What Anime Looks Like To People Who Don’t Watch Anime


I think everyone has experienced that awkward moment when someone who does not watch anime walks in on you watching anime… at the worst possible timing. Damn you, fanservice scenes!

My life is ruined. I have a loving mother and father, neither of whom watch anime. In fact, they make fun of me for liking it. They call me a loser! They say I will end up being a hobo on the street and no one will marry me. They tell me to take a shower! How could they?! Are my armpits really that smelly?! IS THIS WHY NO ONE WILL COME NEAR ME?!

Well, whatever. Even though my relatives and friends have come to accept my hobbies, I can see why anime would still seem pretty crazy to them. For your amusement, I have decided to compile a short list of things my various family members have said over the years about the anime I watch. Upon retrospection, I can see why they would say such things. Anyway, here you go:

K-ON!: “They sound like chipmunks.”

Ghost Hound: “This sounds really pretentious for a cartoon.”

Code Geass: Mother walked in on me when the shower scene between Kallen and Lelouch in episode 3 came on. “Stop watching porn during the day!” (Wait, so I’m allowed to watch it at night?)

Beck: “What’s with the cheesy and tryhard rock music?”

Naruto: “It just keeps repeating the same tune over and over again! Turn it off!”

Princess Tutu: “Your duck anime is boring.” (Wait, you were actually paying attention?)

Baka and Test: “It’s annoying because they’re always yelling.”

Ikkitousen: “Do you want to sniff women’s underwear or something? Why don’t you just borrow your mother’s?” (Um, no thanks?)

Baccano!: “I think that guy just said ‘kill’ seventeen times in one sentence.”

Lucky Star: “What the hell is this?” (An accurate summation of the show.)

5 Centimeters Per Second: “Stop crying! It’s just a cartoon! They’re not real people! God, you’re living in a fantasy world!”

Eureka Seven: “This show is like nails on a blackboard.”

Kaleido Star: “They’re all just lesbians on the inside.”

Romeo X Juliet: “I’m so happy that Romeo dies.”

Kaze no Stigma: “The girl with red hair sounds like a bitch.”


Sometimes, my brother watches anime with me. Here are some of the things he said about a couple of the anime I watched:

Oh My Goddess!: “I like Urd because she has big boobs.”

Lucky Star: “This anime sucks because no one has big boobs.”

Highschool of the Dead: “This anime is cool! I’m gonna download the OVA now!”

I think I see a pattern here…

If anyone else has stories about how their family members react to their anime habit, I’d actually love to hear them. I’m betting anime looks like the stupidest thing ever to people who don’t watch it.


  1. So far, the only comment that I got from my anime watching is “he must be liking this anime a lot” when my elder sister caught me watching Aikatsu! a few hours ago and talking to another elder sister of mine.

  2. Best one for me was when I was watching a DBZ. It was during one of the scenes where Cell was terrorizing Android 18, and so there was a lot of grunting, moaning, and evil laughter.

    My mom of course made the wrong assumption when she heard what was going on. I spent around 2 minutes trying to persuade her to come into the living room and look at what was on TV before she finally peeked in and saw what actually was happening.

    My childhood was inevitably tainted that day.

  3. majority of them basically just say “who’d want to watch cartoons?” or “you still watch cartoons at your age?”
    I retort with your 45 and you still play video games *crotch chop then sway hands in the air*.
    I tell you, anime just can’t catch a break. VG and comic books are pop culture icons. Anime is just cartoons or Boku no Pico to some.

  4. My family is religious. My family is also stereotypically “Asian,” meaning academics is a high priority. I share these values, yet needless to say, here I am knee-deep or further in anime, manga, visual novels, games, and related fandom and fanworks, much of which view (or would view if they knew) as compromising those values. And the thing is, they are not exactly wrong in thinking so. I juggle between feeling guilty and feeling defensive. Otaku life is tough.

    • Band together with me, my son. We are otaku warriors! We like anime and eroge with a passion! We can say that we love them! If we throw this away, we won’t be us anymore!

      EROGE IS MY SOUL!!!!

      (On a more serious note, I understand your feelings, but there’s no need to feel shame over anime. Hope you don’t feel too down over it!)


        And don’t worry t0moko, I feels you, you don’t need to hide any part of yourself from me! I love you unconditionally! Woohoohoo!

