Anime has exploded in popularity outside of Japan in recent years.
With iconic shows like Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, Attack on Titan, and My Hero Academia gaining legions of dedicated fans, more and more people around the world are watching anime.
This has led many to wonder – can watching anime be considered a hobby? Or is it just a form of entertainment like any other?
Here we’ll explore both sides of this debate.
The Case For Anime As A Hobby
While some dismiss watching anime as no different from binge-watching any TV show, fans make a strong case for why anime is more than that. Here are some of their key arguments:
- Active fandom – Anime inspires very active fandoms. Fans discuss shows, theorize about future plotlines, create fan art and cosplay, and attend conventions. This level of active engagement makes it more than passive TV viewing.
- Appreciation of art form – Anime is considered an art form. Fans appreciate the storytelling, animation techniques, character development, and other creative elements. Focusing on understanding and appreciating an art form makes it a hobby.
- Immersion in a new world – Good anime creates a whole new world. Fans immerse themselves in fictional worlds, analyze magic systems or technology, and imagine “what if” scenarios. This immersion and appreciation of world-building also makes anime more hobby-like.
- Knowledge building – Many anime fans end up building significant knowledge about the Japanese language and culture. The stories are deeply influenced by Japan, which fans pick up. This learning is a sign of an active hobby.
Reasons Some Don’t Consider Anime A Hobby
However, there are also good reasons why some people hesitate to call anime a hobby:
- Perceived as childish – Anime remains associated with children’s cartoons in many people’s minds. This perception makes it hard to call anime viewing a serious hobby for adults. Of course, there are many mature and even R-rated anime works. But the childish stigma persists.
- Seen as entertainment – For many, anime is seen as simply another form of entertainment, like any other genre of TV, movies, or books. So it may not warrant the status of a unique hobby. Fans counter that anime is a distinct medium with conventions and creativity, unlike Western animations.
- Passive watching – At its core, watching anime involves sitting back and consuming content passively. That’s quite different from more active, skill-building hobbies like painting, coding, or sports. Of course, fans would argue that active fandom makes anime viewing far from passive. But non-fans may see mostly passive viewing.
- Lacks skill building – Most hobbies involve developing some skill or expertise over time through practice. But anime watching may not develop any tangible skills (besides knowledge about anime itself). Without a skill-building component, some may be reluctant to call it a hobby.
Qualities Of Anime That Make It A Great Hobby
While debate continues whether anime viewing qualifies as a full-fledged hobby or not, there’s no doubt it has many qualities that make for an engaging pastime:
- Variety – There are anime works in every genre – action, sci-fi, romance, comedy, artsy, cute, thought-provoking, and more. With tens of thousands of anime series and movies to choose from, there’s something for all tastes.
- Storytelling – Anime allows creators to tell stories not bound by real-world limitations. This leads to entertainment with imagination, emotion, and creativity at a different level.
- Imaginative worlds – The world-building in anime draws viewers into rich, internally consistent fictional worlds very different from our own. Exploring these worlds is endlessly fascinating.
- Character depth – Anime characters show complex emotional journeys and gradual growth in a way that live-action struggles to depict. Fans become deeply invested in these emotional arcs.
- Life lessons – Many popular anime works explore life lessons about perseverance, teamwork, destiny, loss, and more. The stories can inspire fans and give perspective on life’s challenges.
Making Anime Watching A More Enjoyable Hobby
For those embracing anime viewing as a hobby, here are some tips to make it even more fun and rewarding:
- Join online anime communities to discuss shows and be part of fandom culture. But avoid spoilers!
- Go beyond watching – create fan art, write fan fiction, make AMVs (Anime Music Videos), or cosplay.
- Attend anime conventions to fully immerse yourself and appreciate the creative passion of other fans.
- Learn about Japan since most anime reflect Japanese culture. Study some Japanese language too.
- Keep an open mind for shows outside your usual tastes. Expanding genres can unveil new favorites.
- Make it social – watch shows with friends. Go to anime movie screenings. Share the joy!
Anime Genres To Explore For New Fans
While favorites will differ for everyone, here are some top genre options for new anime viewers looking to discover shows they may love:
Popular action-packed series like Demon Slayer, Attack on Titan, and Jujutsu Kaisen are adrenaline-filled rides with stunning animation during fights.
Isekai involves ordinary characters transported to a fantasy world. Try That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime and Sword Art Online.
Heart-wrenching romantic drama series like Your Lie in April or sweet love stories like ToraDora!
Intriguing sci-fi settings in gems like Steins; Gate, Psycho-Pass, and the classic Cowboy Bebop.
Slice of Life Anime
Relaxing shows depicting day-to-day life like laidback Flying Witch or beautiful Violet Evergarden.
Laugh out loud to hilarious comedies like Saiki K, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K, and Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun.
Anime Can Certainly Become a Fulfilling Hobby
While not everyone will view watching anime as a serious hobby, for millions of dedicated fans around the world, it is. The lively fandom, breadth of shows to discover, imaginative worlds to explore, and community bonding make anime viewing a deeply enjoyable pastime.
With an open mindset, willingness to try varied genres, and embracing fandom culture, getting into anime can become an immersive, entertaining, and even educational hobby.
FAQs about Is Watching Anime a Hobby?
Who usually watches anime?
Anime has appealed to a diverse global audience, though it remains most popular with teens and young adults. In recent years more adults have also started watching anime thanks to acclaimed series that transcend age groups.
Why do I like anime so much?
Anime storytelling and animation styles are very imaginative, letting creators depict fantasy worlds, strong emotions, and epic adventures not limited by live-action constraints. Anime also builds deep character development and thought-provoking themes over whole seasons.
Can I put anime as an interest on the resume?
Listing non-controversial interests like anime on your resume is fine in moderation, as it can make you appear well-rounded and give interviewers conversation topics. Just focus resume space on showcasing relevant skills.
What is a person obsessed with anime?
Some terms for people deeply passionate about anime are “otaku”, suggesting obsession, or “wapanese”, implying someone overly interested in Japanese culture through anime. But like any hobby, anime fandom exists on a spectrum.
Is watching anime a waste of time?
Watching some anime purely as entertainment is fine, as all people need relaxation. However interacting with the plot, characters, and themes can also stimulate thinking. Moderation is key for a balance between anime and other priorities.
How did I know if watching anime is a great hobby for Me?
If you’re already watching anime, then chances are it’s already a great hobby for you. You may also want to talk to other people who’ve watched anime since they can give you advice on which ones are worth watching and which ones may not be as good. Additionally, looking at what people have said about particular anime in online forums can help you make an informed decision.