So you want to introduce your friends to anime, huh? We have all been there, I believe. Having that one friend—or two or dozens—who are not into anime. Like at all. And you are like the biggest otaku and anime lover under the sun and just want your friends to enjoy the masterpiece you have just seen the same as you do… because having a common hobby, especially anime can be such a bonding experience when it comes to long discussions or anime sessions.
Everything usually tastes better when it’s experienced with other people. To support your brilliant idea I have decided to make a simple guide on what to do and what to not do when you are introducing your friends into the anime world.
1. Never force anyone to watch anime
I know that you love anime. I do too. But you need to accept that everyone is unique, their own person with their own likes and dislikes. Some people might be naturally inclined to try new stuff like anime if they haven’t watched it yet, whilst others might be completely opposed to this idea.
If you have a friend who really dislikes anime and talks foully about it there is absolutely no reason to even try to introduce them to anime, let alone force them. Heck, it might be even a good idea to reconsider your friendship if they are constantly hating on your hobbies. I am not saying that someone can’t like anime—just be civil about it.
2. Explain the real meaning of anime
Now you can already know that anime is hand-drawn computer animation originating from Japan. But your friends might not know that anime is actually not only for kids. In fact, the vast majority of anime I have seen have such meaning that a child would not comprehend it at all. You can try to explain this to your friends in your own words because you went through this as well—only you know what anime left a huge impact on you and why.
You can tell your friends about the difference between American cartoons and Japanese ones because they might not know if they have ever seen any anime, like ever. Japanese anime follows a storyline strongly and there is always a purpose hidden behind the series. It is true that American cartoons usually just want to target the child population so everything is absolutely simplified and kind of pointless—not all cases obviously, but the majority of them.
In comparison to typical American cartoons, anime comes with more genres than actual series or movies, ranging from yaoi to horror, so you get the full spectrum of goodies certainly not targetting kids in many genres. You can certainly mention this to your friends along with something like “anime is just like any normal series, but animated”. I would even argue that anime is better than the normal series!
3. Help them to pick the right anime
How not to fail to introduce your friends to anime is by picking the right anime for them to watch. The anime you pick should depend on what kind of person your friend is, how old they are, and most importantly, what genre they prefer. After you know the answer to these questions there is no more hesitation—pick some beginner-friendly anime.