      • rikuo06: Wow, ugh, okay I spoke too soon. I’m the one trying to keep YOU under control after all. And you’re the one who got me into this mess in the first place. Have you no sense of duty towards society? I guess not, you’re far worse an otaku than I am.

        froggykun: It is not shame over what I watch or read, but guilt over the way/extent to which it impacts my lifestyle detrimentally (grades, social life, sleep, dedication to God, time for more productive activities). That is not to say that anime/manga/VNs/games/etc. have not had good impacts as well; on the contrary, they have taught me or have inspired or led me to learn just as much as regular school has.

    • 😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😝 I like it for the most part but why do u know those people from the coolest anime shows and how they get in your house

  5. Some of those comments are pretty funny XD Unfortunately I can’t share in the general idea of the post because my family is basically just my mom, who likes and respects anime. The other, like, two family members we have I don’t know very well and they live far away, but they know I like anime and don’t have a problem with it. My mom and I have watched many anime together over the years (even wrote a post about it, and since then we’ve watched a lot more). She’s not a fan or anything, but she certainly has no problem with it or with me liking it so much. So it kinda angers me that your parents would call you a loser and say you’ll be a hobo because of it. What you got to do is get them to watch a really good anime with a good story and production values, one that you think they’ll like. That way they’ll know that anime isn’t just “porn.” It’s a shame they reduced an anime with an epic and engrossing story like Code Geass into “porn” just because they walked in at the wrong moment.

    I do cherry pick the anime I’ve shown my mom though. If I were to show her something like K-ON or Lucky Star, she’d probably find them cute but boring. She doesn’t like mecha or dark fantasy type shows, so for anime like Naruto or Eureka 7, if she watched enough of them she’d probably understand what’s good about them but not enjoy watching them herself. Even if I were to show her some bad anime now, she’d probably just say “Well, guess there’s good and bad in everything.”

    And since I never watch anime in public areas and 95% of the time I watch it at night alone in my room, she hardly ever walks in on me watching it. She does hear it outside my room sometimes and has made comments about the high-pitched voices of the girls, but other than that, I really don’t have any experiences like the ones you’re describing XD I guess I’m lucky?

    • You are pretty lucky indeed to have such a special relationship with your mother! As for my parents, I make out they’re ostracising me but it’s really just playful teasing. There’s no shame in being an otaku, right? :)

  6. The biggest comments I ever get is from my mom. She mainly says these:
    “Do you understand what they’re saying?”
    “WTF is going on?”
    “Are you watching porno?”

    Hence I lock my door when watching anime especially when I’m watching shows like Free! (Seriously, I feel like someone is going to walk in my room and ask me if I’m watching gay porn and I have no excuse)

  7. My dad walked in on me while I was watching Cowboy Bebop, and watched it right the way through with me that night. At the end, he just said “hmm” and left. The next day I saw him watching the movie. Since then, he’s enjoyed the whole of Legendary of the Galactic Heroes. To this day he still says “bang” from time to time as an in-joke when we’re talking.

    My mom caught me reading the Spice and Wolf novels, and now she’s reading them too. She says it’s weird to read something written by a Japanese person pretending to be an old European, but also that she likes the way they portrayed the relationship between two really lonely people. She’ll probably dig the dubbed box set I’m taking to her when I go visit next time.

    That said, both of them used to poke fun at Sailormoon and Pokemon when my brother and I watched an episode here and there on TV. I joined in, because frankly most anime *are* really silly. If you can’t laugh along with people who poke fun at them, then you’re probably taking your hobby too seriously.

    I’ve found that the more willing I was to treat it as “just another source of fun entertainment” rather than pushing it, the more people will enjoy it with me. Friends who were anxious for FIFA loved Giant Killing, classical music students loved Nodame Cantabile, etc. Just don’t expect everyone to like your anime that are geared toward anime fans rather than more casual audiences.

  8. I don’t really feel shame for anything really, especially since I’ve done some pretty horrible shit, but it’s always fun to see people react to Japanese cartoons when they see me time to time. The response is surprisingly very reasonable and many people lovingly accept it, but every now and then I’ll get one person who gives me the stink eye for watching Sailor Moon at the airport. And let me be the first to say that that look is fucking fantastic. I would do that shit everyday if I can get somebody to look at me like that.

    Also, I recently caught an episode of Free! with an ex and my girlfriend, both who don’t usually watch anime, over some beers and smokes last night. When Rei turned into a butterfly, my ex stared deep into my eyes and told me her “ovaries just exploded.” Fantastic. Now that’s something I want to see when new people watch anime.

