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Does Watching Anime Make You More Intelligent?

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There you go, you can learn something new every day.

In all seriousness, though, does watching anime actually make you become smarter? To answer this question, I think we need to first define what we mean by “becoming smarter”.

A quick search on “definition of intelligence” on Google comes up with over 82 million results. Evidently, it’s a contested issue. I think for the purposes of this blog post, a simple definition works fine, but if you’re really curious about all the different theories on intelligence, this page sums them up nicely.

Anyway, Wikipedia defines intelligence broadly as “The ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.” Fair enough. So that means as we gain more intelligence we theoretically become able to make better sense of what we see around us and to absorb knowledge in a way that feels meaningful to us. So, more than just memorising a bunch of facts, it’s about knowing how we can actually use them. That also leaves enough room to acknowledge that there can be more types of intelligences than being book-smart.

Now, onto the next part of the question: how does anime help us get to that stage where we can play with our knowledge and use it however we want?

I can think of a few obvious lines of reasoning:

  • Anime can improve our knowledge of the Japanese language.
  • Anime shows us an insider view on Japanese popular culture, so it helps us gain a broader cultural awareness.
  • Anime exposes us to innovative animation and art techniques.
  • Sometimes, the stories in anime try to include facts and to teach us things directly. e.g. Hikaru no Go and this season’s Silver Spoon.

But personally I think, most of all, that it’s not the content of anime itself that matters, it’s the viewer. You get entertainment equal to the investment you put in, and so it is with getting something out of it in the intellectual sense.

You can certainly argue that some anime are more intellectually challenging than others. Shows like Gankutsuou and Revolutionary Girl Utena are certainly much more dense with symbolism than something like Infinite Stratos or Dragon Ball Z. In these cases, the anime forces you to approach it on its same intellectual level, and part of the satisfaction you ultimately get from watching it, assuming that you enjoy it, is that you end up engaging with it on a much deeper level than you would normally need to when watching a television show. Those are the building blocks of intelligence right there.

Still, I would also argue that the type of anime that you watch ultimately doesn’t make a difference if you’re going into it trying to get the most out of it. You can watch a silly ecchi harem and still learn something meaningful about human nature from it. It all comes down to how you read it.

For example: Think anime based off light novels are shallow, silly and full of dumb, otaku pandering? Maybe so, but after you read this post defending light novels, you might very well think of it in a whole different light.

5-minute comedy shorts can’t tell interesting stories? Sure they can.

Kids’ anime can’t be deep? No value in a magical girl anime that isn’t called Madoka? The Cure Blogger begs to differ.

And how about ecchi anime? Harem? Well, you can apply art theory to that.

As soon as you learn the skills to be able to able to take meaning from what you see, you can learn something from anything. It does not have to be anime. In fact, I would say there is nothing special or uniquely intelligent about anime.

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Or perhaps there is. Let’s readjust our lenses and look at it more closely again.

See, what I had just described was applying the skill of intelligence in order to gain yet more intelligence. It’s like investing money to make more money. You know what to do once you’ve got it, but how do you get started? Where do you actually learn all of this?

Surely not from *groan* school?

Well, yes and no. Formal schooling of some kind is definitely helpful when it comes to developing active reading and listening skills, but first of all, you need to want to learn. No two ways about it. But the most important thing about an education isn’t doing what the teacher says – it’s about talking to people.

Simply put, you learn when you’re being exposed to different ideas and you’re being made to decide which ideas work best for you. Hang around intelligent people who constantly challenge your ideas and you tend to pick up on their traits. This is how group interactions generally work: we become like the people who we keep close contact with.

This is where anime comes in.  One’s hobby can become common ground that can help you relate to other people. After all, it’s easy to feel excluded from a conversation with high-minded intellectuals when they’re talking about something you can’t relate to. But if you’re an anime fan (which I assume you are if you would go far enough to read someone’s random Internet blog about it) then anime is something that you can learn more about and not feel pressured about it. And when it comes to learning about intellectual ideas and theories and so forth about anime, you’re best off not just thinking about these things on your own but talking about them with other people. This helps ground your perspective.

