Animated media : Not just for children


At 21, I have absolutely no shame for watching anime, watching an animated production, reading manga or reading comic books. I collect countless DVDs of my favorite series. I purchase graphic novels to read time and time again. My entire right arm is being decorated with a tattoo sleeve in the making, in homage to my favorite anime series, Dragon Ball Z. Animated media is not just a form of entertainment that I grew up on and abandoned, but rather something special to me and representative of who I am.

Many people are often questioned when they will grow out of watching animated media? There is nothing to grow out of. An entire microcosm of animated media is intended for the entertainment of mature audiences.

Animated media is a substantial form of art and media. Although many forms of animated media cater specifically to children, youth are not always the target audience. The subjects expressed in an animated production often aren’t any less intellectual than those with live actors in a studio. Regardless of age or gender, animation should not be frowned upon for being enjoyed.

A lot of people presume animation is purely for children and that nothing of significant value can be attributed to anything that is drawn. However it is slowly coming to light through the works of companies like Pixar that an animated film can be entertaining for adults as well. Comic books that are adapted into live films are sparking the interest of moviegoers and convincing audiences that characters from a comic are more profound than imagined.

Average novel readers find themselves feeling immature for glancing over colored panels with word bubbles and onomatopoeias rather than a “grown-up” book without pictures. The same subject matter in a novel can be found in a graphic novel. Comic books are not just for children. Comic books are for people that enjoy interesting stories with detailed illustration that helps to explicate the imagery.

Despite the imaginative value comics have to offer, artists try their best to add realism into their fantasy worlds. Batman, in example, has pragmatic attributes like those of a person working against crime. He also has limitations and morals when dealing with dishing out justice. The true persona of any character must be heavily developed and explained within a plot to make the character interesting. Characters in comic books or manga are the same as characters in novels, except they are illustrated.

If a comic is adapted into an animated series then the director must find the perfect voice actors to bring life to the characters and music to capture the heat of each moment. The author or director must capture the entire essence of the hardships in Batman’s life through a more personal lens.

The effort of the director doesn’t change because the story is being drawn. The same thought processes, creativity, drive and determination placed into creating a story. Every story needs outstanding characters. A plot must be astronomical to sell.

Animated films gross as much as films with famous actors and actresses of the Red Carpet. “Dragon Ball Z: Battle Of Gods” released in theaters March 30, 2013 was number one in the Japanese box office momentarily, grossing 683 million yen (approximately $7.3 million in USD) during the opening weekend. Disney’s, “Frozen,” crossed $800 million in gross sales. The total sales collected from animated films could not possibly be attributed to children and families alone.

It is assumed that anything animated is strictly for viewers that are 12-years-old and under. That is the farthest from the truth. Often many comic books or animated series are so violent, graphic or explicit that it would be damaging for the psyches of young children to view them. Some series have such complex themes that it would never capture the interest of a small child.

There is also a grave misconception that a majority of these animated productions are cartoons and comic books designed for perverts. Despite the amount of series created for the purpose of tickling the fancies of older audiences who have unique taste in fetishes, those productions are only a small fraction of the types of shows and graphic novels that exist. Each series is completely different than the next. Every series is not designed for the same type of audience.

Enjoying productions with live people isn’t wrong. Immeasurable amounts of series have been created with trained, professional thespians that are well known. I just personally feel that animated productions should be held to the same degree of importance and seriousness. Watching or reading something drawn does not make someone immature or childlike.