Many of my peers are addicted to Hong Kong’s TVB series, and more recently Korean drama series (eg My Love From The Star 来自星星的你) and shows (eg Running Man). For me, I watch them, I like them, but my most favoritest shows are Japanese animes. In fact, I wouldn’t mind if you call me an otaku, as long as I get to watch those awesome animations.
Here’s a few reasons among many why I love Japanese animes.
1. They are awesome!
I started watching Japanese animes when AXN became part of the channels offered by Astro. I was in early secondary school, I think. Can you imagine the impact that it made to my life? The change from American shitty cartoons to Japanese anime was so shocking! And it was a very wonderful shock! Japanese anime opened my eyes to the fact that cartoons can be cool and awesome.
The best thing about Japanese animes is that they always involve cool guys performing realistically impossible feats to save the day. Top it off with flashy effects and explosions. Any teenager or young man worth his salt would be hooked.
I mean, imagine watching Popeye, Tom & Jerry and all those Nickelodeon/Disney channel shit and suddenly being served with these,
Cloud Strife vs Sephiroth – Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Hiko Seijiro vs Fuji – Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X)
By the way, Hiko is my favorite character in this anime series. I think he is much cooler than Kenshin which I will feature next.
Himura Kenshin (Battousai) vs Shishio Makoto – Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X)
Rukawa performing a dunk that will put Lebron James to shame – Slam Dunk
I mean, seriously, how do you expect me to go back to watching crappy American cartoons? Power Rangers? Gimme a break, man…
2. It is a cool way to learn the language!
Watching Japanese animes is the reason why I can declare that my Japanese is more proficient than my Hokkien despite living in Penang for 6 years now. While I more often than not still have no idea what is going on when being with a bunch of people speaking Hokkien, I can grasp words here and there when listening to people speak Japanese.
The dialog in the animes is quite simple. When you watch enough of them, you will be able to figure out what individual words mean. When most people only know how to scold people using baka, I learned bakayaro, aho, kisama and teme 😀 (all words to scold people). Some other words that I can easily recognize nowadays: ningen (human), kaze (wind), umi (ocean), kanojo (her/girlfriend), atsui (hot), samui (cold), taosu (defeat), korosu (kill), hakkai (destroy), dekkai (huge), tsuyoi (strong), yowai (weak), etc.
Hokkien? I can’t even count one to ten properly 😳
Nowadays when I get impatient waiting for English subs of new animes, I would just stream the raw versions (without subtitles). On average I can catch 20% of the words, and make out 50% of what is going on when putting those words in context.
There’s a downside though. I think the anime language is not the proper polite language. For example, when a boss makes a request to employee:
Yarimasu ka? (Can do it?), Yarimasen! (Cannot!)
Yareru ka? (Can do it?), Nai! (No!)
I think you should be fine in Tokyo, I’ve heard all those simplified language being used all around. But I once talked to a Japanese lady from Nagano many years ago (we were attending the International Youth Conference for BLIA 佛光山, it was held in Shah Alam that year). I was trying to show off the Japanese words that I learned from the animes, but she immediately set me straight. She said the anime language is how yamanjin 野蛮人 (barbarians) speak, it is very rude.
I guess in Japan, the rural people see Tokyo people as barbarians with no manners when speaking 😐 .
3. The girls are hot!
Animes are drawn by horny Japanese geeks who always fantasize about the perfect women that they can never find in real life. Is it a wonder that the anime girls are either cute or hot?
I love this anime Paradise Kiss. The story revolves around a group of arts college students designing their showpiece dress for a competition.
Well, I can’t think of other reasons after spending some time drooling over hot anime girls.
I’ve watched a lot of animes so far, but not all of them tickles my fancy. For example, I never really warmed up to Naruto and Bleach. Watched 2 episodes of each and gave up. Let me try to list down what I watched, see how far it goes.
- Dragon Ball Z
- Slam Dunk
- Sakura Wars
- Ayashi no Ceres
- Ah My Goddess
- You’re Under Arrest
- Rave Master
- Initial D (all of them)
- Gate Keepers
- Rurouni Kenshin
- Ragnarok (adapted from the online game)
- Death Note
- Paradise Kiss
- Final Fantasy VII Advent Children
- etc. I’m sure I left out quite a few…
I am currently chasing Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) and Wangan Midnight.
I think I qualify as an otaku…