So what I am saying is: find other anime fans who also care about becoming intelligent, and in thinking deeply about anime you’ll get the skills you need to find an education in anything. Anime will make you smarter.

But will that make anime less fun?

I don’t think that this is an issue. As long as you want to have fun watching anime, you will have fun. Unless the anime is crap. In that case:

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But seriously, don’t worry about it. Worrying will only make you have less fun.

Speaking of meeting intelligent anime fans, where would I find some?

Good question. If you check out the Recommended Blogs tab on the top menu under this blog’s header, you’ll see a list of bloggers whose writing I greatly respect. I suggest you read around and find writers you like too if you have not done so already. Seeing as blogs are generally written by human beings and not by robots, you are likely to get a response if you leave a comment on someone’s blog. But lurking is fine too if you just want to soak in someone’s ideas and you don’t know what to say to them. (I have been in this position many, many times too.)

I also suggest that, if you have a Twitter account, you should follow the same people who I follow. People who comment on my blog are pretty cool, too, and I think y’all are smarter than me. Oh yes, that reminds me of another thing. Comments sections on blogs are often very illuminating. I hope I’m not the only person who pays as much attention to the discussion as well as the actual post. It’s a useful way to gauge someone’s intelligence when you can see for yourself how well they can grapple with someone else’s ideas, and it’s great in simply finding new people who put themselves out there.

Outside of blogs, you have forums, social connecting websites, etc. You have less control over the people who you meet in those sorts of places, but I would say people who type with decent grammar on the Internet are generally fairly switched on. There are exceptions, though, as with anything.

But anyway, the most important thing to remember is this: if you want to get smarter through watching anime, you will attract like-minded people.

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Final Thoughts

I wrote this post as a guide and as a straightforward question-and-answer, but I really think the topic at heart is a vague one that would mean something different to everyone. A lot of it does hinge on the question of whether you would want anime to make you more intelligent in the first place.

As for me, I think I have made my own position pretty clear. Anime has personally helped me along the path to being an academic. It’s also helped me become more understanding of other people and their opinions. I’m not quite where I want to be yet, but it’s been a lot of fun so far, and this blog has already helped me with my thinking quite a bit. I really appreciate it when people reign my overly ambitious theories in and point out the holes in my logic. Really.

I am also curious about other people’s stories, since I am aware that not everyone is like me. So to finish off with, here’s a question for you to mull over in your leisure: Has being an anime fan helped you become smarter / more aware of yourself? If so, in what way?

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Posted on September 4, 2013, in Editorials and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 48 Comments.

  1. How to Become an Anime Snob 101 ftw

    I definitely have benefited from being an anime fan though, in more ways than I think I can ever hope to describe in words or will ever fully realize.

  2. I think I have talked about how anime make me more aware of myself through my comments on your previous posts, but as far as recent developments go, I was suddenly get shoved into an entirely new situation that I have absolutely no control. That is exactly what happen in several anime I watched over a week to a few hours ago; be it Kanetsugu to Keiji, Danball Senki Wars or Majestic Prince. Speaking of Majestic Prince, the big plot is currently going on and that is also what happened in my workplace as I have to do some preparations for stock take late this month. I hope that I don’t end up suffering when characters from anime I watch suffer, though. That will be horrifying.

    By the way, speaking of kids’ anime being deep, I personally won’t use shoujo bent anime as examples because they generally have some degree of depth regardless of the actual demographic bracket it aimed for. It’s shonen bent kids’ anime that gets stereotyped as shallow, but I did told you about how inaccurate that stereotype is. I wished that someone share my thoughts on that, though….

    • Speaking of Majestic Prince, the big plot is currently going on and that is also what happened in my workplace as I have to do some preparations for stock take late this month.