  9. These are some of the most hilarious reasons I read… but in all seriousness, my parents doesn’t seem to care. Maybe once in the while I get the “why are you watching children cartoons!” But still, I think most of these reactions happen because it’s culturally different and that there is a negative perception that Anime is porn because of all that fanservice. But joking aside, if you show them a Miyasaki film, probably they will have a more positive feeling towards other anime.

  10. My dad and step mother are both sixty and love anime. xD They watch Eureka Seven, Fullmetal Alchemist, etc. My mom, on the other hand, has occasionally sat in on stuff and said things like “this is stupid”, “this makes no sense”, “why do you watch this”. AND THEN SHE’LL GO WATCH LIKE A MADAGASCAR MOVIE OR SOMETHING. Gah.

      • Nah that’s an okay movie haha. I just wish she wouldn’t call anime childish and pointless and then watch movies just as silly and “childlike”, as she says.

  11. My parents are totally cool about it cos they’re such chillers which is great. Actually my mum really liked reading Death Note. Well they poke fun at shows like Naruto but then again so do I! Anyway the most awkward moments were when I was watching Mnemosyne on the TV and they were in the next room and there was sexy business going on and I was like “please don’t come in please don’t come in please don’t come in” and then they did and I had to pretend I needed to pause the show for some reason. Not suss at all. Yeah. Anyway I watch my anime in my room with headphones now :-)

  12. My parents threw away my manga collection when I was 15 or so because my Dad was (and still is) really superstitious and all so yeah. My family is okay with my anime watching though, and my little brother is getting into the hobby as well.

    I tried introducing Princess Tutu to my best friend at school since she likes ballet but she fell asleep in the first episode. I was deeply saddened.

    My classmates all think I’m weird and all, but at the end of the I’m pretty okay with it. Bitter about the fact that no one can appreciate the good stuff underneath some of the WTF JAPAN moments, but still OK.

    • For some reason, I imagined your father throwing all your manga into a bonfire and yelling, “Burn the witch! BURN HER!”

      And to be fair, Princess Tutu is probably best appreciated by people who have watched a decent amount of anime beforehand. It’s not the most eventful of shows even if it is really unique.

  13. my whole family watches anime besides my mom and whenever my mom sees me watch anime whether its one piece, naruto, bleach, bakuman, death note, fairy tail or hunter x hunter i get the same reactiom ” are you watching DBZ again” never ceases to amaze me

  14. Father: ”Hey you’re watching pokemon?” no ”It must be by the same person that did pokemon it’s exactly the same!” When he finally understood he kept saying this anyways has a joke. He still does it.

    My dad actually enjoy cartoons sadly he doesn’t understand english (we’re french canadians) otherwise I would probably have watched Cowboy Bebop with him (considering he like cowboys and old stuff). My mother just finds it a bit funny that me and my sister watch animated series so much. She sometimes watches some with us when were watching it on the main tv and seems to treat it has normal.

    I only have one friend who watches anime from time to time. The others seem to be more bothered by the fan service side of it more than anything else and have trouble to wrap they heads around the concept that the target audience isn’t young children. There shocked reaction to the first episode of kill la kill was kinda hilarious. Some have actually started to watch adventure time now so it’s maybe just a matter of time before the jump ahah.

    • Interesting story. On that note, there are western cartoons that are definitely not targeted at children, so I’m not sure why people single out anime as NOT FOR KIDS.

      • Oh it’s about the type of show. Western cartoons for adults are rarely about epic journey or wtv anime does. They’re mostly about farts and the ones that aren’t, are not well known. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have trouble understanding the target audience of something like Cromartie High.

  15. For some odd reason, everytime my mom enters my room while I am watching anime, I am crying in my hands (or almost). So, she always tease me with phrases like: “are you gonna see Soushi die again now?”.
    Anyway, to add some for your collection:
    * Shaman King: “the one with the hysterical midget?”
    * Natsume Yuujinchou: “the serie with the cat” (she reffers to Nyanko-sensei)
    * ScryED: “balls”
    * Rurouni Kenshin: “raccoon and ginger-girl”

  16. lets see…from my dad
    GitS: oh the one with the hot major
    Dragonaut the resonance: deformed chest jokes, lots of em
    Bleach: imitating old man zangetsu (does a decent job of it too)

    mom just doesn’t get it and doesn’t care to try

  17. This is funny ! :P
    Well, I do have encountered awkward moments while watching anime, especially about those fanservice scenes. For example, I was watching Rosario To Vampire anime with my brother. Everything was normal in the first few minutes. It was the scene where the protagonist accidentally bumped into a girl while riding his bicycle and when he fell, he accidentally touched the girl’s boobs, it was totally unexpected that I didn’t know what to do that I get up from my seat and walks away.

