Anime and Cartoons are not always for children

When I tell people what I watch they often give me a strange look.

I watch primarily anime and cartoons, shows geared towards children but also not. Often times people think of cartoons like Adventure Time but all cartoons are not geared for children.

I do not like Family Guy, which is an adult cartoon because to me it’s 50% funny but then the other 50% of the time it goes over the line for me and just ventures into an arena that’s too crude and too weird.

Think about cartoons like American Dad, Archer or South Park. Those are cartoons and they aren’t for children.

Plenty of cartoons come on Adult Swim that are for adults so I don’t understand why people automatically assume that any show that is animated is for children and that anyone who watches animation is childish.

Anything can be animated. Heck, hentai is animation and that’s Japanese porn. Is that for children? Obviously not. Adult content exists within child films too. There are adult jokes in plenty of children’s films and insinuations in scenes.

When it comes to anime it’s important to consider that the content considered appropriate for the Japanese public is more open than an American crowd in some ways.

Anime can consist of content that is violent, suicidal, homicidal, sexual, homosexual, incestuous, beastiality etc. I don’t state this to create an overarching generalization of anime, I’m just stating that this kind of content exists within some animes.

It’s not that American content is totally absent of these themes but definitely in anime, certain content is more prevalent. Manga has age ratings on their books but even in the children’s content there are still some questionable scenes and content.

Anime can be quite sexual, as well as American comics, in the way that females are drawn, the angles they are shown at such as underneath panty shots, oversized breasts, mini skirts, exaggerated high pitched whiny orgasmic voice overs and docile school girl fetishes.

In fact it was in the anime Sailor Moon that I was first introduced to two lesbian characters, Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus who were a couple in the series. However because Sailor Moon aired in the 1980’s and 1990’s homosexual content on television was still taboo especially for a child’s show so the American version censored that relationship and presented them as two loving cousins.

Even though at the time I did not have a full understanding of what homosexuality was, I could tell that the characters were too close to simply be cousins. The way they looked at one another, touched one another and cared for one another was much deeper than familial love. Furthermore I think it was a poor decision on the Americanized version’s team to try to cover up their relationship as familial because that created even more confusion than if they had simply presented them as a lesbian couple.

I’ll never understand why it’s more OK in the United States for cousins to marry or have romantic relationships, but homosexuality is considered more taboo than incest. Anyway I say all that to say that to the Japanese public, I do not know how Sailor Moon was received but I do know that the fact that those characters were created with the relationship that they had, that there had to be some acceptability. Proposing a gay couple for a children’s show in the 1990’s would have been met with great hostility and disapproval.

What American content is known for is how much violence we expose children to. What I notice in anime is that protagonists die epic deaths while American content often requires that protagonists live no matter what. Also children are hurt in anime, while in American media children are usually off limits for death or major injury.

So I think I have made my point clear that people ought not judge and just assume that anything animated means it’s for children only. There are plenty of comics, cartoons, manga and anime that have teen, adult and x-rated content. Apart from that, what is the crime in an adult taking pleasure in a children’s cartoon? I take pleasure in watching old-school Sponge bob episodes simply because it’s funny.

Adulthood can be hard, depressing and frustrating. If watching cartoons brings some catharsis then why not? I’m amazed at how many people feel the need to tell adults what they should and shouldn’t be doing. Watching cartoons is healthy and harms no one. Many of these stories focus on heroes that fight against adversity which is an applicable and relate-able theme of real life.

I could go on and on about the positive content within these genres, but that is not the purpose of this article. The purpose of this article was to expose the adult themes of these genres and to point out that there is nothing wrong with an adult taking pleasure in watching cartoons and or anime whether it’s geared to children or not.


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