PERSONAL ENTRY – When I was five years old, I had an uncle who was obsessed with the Naruto anime series. Every time my mother left me in his care, we’d spend most of the idle time watching a few episodes of it. I remember him talking excitedly about everything that was happening in an episode, whether it was a fight, a conversation or something that caught his attention.
Even my mother and I had some times when she’d pull out her collection of Voltron episodes. It was a fun time seeing these different robots fighting other robots – the action, the lights, the clashes. They were all something new for me.
I could say that my love for anime is sort of hereditary because of my uncle and my mother who both loved anime during their childhood and teenage years.
The first series that I’ve followed, each episode, was the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. It was a time where science fiction piqued my interest. The thought of futuristic technology and concepts were so exciting to me. Every episode I’d wonder about the reasons for each scene in an episode. Pretty deep thinking for a seven year old.
The concept where your classmate was, in fact, god and you had to keep her entertained and if not, she’ll destroy the world? That sold me right in.
Another favorite anime series of mine would be Shakugan no Shana. It awakened my love for fantasy and adventure as Shana would go on to be an achieve Flame Haze – one that would make a difference for her world. How one human can be play a great role in a conflict between greater opposing forces than himself.
I was fascinated by the terms: the Reiji Maigo, the magic used, the different weapons – it filled me with awe and enjoyment.
Fast forward to recent years, I have somewhat limited my viewing of certain anime series. Instead of viewing it for the sheer thrill and excitement, I now delve even deeper. Character developments, story developments and twists, complex concepts and settings – I guess this is what happens when you learn more as you grow.
Nowadays, anime series have been more prevalent on re-occurring themes. Most spend less time on depth and are to shallow for me to enjoy. Instead of the usual twenty-five or more episodes in a season, we’ve now gone to common twelve-episode cour.
A lot of things have changed in the anime industry and people as a whole to have caused these things. It’s stretched itself to even foreign audiences other than Japan.
It’s a sense of happiness yet there’s a feeling of uncertainty – how anime has become bigger than people have expected.
Despite the new tropes and ideas, I still do hope we get to see more Haruhi’s, more Shakugan no Shana’s, more Naruto’s, more Voltron’s – where the entertainment value matters on the audience’s relation to the anime series rather than flashy CGI and the sorts.