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How To Get Anyone Into Watching Anime
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Posted 3/9/14

badisglaid wrote:



You're over analyzing this lol.

Naw, he's trying to help you improve.

I do agree with your idea that people new to anime won't be as tired of the typical anime tropes, but I know plenty of smart, educated people who would easily be able to pick out crap characters, plot holes and shoddy character development, even without having seen any anime. Anime is still a storytelling medium and people who understand what makes a good story won't be fooled just because it's anime and not a live-action movie.

Imo, the biggest struggle to bring new people to anime is overcoming their pre-existing ideas about the medium (notably, that it is for kids as you've said, and that it's for perverts).

Working on this problem myself in a blog post, and it's turning out to be quite an involved analysis/project.

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Posted 3/9/14 , edited 3/9/14
I really like the video. Both the content and delivery.


iblessall wrote:

I do agree with your idea that people new to anime won't be as tired of the typical anime tropes, but I know plenty of smart, educated people who would easily be able to pick out crap characters, plot holes and shoddy character development, even without having seen any anime. Anime is still a storytelling medium and people who understand what makes a good story won't be fooled just because it's anime and not a live-action movie.

Imo, the biggest struggle to bring new people to anime is overcoming their pre-existing ideas about the medium (notably, that it is for kids as you've said, and that it's for perverts).

Working on this problem myself in a blog post, and it's turning out to be quite an involved analysis/project.

The following are all my personal, unfounded assumptions:

In a way it works to our advantage that people underestimate anime, since they won't have high expectations of it. So you can show them a story that's not very involved, but as long as it's engaging you can get them intrigued.

I'm actually more hesitant to show someone something critically substantial as their first anime because it splits their focus; if they can take the story for granted while also being engaged it'll be easier for them to acclimate to the animation, after which you can show them something heavier. (Just to be clear, I don't think a gateway anime has to be spindly; Attack on Titan is a good one, but so is Death Note. It just has to have logical, in-the-moment flow.)

(For example, I tried throwing someone head-first into Serial Experiments Lain once. It didn't work out.)

I think that's because there's a sliding scale related to realism, where if an anime has a more realistic art style you can risk a more complex story, such as Death Note, Ghost in the Shell, or Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, because it tones down the amount of attention required to assess the animation so they can invest more in the story. But if you're going to show someone something that looks like your usual anime, you can't clobber them with a heavy story simultaneously.
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Posted 3/9/14
^ The point I was trying to make is that there are certain elements that actually make up an engaging story, and that those are incredibly important. Things like character development, well-executed plots and pacing are critical to an engaging story. They don't exist without them, even if the audience can't analyze those for themselves.

I definitely don't disagree that engagement is key. However, what is engaging to someone who has never seen an anime before and someone who has watched a lot is going to be different. I am actually speaking from personal experience here, lest my claim seem totally unsubstantiated.

I also think it would be foolish to underestimate genre as an important gateway to the medium. If you show Death Note to someone who loves rom-coms, you're probably going to lose them. If you show Toradora! to someone who dislikes rom-coms and loves sci-fi, you'll probably lose them before they get to what makes Toradora! great.

Age also plays into it, I think.

tl;dr: Conceptually, showing someone a show that will engage them quickly (what's said in the video about hooking people in the first five minutes in right on the money) is the way to go. However, I don't believe there is a single anime that is the perfect gateway for every single non-anime watcher.

To contradict myself, I believe and will probably continue to maintain that Gingitsune is the perfect anime with which to introduce any non-anime watcher.
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Posted 3/9/14 , edited 3/9/14
Ah; I didn't mean to cite definitive titles, just examples.

I think the rule is applicable across genres. You should pick a story that'll be of interest to your target audience, but you should still aim to give them something that's easy to swallow in our eyes since we take the animation for granted, while they'll have to invest attention in acclimating to it. It's the difference between working through a sentence in a new language, or one you're familiar with. The sentence can be awesome, but it shouldn't be too complicated.

The more out-of-left-field the animation is, the more attention it'll require for a new viewer, and the more you'll have to compensate by toning down the story elements. You just have to find a balanced piece that flows well for a newbie. For example, I'd lean away from using FLCL as a gateway anime because both its animation and story are difficult to follow. Hayao Miyazaki films, on the other hand, are both easy to watch and easy to follow, despite often being strange.

I'm not saying give them flat or bad stories, just easy ones. As an extreme example, Kemono no Soja Erin (link) is a children's show that's very easy to follow, but has an awesome amount of depth and maturity. It fails as a gateway anime for other reasons, namely for being obviously aimed at younger children despite its (perhaps deserved, by our standards) PG-13 rating in the US, but just to make the point about seeking out good stories instead of complex ones.

...

Are we saying the same things at each other? I think we are.


(Seriously though, Kemono no Soja Erin is a very splendid piece of quality writing.)
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Posted 3/9/14 , edited 3/9/14
I really liked the video as well and agree.