      It’s always an interesting feeling when something in anime mirrors real life, huh? Hope you can handle your work – that description of yours makes it sound pretty tough!

      I hope that I don’t end up suffering when characters from anime I watch suffer, though. That will be horrifying.

      Being an anime fan is suffering

      I personally won’t use shoujo bent anime as examples because they generally have some degree of depth regardless of the actual demographic bracket it aimed for.

      That’s a really good point. You’re right that anime aimed at little boys are stereotyped worse than girls’ anime. Don’t worry, I do happen to agree that boys’ anime does have depth if you look for it! Personally, I learn a lot about friendship from those type of anime. Any ideas in these shows that strike you in particular?

      • Speaking of the question of yours, the ones that I can come up are:

        Danball Senki Wars: It is immoral to manipulate people to wage virtual wars without the participants knowing that the results of the war gets transferred in real life, but at least that is better than having real wars. Also, everyone has their own roles when working together and keeping self in their own roles are important both to maintaining the functionality of the team and utilizing self to one’s maximum potential.

        Cardfight!! Vanguard (all seasons) & Cross Fight B-Daman eS: Everyone is bound to be weak at some period of their life and refusal to accept this fact will make a person even weaker and vulnerable to evil. Also, real powers have to be earned upon oneself. It is bound to be weak at the beginning, but if build up properly it can become significantly stronger than powers that is borrowed from others.

  3. IMHO, No. Watching anime will not make you more smarter, unless you are 5-7 years old.
    Thinking about what you watch might make you a bit smarter and so does diving in anime fandom, but watching anime is just watching anime, nothing less, nothing more. You sit down, watch pictures, listen to sounds, see some story, have good or bad time, sometimes try to guess how will it end and why – just like in every other narrative medium. But what you use that experience for afterwards is a completely different pair of shoes. You can forget it just after watching and you can try to learn from it as much as you can. In that case, whether it’s anime or children’s picture book doesn’t mean a damn thing.

    • Well I disagree. Anime, like any other form of good fictional narrative, is made my Real People who have varying ideals and values, and those ideals and values tend to get incorporated into the works they create under the guise of themes. And just by conveying these themes, whether they be grandeur philosophies or basic thoughts on how to lead a good life, one can learn more about the world he or she lives in. This is gaining knowledge, and I would say that inadvertently makes you smarter. Being a rather empirical person, I would argue that the best, if not only way to gain knowledge is through observation, and as it happens watching anime is a method of observation.

      Of course, that depends on the legitimacy of the anime, and the willingness of the viewer to delve beyond that “outer layer” and into the juicy pulp of a work.

      But to put it in perspective, you saying “watching anime is just watching anime” is like saying, “reading books is just reading books.” I mean, can you honestly not see how silly that sounds? Literature, which is held by many to be at the top of the hierarchy of narrative form, has universal concepts that have been a part of the human experience for millennia. Writers today still base entire bodies of work in regards to Shakespeare due to the sheer tenacity his works hold; Homer, who lived around 800 B.C.E, is still taught in schools today. These are people who have chosen to convey their ideas through narrative. And this is because it makes us grow, makes us learn, makes us think and challenge and create. Why else would people dedicate their lives to such a thing? Just to “see some story”? In this sense, anime is no different, and to say we can’t learn from it is simply poppycock. If we can’t learn from Miyasaki and Satoshi Kon, then we can’t learn from Hemmingway or Morrison. If we can’t learn from Serial Experiments Lain or Akira, we can’t learn from 1984 or Fahrenheit 451.

      So yeah, as I said, if you couldn’t be fucked to try to take anything from the anime you consume, I guess it won’t make you any smarter.

