What have you learned from Anime?


As the title suggests I would love to hear what folks on these boards have learned in their lives from Anime.

As a person who spends my free time thinking about the intrinsic educational value of media in general and as a very much “Western” white male, one of the reasons I consistently come back to anime as a source of entertainment is because it has so many new experiences to offer, on a canvas that is visually appealing and usually very immersive.

Anime has taught me an awful lot of things, some good, some not even close to being right, but I still value the experience and to this day I give new anime a shot when I can find the time.

Last big lesson I got (the kind that left this 34 year old man all weepy) was the genuine fragility of the “regular” teenage male, as represented in Re:Zero’s main character. This isn’t a new concept for anime (See also Neon Genesis Evangelion and a dozen others), but the Groundhog’s Day Style of presentation and death/pain cycle that Subaru goes through in this show destroyed me on an episode to episode basis, and his absolute devotion (something that jaded me thinks only a teenager could really continue to manifest when faced with such horrible trials) really stuck with me in the most cathartic kind of way. This show had me feeling things I haven’t had to even think about in my comfortable adult life for a long time, and had me empathizing and dreading along with Subaru in a really effective way. That type of experience is why I come back to Anime again and again.

Other valuable take aways include lessons on introspection compliments of shows like Evangelion, Serial Experiments Lain and His & Her Circumstances. Lessons on understanding that every person is a collection of stories, and that to develop meaningful relationships is to understand and engage with those stories from shows like His & Her Circumstances. Then there’s just the brutality of anime that was doing the “kill your favorite character” thing way before Game of Thrones and Walking Dead ever hit the air.

I’m working my way through Flip/Flapper right now, in-between episodes of Dragon Ball Super to give you an idea of range for me.

But what about you? “What have you learned from Anime?”


My biggest take away from Anime?

Hmmm. Don’t be afraid to try new things I guess? It’s pretty varied; there are all sorts of anime out there. I used to be pretty close minded, but getting into anime made more receptive to getting into things in general.

Also, some of my favorite experiences come from anime so I guess I also learned that people can craft some incredibly good experiences with anime.


Seconded. I remember watching movies like Akira, Princess Mononoke, Ghost in the Shell or even something whimsical like My Neighbour Totoro all taking me to worlds I could never have imagined on my own. Follow that up with some real life experience style story telling like Nuclear War survival in a film like Barefoot Gen, and you start getting context for events you have never experienced yourself. So much value in the crafted stories. I mean this happens in all media, but I still really love how anime delivers it.


I don’t know if I’ve necessarily learned anything new because a lot of the deeper themes that were explored in some of my favorite shows like Fruits Basket, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and Now and Then, Here and There were things I was already familiar with through lit classes, but having things like the horror of war, the malleability of memory, the effects of abuse and the fluidity of sexuality shown through an animated form made it more powerful, ultimately.

Only thing I can really think of I’ve learned is lots of little things about Japanese culture in society though, obviously you have to do some work to separate fiction from reality on that one.


I was big into GTO as a teenager, so tenacity against cultures and systems that say you don’t fit in I guess.

Also tropes? Anime gets a lot of flak for how trope-y it is, but I feel like it’s pretty insightful into how tropes are employed and evolve.


I can’t think of any off to cusp but there have got to be animes that make fun of their own tropes. Most anime, regardless of how serious they get often have “Deadpool” moments of 4th wall breaking goofiness.


At least 5 ninja hand seals


I’m going to share one of the more negative things that I learned from Anime. With my main exposure to it coming in the late 90’s/early 00’s and being in late teen years it became super formative to how I viewed my romantic pursuits. Love Hina was the main culprit as an anime that seemingly spoke to me in my early college years.

At the time, I was a bit of a loner and put a high value on trying to date, but honestly having no idea how. Love Hina taught me at the time that as long as I keep trying, eventually the woman that I was chasing, be she friend or new acquaintance, would eventually fall for me if I just keep being friendly or by having her feel sorry for me.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not the ONLY reason why I had that view when it came to dating, but man, it definitely did not help!


