All images from this post were taken from this awesome contest.
Pokemon. Many of the current generation of anime fans started out by watching Pokemon. Well, not strictly true because at the time they didn’t even know Pokemon was anime. The term anime was an alien term that meant nothing. Oh sure they might have known that it was from Japan and that Japan had some crazy animation but the connection never quite formed. You loved Pokemon because of the joy of watching a kid battle his way through to victory, meeting many strange creatures and generally having a lot of fun. But eventually you were to move on.
Next came the Dragonball/Sailor Moon period. There was magic and violence and a deep plot and stuff, but mainly it was because it involved muscly dudes beating each other up/pretty girls doing magical stuff and beating up badguys. There was still a childish glee when watching these shows, even if by that time you were nearing your twenties. Most of all there were those shounen series. Naruto was phenomenal.
But as you moved on, you discovered there was a whole world of anime out there. No longer were you interested in Naruto. That was a childish anime that had way too many fillers. You had moved on to some more ‘adult’ anime that weren’t that nonsensical never-ending crap. Death Note, Full Metal Alchemist, Elfen Lied, Hellsing. Here was anime that were clearly adult and characters who actually died. This was a massive step up from what you had been watching thus far. Suddenly you started to feel rather silly for loving Naruto so much.
As you entered deeper into anime fandom, your elitist tendencies started to grow. No longer were you content with watching what was popular amongst those who barely knew anything about anime. You were watching the classics. Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Monster, you know the drill. These were fantastic anime, praised across the anime fandom by those who really knew what they were talking about, rather than those stupid fanboys who raved over Code Geass. You were a connoisseur…well, not quite yet.
Because now you’re looking for something deeper. It’s all about themes, hidden depths and imagery. This is the realm of Ergo Proxy, Serial Experiments Lain and Kaiba. This is animation pushed to its furthest levels. Something you can dissect and interpret and ponder. You have become the ultimate of elitists! Or so you think…
Some people’s fandoms die here. The search for such anime like these becomes a jarring experience. However there’s a land beyond that where you elitism changes. These anime that you once used to love for their deep meanings are no longer quite what you’re looking for. The storytelling becomes key to your enjoyment. The expert plotting and direction of anime such as Monster, Ghost in the Shell and Samurai Champloo start to become what you really search for in your anime.
Until, that is, you start to crave entertainment. The thrill and excitement that anime can offer. The joyous glee of watching the latest plot twist, keeping you on the enge of your seat. You start to be able to acknowledge flaws in the writing, while mainly searching for the ability to wow the viewer. You’ve seen so much by this stage that originality is no longer key, it’s the ability to rise above the others.
For pure entertainment though, there’s nothing quite like the inner child to bring that out. The more entrenched you become in your anime viewing habits, the more you enjoy the slow burning of a series that continues on forever. The consistent entertainment the likes of Bleach and One Piece are capable of producing is what you truly watch anime for. It’s why you started watching anime in the first place. As you search further and further into the sheer amount of anime out there, what you are really looking to find is that one title that epitomises anime. One boy, going on an adventure.
A true elitist loves Pokemon.