    • I disagree with that highly. Many times I have watched an anime and listened to some of the conversations that the characters have and then had to pause it and thought about it. One such time was during the anime Shiki. The topic was immortality, god’s wishes and death. The little girl was a Shiki, or vampire and was speaking to a temple Priest. She was wondering why Death scared humans so much. He answered it’s because death is equal to every one but her kind. That is why she doesn’t fear it. God’s view on this in the priest’s eyes were two questions, “It is his doing is it not? But is it punishment, or a gift?” I had to stop and think about that for just a few moments and talk about it. I do agree however that what you gain does depend on what you watch and how you approach it in both watching it and what what do after it. You can analyze so much more from anime than you can a children’s picture book.

  4. I think it really depends on what kind of anime you watch, but I wouldn’t say that anime in particular has some kind of special..ness, and that it’s the only medium from which you “get smarter”. Movies and other shows are basically the same, except that they’re not animated (which is a drawback, since it’s much easier to get creative when you’re unlimited by the “real world”).
    Also, I found that recently watching anime by itself isn’t as fulfilling when I can’t find anything more to read about it. These days I feel the need to find a blog post about what I just watched in order to get more information and see if there’s some hidden reference or sth I missed.
    And that’s what I think makes the difference between anime and other mediums. Anime bloggers mostly seem to look for something more in what they watch, and by doing that they make the readers see it as well, even if it may be bs.
    I can honestly say that watching anime and reading blogs has made me more analytic, in that now, whenever I watch something, I’m always looking at the details that make whatever I’m watching good or bad. I don’t just watch something for the sake of watching it anymore, and I guess that that means that (lol) I’ve gotten smarter. I hope.
    :P

    • That’s an interesting observation you have about yourself. So you’re finding it hard to appreciate the ideas in an anime if it’s not being discussed somewhere? I have felt like that too at times. I suppose it’s like reading a book and then looking up the Spark Notes later just so you can “get” it. But you know, I think you get the most out of it when you think these things through independently. Glad to hear that anime has opened your mind to noticing the details, at any rate!

  5. Anime certainly isn’t unique in that it results in the audience thinking differently. But there are people like myself who are more willing to subject ourselves to learning through anime, and are more conscious of the way anime changes how we think, than most other media.

    The Gundam franchise inspired me to reconsider how I think of others with regard to what motivates the people I’m at odds with and how I can work harder to understand them.
    Planetes, Patlabor, and Ghost in the Shell helped me start thinking about how we’re likely to retain our primitive, undesirable traits despite our technological advances.
    GITS nudged me to reconsider my own assumptions of where the Self ends and the Other begins.
    Justin Sevakis’ article on Moshidora, and watching the show for myself, have inspired me to start reading Drucker. Though I’m unlikely to make immediate practical use of that decision, I feel like my understanding of the world of business is growing.

    There are countless other anime that have had similar effects on me, I could spend hours compiling a list. Knowing myself, these are ideas that would come to me much more slowly if presented outside of the medium of anime.
    We all learn at a unique pace, so it shouldn’t bother folks like me to be compared to toddlers, as sonomono suggests.

    • But there are people like myself who are more willing to subject ourselves to learning through anime, and are more conscious of the way anime changes how we think, than most other media.

      That’s interesting, saying that anime is more helpful than other media. I wonder if this is because you simply enjoy anime more, which makes it easier to read into. That’s certainly a view I can sympathise with, although I would think every medium has the same amount to offer. You learn more from things you enjoy, right?

      Nice list of anime you’ve learned things from. I’d say my list would be approximately similar if I wrote one out, but I really learn assorted things here and there in no systematic way. In one ear and out the other, you might say. So I am actually worse than a toddler if you think about it! (haha)

  6. Reading blogs has certainly gotten me more conscious about what I get out of the anime I watch.

    I believe that turning point was more of a phase, when I slowly discovered that there are people out there who don’t like all the anime I worshiped when I was new to the fandom (Clannad, Bakemonogatari, Code Geass, Soul Eater, etc.). Not only that, the reasons they put up explaining why they didn’t like it made sense to me. I came to like that about bloggers in general, and I found myself an excuse to start using all those critical reading skills I learned from high school.

