Discussing anime genres – Love tramples all! (in anime literally!)

               anime romance

I made my first post about anime today and I realized that I can easily write thousand more, if not for the laziness obviously. I’ve been watching anime for nearly 4 years now (aside from the childhood ones, obviously), and, while I did hit some slumps whereas I wouldn’t watch a damn thing for half a year, I also had times where I would watch 10-15 anime over the course of one week. For those unfamiliar with it – yes, it CAN be that addicting.

Moving onto the topic of discussion now. I’m currently watching some anime (besides the ones on air, which I’ll probably discuss in my next post), so, instead of talking about specific anime, I’ll just talk about specific genre. I’ll do this sometime again, when I feel like it, in hope that over the course of my life, I’ll tackle at least 10 of them. What, they say, is the most basic human expression as well as the most powerful? Love, obviously! Although I disagree as much as I humanly can, why not start with romance? I don’t see anything wrong with it, obviously.

Romance in anime is like Disney romance, for the most part. We spend hours watching two characters interact only to get a single kiss scene in the end, ending on a high note of “they lived happily ever after”. Usually, my grades for romance never go above 7 because I find them to be too boring for the most part, but, as always, there were certain gems that just tackled some issue head on without giving fucks about anything else. Respect.

Surprisingly, not because I’m a guy but because of the way the stories and characters are formatted in this age of Jap romance, I do enjoy reading/watching romance/shoujo and other similar stories. They’re extremely easy to finish (well … mostly …) and they do throw you into this wonderland of pure love and, of course, motherfucking triangles. Nearly all of these are exactly the same as the ones you’d find in stupid fan-fiction (Twilightesque) and they do get annoying really fast. There are always obvious n.o.1 guy and n.o.2 guy, and, regardless of how hard the author tries to mask it, they succeed only once every ten times. Lately, though, if not harem, romance anime do kind of stray away from these things and even speed up the development of relationship so we can, instead of jotting down just how many missed opportunities the two got to get together, enjoy seeing them develop the actual relationship – from the confession all the way to where anime decides to end it. These types are still scarce, but they’re slowly starting to creep up, which is great if you ask me.

From what I wrote so far, those unfamiliar with anime must think that all of these things are the same with re-skins of the cast and that I quite dislike the genre – which, actually, is only half-true. There are more than a few that tackle the real issues of relationships (Nana, for instance – but, to me, all the events and developments seemed far too forced into ‘realism’ department, which, in exchange, drove me off and bored me to hell and back) and showcase that the ‘cutesy’ romance is just a big, fat fucking lie.

One director in general (I’m currently on my laptop, which is kind of slow, so I’m just too fucking lazy to search his name, so you can do that yourself if you wish) took a theme of distanced love and made more than one movie about it (animated movie, yeah). Works like “5 cm per second”, “Garden of Words”, “Voices of a Distant Start” etc., all deal with the exact same issue in different ways, and showcase that happy endings don’t wait for everyone and that, sometimes, our hearts just might be fucking shattered like how glass shatters when you throw it against the stone because you thought it’d be funny. Characters in his works aren’t dense fucks that require five months of real time to realize that they even like the girl or that the girl likes them, but instead are real humans that try to understand the situation at hand and get away with the best possible outcome.

Then you have B Hei (not a full name, can’t remember, can’t force myself to look it up), which takes another approach: a freshman girl’s dream is to make 100 sex buddies and fuck ‘em all day long. Catch is, she’s still a virgin, so she’s gotta find an inexperienced guy to take her virginity. This is mostly comedy show, but it does showcase a good development of relationship and that sex ain’t it all when it comes to some lovin’.

“Say ‘I love you’” is another example of the romance anime that isn’t afraid to have two leads just fucking date and have fun and all those problems that come with dating. They explore each other’s fears, dreams, and all that shit, and grow closer together without needing three years of high school to confess to one another.

All in all, each side of the spectrum has its merits and downfalls, and it all really boils down to the preferences. Which one do YOU enjoy – that’s it. If you’ve never watched anime and are currently wondering why’d you pick it over the western stuff, it’s rather easy: it’s entertaining. Although you’ll rarely find an anime that’ll send you on a high-speed, nether-worldly chase through thoughts and ideas, most of them will provide a solid entertainment, especially when it comes to romance. Most of the anime of this genre, at least the mainstream ones, don’t deal with the actual issues of liking and love, and instead throw you into another world where the biggest issue is “will he like the chocolate I made for Valentine’s Day”.  It can be a great escape from reality and most of these feature hella funny comedy that’ll keep your mind occupied away from thinking things such as “Why the fuck does it take them a year to even think about kissing one another?”

To conclude this sort-of-short discussion, I’ll say that I find romance to probably be one of the weakest genres of anime, believe it or not. When it’s done just as a subplot, it does give one more spice to the anime, but as a central focus it’s oftentimes just too slow and boring so you’ll find yourself skipping scenes and episodes galore. In a nutshell, even if, standalone, it’s the weakest one, it can still provide solid 6 plus hours entertainment and perhaps restore your hope in love and good of this world (if you are a naïve fuck with 0 critical thinking ability. Just sayin’, use some XP to upgrade that shit man).

Thanks for reading and see you next time.

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