    That was really hard to forget… *sigh*

    • Ahhhh, that first episode of R+V, I remember it as if it were yesterday…! Ah yes, that accidental boob grope… Cherish that memory, I say! The rest of that anime was pretty forgettable, you know? :)

  18. Ah, what to say. The only one who likes watching anime with me is my father. :D My relatives would like to pretend that my obsession with it doesn’t exist. XD My mother sometimes watches stuff with me, but she doesn’t make fun of me for liking it, she just says it’s weird and hard to wrap her mind around at times.

  19. Haha, these are all pretty funny. Or, I guess, from what I mainly read. I guess, here’s what people around me think about it. I do have a few friends who watch anime with me. Heck, two of them wear Attack On Titan jackets everyday! My mom knows how much I love anime and says I watch too much of it (main reason being one time in a movie someone said something. In Japanese and I recognized it instantly. I told my mom that she said “are you okay?”. She teased me a bit after that. But she doesn’t judge me for watching anime. I have old friends who will tell me that anime is stupid. After me ignoring them for forever and a half they apologize XD Other people like jocks or really anyone recognize me as the girl who draws anime. Yes, that’s my label at school <3 My dad also doesn't seem too care much. Although when I watch Fairy Tail I'm pretty sure he has yelled at Gray who has no clothes on except for underwear to "PUT SOME CLOTHES ON!" Which makes me laugh. And I often pause the video if it'd a type of filler episode and I don't know what Gray is going to do next.

    I'm glad I have people who understand just a little of how I love to watch anime. I feel sorry for those who are more out casted then I am. (Hey. Just to add. My cats are often the ones who watch anime with me. So I'm somewhat lonely when watching anime? My cats usually watch with me mainly because I might have been crying XD)

    • Haha, thanks for sharing your story. One of the greatest joys for me was also finding people who shared my passion for anime, so it’s always great to see a fellow fan. I’m glad you could have found some amusement in my post!

    • The people at school know me as the guy that draws anime, yeah, and it pisses me off. I draw MANGA!!! Lol that was my rant of the day. Anyways, my dad isn’t into anime, but my mom hates it. I was watching an episode of Fairy Tail, and she’s saying “her clothing isn’t appropriate. Neither is hers. And he curses too much.” Etc. My dad doesn’t hate it but he doesn’t get it either.

  20. Funniest moment for met is when i decided to watch FMA Brotherhood on the actual TV instead of on my iPad, and the one scene where my mom walks in is that scene where someone screams ‘YOU BITCHHHHHH.’
    Kind of left an impression on my mom.

  21. My brother used to come in my room and watch one piece when i watched,and ask me some questions about it.It was kind of weird cause my brother never actually admired anime.He liked one piece,but then one day I told him:Hey why don’t you try watching Death Note or even better,Sword Art Online? And he said:No,i don’t like anime.And i asked him then why the heck did you watch one piece with me? And he said:Because i was bored.
    Now I need your help.My question is this: How can I make him watch anime?I know he’ll like it,because everything i suggest him he says no its stupid or boring and when i actually convince him he says wow that was really awesome,and i tell him yea next time you should listen to me,but every time he does the same thing.The only thing i can’t convince him to do is watch anime.I will make him watch anime even if i have to force him!
    Note* he’s 17 years old and goes to the gym for the past 3 years and i’m 14 with no gym at all so beating him is impossible.

    • If you know hes going to pass by you soon, go to a scene in an anime you want him to watch. Make sure the scene is something of interest (like eren turning into a titan in AoT), even if it could be a little spoilery. For my younger brother who is really reluctant to watch new anime (he likes anime, but has hard time trying new ones) this usually works. You could also just send a short clip of the anime to tinge his interest. A lot people don’t want to sit through over 20 mintues of content just because you say so, but something that is like 1 minute it is more liely to work.

    • I say this from experience
      If you want to get someone into anime you have to create a project for it and become dedicated. The first anime I showed my sister was Fairy Tail. I was fairly new to anime and this was one of the only animes I’ve seen at the time. She fell in love with it. However this was her exception. I kept on trying to convince her into watching other anime but she always said that no anime is better than Fairy Tail and so she refused to watch anything. I once showed her FMA. She screamed at eds hair as if she was being tortured. I tried convincing her to watch the host club. She called it the horse club and refused to watch it. I’ve tried getting her into other anime a but it never worked. Then one day she watched blue exorcist on her own. She also washed FMA and FMAB on her own and the host club on her own. I introduced her to once piece but she didn’t watch it but now she is. She also got into Hunter x Hunter but dropped out of it since she was watching FMA. Now she ask me what anime she should watch but she never watches what I recommend.
      Overall to get someone into anime you have to become dedicated because the animes they like will always be exceptions until they finally realize that anime isn’t that bad.

