10 Ways Being An Anime Fan Is Worse When You’re An Adult


Hundreds of new anime are released each year. Anime has properly emerged from a niche curiosity into a mainstream universal interest. There’s so much to love about anime, but its diverse and experimental storytelling help celebrate fringe interests and make it feel as if there’s an anime series out there for everyone.


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Many lifelong anime fans enjoy the animated medium during their youth, but there are more individuals who stumble upon series during adulthood and are curious for more. There’s no wrong age to experience anime, but there are several stigmas and assumptions that hold back adult audiences from getting the most from the medium.

10/10 Great Anime Series Are Hidden In Silly Presentation Styles

There’s still a certain stigma that accompanies anime as some individuals purely view it as frivolous excess that’s indulgent and lacks substance. There’s tremendous diversity to be found within anime, but many series are admittedly guilty of extreme visuals and unusual traditions that can give off the wrong impression.

There are some incredibly deep, adult anime that kick off with tonally inappropriate opening theme songs or bubbly introductions that masquerade their depth. It’s easy to shut off these shows and turn to the next series instead of giving them the chance to show their true colors.

9/10 Some Anime Series Are Too Long

Some of the most celebrated shonen series go on for hundreds of episodes and become major pop culture touchstones. That being said, it’s not as easy for an adult to commit to a series they know is more than 500 episodes long.

One Piece is one of the most popular anime of its generation and it has more than 1000 episodes at this point. Ignorance is bliss for children and they may not even be aware of how many episodes there are in an anime, whereas these intimidating totals can be exactly what keep adults from checking out important series.

8/10 Animation Problems Are Easier To Notice As An Adult

Many ongoing anime series are held to rigid production deadlines that result in a dangerous degree of burnout. Anime studios do their absolute best to release episodes on time, which can occasionally lead to concessions in quality or obvious animation inconsistencies.

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Younger viewers may not notice these missteps, but they’re more pronounced for adult viewers who pay attention to the series’ aesthetics. Poor animation doesn’t mean bad storytelling, but it’s sometimes the deciding factor that keeps someone from checking out a series.

7/10 Choosing Dubbed Or Subtitled Versions Of Anime

There’s no inherently wrong way to watch an anime series, but there’s still a passionate divide that exists between the communities who prefer localized dubs rather than reading subtitles over the original Japanese versions. These opinions are present in children, but as a younger viewer, there’s a level of passivity over how content is experienced.

Adults have more control over which version of a series they decide to consume, but there’s also a greater degree of judgment that surrounds their choice. English dubs have plenty of value to them and they can help audiences explore series in new ways.

6/10 There Are More Anime That Cater Toward Younger Audiences

There is no shortage of adult anime series that are geared toward mature audiences. That being said, the amount of anime material that’s geared towards the younger demographic seriously outweighs the adult content. Shonen, shojo, and kodomomuke series, all of which cater to adolescent crowds, dominate the industry.

These kid-friendly series are unavoidable, whereas more mature series usually need to be sought out and require a little more work. These unequal numbers can give many people the wrong impression that anime is purely youthful entertainment.

5/10 Certain Character Tropes Invade Serious Anime Series

Like any form of storytelling, anime is full of prominent character tropes that become easy shorthand to identify individuals. These caricatures lean into diverse extremes, but what’s fascinating about them is that they don’t discriminate against the types of series they’re in.

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There are exaggerated tropes like yandere, tsundere, ojou, and loli. These characters can work within the right context, but their tendency to show up in serious dramas can understandably grate on some adult viewers who are trying to watch a different type of series.

4/10 It’s Difficult To Keep Track Of Spin-Offs, Extra Content, And Non-Linear Chronologies

Gigantic interconnected franchises are increasingly becoming the norm in pop culture. This is hardly specific to anime, but it’s a medium that’s particularly indulgent when it comes to supplemental OVAs, light novels, video games, and side stories.

It’s much easier for a child to innocently enjoy a series without the knowledge that it’s just a piece of a greater puzzle. Adults have a greater capacity to seek out every spin-off, consult manga fan translations, and negotiate a non-linear chronology. Knowledge is power, but in this case, it can be overwhelming or turn a series into homework.

3/10 There’s Gratuitous Body-Based Fan-Service In Anime

One of the greater generalizations that are launched at anime is that it’s an over-sexualized medium. Granted, many series do indulge in this capacity, which has become a double-edged sword for many audiences. Some anime exist purely as gratuitous fan service and don’t hide their intentions.

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At the same time, there are also exceptional anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion or Cowboy Bebop that do occasionally cater to this desire. However, these series don’t indulge in a way that ruins the series or turns it into material that should be avoided.

2/10 Copious Filler Content Becomes More Annoying For Adult Anime Fans

A necessary evil that exists for many long-running series is anime-exclusive filler material that allows the animated adaptation some leeway so that its corresponding manga can get further in its story. Filler can lead to great opportunities for anime and it’s not always a frustrating concession.

However, many series indulge too much in this area and reach a point where the story goes disastrously off-course or audiences lose their patience. Younger audiences may not even realize that they’re in the middle of a filler saga, but it’s easier for adults to feel like their time is being wasted.

1/10 There’s Not Enough Time To Watch Everything

The discovery of a new anime series can often encourage the viewer to seek out similar series and find themselves with even more favorite shows. The problem this causes for adult fans is that the myriad of responsibilities and the limited hours in the day mean that it’s simply impossible to indulge in every possible series.

There’s a freedom that comes along with youth where there’s no shame in spending an entire day binge-watching anime, but adults might feel uncomfortable with this prospect. It’s incredibly frustrating to want to check out a new series but know that there’s no time to commit to it.

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