Forum - View topic
Answerman - Why Don't Anime Characters Go To Therapy?


Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
wastrel



Joined: 26 Oct 2012
Posts: 292
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:13 am Reply with quote
That was an interesting question, and an interesting reply.

But there's also that seeing an anime character going to therapy wouldn't necessarily make for a very good story. How many "lie on the couch and tell me about your mother" episodes could there be? I'd rather watch Endless Eight again.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SaiyamanMS



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 268
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:15 am Reply with quote
To be honest, there's probably a lot of people in the west who could probably benefit from therapy and simply aren't getting it either. I know for years my mother was against the idea of me needing therapy, although it turns out she's probably a big part of the reason I actually do need it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FilthyCasual



Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 1144
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:19 am Reply with quote
More importantly therapy is a lot harder to make interesting than going on an emotionally compromised vengeance rampage, sleeping with your girlfriend's sister, killing yourself, or many, many other irrational decisions that emotionally damaged people do in anime.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
meruru



Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 259
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:21 am Reply with quote
Funny this question should be asked, because the one exception to "anime characters never go to therapy" I've ever seen is Okabe Rintaro in Steins;Gate Zero which just started airing. Poor guy, after all the events in Steins;Gate, he ends up with PTSD and possibly depression, but will most likely be always incorrectly diagnosed because in the beta timeline, none of the traumatic events that gave him PTSD have actually occurred. To all outside observers, it looks like he spontaneously became depressed.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ultimatehaki



Joined: 27 Oct 2012
Posts: 872
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:25 am Reply with quote
Not gonna lie, I laughed pretty hard just by reading the thumbnail question. Not because mental illness is funny but because I thought "how much shorter would nearly half of anime and manga be if the characters actually did that."

Insightful answer tho.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Key
Moderator


Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 15445
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:42 am Reply with quote
Quote:
This has led to an odd subculture of suicidal individuals online, who discuss their plans on forums and sometimes enter into pacts with each other.

For anime examples of this, see episode 8 of Paranoia Agent and a midseries story arc from Welcome to the NHK, among possibly others.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 2995
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:44 am Reply with quote
Maybe they don't need it, to quote Jack Nicholson
Quote:
You're no crazier than the average asshole out walking around on the streets and that's it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
myskaros



Joined: 13 Jun 2011
Posts: 509
Location: Vancouver, WA
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:48 am Reply with quote
wastrel wrote:
That was an interesting question, and an interesting reply.

I agree! This was a great read!

wastrel wrote:
But there's also that seeing an anime character going to therapy wouldn't necessarily make for a very good story.

I think the way it's done in Western media works well enough, though at this point I think Americans all have an internalized idea of how "psychotherapy" (lie on a couch, talk about your issues) or "couples/marriage therapy" (complain about each other openly) goes so that media can cut straight to the juicy bits.

It really just depends on how it's portrayed, as well. Take this season's Persona 5: The Animation; the interrogation scenes could just as well be therapy scenes and wouldn't lose much, if anything. Or any high school scene where troublemaking students are being lectured by a random teacher, that teacher could be a counselor trying to root out issues instead. 3gatsu no Lion comes to mind with the teacher and the bullying student.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Chrono1000



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 943
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:50 am Reply with quote
Well this is based on the idea that western psychiatry is the answer to personal issues. The increasing emphasis on long term treatment over cures does look a tad suspicious from a profit standpoint. You don't have to be a Scientologist to question the subject of western psychiatry and how it is often held up as the gold standard for the entire world.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
katscradle



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 460
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:51 am Reply with quote
It’s an older documentary on depression in Japan but, I recommend is Does Your Soul Have a Cold? I think people can probably find it available to watch or purchase.

Anime Feminist earlier this year had an interview with a former volunteer at Aokigahara.

