After my last post ‘Appearances can be Deceiving‘, I realized that what I called a ‘deceiving start’ was not the only thing that could make one drop a show. While it is the most common reason, one’s Level of Maturity also plays a pretty huge part in how much one is able to understand and appreciate an anime.
A lot of the time viewers find themselves more able to relate to certain shows (especially those with a ‘deeper’ sense to them) when they are older and have a better understanding of the world (usually brought about by both good and bad life experiences). A perfect example can be found on Canne’s Anime Review Blog when she expressed that ‘watching anime at the right time is as important as watching the right anime’.
The thing is. I wasn’t ready for Princess Mononoke when I first saw it. I was too young, too ignorant and inexperienced to truly appreciate it. I could feel that this was a great anime but I didn’t understand why. Now I do and I am grateful to myself for giving the anime another chance.
Shows such as Princess Mononoke, Akira and Grave of the Fireflies are examples of anime that while can be enjoyable by all, takes a certain level of Maturity to fully appreciate.
Like Canne I remember a few years back watching Akira for the first time and to be honest it didn’t hit me, it felt old, boring. I actually felt somewhat confused for the greater part of the show. After a re-watch a few months ago by the slightly more mature me, or at least the slightly older me. I found myself thinking that hey, its true that the graphics aren’t the best in the world, and the sound quality isn’t top notch either, but that is a pretty damn good self-contained movie. (You can look forward to a review on it pretty soon)
Another occurrence I have noticed is that, over time… preferences change. For example, while it is true that each person has his own set of likes and dislikes, as the average guy grows older he tends to develop a greater appreciation for the comedy/romance genres and less of a focus on solely the action/adventure genres.
I remember when I was younger if there wasn’t anything along the lines of DBZ or Hunter x Hunter playing, my friends and I would much prefer be doing somthing else. But now works such as Clannad, Ai Yori Aoshi and Nana can be appreciated, loved in fact. (If someone has any insight on how a woman’s preferences changes over time, please leave a note in the comment section)
Overall, I would like to believe that Maturity plays a pretty big role in how one processes an anime, and as a result, in what our preferences are. So one can relax, and not rush into something like Akira simply because other otaku say that its the best thing since swiss cheese. It’ll be a waste of your time (if its too early) and will leave a sour taste in your mouth. Once again, as Canne said, its not so much just watching the right anime, but the right anime, at the right time.