Things you do in your life need to have a meaning. If not, you are wasting time. Wasted time is an opportunity cost. It's a great way to look at the world. Instead of just writing another anime review out of the thousands of hours of anime I've watched, I decided to write on why you should watch anime in the first place.
Lots of people would come up and tell you that watching animated stuff on a screen isn't good for your life and well being. Some of these people are idiots. Some others are actually very intelligent and accomplished men and women. This second group has a point and you need an argument against that.
Reading maketh a full man; and writing an axact man.
- Francis Bacon
Anime (and Movies and Live Action TV) utilize both audio and visuals to tell the story. You might not have noticed this but you also spend a good portion of your viewing experience reading things on the screen (depending on the movie). So I'd make an argument that anime can be a more intense extension of the reading experience. This can work in both ways. In old days writing was used for messaging purposes and some probably used it for insults. Intellectual writing came much later.
It's the same with animation.
Basically it's nothing that I would recommend watching except for educational/historical purposes. People don't turn their lives around just because they read some notice. People won't have a profound experience by watching some moving pictures. Art gains value with its impact on people. Art is a way we share our memetics and "Chinthana". Art is a way for a human being to grow beyond his/her own experiences.
Learn from other people's mistakes. Life is too short to make them all yourself.
- Sam Levenson
A Glimpse Into What Is Possible With An Audio-Visual Medium
You are not getting that experience from a book. *If you don't have a 25 minutes to invest in something great, at least watch the first minute and the last 3 minutes. If it was a waste of time, then probably this entire article is a waste of time for your. You can move on with your life.
But Why Anime?
First of all, there is no reason to dismiss or think of other mediums as anything less. There are certain experiences that you'd only gain from a book. 2001: A Space Odyssey movie and the book are a great place to compare the strengths of each medium. The Matrix (1999) is one of the greatest things ever made. The movie has more worth than most temples/churches ever will. The sequels were even BETTER.
This post isn't about why anime is greater than one medium. I firmly take it as a fact the the Anime Industry is far superior to Hollywood. But that's a matter of how each medium is getting USED.
That is how Anime Impact lives. That's art making change!
The Quality of Anime
Below is some parts from Jimmy Neutron. It was one of the best looking animated series of the English speaking world.
Now here is something from the same era of the Anime industry:
The background music track in the last video is the Opening of the Anime. We can easily conclude that as an industry, Anime produce the best TV animation in the entire world. If you are not sure, here is another one from 2011:
The Stories Being Told
If you want more imaginative and bold story telling, you'll simply have to get into reading science fiction books. The Matrix (1999) was inspired by Ghost in the Shell (1995) movie. Most of the cool stuff you seen in live action movies and narrative elements were present in anime much earlier. Transformers and Pacific Rim wouldn't exist if it wasn't for anime. This isn't just a case of superficial elements. The next video is going to involve heavy spoilers. So you might want to skip after the first few minutes. Just give it bit of a viewing.
How often do you think this kind of stories are being told in other mediums? So many people sing praise in the name of Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men. But if you have seen some psychological anime, you'll think of Anton Chigurh as a second rate or even third rate moderately intimidating fellow. If I be a little harsh yet honest, Chigurh is a maggot compared to..........
Ever seen a movie doing that? It also brings me to another point.
The Right Amount of Length
A lot of anime tends to get the right amount of time to tell a complete story. Most live action movies try to stuff too much into a single movie. With anime, they have a whole season to work with. But unlike live action TV, things don't keep going for a long time with too much filler. Most anime don't have filler. Ty have just the right amount of story and after the season is done, they are done. No need to build a massive franchise.
Anime only cost few millions to make as opposed to hundreds of millions. There is also a lot of competition and the culture of Japan helps this too. Japan values both traditionalism and self improvement. The Japanese are also extremely tolerant and open minded compared to western audiences. I mean just try to imagine a gender swapped version of King Arthur who is also a lesbian who didn't aged since pulling out the Excalibur as a teenager and she falls in love with and have sex with a Japanese high schooler. Add to the fact that the said "Teenage Lesbian Queen Arthur" story became a massive masterpiece with critical acclaim and commercial hit instead of say, Female GhostBusters.
These are actually very tiny examples. In the anime industry there are lots of big budget Matrix/Blade Runner like productions that truly push boundaries. Neon Genesis Evangelion is one such masterpiece that put so much trust in the audience intelligence and half the story is basically a puzzle you have to fit.
Barely Touched The Surface
There is so much I could say and show. But I want this post to be capable of acting as sort of an introduction for newcomers. So I'll end with one final thing. Animation can capture the essence that the live action cannot. Directors like The Wachowskis and Zack Snyder have actually managed to capture many of these Anime feels, but it's been a difficult and expensive process. You could also say that The Kingsman franchise sort of captured the anime feels too.
Whatever your tastes are, anime is likely to have something for you. Anime also has the maturity most live action R Rated movies and TV doesn't have. I mean do you see these sort of things in movie
Even the silly looking ones go way deep.
So don't say that animation is for kids. That's like saying having fun is only suitable for kids. Anime is an art form capable of profoundly changing the way you live your life. If you know what to watch, it'll change the way you look at the world. If you think books are boring, then Anime won't bore you. So take some time and think about the opportunity cost of not watching anime in you life.