I know, right. Another post, and it’s not a review?! Dare I say I’m being…creative?! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. But after sharing with my mother that I had a blog that talked about anime, I asked myself “Why am I even ashamed of this?” Why should I be ashamed of one of my hobbies? I know this feeling is common within the anime community, which got me thinking.
Maybe if more parents were more aware of what the medium can offer, we’d see a reduction in this strange feeling shame that people seem to report. Believe it or not, anime isn’t just for kids. Nor is it all physics defying boobs, and tentacles. Unless you’re into that type of thing.
P.S – Mum, if you’re reading this. Don’t worry, I know you accept me for how I am so you don’t have to watch these…unless you want to, of course.
So, I started thinking of shows (and movies) that would be appropriate to show to a more mature audience, and there was no shortage. In fact, there’s far too many to write about. But I’ll do my best! The most important things to consider before choosing something to show another, is to consider what they would like, rather than YOUR favourite. If they’re into mystery, maybe One Piece isn’t the best idea. If they watch a lot of live action dramas, maybe the more cartoony shows aren’t the best place to start. Thankfully, there’s a lot more on offer. Here are just some of the shows and movies I came up with!
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
For fans of: Emotional drama, wartime movies, period dramas.
Runtime: 1hr 28minutes
Are we really starting this list in tears? Looks like it. However, there really is no better way to introduce someone to the anime medium than through a Studio Ghibli movie. The studio is loved by people of all ages across the globe, and for great reason – their stories are consistently beautiful. Grave of the Fireflies is no exception. Set in Japan during the end of the Second World War, the movie follows two siblings who find themselves orphaned in the aftermath, and travel through the Japanese countryside in an attempt to survive. It’s a story of hope as in equal part, it is a tale of loss. Definitely keep a tissue handy. Available in English.
Death Note (2006)
For fans of: Crime, Suspense, shows that incorporate the supernatural without falling into fantasy.
For many of us, Death Note was the gateway into anime, therefore it is not outlandish to believe that a total outsider could enjoy it, also. Of course, with mentioning Death Note, it is important to add that I mean the anime only, and not the atrocious Netflix adaptation. Death Note follows Light Yagami who finds a notebook once owned by a God of Death. Anyone who’s name he writes in the notebook will die shortly after. And we all know the saying, with great power…comes total madness. Death Note tells the tale of a God Complex gone berserk, and how it changed the face of crime on both sides. Expect nail-biting scenes of tension, cliffhangers and an overall exhilarating journey. Available in English.
A Silent Voice (2016)
For fans of: Romance, tear-jerkers, drama that ultimately leads to a happy ending.
This is my personal favourite on the list. Whilst I wanted to keep all personal opinion out of the list, it’s hard when you come across a movie as gorgeous as A Silent Voice was. Alongside gorgeous animation, the story was touching in all the right ways. The tale follows Shouya, a mean youth who bullies the deaf transfer student, Shouko to the point she transfers away. However, karma is a bitch that hates bullies, and Shouya soon finds out the consequences of his actions. The rest of the movie tells the tale of how Shouya seeks redemption for his actions, as well as how love can blossom in the most unlikely of people. Again, don’t expect dry eyes if you’re watching this. Available in English.
For fans of: Period dramas, the occult, Mafia and Gang drama.
The entirety of the time I was watching Baccano!, I actually thought that it would translate really well to both a more mature audience, as well as probably working if it had a Western adaptation. Just the opening is very reminiscent to the 2000 movie “Snatch”. Baccano! takes place in 1930’s Chicago, following what seem to be unrelated tales of a murder on the Flying Pussyfoot, and the quest for immortality in an underground cult. Don’t be daunted by the huge cast, they’re merely materials for the bigger picture to come together – and boy, is it worth it. Available in English (with a very talented cast!)
INTO THE FOREST OF FIREFLIES’ LIGHT (2011)
For fans of: Romance, Studio Ghibli, short movies
Runtime: 45 minutes
There is no way to describe ‘Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light’ than beautiful. For a movie that falls just short of an hour long, it does an incredible job of capturing a stunning love story. We meet a child called Hotaru, who gets lost in a forest, only to meet a spirit inside – Gin. As Hotaru and Gin continue to meet every summer, their friendship grows stronger and a romance begins to bloom. Lovely – except Gin can never touch a human, or else he’ll disappear. But can love really prevail in such impossible circumstances? Anime movies really seem to want to make us cry, and this one isn’t much different.
That’s my top 5 suggestions, though I am sure there are many, many more that would make great choices, too! Some honorable mentions go to Erased (time-travelling murder mystery), Yuri!!! On Ice (ice-skating romance tackling tough themes of anxiety and doubt), and Death Parade (what really makes a person good or bad?)
What shows would you guys suggest? Have you ever watched anime with your parents?
Until next time!