One anime I do remember showing counseling was Loveless. Ritsuka and other characters in that sure need it.
I also recall Comical Psychosomatic Medicine.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
AJ (LordNikon)



Joined: 14 Apr 2009
Posts: 296
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:04 pm Reply with quote
I think Justin's stat of one out of every three seek help is VERY high. From the limited amount of time I have spent even in the US, I think that figure would still be high. Everything else as half American and half Japanese moving between the two countries tells me mental health is something that the west also ignores, though to a lesser extent than Japan (which is hard for me to say, considering the mental health issues surround mass-violence that occurs in the US).

I remember my father who would now be in his 90's if still alive was American, would tell me, that Japanese people would tell him all sorts of things that they would never tell another Japanese person out of fear or shame. Even the simple ability to vent I have noticed was easier for my kids while they would be in the US than when they would be in Japan.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
RestLessone



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 1417
Location: New York
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:05 pm Reply with quote
myskaros wrote:

I think the way it's done in Western media works well enough, though at this point I think Americans all have an internalized idea of how "psychotherapy" (lie on a couch, talk about your issues) or "couples/marriage therapy" (complain about each other openly) goes so that media can cut straight to the juicy bits.

I feel like a lot of people who talk about what happens during therapy have never been in it, and just base it on these media portrayals/stereotypes. I've seen several therapists, though none as long as my current one. There's no lying on a couch while being fed direct questions. It's very collaborative and often can be emotionally tiring. A couple sessions doesn't make the problems outside therapy go away.

katscradle wrote:

One anime I do remember showing counseling was Loveless. Ritsuka and other characters in that sure need it.


Loveless is such an odd case. It features therapy, as most series won't, but also makes the therapist lust after her 12 year old patient. It was more a passing line in the manga iirc but the anime really upped it.


Last edited by RestLessone on Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ARC-1300



Joined: 06 Feb 2012
Posts: 283
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:05 pm Reply with quote
SaiyamanMS wrote:
To be honest, there's probably a lot of people in the west who could probably benefit from therapy and simply aren't getting it either. I know for years my mother was against the idea of me needing therapy, although it turns out she's probably a big part of the reason I actually do need it.


That’s kinda what puzzled me about the question as well. Americans don’t have this shit figured out either,in fact,it couldn’t even be further from the truth. Most times it’s ridiculed just as worse over here. Nor is it a subject that is even discussed seriously between anyone.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
青白
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 30 May 2012
Posts: 128
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:28 pm Reply with quote
ARC-1300 wrote:
SaiyamanMS wrote:
To be honest, there's probably a lot of people in the west who could probably benefit from therapy and simply aren't getting it either. I know for years my mother was against the idea of me needing therapy, although it turns out she's probably a big part of the reason I actually do need it.


That’s kinda what puzzled me about the question as well. Americans don’t have this shit figured out either,in fact,it couldn’t even be further from the truth. Most times it’s ridiculed just as worse over here. Nor is it a subject that is even discussed seriously between anyone.


I think the difference is not that neither countries have completely figured out psychological disorders, it’s that North America is promoting more awareness of the issue than Asian countries, especially Japan. And that is not surprising because it will take more effort for Japanese to try to get out of that mindset of self-reliance that is so ingrained in their culture.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mojave



Joined: 07 May 2017
Posts: 178
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:30 pm Reply with quote
ARC-1300 wrote:

That’s kinda what puzzled me about the question as well. Americans don’t have this shit figured out either,in fact,it couldn’t even be further from the truth. Most times it’s ridiculed just as worse over here. Nor is it a subject that is even discussed seriously between anyone.


I think you misunderstood the question. It wasn't bragging that Americans have this all figured out. It was asking why characters seeking help for mental health issues is almost never depicted in anime. For all of America's shortcomings concerning mental health, a willingness to portray characters seeking help for mental health issues is not one of them. There are countless scenes in American films, television series, etc. that feature characters seeing a therapist/psychiatrist/ etc. So to me, at least, it seemed pretty obvious what the person who asked the question was getting at. This is something frequently depicted in American media, and almost never in anime, so it's a fair question.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 1 of 4

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group