Anime Shows for Adult Mental Health | Femina.fr

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Around 2020. In the midst of the pandemic, I was self-isolated, with little or no physical contact with the outside world; work from home was in overdrive, and scrolling to find the next bingeable TV show was the only thing to do after cooking a meal and doing chores. naruto, an anime show I first encountered as a teenager, appeared on the list of recommended shows on my Netflix feed, and I couldn’t help but dig into it and click “player”. This led to the revival of a lost appetite for anime shows and a realization of how, on the one hand, it was kind of risky to have anime shows like this accessible to kids under 13 (a thought that had came to mind at that age even when I first watched naruto) and, second, how aware and thoughtful the script was of real-life struggles and social stigma. And that’s in addition to getting attached in adults humoraction and drama and evoking strong emotions as each of the series’ many characters, whether heroes or villains, progressed. narutoI soon came to realizehad all the elements of a good real-life TV show, except everything was animated and there were no limitations like filming locations or finding the perfect actors to play certain roles.

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Illustration: Snapstuffwithmanav

What is anime really?
Anime is an engaging form of entertainment that often tackles adult-related topics, and it certainly not refrain from painting a realistic image of the human behaviour through storylines that range from fact to fiction.

A style of Japanese film and television animation that generally appeals to adults and children alike, it cannot be confused with Disney animation. Japanese anime has five categories, including Kodomomuke is the only one specifically aimed at children. Shajo is aimed at young girls and Shōnen for young boys, but the Seinen and Josei categories are where it gets real and relevant for adults. Just as novels are adapted into feature films, Japanese anime series are also adaptations of manga – Japanese comics and graphic novels.

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How does anime work for mental health?

Anime, or manga culture, has a history of projecting mental illness as a means of adding depth to a character and vindicating their dark auras, which aligns with the deeper themes that this variety of content tends to explore. The depiction of mental illness is quite sensitive, and anime culture has never held back from highlighting these issues and, in some cases, even attempting to address them with counter-intuitive methods.

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“During my worst time, when my mental health wasn’t too good, I started watching a lot of gore anime like tokyo ghoul and Parasite and I got addicted shows Like Death threatsays Noor, a 24-year-old college student who got into anime. “I then thought of exploring science fiction themes in anime because it’s one of my favorite genres, and I also wanted to try lighter shows in the Josei or Shajo categories. This led me to Seinen shows like Psycho pass and Gate Steins, which was the highlight of my experience as it made me happy and made me rethink my way of perceiving anime. Plastic souvenirs was fluff and a beautiful cry also, and shows like Yuri!!! On the ice fixed everything that was wrong in my life. I found that the ShÅ jo, Seinen and Josei categories worked best for my mental health.

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Problems like mental illness can easily be trivialized by creative freedom, but anime, being a production of content written from manga novels, provides a lot of context to storylines. It offers complex characterizations protagonists and antagonists, which expands the scope of authentic portrayal, creating believable content that appeals to people of different age groups.

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Mental Health Awareness Through Anime

Mental illness isn’t always a central theme in anime and manga, but nonetheless, the way it’s portrayed in these movies, shows, and books is quite interesting. There are countless characters who show signs of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more. Some animated shows and movies focus on the stigma surrounding mental illness, others present the dark and bloody side of suffering with mental health issues; some even try to offer ways to fix it. Stemming from anime and manga culture, Anime for Humanity is a organization which aims to raise awareness of anime’s positive impact on society by serving as a source of inspiration and encouragement for those facing mental health issues. This non-profit charitable association organization in Japan hosts many initiatives to help people and challenge the stigma surrounding mental health using anime, cosplay, and video games. It not only contains a list of anime characters you can relate to if you’re dealing with certain mental health issues, but also offers in-house therapy resources for those who want to see someone professional.

Generally, anime’s engaging visual language paired with hard-hitting philanthropic concepts makes it the hub for exploring mature content in a youth-friendly and accessible way. And the body of mental health stories that we can grasp from this type of content is truly amazing.

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