When I was in the US, I was always fascinated with Japanese animation. There was something really different and strange about it, and the stories were wild and fantastic. Actually, some of the shows I grew up with as a kid were from Japan, like Speed Racer. I remember that I noticed their mouths didn’t seem to say what the voice said. But, anyway, they were cool cartoons of chances to enjoy I’m all grown up, I have lots of chances to enjoy a variety of Japanese animation.
You can turn on the tube pretty much any time of day and catch some kind of anime (that’s what everybody calls Japanese animation; it’s a shortening of the Japanese word animeshon). Lots of shows for younger viewers are on the weekends. There are a variety of different shows like action and adventure stories, and sci-fi. There are even adult anime shows. You know, adult. If you’re into that, I mean.
But even better than what’s on TV, Japan produces lots of feature-length anime movies, and these are the coolest. I remember seeing Akira when I was a kid. That was one trippy cartoon! If you haven’t seen it, I recommend checking it out. Most video stores that specialize in indie or artsy movies would have it (maybe not Blockbuster!).
Later on, features from Studio Ghibli started coming out and getting popular back home. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it, but there’s a film called Grave of the Fireflies from these guys that’s really cool and intense. You can find that one in the States with English subtitles. Another from them was Spirited Away. You might have heard of Miyazaki. He’s the director of Studio Ghibli, and he won lots of awards for Spirited Away. It’s a really great story and definitely worth checking out.
Unlike our cartoons back home, anime is not all for kids. But, there are some good ones for the little kiddies to watch on the weekend, like Crayon Shin-chan and the ever-popular An-pan-man. They don’t have English translations, but if you know even a little Japanese, they aren’t hard to follow. The important thing is that they’ll keep the kids busy while you take a break!
And, if you’re really into anime, you can get tons of stuff at your local video rental place. I mean, there are walls and walls of anime, mostly TV series’ that have been released on video. They have features you can rent as well.