Top 5 Myths about Anime

Written by Garrett Alden Even the most powerful weebs can get things wrong. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Myths and today we’ll be examining some of the most common misconceptions about anime. For this list, we’ll be examining the myths that have cropped up about certain anime series, as well as the industry as a whole. Special thanks to our user Drew Boxall for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 5 Myths about Anime


Even the most powerful weebs can get things wrong. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Myths and today we’ll be examining some of the most common misconceptions about anime.

For this list, we’ll be examining the myths that have cropped up about certain anime series, as well as the industry as a whole.

#5: Being an animator is a dream job!

Creating animation may seem like the ideal career; after all, it helps entertain millions of people around the world and brings to life imaginary stories in expressive ways. However, anime is a huge business in Japan, which means that the demand for it places quite the burden on its animators. Deadlines are often tight, which can mean long hours. The pay is said to be staggeringly low, since there’s no shortage of people willing to take the place of anyone dissatisfied with their wages. Anime is art, but it comes at a heavier price than many realize.

#4: Hayao Miyazaki thinks anime is a mistake

This is a pretty ridiculous one. Anime legend Hayao Miyazaki, most famous for his work with Studio Ghibli, is believed by some to have said that “anime was a mistake” and that it’s “nothing but trash,” along with saying that otaku “sicken him.” This meme was completely made up, and is instead an exaggeration of an interview done by Miyazaki for the documentary “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness.” In the documentary, Miyazaki lamented that many people becoming involved in the anime industry have little real world experience to draw on, something he feels is necessary for creating good art and stories.

#3: Dragon Ball Z is the most popular anime of all time

Given its enormous popularity worldwide, it’s understandable to assume that the “Dragon Ball Z” is the most popular anime series of all time. However, while “Dragon Ball Z” is tremendously influential and popular, at the very least, it’s not the bestselling anime; though it is still up there. Although the actual number one will change depending on the criteria, most records point to “One Piece,” whose sales of the manga it’s based on make it the third bestselling comic in the world, after Superman and Batman, and are over double that of “Dragon Ball.”

#2: Astro Boy was the first anime

“Astro Boy” is no more the first anime than “Mobile Suit Gundam” was the first mecha anime. It can be tempting to call “Astro Boy” the first because of how influential it was on the medium, establishing staples like basing anime on a manga, and how popular it was, both in Japan and abroad, but if we define anime as Japanese animation, then the first true anime was “Katsudō Shashin.” This short, three-second animation features a boy in a red cap writing the title, which translates to “activity photo,” before bowing. The animation is thought to have been made around 1907, which would predate “Astro Boy” by over 50 years.

#1: People are way more accepting of anime in Japan

Gaijin otaku visiting Japan may hope to have their hobbies more accepted, but anime has as much of a stigma there as it does everywhere else, if not more so. Anime is a niche hobby no matter the country, and Japanese society is significantly more rigid when it comes to self-expression than the West. Most Japanese people have a degree of familiarity with some anime, but interest in a lot of it well into adulthood is still frowned upon and seen as odd, weird, or childish. The lesson here is to look for acceptance from other people, and not a country at large.
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