  22. I’ve actually been able to introduce my Mom to a few series – selectively. She always appreciates good characters and well-written stories, which anime has lots of. And I know her boundaries too, so I never pick anything that that’s too nihilistic, too bloody, or excessively fanservice-y. Of the ones I have introduced her to, she especially enjoyed Escaflowne and K-ON (her comment on the latter was, “I wish Americans made shows like this”), and after I showed her the first arc of Naruto she even kept watching the next few arcs on her own, although I think the sheer sprawl of it eventually got to be too much for her. I’d like to introduce her to Kanon (the 2006 version) at some point, because there are elements of that series that I know for a fact she’d really fall in love with. Only problem is that she always likes having me watch a new anime with her so that she can pepper me with questions about Japanese cultural references and other things she doesn’t really understand, and Kanon is such a damn tearjerker that I’m not sure I’ve recovered enough yet from watching it the first time to put myself through it again.

    As for the rest of my family, they either don’t know about my interest in Anime or don’t care. My oldest brother actually works in the American animation industry, so you’d think he at least would show some open-minded curiosity, but from the few comments I’ve heard him make on the subject he seems to have bought into the “all anime is naughty tentacles” stereotype and isn’t really interested in being proven wrong, so I don’t bother trying.

  23. I feel so awkward watching anime around others because of those random fanservice scenes. xD

    I’ve only ever really seen anime with my mom who isn’t too familiar with modern anime(but she used to watch some in her childhood, which was like Dr. Slump and old stuff like that)
    She never really said anything interesting about them, though.

    Sometimes would be amused at the scenes I would be mentally face-palming about, like accidental breast-groping in Ao no Exorcist, and tentacles in Milky Holmes(might have been laughing more at the fact that the girls ate the tentacles later).
    I remember when I first saw Bleach, my mom walked in and said it was such a weird anime.

    When we watched the first episode of the Attack on Titan dub, she kept asking, “Is this about giants?” on several occasions. Then my dad also entered the room and looked surprised, asking, “Are they speaking English? The Japanese voice actors can speak English? Wow they sound pretty good, they can pronounce English!”

  24. This is definitely true and awkward! Let’s see the usual ones

    My older sister: “How old are you?!!! Still watching cartoon!”
    : “Too complicated for a cartoon – hate it- why will people watch this” <- remark on Steins;Gate D':
    : "Weird" "Boring" "Stupid" "Lame" "Childish"
    Despite that, she took me around the district to buy anime figures. :D but she still find me 'weird'.

    My mom is rather accepting about me watching anime :p
    mom: "Hmm… Are you watching the same thing from last week? They look the same,"
    : "Why are her boobs big? :O"
    : "Why do they have long legs?"
    : "Is this show X rated?" <- referring to fanservice scenes!!! Seriously -.-
    : "It's just cartoon, no need to get upset/excited (whatever the situation are)"
    : "Why is her/his hair pink/purple/green/red/blue." -_______-"
    : "I rather watch Shin Chan"

    My dad? I will pause the show if he is in the room or else
    : "sexy!!!! Don't watch!"
    : "What is that?? Don't watch!!"
    : "Cartoon is not good for your mind. Don't watch!!!"
    : Basically, "Stop watching cartoon everyday," << he always peeked when I have my break, hence he always think I watch anime all day.

    ah well! At least I can still watch anime comfortably with my youngest sister. :P so the burden of accepting the above remarks is halves.

  25. I started watching anime when I was 15 years old. Before then, when i saw anime characters with the huge eyes and the abnormal hair I thought it was the craziest thing in the world and I wanted nothing more than for America to ban it….that is until I found Bleach. Once I watched Bleach I was hooked on anime. Now I see I am addicted and I want to quit because it affects the way I react to things. For example: One day I go to my friend’s house and she comes out of the house to greet me with black goopy stuff all over her. (still no idea what that stuff was) I freaked out and screamed while taking an awkward pose like anime. It was then I realized I needed to stop watching that stuff.