    And then you realize after years of following currently airing series that every season of anime always has its share of crap and it’s become your job to figure out which ones are actually good. You also find solace in the internet so that you don’t go insane when your college friends talk about how good Sword Art Online is.

    And that’s how aniblog snobbery is born.

    Bow to my superior taste, plebs.

    • Even though I’m an “aniblog snob” too, I still like Clannad, Bakemonogatari, Code Geass, Sour Eater, etc. Crap, am I a traitor to the cause?

      All jokes aside, I do think that, although not the be-all-and-end-all, applying literary criticism to anime is important. It’s what makes you become a better writer/storyteller yourself, if that sort of thing tickles your fancy. Like you, I felt the same kind of awe of anibloggers when I first discovered how they criticised so many of the shows that I like. It’s a kind of intellectual awakening, and for some reason it hits you harder than seeing regular academics arguing about things, because anime is something you think you already know a lot about – until you realise that the opposite is true.

      • That’s implying that you’re a snob in the first place. From what I’ve seen, you don’t fit my definition of a snob. Much less an aniblogger snob.

        Besides, I too like the series I mentioned. I just don’t rave about them as much these days compared to the SODEEP stuff.

  7. Any experience that can make someone think can be a beneficial one I think. Fiction has the unique ability to create an experience out of imagination. There is nothing wrong with thinking like that, but it’s important realize that fiction is an active process on the part of the reader/watcher. It becomes a problem when people start comparing fiction to an academic lesson that is intended to teach something specific.

    The experience that someone will get out of fiction is going to correspond with what they put in. It’s an active process even if the person reading/watching something doesn’t recognize that process. The interesting thing about it all is that a stupid show full of boob jokes can be more thought provoking than an intellectual anime designed to make the viewer question certain beliefs with its themes and character motivations. It really just depends on how engaged the reader/watcher is. In the end you will take more away from the story you get into than the one you don’t. “High art” is really just a way for snobs to hold their personal taste above the rest in my honest opinion.

    • I agree. While “High Art” and “Low Art” have different priorities, one isn’t better than the other. It just depends on how you look at it. At the same time, I do think it would be overly simple to say that you can learn the same things out of both of them. The experience is totally different. Just my two cents on the matter :)

      • I agree that it is an oversimplification to say that you can learn the same things from different stories because different stories have different content, but lets say we have two shows that follow the same themes. One of those shows is full of boobs and panty shots while the other is solemn and full of angst.

        This isn’t the best example, but take something like From the new World which I really couldn’t get into. I watched the first 3 or so episodes and I was just bored to tears. They seemed to have some themes about fitting in and being part of the group and well… I am not really sure what that show was going for and didn’t really get anything out of it. On the other hand I watched Asobi ni Iku yo! which certainly wasn’t a deep show, but Eris made an off hand comment about how you have to look at the dark secrets a culture tries to keep hidden away if you really want to understand it. That comment was made as an off handed joke and was an excuse for exploring Nakano Broadway, but it made me think more than those 3 episodes of Shin Sekai Yori did.

        It is my opinion that what someone takes away from fiction is really more about that person reading or watching it than it is about the fiction itself. That is why I think it’s important to make a distinction between teaching and learning. You can learn things from fiction and as a teacher you can even put lessons into the fiction that you write, but what someone takes away from that fiction is really all about them and how they apply it to the real world and their own real world experiences.

  8. Mhhhh, interesting. I don’t think you are getting smarter just by waching anime. However, I think anime fans tend to be more open-minded and a bit more snobbish (in good and bad ways) than casual TV watchers who consume their latest soap shows every evening. I also think anime has the potential to teach you a lot about human culture and I don’t mean just Japanese things: I love it when Japanese artists and writers make use of Greek, German/Nordic or Chinese myths ( I swear to god, why does EVERY J-RPG ever contain the name Yggdrasil ??? But I digress). I follow bloggers like BakaRaptor, Roriconfan (he is an asshole, but knows his shit) and John Oppliger from AnimeNation. While I don’t always agree with them, I feel like I have learned a lot about story-telling and being more critical to anime just by reading their journals.

