How is anime therapeutic to you?
Whether it's escaping boredom, escapism, philosophy, humor or relatable characters, we all like anime to make us feel good in some way, so share your experiences here.
This one is personal, so heads-up.
The character in my avatar (Canal Volphied) in Lost Universe was designed in a personality and appearance that helped me get over a crippling fear of breasts that had hindered me (and made me feel sexually threatened) for years in social situations. She made me realize they don't have to be "sexy/eye candy," but can have an artistic/comforting aspect as well. Even more ironic that she was supposed to represent hope in a show with the hope vs. fear concept. Yup, that's one good thing the staff didn't intend, LU gets bonus points!
It's not for the most part, usually it's the opposite for me…
Squid Girl is the only anime that really relaxes me to be honest.
Most of the shows I watch are quite mellow and easy going, the perfect way to relax after a day of work.
Currently watching Hidamari Apartments and Aria.
All of the shows I watch are generally a way for me to relax. Just to get away from the long work hours of being on my feet all day. It provides a good excuse to get off my feet and relax.
I actually don't watch anime to relax, for the most part. That's what videogames, the internet, and big flashy Hollywood movies are for.
I watch anime to give the ol' grey-matter a workout.
I play PC and console games to help me escape boredom and to quickly pass time. I watch anime for story development and character relations. Unlike games, I can't watch anime for hours. Games I could literally spend an entire day of play if I wasn't conscience of time nor personal obligations. The games I enjoy relaxes me. I'm more into heavy, fleshed out stories - so I tend to play a lot of Final Fantasy, RPG's or MMO's. Story based, character driven with a little action in between. I also find puzzle games such as Osu very relaxing and time consuming.
Anime is strictly for the story and character relations. Slice of Life anime are my preferred sub-genre. Anime such as SNAFU, Haganai, Inu x Boku SS, Oreimo are a few of my favorite, character based anime stories. Action anime are not on my list as I find most hold very little entertainment value for me. There are exceptions. A perfect character based action anime I've been enjoying so far is Riddle Story of Devil [simulcast]. Riddle Story is probably my idea character based, action anime next to Canaan because its more character based story with very little action.
You win a galaxy, I use that one to.
I suppose that I can attest that watching anime or movies can be therapeutic to a certain degree considering that I get various layers of satisfaction from it. For the most part, I watch anime for relaxation and entertainment; it’s great to prepare some good food, put an anime on after a day of work or rigorously practicing bass.
When I say I want to be entertained by a series, I want these “various layers of satisfaction” where a series is easily attracts my attention, flows nicely with smooth pacing that’s “fun” to watch but also provides some intellectual meat.
I generally find that the better written an anime is, the more entertaining it is. By more entertaining I mean that I’m able to relate to, and immerse myself in the art that’s been placed before me. The more consistent the themes are and the better they contribute to the narrative and how it is executed and conveyed through the primary and secondary character arcs and how those arcs intersect to create a solid character dynamic, the more involved I am in the series.
Sometimes this is done through well thought out dialogue in the spirit of a series like Fate/Zero or even monologues in some cases as is the case with Shinji on Neon Genesis. Other times there’s a great use of allegory that serves to continuously reinforce a theme, or character dynamic or even a character’s development or personality traits the same way Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Queen’s Blade and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood pull off with such precision. Then there’s abstract art, which can be like a game sometimes when watching adding another level to the viewing experience the same way Bakemonogatari, Kyousougiga and Revolutionary Girl Utena do exceptionally well.
All these elements I mention, while they generally make for a more intelligent series that challenges the viewer to think, they also serve to simply provide a more entertaining series.
Basically, I want to either feel as though I’m standing right there next to the characters seeing or I’m given a first person perspective to vicariously experience the beginning of their story and the gradual process of their character development. When done well, it will take the character to an eventual catharsis leading to a nice resolve where I feel that I have gained something worthwhile from watching that particular show.
So; how is anime therapeutic to me? It is entertaining; in a way it’s fun escapism, allowing me to venture into another world and walk with the characters. It is also another outlet for intellectual stimulation in the form of critical and literary analysis. When I watch anime, being entertained means simultaneously deriving "fun" from a given show and still being able to view it from a critical and analytical standpoint when looking at the art form that is anime.
With the way I watch and relate to the media I view, it's why I don't consider myself an anime fanboy or critic; I consider myself primarily an anime, music and movie connoisseur.
Although, another, and more potently therapeutic outlet for me is when I play my bass, it’s not only fun, or intellectually stimulating; I get to tap into my creativity. There’s a certain type of thrill one obtains when not only do they master a technique to a certain degree, but continue to build upon that skill. There’s a high I get from composing a song and have it link together almost perfectly.
It’s just, so euphoric to play, which is why I urge everyone to try a musical instrument and try to stick with it for a while.
On the topic of my practicing music, and going back to my anime viewing habits; since I like to practice for extended periods of time, I like to put an anime or a movie on in the background at a low volume. As silly as it sounds, when I practice drills on my bass, some of them can get pretty tedious, so I like to look up and watch the flickering pictures as they pass. With my mental state while I practice, this is one way I have noticed patterns, motifs and allegory in anime with repetition of imagery and scenes frequently coming up in silence as my fingers dance across the neck of my bass.
After a certain amount of practicing, I arrive at a meditative state.
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