[R-R] Anime, Casual Hobby Or Personal “Rabbit-Hole”?

29May08

I realize I’m breaking a rule of the Round Robin by posting this. Don’t worry though, my blog is so new and sparsely read (partly due to the previous reason) that this shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll link to the other girls’ posts, so no worries. Don’t kill me, itsubun!
(Well actually Hinano went ahead and beat me to it! I feel much safer now.)

The allure of anime
Anime’s appeal is best understood by none other than us, the anime fans. Before I continue, let’s touch on what is just so appealing about cartoons from Japan.

For myself, the one thing that was striking about anime versus American or traditional cartoons was the difference in detail and body proportions. Cartoons like Batman were dying out, ushering in a new wave spearheaded by shows from Nickelodeon like Dexter’s Laboratory and Rugrats. As a child who wanted to grow up as soon as possible, I was immediately disgusted with these new shows: “Ugh, what is this kid stuff!”

Others may have slightly differing reasons, but that’s what it ultimately boils down to. The art. What is anime without art, anyway? (Yes, this is a stupid question. It’s also rhetorical.) Humans are predominantly visual species, and from that angle, it’s easy to explain an interest in anime. Anime can portray fantasies and impossible fiction (such as an entire cast of unimaginably beautiful girls and handsome guys) that no human acting could ever hope to achieve. In a sense, the mere interest in anime is a form of escapism. (But that’s a slippery slope that we’ll avoid for now.)

A shield for reality?
Anime is a stress-reliever. To understand this, it would be easier to breakdown what an anime is. An anime is primarily two things: 1.) the art, and 2.) the story. As they would say, you come for the art and stay for the story. The story is what absorbs us, immerses us into the anime. It’s like reading a book or watching a movie — you want to know what happens. And you forget about everything else in the meanwhile.

Rabbit-hole or not, though? Not for me. Not intentionally, anyway. I don’t return home and tell myself that I should or need to unwind by watching x episodes of y anime. (I don’t mean to play holier than thou here.) Almost all of my anime viewership is conducted when I am bored. Yes, that means when I’m sitting there with nothing to do — no worries, no stresses, nothing. I become immersed, as expected, but I don’t consciously decide to use it as a form of escapism.

Anime is escapism
Typing this, though, I began to wonder, what exactly entails escapism when it comes to anime? Is it like the slippery slope mentioned earlier, the desire for the impossible; or is it that from which I’ve already exonerated myself — watching anime to wipe away stress? To be honest, it seems like a bit of both.

By merely reading a book, or watching a movie/drama, are you not escaping from reality during that period of time? Escapism is defined as the avoidance of reality by indulging in entertainment, imaginative situation, or activity. I feel that unconscious escapism is absolutely possible. In that regard, I am guilty; merely because I have an interest in anime.

It’s all up to you
Am I… are we, cowards? Or rather, is anime a healthy refuge with which to dash your worries? This is not a black-and-white question. I’m going to get into what may seem like a lot of common sense. Whether anime is your cowardly white flag to reality, or a sanctuary with which to rejuvenate yourself is based on the degree of usage.

When is too much, too much, though? Simple. Analyze yourself. Log the amount of time you spend, when you watch anime and why. Go ask somebody. (Not your mom. She hates your anime hobby with a passion.) Someone in the community, who you feel is objective. Tell them your habits. Decide from there. I assume none of you are escaped insane asylumees.

Bottom line: Good or bad?
Anime is a casual activity. Like any casual activity, as long as it retains a level of priority less than work, it’s perfectly normal and fine. (Unless you work in the anime industry. Then it is work. Ha.) Everyone has different means of entertainment, and for us, it’s anime. It’s not bad, not at all. (Excuse the corny ending.)

 

Other entries by members of the Round-Robin:
blissmo: The Rabbit Hole – Means of Escaping Reality
Hinano: The Rabbit Hole: Anime & Escapism
tachikomaticdays: The Rabbit-Hole: Anime and Escapism

I’m sure most of you already understand the concept of a “rabbit-hole”, which can be linked to Alice in Wonderland. The premise is that a young girl named Alice falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy realm, where she has incredible adventures.

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20 Responses to “[R-R] Anime, Casual Hobby Or Personal “Rabbit-Hole”?”

  1. “Everyone has different means of entertainment, and for us, it’s anime. It’s not bad, not at all.”

    Indeed. People may watch anime for different reasons also. In the end, as long as the time spent on anime is not deleterious to your daily functioning, it is fine.

