Kids deserve quality entertainment too

She deserves a good anime too!

Image Credit: しゅーいち from Pixiv

Does being aimed at an older audience automatically mean an anime has a higher likelihood of being higher quality? What about shows for children? Does being aimed at a younger audience mean that the show is going to be filled with uninteresting drivel?

Just as there is a stigma of animation being an entertainment medium that’s solely made for children in the west, there’s a common notion that, if it’s made for children, it’s allowed to suck.

You look down on your childhood that much, don't ya?

Image Credit: みゃた from Pixiv

I’m personally tired of any inclination that a children’s show, by default, is a piece of filth that caters to the lowest common denominator, and that anything above that is an exception to the rule.

To anyone that has that mindset, I ask you: Have you ever watched Don Bluth’s children’s movies? Or Bruce Timm’s DC cartoons, aimed at the same audience as these shows that lack quality? Have you watched Cardcaptor Sakura, Astro Boy, or the Japanese version of the early Pocket Monsters anime installments, even? Just because they’re children doesn’t mean they have to be exposed to everything shallow in the world. That’s insulting to the children.

Mi and Ai hate the current Pokemon fanbase

Image Credit: のりさ from Pixiv.

An older audience doesn’t affect the quality of a show. If such children’s shows have proven they could be more than mindless marketing drivel, why can’t that be considered the standard in terms of criticism?

Example: the English Pocket Monsters fanbase, constantly hand-waves the modern anime’s mindless marketing drivel with the excuse that “it’s a kid’s show,” ignoring the fact that the original Japanese anime written by Takeshi Shudo actually tried to be more than just a marketing tool for the video games and presented something that everyone could enjoy. The first and third movies tackled iffy themes, such as the meaning and value of life and the death of a precious family member, and handled them a lot more maturely than a show with “bloods, guns, and breasts” could ever do. The era where the Mewtwo no Tanjou CD Drama/first movie was released and the modern era of the anime feel extremely segregated in terms of tone and writing, so why should fans feel that it’s unnecessary for the anime series to be more than a mindless marketing tool sitting on a floating timeline when it used to be the opposite back in the day? In fact, many of these fans appear to think that children are stupid and unintelligent creatures, and anything stupid that the writers do with the show is justified.

Using that logic, I could say this in reverse: “”It’s a show for adults. They don’t have to do anything but make gratuitous sex scenes.” My point is, using the target audience is never a good way to justify anything negative about an anime. An anime and anything in general.

Kids should be taken into a magical wonderland full of interesting characters and stories

Image Credit: 堀越 from Pixiv

A children’s show, anime or not, is capable of being real. A show that carefully plots itself and acknowledges a passage of time. A show with real emotion and storytelling value. People tend to forget that children are smarter than we think they are. They’re just as creative as we can be and are able to be engaged in a story as much as us. So why automatically group them with the lowest common denominator?

I’d like to believe that I’ll have children of my own someday. When that time comes, I want an animated series that we could watch together and talk about afterwards. I don’t want a show that talks down on the viewer and lacks any sort of character development or goal, but at the same time, I don’t want it to be pretentious and overly violent. Is that so much to ask?

Yumeka of Anime Yume makes an interesting point about many possible generational gaps between different anime series and their fans, but I personally believe a timeless story is something anyone can put aside age for, and is always a good way to bridge those gaps and find a shared interest between fans of old and fans of new. These “little kids” are the next generation of the medium’s connoisseurs, after all. Why should they be exposed to crap first and foremost?

4 thoughts on “Kids deserve quality entertainment too”

  1. You forgot to mention the Miyazaki movies, those are the pinnacle of high quality animation that meant for children (young girls most of the time) that also attracts adults as well. The same could be said of Star Wars since its original audience was young boys or Sonic AM that took a plotless video game and made into something very entertaining while including a subtle environmental message. In the video game realm we have Nintendo who are great at delivering quality entertainment to children. Also adults seem to forget that JRPG’s like The Tales Of series, Final Fantasy, and Disgaea are all aimed towards kids to preteens.

    So your right just because something is childish doesn’t mean that its garbage and Adult entertainment is vastly superior or vice versa.

  2. @TsukuyomiMagi99: -I included Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli fanart, but yeah, I should have made a notable mention to those films.

    -Yeah, good point with Disgaea, Tales of, and Final Fantasy. They are rated ESRB T over in the west, but in Japan they’re, iirc, rated CERO A. The content wasn’t meant to be exclusively for older audiences.

    Well, Japan’s CERO rating standards have changed since the release of Tales of the Abyss, hence why newer Tales games are often rated B or C (same with Final Fantasy, I think).

    The “darker” and societal themes that are prominently featured in the Tales series aren’t a foreign concept to western animation, anyway. It’s just a really common thing for western culture to shelter our children from these concepts in media, or at least portray them as something totally not meant for the eyes of the youth, which in my honest opinion is total BS since it’s more enriching than damaging. Horror games and their rather… erm, sublime imagery are a different matter though. Nightmare fuel and quantity of blood in Zelda-esque doses aren’t too bad, really.

    Obviously different cultures have different standards on what is age-acceptable. But western views often come off as a bit prudish to me.

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