Five reasons to watch Anime

Paprika
22 Jul 2019
3 min read

Helen McCarthy shares her top five reasons why we should all be watching anime ahead of our Life Rewired inspired cinema season, Anime's Human Machines. 

1. A direct interface between the viewer and the screen unmediated by the celebrity, personality or desirability of human actors.

In anime the character is always more important than the actor. Also, a character can be as simple or as detailed as the artist chooses, as expressive as or more expressive than a human, able to move in ways no mortal can, and infinitely variable.

2. A range of storytelling options

that would be prohibitively expensive or complex in live action film or TV become as accessible as the cost of making the required number of images. The director and art director need never say no to any location, set-piece, costume choice or other artistic option: if you can draw it, you can have it.

3. Translatability across languages

Because all anime is dubbed, it’s a (relatively) simple matter to replace Japanese with any other language. Anime has been enjoyed in many languages around the world for over half a century, from the West Coast of the USA to the Gulf of Arabia, across South America, Australia, Russia, China and Europe.

4. Variety of length and format

If you only have five minutes, there’s an anime for you. If you want a feature film, there are plenty of those. A TV series? No problem! Anime can fit into just about any timeslot you have to spare, from two-minute shorts to binge-watching weekends. Got a week (168 hours) when you want to watch anime with only the briefest bathroom breaks, naps and pizza deliveries? You might just fit in the whole of Legend of Galactic Heroes.

5. There are no taboo topics, styles or genres in anime

Japan has the widest range of animation in the world. If you want wordless stories, musical films, conventional linear narratives or mind-bending visual adventures, in any genre or style, anime has something for you.