Top 5 Silly Little Things I like About Anime

There are a lot of reasons to like anime and I’ve shared them with you on frequent occasions. Philosophical and technical elements that are native or just better represented in that art and you can’t find elsewhere. It’s a rich medium that caters to a sophisticated palette. Other times it’s about girls playing sports with their behinds. There’s something for everyone.

And once in a while, I find that I really like some particularly odd little aspect of anime for reasons even I’m not entirely clear on. I just like it ok? Not the deep logical reasons to love a medium! These are weird little things that come up in anime that I’ve grown fond of and now I want to share them with you.

standian anime elbow pose

5) Walking with your hands behind your head

We don’t see this trope as much anymore and that’s too bad. I love it. I have no clue where it comes from. Is it particularly difficult to draw arms and hands in natural positions while a character is walking? I have to imagine that’s the reason because I have never really seen anyone walk that way in real life.

But I love it. It looks so carefree and easygoing. Like a low-key version of keeping your hands in your pockets during a fight. I have on several occasions tried to walk this way myself and it’s awkward and impractical, but I still felt boss doing it. Because I have no sense of shame. In any case, it’s a visual I love!

gambatte

4) Ganbatte!

This is a very common Japanese expression and it comes up a lot in anime. I haven’t watched enough Japanese TV to know if it’s the case in live-action as well, but it wasn’t that frequent in the movies I’ve seen. Generally, the expression gets translated to “try your best” and it makes me happy!

To be more specific, it makes me happy because of the way it gets used. Characters will react as if they were just given a compliment, they get flustered or blush at someone telling them to do their best as if it was the nicest thing they have heard. And that’s sweet. Treating the idea that someone has expectations of you as a compliment is just so inspiring to me.

I know that in spirit, the expression meant as something closer to “Good luck”, which makes the gratitude more understandable. People are whishing you something rather than asking you to work but it’s also nice. There’s this inference that the outcome isn’t as important as the effort you put in and that even if you fail, it’s ok as long as you did your best. I find that very sweet. I wish we would adopt something like this in English as well.

deku crying.png

3) Crying

I’ve done an entire post on this. I just like that anime characters cry, in all sorts of situations. They cry when they’re touched, happy, sad, frustrated, angry…. Big strong tough guys cry, cold calculating masterminds cry, and sweet innocent kids cry. There’s no shame or disrespect associated with the show of emotion.

Yes, in certain specific narratives characters will get embarrassed at crying but that’s different. The medium itself doesn’t make a big deal out of it. I noticed this when I was watching a live-action movie with a friend and the main character, who was presented as a no-nonsense type of guy, tears up during a cute scene with some kids.

They were really impressed by the scene, calling it brave to show such “vulnerability” and “softness”. I wouldn’t have noticed. In anime, this is the sort of thing that happens all the time. And I really like that.

Love Tyrant

2) People fall in love for no reason

I am a pretty big fan of Kuroko no Basuke. I fell like this will not surprise anyone. Anywho, towards the latter half of the series, we meet the character of Momoi, a cute pink-haired girl with a pretty obvious crush on Kuroko (an unassuming and not generally very popular character in the series’ universe). In a flashback episode, we learn that the catalyst for her feelings was an incident years ago where the entire team had been eating popsicles and Kuroko got a winning popsicle stick that would get him a second one for free. He instead gave it to Momoi. That’s all. From the scene it looked to me like he was just full and didn’t want a second one, so he gave it to the closest person but whatever…

Turns out this random winning popsicle stick thing is so common it could actually be a trope. In fact, in anime characters fall in desperate, dedicated love over the smallest acts of kindness. No grand gestures required, no need to be the golden star of the school. Just be somewhat decent to people around you and someone will love you for it. Isn’t that cute? I thought it was cute…

glasslip-11-hina-listening-hand_to_ear-cute

1) I like the sound of Japanese

I don’t know if Japanese voice actors are just that much better or if I just happen to like the sound of the language, but I watch anime almost exclusively subbed because I love hearing the Japanese actors. I watch a lot of foreign cinema, usually subtitled as well, so it’s not like I’m just a foreign language fangirl. But having my living room filled with Japanese (except when it gets particularly shrill) is comforting and calming to me.

That’s a pretty weird reason to like anime. I don’t even understand Japanese well enough to follow along without the subtitles. And it’s not like it makes any difference in the quality of the story or images, or anything really. Even badly acted Japanese is just fun to listen to. (My second favourite sounding language is Italian).