    • Haha lol I think bleach did the same thing to me but I didnt start walking in wird poses
      Plus do you know how you allow your parents to let you see anime XP Cuz my parents don’t really like anime at all
      ( they say you need to learn reality from Fiction)

  26. I was watching Attack on Titan and my mom was in the other room, this is how it went:
    Mom: Why are you watching it in Japanese? You cant understand it.
    Me: There isn’t an english version
    Mom: Then don’t watch it if you can’t understand it
    Me : There are english subs
    Mom: then watch it in english
    Me: mom there isn’t a english version yet I have subtitles so I can understand
    Mom: well I don’t understand why you can’t watch it in english
    Me: -sigh- Mom I don’t know
    She left thinking that she won the argument. …

  27. I am starting to watch more and more romance anime and the like, had the worst time ever trying to explain to my mother what she saw one day. It was the first episode of KissxSis, this is where I leave the rest to you……

  28. Usually whenever I mention anime to my mom, she either starts singing the Speed Racer theme or makes fun of it (to the point where I fled to my room in tears)

    As for my friends, I tried asking them politely to watch it, but they all turned it down because it’s just “not their thing.” Thankfully, one friend actually accepted my offer and said that it’s wrong to judge a book by its cover. Although, she hasn’t tried watching what I recommended for her, saying she doesn’t “have the time” even though she has the time to watch Supernatural or Doctor Who. :/

    Oh yeah, and my one friend who watches anime with me is in Texas. Yay. :'(

    • I like Doctor Who too, it’s probably just that it’s so different to her.My first true experience with anime was Pokemon, and I HATED it. (Though I kept watching it for sme reason…) Then, about three months ago, I discovered Sailor Moon. I LOVED that. I read the manga and have started Sailor Moon Crystal. I’m honestly pretty new to anime, considering all I’ve seen is Pokemon, Sailor Moon, and The Secret World of Arietty (The Studio Ghilbi adaption of Mary Norton’s The Borrowers). But I have got a whole list of animes/mangas I wanna read/watch.

  29. Lol my parents are a bit like that
    But once I try to watch bleach and I was pretty far in it and it had this “bloody creepy” scene

    So I was in my room watch it then my parents can in
    They where like what the heck are you watch you shouldnt watch this evil stuff turn it off
    Now I have to watch it in secret of I want to watch it
    I really don’t get why they hate me watch it and they only saw like 5 seconds of it
    Another one is rurouni kenshin
    They where like
    Why do you like this boring stuff and they keep yelling

    My parents never really like anime I also show them some other anime but those are the two they hated the most and I don’t usually watch that stuff(I usually watch things like the cartoon avatar thing but the still thing that it’s “Evil” but they say it’s not as bad but they still don’t like me to watch it)
    Do you have any suggestions for them to allow them to let me watch anime

    • Hate to say it, jaaf, but if your parents are literary snobs (as it sounds like from your other post, if they want you sticking to “realistic” fiction), then you probably aren’t ever going to have much luck changing their minds. First, no matter how much we try to elevate it to “art,” 99% of anime really is nothing but pure entertainment; it’s not Shakespeare (well, aside from “Romeo x Juliet,” but I didn’t really care for that series myself), and second, anime itself is just an inherently unrealistic medium, more so than even western animation – it’s not designed to appeal to people who can’t or won’t let go of reality. Normally if I was trying to persuade someone of anime’s redeeming value, I’d try showing them some of the best Ghibli movies like “Spirited Away” or “My Neighbor Totoro,” or one of the more thought-provoking TV series like “Haibane Renmei,” but even those still have the fantastical elements that it sounds like your parents hate. So I’m going to keep this real simple: these are your best options I can think of for waking your parents up to anime’s “literary merit”, such as it is.

      Option one: you could show them some of the attempts that anime actually has made at doing literary adaptations. For instance, you could try to track down some of the World Masterpiece Theater adaptations to show them. WMT is an anime series that adapts western literature into the anime medium – books like Tom Sawyer, Les Miserables, Anne of Green Gables, and Swiss Family Robinson. Most of the adaptations have unfortunately never been released outside of Japan, but a few of them have gotten English dubs, and the best ones are very good indeed. Or, if your parents are very religious you could try to find some of the anime adaptations of the Bible for them, like “In the Beginning” or “Superbook.” Those might be even harder to find than the WMT stuff, but they do exist (though I’ve never seen them, so I can’t vouch for their quality). Your best bet in this category, though, is probably “Gankutsuou,” which IS easily available. That one is an outstanding anime adaptation of the literary classic “The Count of Monte Cristo.” It’s updated to a far-future sci-fi setting, which might not please your parents, but it does keep the core story of the novel intact – if you picked up the book, you’d have no trouble following along.

