What's Anime to me anyway?

By ps102 · Aug 26, 2023 · ·
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    I've always loved animation. I don't know why, but I favoured it over live-action based movies since basically forever. My earliest memory of it is in the very early 2000s, when my Dad had a TV box that included a channel named "Jetix", which broadcasted animated shows. I don't know much about the logistics, but it is an American channel, and it did exist in Greece where I grew up. In fact, many of the shows were officially translated to Greek. Not sure what's going on there but I'm glad they made it work.

    Anyway. I have sweet memories from watching Sonic X and MegaMan Battle Network on that channel, which I was absolutely obsessed with. I didn't know it at the time but these were Japanese-produced shows that fit in the "Anime" category. Maybe me growing up with these shows caused me to develop a fondness for the Japanese animation style. I'm not sure, but I stuck with it.

    Seriously. I never bothered much with live-action. I'd always run home from school to watch things like Pokemon and other similar shows. People always talked about "real" movies but I never had the faintest interest. I'd watch these kinds of shows even in my early to mid teens. Then I discovered more Anime but with more mature themes and target audiences. That's also when I started to learn what "Anime" really is.

    I watched a lot. Some really dark shows like Made in Abyss and Steins;Gate, some character-driven like Toradora, and also plot-driven like Code Geass. There were some hybrids of course, like Psycho Pass, which drove the story with both characters and plot. Both elements were greatly involved.

    There's too much to list but that's the idea. I loved these shows and they did a lot for me. This is going to sound weird but they really inspired me to live a better life. At the time, my English wasn't good at all, and as a Greek in the UK, I tried to navigate the education system while I knew very little about how it worked and what I was supposed to do. My teachers didn't help much so I just pressed forward by myself in a faint hope that something good would happen. I acted the best I could and I worked as hard as I could even if I had no idea where I would end up. And my driving force was Anime. I found some of the characters (mainly from character-driven stories) very inspirational, so I did my best to imitate them.

    We're all writers here, right? We all know that many stories who put characters into their focus have a structure in place to shape an "arc" in order to develop them. I guess, subconsciously, I tried to mirror that in my own life. And that's of course impossible. Life isn't scripted like that. But hey, the thought and the drive is what really mattered. The fact that I kept trying over and over even when things looked bad. That earned me a few high-grade diplomas, and some genuinely impressed teachers who thought that I couldn't make it. I stood out in many classes and this drive was a big reason.

    I don't watch as much now that I'm in my early 20s. After an English class in 2019, I discovered writing and reading, so I've been focusing on those instead, which brings us up-to-date.

    In truth, much of Anime, especially the modern kind, is filled with garbage. The "why" is too complicated and a topic of its own, so just take my word for it.

    I watched a lot as I said, too many to remember. Some have stayed with me to this day, and I remember them regularly. One such show is Clannad, and it's single-handedly the most inspiring of all. Why? Because it's a show about growing up and facing the difficulties of life. And I was growing up too, so I could relate to it greatly. Hell, the main character closely matched my personality. A lost high schooler who didn't know what he was doing with his life, and who wasn't any good at studies. Like me.

    Clannad is a very emotionally-intense story. It deserves its own post so I won't be exploring that much here. What matters is how I watched the MC be put through the paces of life, and how he came through in the end, despite how hard things were. He went from a disinterested high schooler to a responsible, working adult. And that was immensely impactful.


    Watching the female protagonist struggle to go through the school gates? Been there, done that. The above screenshot is from the opening to the story. I particularly like how the school is located on top of a long hill. It's a metaphor for life, and the story initially refers to it as the "long, long hill", foreshadowing the dramatic events that are about to partake.

    Anime has story-telling styles that aren't found in our parts of the world, and that's because Japan is a society very different than ours. They face different challenges than us and you can tell from their stories. And yet, Clannad focuses on the universal concept of growing up. Everyone can relate to that no matter the culture, and that's why Clannad is so critically acclaimed across the world.

    It's a story that'll probably stay with me until the very end. I've known it since 2017 and I still remember it vividly. And that's what Anime is to me, really. A driving force and a beautiful memory consolidated from many important shows like Clannad. It continues to influence both me as a person and as a writer.


    Stories are important. They can embroil the author's experience, and the impact of that effect can have immensely positive impact to the readers. They can come to show us perspectives and angles we haven't seen before. That's what really helped me at the end of the day.

    My writing goal is to write a really good and impactful character-driven story. I don't know if I'll be able to do it. It's a long, long hill. And I'm still climbing it. But some day, I might just get to the top.


  1. Louanne Learning
    Thanks so much for sharing what Anime means to you. It's wonderful when we find something that is so inspirational. Good luck with your goal. I have complete confidence you will attain it!
      ps102 likes this.
    1. ps102
      Thank you! All the shorts and the contests I've done has been practice towards that. It's my ultimate goal.
      Louanne Learning likes this.
  2. PiP
    I never understood Anime until I read this. Thanks for sharing, @ps102
      ps102 likes this.
    1. ps102
      Anime is like a wide spectrum. There's a lot in there, but deep down, there's something for everyone.
      PiP and Louanne Learning like this.
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