Recently, I ran across an interesting article about how Anime is affecting the teenage and early twenties population in the United States, students in particular. Japanese Anime is a big part of American culture now, particularly cyber culture.
A researcher at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Lawrence Eng, made it a point to study the effects that Anime fandom has on IT students, who seem to be the most influenced by the animation. He discovered a few interesting points.
The main thing that was noted is that anime fans have a tendency to socialize more than other IT students. Typically, such students are thought of as the more reclusive types requiring isolation more than social interaction but Eng noticed something different.
Those who are into Anime are readily accepted by all other students who enjoy anime too. In addition, there is a very healthy online Anime community in which to get involved. It seems that Anime fans a socialize better as a result.
The study did point out one debatable dark side to the fandom of Anime in students. It noted that there is a potential that it puts disturbing thoughts and behaviors into the minds of those who have tendencies toward behavioral problems.
The excellent Anime series, Death Note, was given as an example. Apparently, there are a number of disturbing instances in which such “death notes” have been created by high school students and these were then discovered.
If you know the show then you know that the main character was able to write down the name of anyone they wished to die and the manner of their death and it would happen. The study seems to miss the point that this was used by the main character to kill violent criminals, not just anyone.
Elevated Interest in Art
It is noted that many students who are interested in Anime take on a heavy interest in the art. They have a tendency to create their own characters with drawings and students even make their own Manga, which is the Anime comic book art that inspires so many movies and series.
Though this interest in art is mainly facilitated by the Anime style of art, teachers are still pleased because it at least opens students up to art as a whole. As a result, it is easier for such students to learn the finer points of all art concepts.
The Japanese Language and Culture
Students who are Anime fans also gain a greater interest in the Japanese language and culture than any other students do. This is refreshing since learning new cultures and languages is very good for the intellect and for political as well as social relations.
A number of IT students, as a result, study Japanese and go on to work in Japan. All of them can say that they took Anime as an original point of interest to head in this direction. Now, there are actually a number of Americans rising into the Anime field, producing some interesting work.