Many parents are worried about their children watching anime for various reasons, a main one… they don’t know what it is. Well if parents were to research anime they would realize that just like all other media (whether that be television shows, movies, or comics) there are some form that is appropriate for children of all ages. Before doing this project I too had no idea what anime was about, I thought it was only for those that were into Pokemon or Dragon Ball Z or other shows of this nature. Not only has this project opened my eyes to my nativity, but also so has the chapter “Two Worlds, United By Anime” written by Elizabeth Flynn from the book The Japanification of Children’s Popular Culture.
This chapter is mainly about the author growing up in Japan, speaking Japanese while only learning English from a television show aired in Japan while her siblings spoke mainly English with broken Japanese. Flynn watched television while her brothers and sisters went to school in Tokyo therefore her favorite shows were almost all anime. When she finally moved to the United States she realized that there were cartoons, but there weren’t free formed, exaggerated artistic cartoons on constantly like they were in Japan. Originally she wasn’t even able to find cartoons like this since most American artwork resembled real life. But once she did she quickly realized that they weren’t the same. They didn’t translate right. However, she still watched them and the more she watched the seemingly more there were.
Quickly it was made obvious that American cartoons were stemming from Japanese anime. Some are: Robot No 28 known in America as Gigantor, Tetsuwan Atomu known in America as Astro Boy, Eighth Man known in America as also Eighth Man, Junguru known in America as Jungle Stories which was later taken by the Disney Cooperation and turned into the popular movie: The Lion King. These are just some of the many.
So parents shouldn’t be anymore worried about anime than they are of all other films there children are watching. Especially because some of the shows their children are watching might in fact be based off of anime. The one difference between children watching American cartoons and anime is that Miyazaki is notoriously known for making his films have an important lesson for viewers, mainly younger children. Many American cartoons that are mainstream don’t hold true to this.