    • If you are being taught, then you are gaining knowledge, and if you are gaining knowledge, you are becoming smarter, right?

      • The way I see it, you have to distinguish between “natural talent” and wisedom. You can be highly intelligent, but if you lack experience or education most people won’t notice your smartness because you simply can’t express it. Some people on the other hand are just “overeducated” or simply hardworking. Often you hear from people who describe themself as average/not very talented, but they just gained more wisedom over the years. Malcom Gladwell described this way better than I do in his book Outliers. But maybe I am digressing again XD

  9. Also, SpaceRunawayIdeon is a sick show. Watch it.

  10. In purely academic terms, I could argue that my love of anime earned me my PhD , since there’s no way I would have put that much time and effort into something I wasn’t a fan of. I’m well aware that a university degree (or any degree/diploma/certificate/whatever) doesn’t necessarily equal smartness or self-awareness though, so I’m generally just being flippant and more than slightly mocking of myself when I say that. I view knowledge as inherently valuable, but what I’d actually say about my anime fanishness is that it’s taught me to be a lot more impersonal about things. I can now seperate what I like from what’s objectively good (and on the flip-side, what I don’t like from what’s genuinely bad), and from what I’ve seen on the internet, that’s not something everyone is able to do – especially when it comes to things they’re passionate about. Not a super important life skill perhaps, but something that I think has a lot of significance to me as a person.

    • In purely academic terms, I could argue that my love of anime earned me my PhD

      Will forever be jelly of this

      I can now seperate what I like from what’s objectively good (and on the flip-side, what I don’t like from what’s genuinely bad), and from what I’ve seen on the internet, that’s not something everyone is able to do – especially when it comes to things they’re passionate about.

      I agree that this is an important skill. I do see it from another angle, though. Even though we tell ourselves something is “objectively” good even if we don’t like it as much as we should, there’s usually a reason for this, and that’s a fascinating thing to explore in and of itself. I think it’s just as important to have trust in one’s own personal convictions, even if they go against the usual literary standards. Only when you really understand that can you extricate one’s personal taste from one’s criticism. At least, that’s the way I see it.

    • “Objectively good” and “genuinely bad” are concepts that I’ve had trouble with. Would you mind elaborating on what determines something that’s objectively good? Is it related to the technical prowess of the creator? Is it something that gets figured out over time through educated conversation, like what determines a classic?

      • I was thinking more along the lines of production values – animation quality and the like. And while personal taste of course accounts for a lot, I think there are still some objective points that can be assessed as far as the story goes as well, such as originality and creativity of scripting, character archetypes, etc.. I’m intending to write a post about this sometime soon though, so I’ll be elaborating further then.

  11. Beyond literal intelligence, I think that Anime (and fictional stories in general) play a big part in helping us develop our moral and interpersonal intelligence. By watching Anime we are exposed to situations, people and ideas that we would not normally encounter in every day life, and by simply viewing these things we are encouraged to examine them from our own point of view, and from there apply the conclusions we come to in everyday life.

    How would we react to that situation? Did those characters make the same decision we would have? Why was their response different or the same? How do we feel about the choice that was made? Why do we feel that way? Is it because that choice was morally right/wrong? How did the other characters react to it?

    Because we are separate from the events on the screen, we almost unconsciously practice putting ourselves in other people’s shoes. Even stereotypical characters have real life counterparts, making them just as relevant as the charismatic, outgoing protagonists most people focus on. Speaking of charismatic and outgoing, characters with specific traits allow us to compare and contrast who we are to who we want to be, becoming role models that can allow us to shape ourselves.

