If you follow me on Twitter, then you may know that the other day I had an experience with my little cousin that really….made me question just how kids nowadays are introduced to anime when they’re young. It started as wondering just how in the world she was completely unaware of what Pokemon is (I’m still in disbelief/questioning what my childhood was about). Then it led me to the question “Well if Pokemon is not AS popular to her as it was when I was a kid, how can that lead kids to watching more anime in the future?” Anyway, that’s what the rant is about today.
How are kids supposed to get into anime?
I know what you’re thinking “Ka-chan, why does this matter? People stumble upon anime all the time.” And I get that. Not everyone started watching anime when they were little kids. I GET THAT! But just hear me out. There are a lot of people who you hear say “My first anime was *enter name here* that I started watching at *enter elementary school age*.” And to them, it’s something real important. I’m kind of one of those people. I’ve been watching anime in some way, shape, or form since I was six and finally convinced my mom that watching Pokemon was not going to turn me into a psychopath who participated in dog fights. (I’m sorry to say that is an actual fear that my mother, with her over active imagination, had).
Sure then you are not thinking “Oh I’m watching anime.” You are just watching Pokemon, Digimon, Yugioh, Sailor Moon, or basically half the shows on during Saturday morning cartoons back in the day. To you it was not this animation from Japan, it was just a cartoon on during the Saturday morning lineup. And if you were like me, it was not until many years later you kind of sat back and went “So Digimon was an anime all along. Huh?” As kids, we were introduced to it through Saturday cartoons or a little thing called Toonami that was on Cartoon Network on Saturday evenings, or maybe the occasionally movie or show that Disney XD managed to pick up.
Now that I think about it, why is anime always airing on Saturdays? Hmm… That’s a post for another day.
But it is my firm belief that some of us came to become anime fans (mainly those who did start watching when we were young) because we started watching these things at a young age. We had these avenues to “stumble upon” during our TV watching hours that introduced us to these shows. This could then lead us to becoming obsessed with shows/characters/franchises that define who we are as people.
Now, however, not that many avenues exist. Toonami doesn’t come on until 10:30 CST or later (sometimes earlier) depending on where you live. Some people do not even have Cartoon Network anymore! You cannot drag your parents home at 8 pm on a Saturday because Naruto’s fighting Sasuke and you cannot miss that! Saturday morning cartoons are also much different than they were, say, ten years ago. Sure, some shows still air during the day that blend in with “normal” cartoons in a channels lineup. When my little cousin told me she had no idea what Pokemon is, I really thought she was pulling my leg. If I had said that growing up, I probably had to have been living under a rock. And I know not every kid is like this, my other cousin who is almost the same age knows exactly what Pokemon is (unfortunately she is not a fan). This could be attributed to her having spent more time with me, or because her parents still have satellite. Think about it, if you are, say, seven years old today. Your parents might have migrated to the Roku or whatever stick you can insert into your TV that gives you Netflix, Hulu, and some TV channels. When this happens more than likely you pick things that you are familiar with. There is now longer the pain of having to sit through shows you did not like to watch while waiting for the ones you did, which often times led to the discovery of new shows. That just is not a thing anymore.
One positive thing is that now if kids want to watch an anime it is much more accessible to them than it was ten years ago. Watching anime online does not mean holding up your phone line because you still have dial-up. Now kids get tablets or phones at like….birth. I feel like the community is also much more open than it was when I first got into anime. There’s things like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, even WordPress that lets anime fans connect with one another. Plus it is much more mainstream than it had been and, like I said, is a lot easier for people to have access to now.
Anyway, that’s my little rant today. It kind of came out of nowhere, but it was just one of those things that I needed to write down and just kind of…get out. I hope you guys got some enjoyment out of it, and feel free to let me know your thoughts down below!
See you next time!!
I had planned on writing a post about some OVA every Sunday in July, but I was really struggling with finding the kind of OVA I was looking for. Instead I am just going to release posts like these for the remaining Sundays in July. You still get posts so that’s the important thing.
I want to do a Q & A to celebrate the blog’s anniversary on the 19th. If there are any questions you would like to ask me, ask them down below, message me on twitter (@Kachan_Anime), or you can even email me your questions (firstname.lastname@example.org) I would greatly appreciate any questions that you ask. Plus it lets you guys get in on the anniversary fun! You can ask them anytime between now and the 19th, but they will not be answered until the post on the 19th. Oh! And make your you mention it’s for the Anniversary Q & A, I may just think it’s a random question otherwise!