You've probably heard of the psychological benefits of Anime or Japanese animation in general. But what exactly are they? According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, the psychological benefits of Anime are "existing as a supplement to culture... used to enhance the experience of social interaction".
This definition pretty much covers it all. Anime can be an anime cartoon, movies, games, TV shows, or even a video game, and has been for decades.
In Japan, where Anime is very popular, there are ongoing cultural programs based on it. The entire country of Japan takes great pride in its Anime culture, with festivals such as the Anime Grand Prix held annually.
Anime has even made its way into Hollywood, as well. In the animated film Invader Zim, one of the main characters says,
"I think it's great that our government funds these psychological studies... to see what's in our hearts."
So does Anime have psychological benefits for you? If you're looking for an excellent watchable show with excellent animation and great storylines, I would say yes. However, if you're looking for a soap opera, Danmachi, also known as Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? may not be the show for you.
It is filled with action and a great deal of humor, but it isn't exactly subtle. However, I think this is what the people were trying to get at when they said that Anime was for "the young."
What exactly is "young?" An excellent way to put it is that if you watch an anime, even if you're over fifty years old, it will still have a lot of plot twists that keep you guessing. For example, in the anime series, Danmachi, a high school girl named Mio Akiyama, is friends with the late Setsuna Suichi.
However, Mio is also a bit otaku, and she often dresses up as a famous figure from the times, such as Princess Zelda from the Legend of Zelda. Because of this, she frequently imagines herself wearing clothing from this time and style, such as a samurai outfit.
This is what makes the show so clever and funny. It takes you into Mio's fantasy world and keeps poking fun at her ridiculous outfits while at the same time showing the serious side of her personality.
It's amusing how this show keeps poking fun at things we usually take for granted yet keeps us interested. For example, Mio has a crush on a particular character from the past. However, when she sees him at a confident live performance, she gets excited and decides to join the "concert with this guy" she had been eying.
And this brings me to one of the more serious topics brought up by Danmachi, which is mental health. In the show, Mio constantly finds herself getting herself into dangerous situations or overthinking things that are worrying her.
She may become consumed with one particular thing for a while. This is probably because she is a young girl who was thrown into a situation where she has to use her imagination.
This is where the psychological benefits of this show come into play. Because of the crazy things she puts herself into, Mio develops various phobias such as fear of bugs, spiders, and public speaking.
Because of this, she keeps avoiding places and people as she does with her imaginary friend, Ganado. When she finally goes to a concert with him, however, she gets nervous and panics, causing everyone in the audience to panic.
Because of this, everyone starts laughing, leading to Mio calming down and calming the audience down.
The show's entire premise is that she experiences these various psychological benefits because of being thrown into an incredibly crazy scenario. It's almost like she has superpowers, and having superhuman abilities also helps.
If you've ever seen the movie, you'll know what I'm talking about. The psychological aspects of this show are what make it so good.