For once I found an interesting question to write about. It’s something I’ve thought about before, and I’ve seen this sort of concept mentioned several times as well, anime or not.
Can anime change someone’s life?
First off, the question is open to interpretation. Taken at face value, the answer is clearly yes, in that watching anime takes up time one could spend doing other things, and so technically it’s caused a “change” in one’s life.
For example, I’ve watched anime on and off for the past 9 years or so, and I’ve been writing about anime on this blog for the past 4 years. So there’s no question that anime has changed my life in that it’s taken up thousands of hours of my life. It’s also indirectly lead to me becoming a better writer, living in Japan for a few years, and likely more to come (future trips to Japan definitely happening!)
But I think the spirit of this question is aimed at the idea of changing one’s life; the way they live, how they view the world, their personality, or something like that. Like watching that anime caused a change in the viewer and who they are.
When I read the phrase “this anime changed my life“, which is not that uncommon to read when someone’s writing about one of their beloved anime, it often sounds like the anime actually invoked a change in the way the person lives their life. (Although I feel like many people say this, but it’s not actually true in the literal sense.)
And in this context, I can’t really say much from experience. Personally, while I love anime, and have spent a lot of my life watching or writing about it, I can say for sure that anime has never caused me to change who I am or how I live. It’s certainly elicited emotions from me; like sadness, feeling pumped up and motivated, and more. But I feel like who I am, my values, and so on hasn’t been changed or shaped by any anime – in the same way that no video game or movie has changed me. Because to me, it’s entertainment.
So it’s hard for me to answer the question using my personal experience.
That said, if we were to play the numbers game here, I have to imagine that there is at least one person out there who really took the core messages of an anime to heart; for better or worse. There are so many anime out there that do such a good job of drawing out our emotions, or making us think, or developing characters that we become attached to, and much more.
It’d be hard to believe that no one has ever been affected by one or more of these things to the point that they themselves change in some way or another.
And so, my answer is that, if we define “change” to mean caused someone to change the way they live their live, who they are, their values, or something along those lines, I don’t believe that anime has changed my life.
But I certainly do believe that anime can change someone’s life.
What do you think?
And has your life been changed by anime?
It’s certainly an interesting topic, and I’d love to hear any stories on how an anime (or anime in general) had an impact on your life, if you have any.
Until next time,
Thanks for reading.