Anime seriously entered our lives. Fans of Japanese cartoons around the world arrange anime festivals, get used to the images of their favorite dressing up characters (cosplay), write anime stories (fan fiction), shoot anime-based video clips, read comics with anime stories (manga) … 60% of all animated series in the world is anime.
It is not surprising that such a frenzy may frighten some parents: unusual characters, strange images of their appearance, uncharacteristic beliefs for us, the absence of the usual simple and understandable “morality” of the tale, scary images, violence and aggressive behavior of the anime characters. As everything is in fact – let’s understand!
Anime – this is all Japanese animation with its own specific images, images, scenes. There are different genres of anime depending on the target audience (age, gender, etc.), on style (for example, comedy, drama, fantasy, adventure), on technologies used (computer processing, drawing with a pen or watercolor), on the nature of the story ( , athletes, superhero wizards, ordinary people, fairy tale, parable, space adventures).
Plots for anime are taken from Japanese comics, computer games, from Japanese or foreign literature. The anime genre created for children up to 10 years old is called Kodo, and we’ll talk about it today.
What makes kodo different from other genres? First, the image method, which takes into account the peculiarities of children’s perception: clear, bright pictures.
Secondly, simple, but important topics: family, friendship, nature, good. Thirdly, a good plot, without violence and scenes of cruelty, often based on fairy tales known to us (“Puss in Boots”, “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Little Mermaid”).
In our childhood, there were also anime-codeo: “Maya Bee”, “Pokémon”, a joint Soviet-Japanese mini-series “The Adventures of Lolo Penguin”. The most popular now in this genre are full-length cartoons of directors Hayao Miyazaki, Hiromasa Enebayashi, Hiroyuki Morita, Isao Takahata.
Many mothers and fathers are wary of Japanese cartoons. The most common adult fears were commented by Elina Fedotova – a child and family psychologist, the Augustus Center for Child Psychology.
1. “In the anime incomprehensible images, many spirits and gods.”
Of course, cartoons, as in any kind of art, reflect the reality of the country in which they are created, its history, philosophy and mythology, so different from our ideas about the structure of the world. For example, Japanese folklore and anime, respectively, reflect Japanese belief in spirits and gods living everywhere – in nature and in the house. But if we, adults, can be strained by the idea of omnipresent gods, then for children it is, on the contrary, very natural: they, and so with the power of their imagination, endow the soul with all that is possible, humanizing the nonliving.
Therefore, fairy tales and cartoons are so clear to children – they also “animate” the inanimate.
2. “In cartoons, scary heroes, monsters.”
In our fairy tales there are also scary characters – mythological images of death: Baba Yaga or Kashchei. Do not be afraid that the kid in the cartoon is watching the meeting of heroes with something dangerous, frightening.
A healthy child’s mind protects the child, helping to share: this is not about me, not about my family, not about my real world, which means that this is not real, and there is no real danger for me.
3. “The heroes have a disproportionately large head, huge eyes.”
Oddly enough, Japanese multipliers borrowed big, eye-catching and expressive eyes from Disney in order to better convey the emotions and feelings of the characters. In the anime, the character’s character and behavior can be understood from the character’s traced eyes. So, in positive characters, the eyes are large, shiny, bright, and in negative ones – often half-closed, with small pupils, without shine, covered with a bang.
Attention to the inner world of the child – one of the main ideas of children’s anime, so the experiences of the hero are often “written” on his face – shown exaggerated and not very realistic.
4. “What if my child becomes anime-dependent?”
Anime – Kodo awaken the child’s imagination, which is simply necessary for his full mental development. Preschoolers have a period when reincarnation into a favorite hero (father, Thomas train, cat, Spiderman) and the desire to imitate him in everything – and this is normal.
Even the most attractive cartoons will not make the child dependent on them, if he is all right with his sense of self, with self-esteem, if he has friends and other interests, and most importantly – confidential contact with relatives.
So what is the special attraction of anime for children? That’s what they say themselves.
1. “Beautiful nature and animals”
The theme of the relationship of humanity with nature in general, and a particular character with the elements in particular, can be traced in almost all Kodos. Knowledge of the natural world for the development of the child is just as important as the world of people. Therefore, the images of nature – landscapes, birds, animals are often spelled out in detail, the drawings are bright, the colors are juicy.
They deliver aesthetic pleasure to the viewer. The fascinating image of the sea and the forest in Miyazaki, the mountains in Sugii, for urban children, often deprived of contact with wildlife, shows its importance and the need to take care of it, forms the “ecological friendliness” of thinking.
The animals are humanized by a child’s mind, but they are endowed with rather unambiguous characteristics: friend, cunning, evil, coward. No wonder in Russian culture the first fairy tales for kids – about animals.
The understanding of such age-related features of the perception of the world is also reflected in the anime. Thus, in younger children, the “understandable” animals — the wolf cub and the goat in “Night Storm” – help to form the necessary idea of the surrounding world, relationships and friendship.
And for guys a little older, fairy tales about heroes appear – children just like them.
2. “Like music”
Much attention is paid to anime music. Beautiful arrangement affects the perception of the viewer, creates the right mood and atmosphere, helping to better understand the situation.
3. “There is magic, miracles. It’s like flying with heroes too. ”
Cartoons with witchcraft and magic, heroes with supernormal abilities have always been attractive to children. Unlike real life, you can be different yourself – the most important and omnipotent, all-powerful wizard, immerse yourself in the magical world of fantasy and fairy tales.
In the Miyazaki cartoons, the elements of the sky, the wind are almost independent heroes of the story; everywhere there are scenes of flight, the sensations from which are so pleasant to a child.
4. “This is about real or almost real children, not princesses with princes”
The characters of kodo are positive heroes, they are kind, calm, friendly, brave, courageous, wise, possess enormous strength of spirit. Or they acquire these qualities in the course of the cartoon and temper their character.
In general, the theme of growing up and the formation of personality is one of the most important in Japanese animation.
In Russia, children’s anime is represented by more cartoons for girls. Depending on the age of the audience, there is a tendency to change the image of the heroine.
So, younger girls are endowed with purely “female” personality traits: compassion, cordiality, selflessness, willingness to help others (for example, Kiki from the “witch delivery service”). In the stories where the hero is a boy, he possesses, respectively, “male” qualities: responsibility, courage (for example, Ponyot). Thus, the child gradually forms the idea of the male and female character, the difference in behavior.
And in the anime for older girls there are many heroines who are freedom-loving, strong in expressing feelings that have their own opinion, are decisive. In general, the focus on the inner world of the protagonist, humane, pacifist relations with the outside world distinguishes anime from the usual “Western” ideas of accumulating and acquiring status and wealth.
5. “I can not tear myself away”
Emotional plots are close to the young viewer, touch for the soul, because they are selected for this audience. Children’s animes follow the true moral principles, form the correct moral guidelines of goodness and honesty.
Showing how beautiful the world is with kindness, lack of wars, concern for nature, attentive attitude to relatives, self-improvement. Yes, it is not always possible to simply and clearly formulate “conclusions” from a cartoon, but archetypical images and meanings cling unconsciously.
This is evident by what feelings (light sadness or calm) remain at the end of the film.