  2. 2 Colin

    You have an interesting, if not, unique view of Anime. I’ve never viewed as ‘escapism’, but more on the line of watching it for the story content and the artwork. I grew up in the 70’s watching Astro Boy, Battle of the Planets (Gatchman), and then in the 80’s – 90’s Transformers – Samurai Pizza Cats. This is what I was interested in watching, because it was vastly different thant the plain static North American cartoons on TV. What attracted me into Anime was the artwork and the characters development into the series.

    Escapism, yes, to a degree. But then I don’t watch Gundam SEED Destiny and imagine I’m a pilot of Freedom Gundam. Although I have to admit I do enjoy building Gundam model kits and I do have the Master Grade Freedom Gundam. However, whether it be animation or live-action, Anime like everything else in the media is a form of storytelling.

    A rabbit hole? I don’t think so, unless its a person who is completely immersed in that Anime and fantasises about the characters, that he/she looses touch with reality. Then, in that instance, it does become a rabbit hole.

  3. 3 Sakura

    Eh I didn’t the ending corny at all and I wholeheartedly agree. Anything as long as it isn’t be all and end all of your day is fine because its a hobby and fun and sometimes you need an escape to unwind and relax. Nothing wrong with that, for some its music, a book for some its anime.

    When anything becomes more than that, anime included then it becomes less of an escape and more of an obsession. And well that isn’t healthy no matter the object of the obsession!

  4. I feel that it’s a mix of both; escapism and casual hobby. I prefer anime that has supernatural elements in it, the alternative universe would be a new perspective and would allow me to be submerged in that universe for around 20 minutes or so. During that 20 minutes or so, I need not remind myself that I have to hand in assignment a or assignment b in a week’s time. It’s a casual hobby too, nobody is forcing me to pick it or to drop it. I just go to anime.

  5. 5 kaeboo

    There are different means of escapism and it ranges from being good, bad or ugly. Anything taken more than what is enough would always be detrimental to that individual who indulges.

    … and your ending ain’t corny. :)it ties up nicely to your outline and your title.

  6. I don’t think watching anime has anything to do with running away, but more of trying to ignore whatever it was as a means of getting over it and accepting it and forgiving the person if they’ve done something wrong. But that’s for me, ‘cos whenever I watch anime after getting pissed at someone, I end up getting over the fight and wonder why I got so angry in the first place.

  7. No worries.. love your images..

  8. i didn’t put up a post on the first topic is because i really didn’t see it as a form of escapism. i started watching anime when i was 10 or 11 because i found things like tom and jerry and looney tunes never changes their story. i watched it because the stories are more age appropriate and didn’t insult my intelligence (whatever that is).

    for me anyway, i appreciate anime because as i grew up and delved into the different genres, the stories grew up alongside me. not to discount american cartoons, but quite frankly, the plots and scenarios they come up with these days are no different from the ones i watched when i was little.

    … XD damn… maybe i should i written a post about it.

  9. 9 Kairu Ishimaru

    Cute rabbit. XDD lulz

  10. 10 Risuna

    I just wanna say I completely agree with you on this & I love how you wrote this

    come for the art stay for the story is completely true – at least for me – I mean the drawing styles are so beautiful & one day I shall master my own style I’ve been working on for 6-7 years now – I wanna be like a pro mangaka in a way

    as for the stories I get so immerse the rest of the world fades away – there are stories reach my heart like nothing else can & I cherish it – anime is like a treasure to me

    It’s also my stress reliever & keeps me in tune between work & play (as well as everything else in life)

    usually I would read the previous comments but I dont quite have the time right now so this is all I’m able to say

    thank-you for the wonderful blog entry~!


  1. 1 Round Robin: The Rabbit Hole - Anime & Escapism « myucon
  2. 2 elezend
  3. 3 The Rabbit Hole: Anime and Escapism « Fujoshi scribblings.
  4. 4 Anime and Escapism: Down the Rabbit Hole « GAR GAR Stegosaurus
  5. 5 AGRR rnd I: The Rabbit Hole « Babble Bam
  6. 6 a geek by any other name » Blog Archive » Round Robin: Insert Witty Escape/Rabbit Hole Joke Here
  7. 7 itsubun» Blog Archive » First Round: The Rabbit Hole [Anime & Escapism]
  8. 8 All girls round robin « Calamitous Intent
  9. 9 Coffee Spoons» Blog Archive » First Round: The Rabbit Hole [Anime & Escapism]
  10. 10 Loli Salad » Round Robin: Escapism and Anime

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