Watching it reminded me how I converted three anime haters to anime lovers lol. All because my Haqua cellphone wallpaper. You definitely need to know the audience though. All of us are engineers and in class they saw me with the Haqua wallpaper. Long story short, they decided they would give a show a shot that I picked and watch all of it. I would buy them shots if they hated it. Both of them, I recommended my favorite anime Steins;Gate right off the bat since we all dig science. They finished it in 2 days and wanted more. One of them skipped class to marathon all of Steins;Gate. It did take them awhile to finally start finding there own shows. For awhile, they just went by what I told them was good or by my anime list.

The 3rd one was a older girl around 28. She was studying business, so I knew Steins;Gate probably wouldn't be the ideal choice. I recommended Spice and Wolf. Now, she collects all Spice and Wolf merchandise. She liked Devil is a Part-timer too, but like the other two. She also kept going by my recommendations till she started to explore on her own. For some reason, this is the hurdle I found for new anime people.

It is a lot easier to recommended anime by person in my opinion rather than the internet. I know people that literally think a person telling another person on the web has no credibility. I can't say I have a "gateway" anime. Like Insomnist said up above, just depends on the individual and the rules apply to all genres. Could be easier for me since I have known these people for awhile? Maybe it was the Haqua cellphone wallpaper? I dunno.

Anywho, my 2 cents and some experience I have had introducing people to anime. Good video! Let me remembered some good times lol!

P.S yes, they all know Haqua is my Waifu!
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Posted 3/9/14
I say show them Brotherhood because it has literally none of the common bull that anime has. Plus a good story with good pacing that isn't dull and draggy like Naruto a Shippuden. Be a good gateway into anime.
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Posted 3/9/14
I really agree with that video. I started off with shonun series. When I was younger, these were things like Yu-gi-oh, Digimon, DBZ, Card Captor Sakura (I know that last one was more shojo now, but I liked it back then still). As I got older, I discovered shows like Naruto, and my friend got me into Bleach and Fairy Tail. I didn't know a lot about anime, what all it could be, but I knew I liked those shows. Sure, there were flaws, but I enjoyed them, and that's what got me to stick with them and branch out into more.

The part about a good first impression is key. I think that's where Attack on Titan shines so much, I was immediately drawn into that one. I recently finished Clannad and After Story, and while it's a great show, I don't think it's a good first anime with it's kind of slow start. But what others were saying, tailor it to people's tastes.
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Posted 3/9/14

meowth900 wrote:

I say show them Brotherhood because it has literally none of the common bull that anime has. Plus a good story with good pacing that isn't dull and draggy like Naruto a Shippuden. Be a good gateway into anime.


That's what I said in the video.
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Posted 3/9/14 , edited 3/9/14

badisglaid wrote:

Video Link


Maybe I'm bad with English, but I couldn't understand you very well at all.
Could you summarize in a spoiler on the original post?
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Posted 3/10/14 , edited 3/10/14
Traditionally, I've gone with Death Note, but I'm pretty sure Psycho-Pass is my top, particularly for American audiences. It introduces them to some of the hefty topics anime deals with, high on excitement, stylish, and isn't "cartoonish" in character. There are times when Death Note can feel a little ridiculous, and Psycho-Pass fixes that problem. Plus, it's just a damn good show even for people that have watched a lot of anime. If you just want to zonk out and watch cool scenes with excitement and mystery, you're set. If you want to mull it over a bit and think about it, you're set. Steins;Gate might be another pretty good one, but I've heard other viewers say that it took them a bit of time to get into it (I was hooked from the start, so I wouldn't know). I could see Fate/Zero being pretty good, and depending on the viewer (there are some people that wouldn't like the above), I might also recommend Spice and Wolf, Baccano, Planetes, Oregairu, Garden of Words, Kids on the Slope, Wolf Children and MAYBE Clannad.

If none of those fit, then they probably aren't the type to get into anime anyway -- people generally do what they like to do, and anime is certainly not the undisputed champion of awesome hobbies. I enjoy most shows that come out, but nonetheless, I enjoy doing other things a lot more. I find, particularly these days, that I'm only watching the best of the shows, and dropping a lot of good ones because there's simply better things to do with my time. There are some awesome things out there, and for a lot of people, reading, fishing, studying, hanging out with friends, starting a business, inventing something cool, competitive napping, or anything else, might be a better use of their time. There are a significant portion of people that will have better things to do than watch anime (I'm not disparaging anime here. I love this shit, which is why I watch it -- it remains one of the best things I can do with my time). Leave them be.
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Posted 3/10/14
You probably wouldn't agree with me but I've gotten all my friends into anime with Ouran Highschool Host Club. In my opinion it is also a great start up anime because there are a lot of different "character stereotypes". For example my tomboy friend really liked Haruhi in the show for obvious reasons. My other friend really liked the twins because she said they were 'adorable' and it made her want to keep watching.
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Posted 3/10/14

theYchromosome wrote:

Traditionally, I've gone with Death Note, but I'm pretty sure Psycho-Pass is my top, particularly for American audiences. It introduces them to some of the hefty topics anime deals with, high on excitement, stylish, and isn't "cartoonish" in character. There are times when Death Note can feel a little ridiculous, and Psycho-Pass fixes that problem. Plus, it's just a damn good show even for people that have watched a lot of anime. If you just want to zonk out and watch cool scenes with excitement and mystery, you're set. If you want to mull it over a bit and think about it, you're set. Steins;Gate might be another pretty good one, but I've heard other viewers say that it took them a bit of time to get into it (I was hooked from the start, so I wouldn't know). I could see Fate/Zero being pretty good, and depending on the viewer (there are some people that wouldn't like the above), I might also recommend Spice and Wolf, Baccano, Planetes, Oregairu, Garden of Words, Kids on the Slope, Wolf Children and MAYBE Clannad.

