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A New Wave: Anime gains popularity in US

Quarantine brought many new hobbies, interests, and a yearn to try something different. One of the newer interests that is starting to become “mainstream” is anime. For those who aren’t familiar, anime are Japanese cartoon series and they depict a wide range of genres; drama, action, fantasy, romance, mystery, and even psychological thrillers. Anime can be considered a style of art rather than a genre.

“I think that people need to realize that anime is not ‘weird’. It can be weird sometimes but if you pick the right anime for you, you will get hooked immediately,” senior Cooper Ward said. “I fell in love with anime by accident, and I started watching it because quarantine intrigued me to try new things.”

New age animes that are the most popular as of now are series like One Piece, Black Clover, My Hero Academia, Jujutsu Kaizen, and the most popular show being Attack on Titan. Streaming services like Crunchyroll give anime fans the widest selection of anime that have been made over the years. Others were hesitant to express their appreciation for anime, but now that social media platforms like TikTok are spreading the word, more people than ever feel comfortable showing their love for it.

“I think that anime was something me and a lot of other people used to keep to ourselves. People sometimes feel like they should be ashamed of watching it, but I think anime is an awesome way of learning life lessons all while enjoying the animation and storylines,” junior Emily VanNorsdall said.

From a literature standpoint, animes are easier to pick out themes, character development, conflict, and even emotion.

“If looking at character development, for me, I think Eren Yeager from Attack on Titan had one of the most dramatic character developments,” junior Lilly Acosta said. “Cowboy Bebop has always been one of my favorites, mainly for the prominent theme of fate throughout the series, bringing certain characters and scenarios together, but that’s a pretty common theme you see a lot.”

For contrast in shows, Attack on Titan is a dark, apocalyptic thriller that is about humanity living inside of walls to protect themselves from giant, mindless beings called titans whose diet consists of eating humans. On the other hand, Cowboy Bebop is about a group of futuristic bounty hunters running from their pasts while hunting down the solar system’s most dangerous foes, all with a jazz-infused soundtrack.

The options when starting an anime are as extensive. Anime can be a great choice for those looking to expand their horizons.

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