    Watching Anime is like experiencing life in a way that we wouldn’t otherwise. It may be an exaggerated, potentially warped take on what we are used to, but the same values apply and therefore can be developed from the aforementioned experience. Though these aren’t the reasons people would generally give when you ask them why they watch Anime, I think they are at least one of the reasons we find it entertaining. We don’t think about it consciously, but by watching Anime we encourage our minds to develop and grow.

    • Well said. I agree with this 1000 times over. Anime has definitely made me a much more empathetic person. Learning to put yourself in other’s shoes is honestly the most useful and meaningful thing you can take away from anime – and stories in general. Great comment.

    • I honestly couldn’t have stated this better myself, especially your final point,
      “Watching Anime is like experiencing life in a way that we wouldn’t otherwise”
      Apart from the emotional aspect we would also learn about how we and people with certain character traits would react to situations that we most likely, and hopefully, wouldn’t be placed in. Situations like war and religious conflicts which we are aware of but can’t experience first hand otherwise.

      • One could even argue that if we were placed in a war-like situation we would be better prepared and better able to decide on a course of action because we have been exposed to situations like that previously.

        It’s a bit of a stretch and I would in no way suggest that anime could actually prepare anyone for the reality of combat, but all it takes is having thought about it once to be able to make decisions more quickly.

  12. I’ve always been of the belief that you can learn something from everything, including any anime you watch of course. Even if it’s not directly teaching you something, if you’re smart enough to look at it from an outside perspective, it can say a lot of things about human nature, Japanese culture, animation techniques, the worth of creative (or not so creative) stories, etc,. We learn something new everyday and from every experience we have, even if it’s something seemingly insignificant like watching a late-night ecchi comedy XD

    And I can totally agree about anime helping you relate to people. All of the good friends I currently have came about because we shared an interest in anime. And of course, over the years I’ve learned a lot about life and social relationships from them.

    From a personal standpoint, I too have anime to thank for making me smarter. Anime titles were among the very first movies and TV shows that actually made me think about what I was watching and not see the world in just black and white (Princess Mononoke was probably the first). And because a lot of anime I watch made me think, pay attention to foreshadowing and subtleties, use my imagination to piece complex worlds together, etc., I got into the habit of thinking and examining with everything I invest myself in, and I would say that’s made me a smarter person. Developing an interest in Japan and academia came about later on too :3

    • +1 to your comment.

      On a side note, when I was drafting this post in my mind, I checked out your blog assuming you’d have tackled this topic before and was surprised not to find you hadn’t written a post about this specifically, even though it’s so implicit in everything you write. Was I just not looking in the right places?

      • Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever written about this topic specifically. I believe the closest thing to it I’ve written about is how anime affects your personality, or blurbs here and there in random posts about how one has to really pay attention and be invested to piece together all the foreshadowing and details many series utilize. Every time I feel like I’ve covered every general anime editorial topic out there, I’m glad to know there are still some I’ve missed ;)

  13. I wonder about that. Personally, I think how one becomes intelligent is entirely up to oneself. I could say, yeah, reading a book makes you smarter, but does it really? Going to school supposedly makes kids educated, but is that true for every kid? It all depends on how you approach the experience and what you take away from it. Anime is no different. Like books, it’s a form of narrative expressed through a visual and audio medium – and I’m not even delving into the metaphysical here.

    Everything has the potential for you to learn something from it. Random Internet blogs like yours (which is randomly awesome, by the way) might present what seems like personal opinions, but readers have several possible ways of learning from it. One, reading your posts might get me thinking. What is anime? What do I learn from anime? Or the comments, which I have fun reading as well, also provide details on what the demographic thinks. Seeing a myraid of views expressed on the Internet is always an enriching experience.

    Of course, if people just come on to troll, or stare at the words, or just to look at the pictures you stick in your posts, then they wouldn’t learn as much as someone who got inspired by what you’ve written.