If none of those fit, then they probably aren't the type to get into anime anyway -- people generally do what they like to do, and anime is certainly not the undisputed champion of awesome hobbies. I enjoy most shows that come out, but nonetheless, I enjoy doing other things a lot more. I find, particularly these days, that I'm only watching the best of the shows, and dropping a lot of good ones because there's simply better things to do with my time. There are some awesome things out there, and for a lot of people, reading, fishing, studying, hanging out with friends, starting a business, inventing something cool, competitive napping, or anything else, might be a better use of their time. There are a significant portion of people that will have better things to do than watch anime (I'm not disparaging anime here. I love this shit, which is why I watch it -- it remains one of the best things I can do with my time). Leave them be.


I'm sorry, I dropped Fate zero 8 episodes in, too much dialogue that isn't interesting at all and it just wasn't compelling at all.
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Posted 3/10/14

badisglaid wrote:


theYchromosome wrote:

Traditionally, I've gone with Death Note, but I'm pretty sure Psycho-Pass is my top, particularly for American audiences. It introduces them to some of the hefty topics anime deals with, high on excitement, stylish, and isn't "cartoonish" in character. There are times when Death Note can feel a little ridiculous, and Psycho-Pass fixes that problem. Plus, it's just a damn good show even for people that have watched a lot of anime. If you just want to zonk out and watch cool scenes with excitement and mystery, you're set. If you want to mull it over a bit and think about it, you're set. Steins;Gate might be another pretty good one, but I've heard other viewers say that it took them a bit of time to get into it (I was hooked from the start, so I wouldn't know). I could see Fate/Zero being pretty good, and depending on the viewer (there are some people that wouldn't like the above), I might also recommend Spice and Wolf, Baccano, Planetes, Oregairu, Garden of Words, Kids on the Slope, Wolf Children and MAYBE Clannad.

If none of those fit, then they probably aren't the type to get into anime anyway -- people generally do what they like to do, and anime is certainly not the undisputed champion of awesome hobbies. I enjoy most shows that come out, but nonetheless, I enjoy doing other things a lot more. I find, particularly these days, that I'm only watching the best of the shows, and dropping a lot of good ones because there's simply better things to do with my time. There are some awesome things out there, and for a lot of people, reading, fishing, studying, hanging out with friends, starting a business, inventing something cool, competitive napping, or anything else, might be a better use of their time. There are a significant portion of people that will have better things to do than watch anime (I'm not disparaging anime here. I love this shit, which is why I watch it -- it remains one of the best things I can do with my time). Leave them be.


I'm sorry, I dropped Fate zero 8 episodes in, too much dialogue that isn't interesting at all and it just wasn't compelling at all.


Apology accepted.
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Posted 3/10/14


lol.
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Posted 3/10/14

badisglaid wrote:


theYchromosome wrote:

Traditionally, I've gone with Death Note, but I'm pretty sure Psycho-Pass is my top, particularly for American audiences. It introduces them to some of the hefty topics anime deals with, high on excitement, stylish, and isn't "cartoonish" in character. There are times when Death Note can feel a little ridiculous, and Psycho-Pass fixes that problem. Plus, it's just a damn good show even for people that have watched a lot of anime. If you just want to zonk out and watch cool scenes with excitement and mystery, you're set. If you want to mull it over a bit and think about it, you're set. Steins;Gate might be another pretty good one, but I've heard other viewers say that it took them a bit of time to get into it (I was hooked from the start, so I wouldn't know). I could see Fate/Zero being pretty good, and depending on the viewer (there are some people that wouldn't like the above), I might also recommend Spice and Wolf, Baccano, Planetes, Oregairu, Garden of Words, Kids on the Slope, Wolf Children and MAYBE Clannad.

If none of those fit, then they probably aren't the type to get into anime anyway -- people generally do what they like to do, and anime is certainly not the undisputed champion of awesome hobbies. I enjoy most shows that come out, but nonetheless, I enjoy doing other things a lot more. I find, particularly these days, that I'm only watching the best of the shows, and dropping a lot of good ones because there's simply better things to do with my time. There are some awesome things out there, and for a lot of people, reading, fishing, studying, hanging out with friends, starting a business, inventing something cool, competitive napping, or anything else, might be a better use of their time. There are a significant portion of people that will have better things to do than watch anime (I'm not disparaging anime here. I love this shit, which is why I watch it -- it remains one of the best things I can do with my time). Leave them be.


I'm sorry, I dropped Fate zero 8 episodes in, too much dialogue that isn't interesting at all and it just wasn't compelling at all.



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