There you go, in very loose order five random and sort of weird reasons that I like anime. I would never recommend the medium to anyone else based on any of these. They’re all pretty silly reasons. But I can’t deny that all of these bring a smile to my face.

Do you have any random little things you appreciate about anime? Not the type of stuff you would discuss when trying to convince someone the medium is great, just the silly little things that grab your attention for some reason? Let me know! I bet they’re great!

my love story

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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31 Responses

  1. Kikoman589 says:

    I relate to Ganbatte! and more recently I’ve been thinking that I just like the sound of Japanese! It makes me think of anime, last summer when I was in Tokyo, and the lovely people I met in Tokyo.

    The only other language I’d definitely put on a “most beautiful languages” list is Italian (but my knowledge of French and Spanish literature and songs could be better), but I’m biased because I’d consider myself Italian first and foremost.

    • Irina says:

      100% agree I love the sound of Japanese and Italian is absolutely beautiful. Although my french is much better as well. It seems I tend to find languages I understand less charming for some reason although English isn’t bad.

  2. foovay says:

    Ganbatte to you, too! Yes, I love the whole concept behind this idea. That you would want to do your best, that everyone wants you to do your best. Another one I like is the Otsukaresama desu at the end of the work day between workers. I think the whole world would change if we all said that to our co-workers at the end of the day 😀 irasshaimase is another favorite of mine. The idea that a store keeper/employee is HAPPY to see you shop at THEIR store instead of feeling like they generally do here in the U.S. that customers are a necessary inconvienance and evil pain in the ass that might actually force employees to (god forbid) DO something (they are being paid to do). Ahem, sorry, pet peeve. By which you can probably tell, yes, I like listening to Japanese, too. I also like listening to Korean and Chinese. But for relaxing… I listen to auto racing. No kidding. I am a huge racing fan and listen to hours of racing – the sound of cars zooming around a track can make me doze right off if I’m even slightly sleepy. Kind of annoying when I’m watching Rally that is in Spain or something – in the middle of the night for me, daytime for them… snooooooore. My hubby does that hands behind the head when he is sitting down – he’s doing it right now in fact. Seems its comfortable for him. I haven’t ever seen him walk that way though. It does look remarkably relaxed and casual though. Then again, it makes me want to poke them in the ribs… Silly little things I like about anime… okay, this is really weird, but I get a little kick out of the little “x” for cat’s buttholes or the buttholes of little dogs with curly tails. It’s this tiny little kick of honesty you never see in American cartoons. If you didn’t know better, you’d think no one here ever shits, pees, or farts for that matter. OH – tummy growls. They make me laugh, too. And everyone is embarassed by them and feels they have to make an explanation. 😛 The food – the emphasis on detailed food and OMG I know it isn’t possible that Japanese people eat 24-7 but some animes it seems like everytime you look, someone is eating something – that looks delicious. I have learned to have snacks handy. I’ve also coerced my hubby (the cook) into learning to make omurice… I like the bits of history, and the games like shoji and karuta, and of course, the myths and folktales (not just of Japan but all countries – that’s a pretty general fascination of mine). Yeah, this could get really long, I’m going to stop now…

  3. Omg, the hands behind the head thing, YES. I like to think Ranma 1/2 started that, but hey, who knows.

  4. A Library Archivist says:

    Used to know an English voice actor at ADV in Houston. He admitted that while Martian Successor Nadesico was vastly overbudget from multiple takes, most anime are 1-2 takes so it drastically limits their dramatic range. Modern anime sound like cartoons rather than movie quality because English dub companies only get 1-2 takes. Japanese companies will do a dozen takes if they need to, only every show. Every show is highest quality dramatic acting, which is why they take their material more seriously. You can hear the emotion, and get more into the story in Japanese. The overbudget ADV shows with maximum voice quality are shows like Cowboy Bebop, Nadesico, Evangelion, and they remain classics because they are leagues higher quality, all from more takes in the recording studio, more effort to get the tone just right, to express the emotion. Actors complain about not getting parts exactly right in the modern shows, all rushed out. Funimation pushes its dubs, and they’ll end up streaming from their website and sold on BluRay, but they’re not like they used to be. Rah Xephon is another classic, where the English dub is just as passionate as the Japanese, from lots of takes and excellent quality. So I agree with you on that point. In modern shows, you have to listen in Japanese to really enjoy it. Otherwise a great show gets turned into a mediocre cartoon for kids from indifferent voices.

  5. Ya know it’s actually very common for people to like the sound of other languages! Ofc not everyone will like the same, but many people listen to other languages to relax. In fact, there’s a bunch of ASMR where people do it specifically in other languages and it apparently helps some people feel relaxed. Pretty wild, right?!

