Anime craze is not new. Japanese animated television shows are popularly called anime and Chennai is home to many anime otakus (Japanese for anime fan). Anime followers are devoted to their daily dose of anime so much that their day feels incomplete without it. Anime influence in Chennai is followed by almost every age group - from school students to young adults. Animes today have covered every possible genre making it a stress buster and also fun and entertaining.
Events like anime conventions have found popularity in India where fans can indulge in the enjoyment experienced in Japan. Fans involve themselves in Cosplay, dressing up as their favourite characters from their favourite shows. Various competitions in the convention allow fans to meet and share their stories.
“It’s hard to describe what anime means to me because I’ve been connected to anime on a personal and emotional level since I remember. Growing up, it’s hard to imagine that the most fictional characters taught me the best in life”, says, Mac Millan, an anime fan.
Anime was adopted by both Korean and Chinese though it mainstreams from Japan. Manga comics and light novels have been adapted onscreen as people prefer watching rather than reading. This has been going on for more than 50 years, covering different genres.
“My love for Japan, its tradition and language are what pushed me into anime culture. Animes are not just cartoons, they usually have varied genres and also target older generations. My favourite animes are Fairy Tale and Clannad after Story. In Chennai, a lot of people watch animes including Naruto and Attack on Titan. They’re very famous among the anime-viewing community”, says Sadakshi K R, a freelance writer.
Senthil Kumar, a student, explains, “Japanese culture itself is pretty interesting and unique and anime acts as a gateway for introducing Japanese culture and language to many. Anime on its own is also a very expressive and unique form of entertainment that explores different tropes and premises. It gives creative freedom to create anything and everything that the makers can visualise in their heads as compared to CGI or live action”.
“From the slow rise of Sailor moon and Dragon ball Z to the more recent ones of Doctor Stone and Weathering with You, the talent of Japanese artists and musicians is par excellence. From memes to music, from laughter to tears, it’s funny how something fabricated can bring out so many emotions. Some of the most notable anime pieces that I loved were Re: Zero - Starting Life in Another World, Boku no Hero Academia, Your Lie in April and Violet Evergarden. Movies like Kimi no na wa and A silent voice are pieces of art - right from their animation to the story, to the screenplay and the wonderful music and voice acting! Anime is a culture and there is a whole army of otakus around the world”, says Joshua Rodriguez, another anime enthusiast.