    By the way, my love of anime was what got me to major in Japanese Studies anyway, and though I’m still stuck with only a Bachelor’s degree (going to be another 7 or 8 years before I get a Phd, if ever, like Artemis), I guess you could say anime led me down the path of academics. Does that necessarily mean I’m smarter? Well, it depends if I took my lessons seriously. If I just attended classes to earn credits, or hang out with friends, probably not. On the other hand, if I attended classes to learn more about Japan because I love the history and stuff, I would probably learn a lot more.

    Again, this goes back to anime. So essentially whether something makes you smarter or not all comes down to your attitude toward it, and your willingness to learn or take something away from it. There’s no rule that states we can’t learn and enjoy at the same time, so let’s learn while enjoying our fill of anime!

    • Haha, glad to hear my blog’s been helping you think! That really made my day.

      You’re right, learning really is an investment. That’s what makes one’s years of formal education such a tricky thing, because students only really learn when they like the teacher or they came into the subject with preconceived interest. So they generally say, “I only did/didn’t do well because of my teacher” or something like that, when really, the only one in charge of your education is yourself.

  14. Indeed. One of the experiences I had with comments on my blog is a humorous one. Sometimes, I may make a “smart-ass” post, only to have it get overthrown by much more detailed, convincing theories. Sometimes I blushed hard (lol) when my theories got loopholes and my very intelligent commenters pin-point them at the very core. Honestly, my own commenters are smarter than me.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels outdone by my commenters at times! One of my friends, who is a lurker, tells me that all the time. Guess I have to work harder, right? :’3

  15. Watching anime in general doesn’t make you smarter at all. Depends on the content you are filling your eyes and brains with, the more varied and different is the content the faster you can start to learn about all the topics you mentioned. Either it’s language, culture, artistic sensibility etc.
    One thing I think it’s very important to get the most out of anime is to keep an open mind and watch all kinds of animation and stories. I know people that wont get to watch an amazing anime just for how the characters are drawn. Personally I try to be as less picky as I can :)

    • That site gave me a good laugh. Thanks for that!

      As for your other comment, I have to agree that you get the most out of anime (or anything in general, really) when you approach it in an open-minded way. I also know people who won’t watch the anime unless the art style suits them. It strikes me as a shame, but I don’t think you can learn anything if you’re not having fun, and not liking the art style can really hurt your enjoyment. I guess I see it both ways.

  16. Video games and anime have both taught me many important life lessons, besides the obvious fictional girls being just as “fap worthy” as real ones.

  17. I definitely think anime can make a person smarter, well depending on what they watch. Some anime forces you to think a lot, especially suspense, mystery, or psychological anime.
    I couldn’t stop thinking when I was watching Death Note, Paranoia Agent, Code Geass, and the later half of Durarara. I was a teenager when I watched most of those, and they opened new ways of thinking for me.
    Then there are anime which throws some life-philosophy at you, or which can make people more open-minded and accepting of others, or reveal dark truths, like Kino’s Journey.
    Then you have mystery anime like Detective Conan where you can learn some interesting tricks and how he sees through them.

    Most of all, though, I think most anime does make people more open-minded.

  18. In someways it might make you smarter, theres alot of anime that make you think, I personally like to get in a characters head and find out what that character is gonna do next, or find out what caused that character to act the way it did..
    I also do this in real life, Im not sure if I started to do this because of anime, but i’ve always been the type of person who thinks about everything.. I bet if this were Future Diary I would have The Watcher ^^

  19. Hello…. AFTER WATCHING ANIME I FELL LIKE I CAN VNDERSTAND PEOPLE…………………… LIKE WHAT THEY ARE THINKING OR WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO DO………………………… JUST BY LOOKING AT THEIR CHARRACTER….. PERSONALITIES

  1. Pingback: Weekly Ramblings 13 – How We Choose Our Anime and Why Anime Is Good For Us | The Geek Clinic

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