    • Irina says:

      I know and listen to a lot of languages – (technically english woud be one) but I like Japanese particularly.

  6. Krystallina says:

    I tried the walking with hands behind head pose once. Broke the horns off a porcelain giraffe.
    Never.
    Again.
    I really liked that giraffe… 😢

  7. Dawnstorm says:

    I like anime absurd comedies. There’s usually a substratum of heartfelt banalities coated in absurd imagery. It’s hard to describe. Shows as diverse as Minami Ke, School Rumble, Shirokuma Café, or Humanity Has Declined all have it. This season’s Wasteful days of Highschool Girls has it in spades (to my pleasant surprise). As a rule of thumb, if it’s not loud and obnoxious, I tend to really like anime comedies.

  8. raistlin0903 says:

    The walking with my hands behind my head is erm….something I sometimes do lol. I know right? I can be a little crazy 😂😂
    Well, let’s see what other silly things do I like about anime: How about: the shining/sparkly eyes when characters are excited about something. The camera lingers, focusses on those eyes, and well…it just makes me smile 😊😊
    Other than that, pretty much all the things you mentioned here are awesome! Have a great weekend Irina: loved the post as always 😊

  9. Lumi says:

    Anime is the only medium that can consistently make me cry. Even the shittiest anime can tug at my heart strings as long as it’s not ridiculously over-the-top edgy tragic.

    I might be one of the few people who felt emotional watching Eromanga Sensei because they just talked about their passions. I don’t even like the rest of that anime much, but Japanese authors just have this close relationship with passion and sadness I find incredibly relatable.

  10. Pinkie says:

    I love the Ganbatte thing myself! I wish I could shout it out to my friends whenever they are doing something important but half of them is to “normal” to understand, the others are to NEET to need it xD.
    The love thing is special to me too! I am so panda (no lewdness is ever noticed or done by me) I miss out on that a lot. Yet in the past dating here felt super standard… you have to go out …go have a meal together see a movie together and most of the time, we will let something “grow”. Anime does make me feel that I could be one random gesture away from something amazing, which prevents me from buying 27 cats and calling them my childeren.

    • Irina says:

      awww Pinkie – that’s a little sad and yet also so adorable. Of course someone’s gonna notice any day now

  11. Dewbond says:

    What about hand-holding? The lewdest thing you can do in anime? Falling face first into a girls crotch? Pfft nothing.

    Holding hands? Whoo there playboy…calm your tits.

  12. Pete Davison says:

    I get what you mean about the voice actors. Japanese voice actors, in general, seem to be much more willing to “let rip” with outlandish voices and powerful displays of emotion than their Western counterparts — in anime, at least, I know there are plenty of examples of talented Western cartoon voice actors!

    I can remember my own personal “turning point” for switching from dubs to subs: it was the original Corpse Party on PSP. That game didn’t have an English dub option, so it was the first time I’d been forced to listen to Japanese voice acting; I’d heard it before in things like fighting games, but I’d never made the choice to play a story-centric game with the original voice acting.

    And I *loved* it. These characters yelled, screamed, cried, bellowed until their voices cracked and all manner of other things, and it made the whole experience even more intensely terrifying than it already was — particularly when combined with that game’s *masterful* use of stereo. From that point on, every time I had the opportunity, I switched straight to Japanese — and I haven’t regretted that decision.

    I’m not one of those “subs are better than dubs” people, I hasten to add — it’s all a matter of personal preference and, at times, practical considerations — I just prefer the Japanese voice track when it’s available.

    • Irina says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Although I will say old subs were better. I said it. I mean old dubs were hilarious though!

  13. Artemis says:

    You might be surprised at the sheer number of times I’ve seen Japanese kids cry (not counting the really young kids still in elementary school who hurt themselves playing tag or lose a competition or get scolded by the teacher or whatever). I think Japanese people have a reputation for being pretty stoic and emotionless, and very broadly speaking, I wouldn’t necessarily disagree. There are definitely occasions where it’s considered totally socially acceptable and even good to show your emotions though – things like graduation, for example, or the final event of some kind at school for someone who’ll be graduating that year. I once saw this huge guy who was in the sumo wrestler club absolutely bawl his eyes out during a graduation ceremony and it was the sweetest thing ever!

  14. I have actually walked with my hands behind my head before. Because I saw it on anime, in fact. It wasn’t hugely comfortable :p

  1. December 6, 2019

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