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Getting someone into anime.




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Darksorrow29



Joined: 05 Feb 2007
Posts: 371
Location: United States

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:42 pm Reply with quote
I am a bit bored here so I thought I would share some experiences and ask a question. This will probably be relatively long @@. I have tried to bold/italics some key parts so skip around if you like. I will talk about how I got some friends into anime, my experiences, and talk about what has worked and what has not. I also would love to hear about your experiences if any doing the same.

Intro
As a long time anime fan you kind of get used to the fact that your hobby or interest is relatively niche. Unfortunately most people I know do not watch anime and they are certainly not watching the new shows that are coming out in Japan. This is a shame because there's nothing more fun than being able to talk to someone else about something you love or really enjoy. I think its human nature to want to have someone to talk to about anime/whatever interests you have or even to watch shows together with (blasphemy of the otaku life style I know).

The Question - Have you ever tried to get someone else into anime/manga? How did you go about it? Was it a failure/success?

Rules of the game - You can't just take any average joe and get them into anime. They have to AT LEAST be open minded or have SOME interest. Do not force it!

The Journey

The First Excursion - It's year 2000. At this point of time I am relatively new in my anime fandom. I just started to emerge from my shonen trapped cocoon and I learned about shows like Love Hina, Honey and Clover, Chobits etc (non action shows). I realized how many different types of anime there are. This lead to my first attempt at getting someone into anime.

1st Strategy - Randomly show someone something you like
Probably the first approach I ever had in trying to get someone into anime. The key problem here is the 'Random'. I was and still am a huge fan of Kenshin. First DVDs I ever purchased Smile. I showed them to everyone. Some people loved it and got into it right away. Others didn't. This is when I first realized the importance of the "hook" or "catch" of an anime early in the series. You have to remember that Kenshin starts in the Tokyo arc. I loved it but it’s obviously less intense than the Kyoto arc. I eventually learned that if I wanted a more universal approach for getting someone into a show I needed the show something that would hook them quickly.


2st Strategy - Telling people what I am watching.
It sounds so simple doesn't it? Someone asks you what you're watching and they say they will just try something out of that. In my experience this doesn't always work out. Lets take an example and look at what I have been watching/rewatching recently: Psycho Pass, From the New World, Minami-ke, Senran Kagura, The Twelve Kingdoms, Ranma 1/2, Fairy Tail, Hajime no Ippo New Challenger, Vividred Operations, Maoyuusha, NANA. You get the idea, whole mix of things. Some shows I would never even dare to recommend due to scarring them for life of what anime is. So back in the day I'd just tell someone these are the shows I'm watching go check one of them out. I may not even have finished the show and may only have been a few episodes in and thought it was good. In my opinion this is generally not how you want to treat a new anime fan. Show them something tested and approved! You do not get many chances to hook people so find them something awesome.

Finding Success
3rd Strategy - Knowing your friend.
Ok so eventually I learned the trick or strategy that works for me in getting people into anime. Others may even call this common sense. I bring it up because I have seen many people fail to do this properly.

Know what your friend likes. Ask them. They say they are interested in anime? My first question would be "oh, why is that or what interests you about anime?" followed by "What kind of genres would you be interested in. Do you just want to see action? Do you want comedy/romance? Something dark? Something silly and mindless? Do they care for older animation or do they want to see something modern? All of these basic questions help narrow down what show to recommend someone. If someone wants tons of mech action you definitely should not recommend NANA.

4th Strategy – Show them something different. Break down their perceptions. A lot of people I know that are strangers to anime have little concept of what it is. Some just think its cartoons. Some just think it’s like “oh you mean like Naruto and Dragonball Z?” I always try to make a point that there are so many different types of anime out there. You have slice of life, action, dramas, comedies, moe shows, harem, reverse harem, shoujo, seinen, etc. After gauging one of my friend’s interests I recommended PMMM. He had never seen anything like it and it completely blew his mind.

Picking the right show - Ok this part is important. This might be your only chance to get them into anime! Here's my opinion. At this point you should already know what genre of a show you should pick out. You should know how it ends, if it has obscene scenes that need forewarning, how long it is. Try to remember you're not trying to pick a show for yourself. You're picking a show for someone else to enjoy. I generally try to pick a show that's really easy to get into or has an early hook.