      Option two: you could show them the movie “Grave of the Fireflies.” It’s still a Ghibli movie (albeit not one directed by Miyazaki), but it’s a serious anti-war movie with a very profound and very human story (and it was adapted from a semi-autobiographical novel based on the author’s own real-life experience, which, naturally, you would also make sure to point out to your parents before you showed it to them). Even Roger Ebert called it the most realistic animated movie he’d ever seen. That’s my go-to movie for fools who think that anime is just mindless cartoons, and anyone who watches that and still comes away thinking anime has nothing meaningful to say is frankly a hopeless case.

    • Your parents think avatar is evil? Seriously. I’m Mormon and my parents let me watch that when I was a kid. They thought it was a very stupid show but I loved it and they didn’t think it was evil. And I always watch anime in private. There are way too many moments for me to watch it in front of them

  30. Lol, why do your parents think like that? How much did they watch the animes? P.s. Your brother is gonna definitely go on to watch stuff like highschool dxd and lots on hentai. (xD)

  31. My parents always said that I’m wasting time and their money for for a bunch of cartoon stuff .. My big bro are cool with it (mostly because he’s so obsessed with One Piece) My older sis tell me they’re stupid and nonsense! My lil bro are mostly too young but I sometime brought him with me to watch anime and hee don’t mind. ^^

  32. My parents made fun of me have crushes on anime characters and said that I’m gonna end up a lonely women in an apartment with pictures of anime characters surrounding me. They even said that on my wedding, I’ll be answering for the groom cause he can’t talk since he’s made out of paper and at the end of the day he will die because somebody would eventually spill water all over him. They would always make fun of me when I cried over the death of an anime character or a sad anime like 5 cm per second … I hate my family.

  33. My sister thinks I’m childish even though most teens at my school watch anime. She said that its disturbing how many teens watch it. I had to get dedicated to get my younger sister into anime and it worked. My youngest sister wants to but she’s only 8 and it’s hard to find animes that are good for 8 year olds. My mom thinks they’re cartoons and my dad thinks me liking anime is cool but teases me about it sometimes

  34. My brother walked in on me when I was wearing my Naruto headband and he was like, “Is that a Naruto headband?” I thought ” how does he know?” (Obviously I didn’t say that out loud) And then he said, “Don’t tell me you’re actually into Naruto?” And then I said, “No, I just saw it somewhere.” (Good thing he didn’t know I was lying) Finally, he said, “Good” and walked out of my room. I gave a mental sigh of relief. (P.S I actually do watch Naruto.)(P.P.S my other brother already knows I watch Naruto.)

  35. My brother walked in on me when I was wearing my Naruto headband and he was like, “Is that a Naruto headband?” I thought,” how does he know?” (Obviously I didn’t say that out loud) And then he said, “Don’t tell me you’re actually into Naruto?” And then I said, “No, I just saw it somewhere.” (Good thing he didn’t know I was lying) Finally, he said, “Good” and walked out of my room. I gave a mental sigh of relief. (P.S I actually do watch Naruto.)(P.P.S my other brother already knows I watch Naruto.)

  36. The worst moment I’ve had people walk in on me watchin anime is probably when I tell them Pokémon is more than cute creatures running around for little kids and they come in right AFTER a gym battle and ash and pikachu are celebrating and all the Pokémon are just making their noises and practically dancing

  37. My older brother and most of my friends/ some of my cousins actually adore anime, and my mom is fine with me watching it but my aunt doesn’t understand it at all and says since I’m 13 I am ‘too old’ to watch it. Like what parental figure uses that argument?

    Anyway, I decided to show a few clips of some of the anime I usually watch to my aunt and got her reactions on them like you did..

    Fruits Basket: “That girl is a pushover and a slave. I’d hate her life.” (Wouldn’t we all?)

    Death Note: “Goth alert. I mean I didn’t know China had FBI!” (It’s Japan you ignorant snake.)


    Pokemon: “Are these animals on drugs?”

    Naruto: “There all so… homosexual.” (She said homosexual instead of just ‘gay’ because I always give her shit about being racist and homophobic and shit.)

    Hetalia: “Why is this beautiful young Italian boy-” (of course she likes italy, classic racists) “giving mercy to this Nazi I mean they aren’t that bad but still…” And yes she just defended the fucking Nazi’s.

    Fairy Tale: “Wait where’s Cinderella?”

