Yes, I can type in katakana. Overly enthusiastic anime thumbs up for everyone.
I’m not sure how many people will relate to this set of influences (compared to my posts on influence from some 80’s–90’s TV shows, and TGIF Sitcoms + the Wayans Bros.), but Japanese animation was a big deal to me for years.
For a long time, the only anime I watched was over-the-air. Everything was dubbed in English and began with shows I didn’t even know was anime, like Voltron. By the time I moved on to Ronin Warriors, Dragon Ball Z, and Sailor Moon, however, I realized these shows weren’t originally in English.
That’s right, I’m the world’s greatest detective.
When my siblings and I started renting videos, we stuck to dubbed versions of Ranma 1/2 and Cowboy Bebop. I also watched all of Robotech in English on PBS (which I’m glad for, because the latter of the original three Japanese series combined to create Robotech are not as good on their own).
Subbed Anime: Hardcore Otaku $@#! (not that kind of hardcore)
One day, my brother and I rented The Record of Lodoss War and accidentally got the subtitled version. “All these fools are speaking Japanese and we have to read? Unacceptable!” Or was it?
After watching subbed anime, we couldn’t go back. The voice acting in the subbed versions were so much better than the English dub counterparts of the time (I mean, as far as we could tell not being able to understand Japanese). Particularly for the shows set in Japan, the Japanese audio felt more authentic. We were hooked (later, I watched Full Metal Alchemist dubbed and thought it worked because the series was set in and alternate-history Europe).
Then came the era of fansubs (anime subtitled in English by fans) and I was exposed to Fushigi Yuugi and, later, Naruto which ended up being the last anime I was into before my interest in anime waned.
Rise and Fall of Anime-influences
When I was young and drawing comics, I was heavily influenced by anime. Through my “inspirations,” I ended up with a lot of unoriginal characters, themes and worlds; I kept ripping things off left and right.
After reading all the Robotech YA novels when I was thirteen, I had my first attempt at writing a novel. I’m glad to say I was much more original than my 4 to 12-year-old self at that point. However, I lost focus after writing X number of chapters and scrapped the project.
Over the years, I’ve tried to shirk off most of the influence anime has had on my creativity. The reason being that anime and manga (at least the popular-ish ones I’m made aware of) has a tendency to rely on cliches and stereotypical characters, and social interactions between characters are often unrealistic.
The stereotype anime character I hate the most is the wiener-y “hero” who, despite having no social skills or particular talents, has a horde of women trying to get at his junk (basically, the male equivalent to Bella Swan).
Though there are some exceptional anime that are original, realistic and/or just awesome, the tendency of anime to rely on tropes bordering on cliches (or outright cliches) have repelled me over time.
Yet, I’ll bet there are still hints of anime-influences in my writing (and I still might watch an anime every year or two).
I hope I haven’t offended any Otaku. Feel free to toss out the names of any awesome series or movies that might get be back into anime (it’s unlikely to work, but who knows?).