Sunday, 25 December 2011

Anime: Not Just For Children

First of all, Merry Christmas!

Today, I'm going to talk about anime.

I love watching anime.

I often heard people saying this to me,  'Oh my gosh, you're already a university student and you still watch anime?'
And as usual, my answer will always be 'Anime is just like movie and drama. They have their own audience.'

First, take a look at Doraemon. I bet all of you have watch or at least, heard about Doraemon before. For those who don't have any idea on what Doraemon is, he actually look like this. (See picture below)
Doraemon (the blue one) and friends
Doraemon is a universal-type anime. It can be watched and easily enjoyed by all even though the story itself is geared towards children. Children are taught to not be lazy like Nobita, cunning like Suneo, and greedy like Giant. The simple plot saves children the time to understand the story. And Nobita's misfortune in almost every episodes never fail in making me wanted to slap myself. Nevertheless, I am proud to say that I grow up watching Doraemon and, until now, is still watching Doraemon.

Second, for people who said anime is just for children, please reconsider your words again. Why would Sunrise bother to produce Gundam series if their target audience is children, who, may not understand the politics behind every war?
The answer is quite simple.

The target audiences for Gundam are teenagers and above. Saying 'My 7 years old brother love watching Gundam and aspire to become a newtype/coordinator/innovator' will earn you a smack from me.


Of course for the sake of keeping the purity of children's mind. So that they won't end up being a calculative adult like those in Gundam series. JK :P

To this day, I still remember the old me, 13 years of age, sitting in front of the television watching Gundam Seed, and having trouble linking all the war stuffs in the series. I have a hard time understanding the story but still wanted to watch it because I like seeing beautiful characters smiling at each other while at the same time, plotting to manipulate others.

Also, because I love the cool mecha design.

Gundam Seed is the first Gundam franchise set in the "Cosmic Era", in which mankind is divided into two races; normal humans who reside on Earth and known as "Naturals", and the genetically altered humans known as "Coordinators", who live in space colonies.

The story of Gundam Seed, which set during the Bloody Valentine War, begins in the neutral space colony Heliopolis where secret development of advanced mobile suits for the Earth Alliances, Naturals' war effort is being conducted. The colony is attacked by ZAFT forces, the military of the Coordinators, with the objective of stealing the new developed units. During the invasion, a teenage Coordinator named Kira Yamato, pilots the GAT-X105 Strike mobile suit to fend off the invaders but the colony is critically damaged in the ensuing fight.The story goes on and Kira meets his childhood bestfriend, Athrun Zala, who sided with ZAFT, as a mobile suit pilot. In order to save his friends from Heliopolis, Kira decided to stay with the Archangel, a battleship owned by Earth Alliances and fight his fellow Coordinators and Athrun Zala.

Main Characters:
Kira Yamato
Athrun Zala
Lacus Clyne
Cagalli Yula Athha
The plot thicken as Lacus Clyne, Athrun Zala's fiancee whom Kira saves before, fall in love with Kira. Lacus helps Kira by giving him Freedom Gundam. Archangel and its' crews break away from Earth Alliances and joined Orb Union, a neutral colonies who doesn't stood by ZAFT or Earth Alliances. Kira later found out that he is actually an Ultimate Coordinator created by his own blood father, Ulen Hibiki. He also found out that he has a twin sister, a natural, who became the adoptive daughter of the representative of Orb Union. His sister is the girl he met at the first episode, Cagalli Yula Athha. Athrun and Cagalli became closer as the series goes and Athrun finally betrayed ZAFT and stood by Orb Union.

Gundam Seed also has its sequel, Gundam Seed Destiny. The timeline is 2 years after the final battle in Gundam Seed. It revolves around a Coordinator named Shinn Asuka whose family is killed during the battle in Orb Union 2 years before. Shinn developed hatred towards Orb Union and its' policies. Gundam Seed Destiny introduces many new characters such as Lunamaria Hawke, Rey Za Burrel, Stella Loussier, Meyrin Hawke, Meer Campbell and the mastermind of Destiny Plan, Gilbert Dullindal.

Main characters (new):
Shinn Asuka
Lunamaria Hawke
Rey Za Burrel
Stella Loussier
Meyrin Hawke
Meer Campbell
The plots are heavier in GSD than in GS. Each character has his/her own story. One of the more interesting character is Meer Campbell, a Coordinator who has the same voice as Lacus Clyne. Gilbert Dullindal took advantage of this and asked her to impersonate Lacus whom she greatly admire. Meer is full of energy and very flirtatious. She took a liking to Athrun Zala, who, unknown to her, had already break his engagement with Lacus. In GSD, Athrun Zala choose to side with ZAFT and had no choice but to fight his friends in Archangel (again).

Cagalli in GSD is no longer a hard-headed character as her in GS. This could be attributed to her new role as representative of Orb Union. The most irritating moment for me in GSD is when Yuna Roma Seiran, the son of a famous and powerful Orb Union politician keeps pressuring Cagalli to marry him. Luckily Kira managed to kidnap her before the wedding.

Frankly speaking, there are more irritating events that never fail to make me wanted to slap many characters especially Shinn. I'm happy to see Kira is still doing fine with Lacus as Cagalli and Athrun relationship already strained when Athrun departed to ZAFT and Cagalli is rumoured to be having married Yuna.

