already, just look at my blog. I do wish there were more characters like Ranka who are not born prefect but grow rather than the more popular flawless characters. I am fairly happy about anime characters overall.
Things that I wish anime could do better
Yeah this is not anime limited at all but still it is what ends up annoying me the most after a while. I wish writers would try to keep this in mind when they create stories. But I think anime is showing this more often lately and it’s got to the point where just breaking the cliché is enough to make us think it’s good. See any kind of love triangle or harem where the lead picking someone is considered an achievement.
As I mentioned before pandering is on the rise in anime as money is becoming a bigger factor in the world of anime then it was 15 years ago. It’s ok sometimes but when you say rewrite your entire story around the popularity of a character everyone loses even if they don’t realize it.
Better main characters
So while I love anime characters in general why do main characters in anime have to suck so hard? I don’t know what it is but they are often the least interesting characters in the anime. I have a theory that if anime is about escapism then main characters are created for us to pretend we are them so they leave them rather generic on purpose often.
Keeping bias from creators and staff
This is more a pet peeve but it can be as bad as pandering because there is nothing worse than having the staff of the anime you love show bias against what you like. While this is less directly related to the anime itself it can still result in changes to your anime later on. Thankfully it isn’t too big a problem although it hit me hard in Macross Frontier. If you want to see a good example look at Risa Ebata’s body of work for her illustrations for Macross Frontier. You want to know the most annoying part is people have tried to use her illustrations to claim meaning in them even though she is just an illustrator.