Welcome to the world of anime! This rapidly growing industry is making it’s mark in the American market with more and more titles being licensed and released each year by companies such as Funimation, ADV, and Geneon to name the Big Three.
Remember that anime has a whole range of age groups. Just because these shows are animated does not mean that little kids should watch every anime out there. Most anime is not rated but they do have age recommendations such as13+ or 15+ etc. I would suggest parents watch and then decide whether or not to let their kids watch.
When you want to start watching this type of animation there are some things to consider. The big question is what genre do you like? Because just saying you want to watch an anime is like saying you want to watch a movie. Do you like horror? Fantasy? Romantic Comedy? Historical Fiction, even?
Next is how strong is your stomach? More often than not, since we are going up in the age group here, you are going to see varying amounts of blood etc. Also there’ll sometimes be explicit language, of course this all depends on the genre you choose to begin with.
Next consideration, remember the culture this is coming from. This is probably one of the reasons that attracted me to anime to begin with. There will be animes that show what daily life is like from going to school, to working in a shrine, to what a typical meal is like. I found the book The Anime Companion: What’s Japanese in Japanese Animation by Gilles Poitras to be quite interesting in showing these distinctions. It is set up like a dictionary A-Z with informative blurbs on topics ranging from landmarks to culture to food to people to religion just to name a few. I’d recommend this book to anyone starting to watch anime or is just plain curious about the culture.
Perhaps I should explain some terminology also. To begin with there is Shoujo and Shounen types of anime. Basically Shoujo is anime geared to a female audience. These can be the romantic comedies or the “cutesy” types of anime. Shounen on the other hand is the opposite, this type is geared toward the male audience. These are typically the more action-packed series and (more noticeably) fan service series. Now just because these animes have been declared either Shoujo or Shounen does not mean a girl should not check out a Shounen type if she wants or a boy from checking out a Shoujo series if he wants. Just revert back to the genre you would like to watch.
Some anime I would recommend are -
Fantasy: Slayers ~ Lina Inverse is a powerful sorceress, does she help fellow man with her power? She steals from the rich to give to herself!
Romantic Comedy: Fruits Basket ~ What happens to the Sohma household when Tohru Honda moves in? Would be fine, if they weren’t cursed by the spirits of the Chinese Zodiac.
Action/Fantasy: Inuyasha ~Kagome is transported to feudal Japan where she kust team up with the hot head, half demon Inuyasha to reclaim the broken shards of the Shikon Jewel.
Historical Fiction: Samurai Deeper Kyo ~ Yuya is a bounty hunter searching for her brother’s killer. What trouble has she gotten herself into when she tries to bring in Kyoshiro, a medicine peddler, who turns into Demon Eyes Kyo when trouble occurs?
Comedy: Azumanga Daioh ~ follow the exploits of a group friends as they go through high school. Their characteristics range from brainy, to clueless, athletic to lazy.
Shoujo: Pretear ~ When the Dark Princess escapes from her imprisonment, it is up to Hayate and the other Leafe Knights to find the Pretear and return balance to the world.
Shounen: Cowboy Bebop ~ Meet the crew of the Bobop. They right wrongs and bring justice to the planets . . . for the right price.
Boma at 8:42 PM