    Thank you, and if you see this please respond because I thought what you did was really funny. :)

  38. My parents don’t really care, and my two sisters both watch and love anime,like me. The problem is my brother, who thinks anime is for kids. *coughcoughtotallydoesn’tshowhentaicoughcough*

  39. I feel you, I have so called “friends” who make fun of dbz and giving me nicknames like dbz or Dragon Balls. They keep saying “dbz!” When I’m around and they always do the Kamehameha wave and say “dbz!” Or “Dragon Ball Z!” It’s annoying, and they keep asking me what it’s about, I’m telling them to just watch it! And they say no I mean what the heck

  40. Good introductory animes based on demographics:

    Male Adults:
    1. Cowboy Bebop – as mentioned by someone already, many western male adults may find Cowboy Bebop interesting because it is thematically western, have an adequately mature plot, action, and humor, is episodic and therefore easy to watch, and lastly it is one of the few animes with an outstanding english dub.
    2. Ghost in the Shell (movie) – Another mature anime that have a very philosophical theme. It also have an adequately performed english dub.
    3. Akira – classic sci-fi anime with mature theme

    People who like sports:
    1. Slamdunk – well this is a very popular basketball anime with a very relatable situational humor. It is also, relatively, low on homoeroticism compared to many modern sports animes.
    2. Major – a good anime for fans of baseball
    3. Initial D – quite popular anime for motorsports enthusiast
    4. Knockout – boxing

    Adult Females
    1. Grave of the Fireflies – this one is probably a hard sell but once it gets rolling it may very likely to change someones opinion about animes. My advise is to make some excuses like you need to make a film report or some school related homework and ask your non-anime watching mom/sister/female friend to help you out so you can watch it together with them.
    2. Spirited Away, When Marnie was Here, – will probably attract those independent, feminist females that are into dramas/Slice of Life.
    3. World Masterpiece Theater animes – these one are mostly based on western classic novels so it contain some very relatable western-centric cultural and historical themes. Anne of Green Gables, Pollyanna, and Trapp Family Singers also have a very Christian oriented themes so it may even appeal to those hard core conservative Christian mothers.

    Artistic types:
    1. Any Ghibli Animes – Ghibli Films are one of the most artistic anime in the industries so it may very well appeal to those who appreciate arts.

  41. Let me add one more..
    Madoka Magica: I like the yellow haired girl because she has big boobs
    P.S:Not me, but some parts show the people who don’t watch anime as pervs..
    That’s why I made It like that.

  42. Okay so my good friend doesn’t watch anime, and yet when I recommend some basic studio ghibli films for her to watch, she asks “are these English?” I told her they were, because I had them on DVD; having purchased them when I was really little. My friend, who has NEVER seen, watched, or researched anime, has the audacity to say, “so it’s not real anime.” UHH IT IRKED ME SO MUCH! Yes, anime with Japanese audio and English subs can be better and more authentic, but it really just depends on your personal preference. My first anime that I ever experienced was when I was maybe 8 years old, growing up with studio ghibli films, most in English dub. ITS STILL ANIME. If you were to research anime, and it’s definition, you could easily see that anime is “a style of cartoons originated from Japan.” Something like that. Get my drift? I’ve watched plenty of anime in both Japanese audio with English subs and English dub and both were great. For example, Princess Monoke in English sub is a beautiful and semi-gory film; I couldn’t imagine watching it in English dub. As for, let’s say Ponyo, I first watched it in English dub and can’t imagine it any differently; my personal preference being I love Tina Feys character who’s emotional connection to her son Satskai(sorry if I spelled that wrong), brings the movie to life. As well as Liam Neesons deep, eerie voice, easily portrays a weird guy living in the ocean keeping the earth in balance. Many people say that they prefer Japanese audio, which I completely understand. For me, it goes either way, depending on the film and/or tv show. My point is that, either way, if you know what anime is, and what you are actually watching, it’s still anime, English dubbed or not. Sorry for the rant.

  43. My Mom walks in on a photoshoot scene where a girl is dressed as a playboy bunny, and doesn’t react one bit

    My Mom walks in on a cooking scene from a moe anime and she loses her shit

  44. At first my family members didnt understand, but now they don’t care. The worst is my best friend, he says it makes no sense and that im American so i shouldnt watch japanese stuff or listen to japanese music (i do both). Its just annoying cause he makes fun of me for it and criticizes me for liking what i like.

  45. I can’t watch anime ;_; But I want to….r.i.p….my childhood… ._. send help my parents won’t let me…😂

  46. My dad sat down to watch Kill la Kill with me one night and the next day he started telling all my relatives that I watch porn with him. I got lectured by my mom and humiliated by my Grandpa and everyone else. It was horrible.

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