Re:Framed: Don’t judge a book by its cover

I’ve never before watched anime in my life. Not even Dragon Ball Z. I’ve finally succumbed to the pressure and watched Attack on Titan. It’s been the best thing for me since last weekend when I got 8 hours of sleep. I’ve never even though of joining that crowd and being associated with that culture and here’s a couple reasons why I changed my mind.

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First, it was the type of people that I immediately thought of when I think of anime. They’re those weird guys that take Japanese and are obsessed about whatever it is they do. Now I’ve learned that they’re not weird but just different. There’s really no definition of normal if you think about it. Everybody is a little quirky in their own way and some more than others. If you’re normal, then really, that’s just weird.

Another thing is the culture gap and difference. The Japanese emphasize certain characteristics and others are not even displayed or are even viewed as negative. In The Count of Monte Cristo, this is the exact same thing occurring with the main character, Monte Cristo. He takes on several forms of himself like Abbe Busoni and Edmond Dantes. They are really the same person, but certain traits and characteristics are different and amplified or reduced. The character is still the same person and through his past experiences chooses to evolve into what suits the situation.

The fact that anime has to be watched in subtitles or dubbed can be a turnoff for many people. Some don’t want to lose any content when they’re reading what the characters are saying and maybe it strains their eyes or annoys them. Dubbing often makes things lost in translation when they have to make the words match the lips and so things could be misinterpreted or changed completely. Voice actors for dubs are sometimes not done well and the emotions are lost from the Japanese version.

Another factor is that anime are not targeted to a specific audience while cartoons in the West are for younger audiences. Thus, adults avoid anime thinking that the art style is for children. The fact of the matter is that there are different anime for different people and several different genres. American cartoons are created either exaggerated and try to be as far from reality as possible and some try to be as close as they can get to be real. The Japanese art style is somewhere in between and try to capture the figures correctly, but not too much that they are seen as real.

It all comes down to the difference between us. It’s a combination of the language, the art style, the culture, the society, and the traits and characteristics portrayed in the anime.

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