Recommend something out of their comfort zone. After your friend has been finding quite a bit of anime to enjoy for themselves you can start recommending some shows that are a little out of their wheelhouse. Maybe they watch shonen battle anime all the time? Maybe you can try recommending them a shonen/slice of life coming of age story. Expand their horizons.

Ok so you have a friend that likes anime or has enjoyed what you showed him/her. What’s next? Make them self sufficient. Show them how to find anime they can get into themselves. Link them to ANN or the forums and show them how find out what shows are coming out each season and where they can legally stream or buy them.

As of right now I have turned a few friends into anime fans. Fortunately for me I had some people with some general interest so I just gave them a helping hand. After some trial and error I seem to be doing a relatively good job.

Have you ever tried to get someone else into anime/manga? How did you go about it? Was it a failure/success?
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EricJ



Joined: 03 Sep 2009
Posts: 876

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:18 pm Reply with quote
Darksorrow29 wrote:

Finding Success
3rd Strategy - Knowing your friend.
Ok so eventually I learned the trick or strategy that works for me in getting people into anime. Others may even call this common sense. I bring it up because I have seen many people fail to do this properly.

Know what your friend likes. Ask them. They say they are interested in anime? My first question would be "oh, why is that or what interests you about anime?" followed by "What kind of genres would you be interested in. Do you just want to see action? Do you want comedy/romance? Something dark? Something silly and mindless? Do they care for older animation or do they want to see something modern? All of these basic questions help narrow down what show to recommend someone. If someone wants tons of mech action you definitely should not recommend NANA.

4th Strategy – Show them something different. Break down their perceptions. A lot of people I know that are strangers to anime have little concept of what it is. Some just think its cartoons. Some just think it’s like “oh you mean like Naruto and Dragonball Z?” I always try to make a point that there are so many different types of anime out there. You have slice of life, action, dramas, comedies, moe shows, harem, reverse harem, shoujo, seinen, etc. After gauging one of my friend’s interests I recommended PMMM. He had never seen anything like it and it completely blew his mind.


You can do 3 OR 4, but 4 rarely, if ever, works if your friend is past the age of 18, and no longer wants "extreme" sensations to "blow him away". That's probably not what you were referring to, but there are a hundred overenthusiastic fans who dream of "Instant" converts, about to post "Yeah, show him Evangelion, he's never seen anything like THAT before!" Nnno.
(That would be more like a med student in college trying to talk a friend out of a law major by saying "Med's more than you ever realized--Here, watch this open-heart surgery footage, you wouldn't get that in 1-L!" Shocked )

The main principle of strategy 3 is that you are a friend and you do know him--You're not using him as a lab rat to spread your own disease/cause.
If they have a favorite series, and they've actually expressed curiosity of their own free will, there's probably an extension to show that anime is simply one more variation on it--If they like Disney, there's probably a Ghibli to match it. If they remembered Robotech, there's probably a modern space opera with cooler tech. If they like sitcoms, there's very little of Ranma 1/2 that doesn't translate, and so on.
This may be a hard concept for us here to grasp, but most regular people...don't...LIKE....Different Things, until they get used to them.
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Rhyono



Joined: 03 Dec 2011
Posts: 1039

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:45 pm Reply with quote
I have plenty of friends that love DBZ and other well knowns, but won't give any other anime a chance.

I'm at the point where all of my friends either watch anime or have no intentions of doing so. Attempts at getting them to watch anything is futile.

Now, if I'm there in person, I can sometimes whip out a portable hard drive or my laptop and force movies upon them. However, self sufficiency or taking my recommendations will not occur with most of them.

Several of these non-anime-but-DBZ-watchers enjoy American cartoons that are the most similar to anime.
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scarletmoonwish



Joined: 30 Mar 2013
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:26 pm Reply with quote
I depending on the age, if older about the same age as me I start them off on an anime that is easy to understand and comprehend, but at the same time very similar to shows that will show on basic television, One I show to many first timers is Death Note, it not too long and pretty decent in my book.
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Ambimunch



Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 1077

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:48 pm Reply with quote
scarletmoonwish wrote:
I depending on the age, if older about the same age as me I start them off on an anime that is easy to understand and comprehend, but at the same time very similar to shows that will show on basic television, One I show to many first timers is Death Note, it not too long and pretty decent in my book.


I agree with you on that one. Also if the person is a guy, show him HOTD---its my cheap trick, got like 5 people into anime through that show
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