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.
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!
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.
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.
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…
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!