My poor boy Athrun. The writer made him very pitiable in both series. Not only he lost his mother during the Bloody Valentine tragedy and his father in later episode in GS, he also lost the person he loved in GSD. Oh, not to mention he also lost his beautiful fiancee to his bestfriend in GS. What a pitiful guy!

Now I'm sure you have already notice the complexity of the stories.

Another example of complex and hard to digest anime includes Neon Genesis Evangelion and Ghost In The Shell.

Neon Genesis Evangelion
Ghost In The Shell

The story of some shounen anime like Naruto and Bleach is easier to follow since they usually centered around the 'good versus bad'.


It's almost the same with mahou shoujo (magic girls) anime like Sailormoon.


Then, there are also sport anime like Slam Dunk which focus on basketball and The Prince Of Tennis which duh, obviously is all about tennis.

Slam Dunk

In Slam Dunk, we follow the story of Sakuragi Hanamichi, who despises basketball because he was rejected during junior high school by a girl who likes a basketball player. Furious, on the first day of high school, he beat up everyone who uttered the word 'basketball' in front of him.

Lucky for him, a girl named Haruko Akagi want to recruit him into the basketball club. Sakuragi fell in love with the girl and agree to join the club. There he met Haruko's brother Akagi Takenori, a strict basketball club captain (yet funny at certain circumstances) who loves basketball very much. Akagi dreamed of entering national game yet Shohoku never get its way pass the regional game. Sakuragi also met Rukawa Kaede, a handsome and popular high school basketball player. Sakuragi harbour jealousy on Rukawa and also see him as his rival in love.

The basketball team is later joined by ex-delinquent Hisashi Mitsui, a MVP player in junior high. Together the team worked very hard to enter national game.

Main characters:
Sakuragi Hanamichi

Rukawa Kaede
Takenori Akagi
Ryota Miyagi
Hisashi Mitsui
Haruko Akagi
The anime is like a free tutorial for new basketball player. The plot is enjoyable and the characters are (almost all) lovable (and eccentric).

Now, now. Take a look at my favourite character and team in Slam Dunk. XD
Kenji Fujima
Kenji Fujima is the coach/player of Shoyo High School basketball team. The team is considered number 2 in Kanagawa region, losing only to Kainan.

Kenji usually sits on the bench observing his teammates play while giving instruction and strategize his team's next movement. He only enter the court if the circumstances asked for it. Kenji is really popular with girls.
Shoyo basketball team

We're now moving on to The Prince Of Tennis.

The Prince Of Tennis
The Prince of Tennis tells the story of a young tennis prodigy, Ryoma Echizen who came to Japan from the US and eventually joined the Seigaku Tennis team as a regular member. Together with his team, Ryoma went to the final match against Rikkai Junior High in Kanto game, defeating them, and taking the first place in Kanto region.

They again met Rikkai during the final of national game, having beaten other schools like Higa, Hyoutei, and Shitenhouji.

Main characters:
Ryoma Echizen
Shusuke Fuji
Kaoru Kaidoh
From left to right: Kaoru Kaidoh and Takeshi Momoshiro
Kunimitsu Tezuka
Eiji Kikumaru
Sadaharu Inui
Syuichiro Oishi
Takashi Kawamura
Pictures above are Seigaku (Seishun Gakuen) Junior High School Tennis Team. Their talents and skills are beyond exceptional. And obviously you won't see many special moves in the anime, in real-life tennis.

Oh yeah, the anime has a lot (really a lot) bishounen (oh, I love it  >.<).

My favourite characters are Kuranosuke Shiraishi, Choutarou Ootori, and Seiichi Yukimura.
Kuranosuke Shiraishi, Shitenhouji tennis team captain
One word for him: Ecstacy.

Kuranosuke is a perfectionist who likes taking care of his health and playing tennis with his teammate. His team is representative of Kansai region and from Osaka. I like it when Kuranosuke speaks Kansai-ben (an accent from Kansai). He's dazzling  and also a very reliable captain.

Choutarou Ootori
Choutarou is a second year regular member of Hyoutei Junior High tennis team. He plays double with his senior and bestfriend, Ryoh Shishido. They are called 'Silver Pair' and have a strong bond as a team. Choutarou is the second tallest in his team and is very kind. Apart from tennis, he plays piano and violin very well.

I'm fond of him. He is a selfless guy who's willing to sacrifice his own spot as a regular for his friend. Besides, he's also a hard worker. Wish I can find someone like him as my partner in the future.

Seiichi Yukimura
Seiichi Yukimura is the captain of Rikkai Junior High School and nicknamed the 'Child of God'. His skills in tennis are without flaw and he's the strongest player (after Ryoma) in Japan junior high school. Along with his teammates, he led Rikkai towards national game. In the final of national game, he played against Ryoma and lost to him after a long tiring game. He's kind and gentle outside the court. But, once he's inside the court, hell will break loose for his teammates (and opponents). He also like to taunt his teammates while being innocent.


I hope by now I already convince you that not all anime are just for children.

Anyway, have a blessed day.

credits: All pictures belong to their respective authors, not me


  1. Doraemon, Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura and Rurouni Kenshin were my childhood!

    Anime, comics, manga, and videogames are all not just children anymore. Sadly, our communities think otherwise...

    1. Yup.Too bad many adults don't understand it...