That it’s true that butts are culture


Very solid point. Watching Golden Boy in my teens didn’t do me any favors. Also watching Wicked City in my teens also didn’t do me any favors.


I first heard the term “Dirac sea” in Neon Genesis Evangelion and I was so stoked to find out that it’s like, kind of real.

It’s absolutely nothing like it is in the show, and it’s been replaced with better theoretical models, but it was important step on the way to discovering the positron, which I think is pretty cool.

Eva was generally pretty formative for me though, especially the ending. It’s important to remind yourself that you are the only person who is going to be there for every moment of your entire life, and you can’t try to somehow get happiness from other people.


So much of the original Eva seems to have been (at least to me) cleverly crafted character building, meant as context for the introspective gong show that is the last few episodes. I would be a very different person than I am today if I hadn’t watched that show in my formative years.


Theres a small but significant difference between a Gouf and a Zaku.

Seriously though, I found myself in anime when I was growing up much more than I did in a lot of contemporary Western cartoons. I constantly felt like a massive fuck up and I found that lot more anime main characters that fit that bill. In anime I found characters that acted like me thrust into bonkers, fun situations that forced them to learn and better themselves, take pride in their work, to respect those around them. I like to think I learned along with them.

Not that characters like that don’t exist in Western media, but there was a style to a lot of anime that I found appealing on it’s face and drew me in hard. Couple that with my brother being really in to just archiving old shit I had a pretty healthy stable of anime to sift though.

I don’t think I only learned positive things from anime. @serbroseph’s post definately applied to me and I think a lot of anime tropes enforce that attitude toward dating (though I was never into manga like Love Hina).

That said I think I also watched anime that helped me break that shit, like Toradora, which is very much an anime about how terrible that approach to romance is.


Anime has taught me to
Do the Impossible
See the invisible
Touch the untouchable
Break the unbreakable

Non Shitpost answer
Watching Anime has taught me what I actually like in my TV. Shows that focus on characters first. I love Evangelion. Sure dance like you mean final battle is amazing, but I enjoy the show so much because of its characters. Also shows like K-ON where theirs minimal conflict. Just focus on the characters. I;m having a hard time explaining this. Famous twitter user Spacetwinkss had a good thread today describing this.


The true bartender. Broken down into two parts, “bar” refers to a perch, while “tender” describes gentleness. Thus, this “gentle perch” is a place of recuperation where the bartender likewise “tends” to or cares for its tired occupants. It is the bartender’s job to assure that the customer leaves with a rested soul and positive memories.


I learned about basic multidimensional theory from Noein, if that counts. That show did it’s research.

Also, watch Noein, you fools.


Considering the first anime I ever watched was Nichijou (barring stuff I watched as a kid and then abandoned and never equated as a Japanese product, like DBZ, Sailor Moon, etc.), I immediately had a weird first impression of it. One of first things it did for me though was shifting my thoughts about what constituted a ‘proper’ story. In my mind, stories needed conflict, either internal or external to the focus characters. Instead, I found vast swathes of anime that was pretty much characters just ‘existing’ in a place, doing routine things. This focus on mundanity (and often, light amounts of humour) as the key point of existence, and a sort of peace existing in that existence, was interesting to me. For me, it exposed that what we constitute as ‘good storytelling’ is a social construct situated in a certain time period and in a certain geography.

Many of my anime loving friends dislike these slice of life shows for being boring or overly mundane, and they’re right; to them anyway.


Similar to this concept, some comic fans will argue that some of the best story telling in comics happens outside of the conflict when you see these people in everyday life, like an issue dedicated to the X-Men going to the mall together or Bruce and Damian Wayne on vacation (not on a case). These moments of calm force these characters to be more than their abilities and help make them more relatable.


Something I found really interesting is how a lot of slice of life anime follow the Kishotenketsu structure, which frequently eschews things we take for granted as being necessary for a narrative, like conflict.


Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture gave me a basic primer on fermentation.

Paranoia Agent gave me a glimpse into Japanese culture I really hadn’t seen before, specifically the trend towards different kinds of escapism. It actually prompted me to join some discussion groups about what Lil slugger and that pink doggo thing really represented.