Anime Maru’s Guide to Discussing Anime


Over the course of your anime career, you are bound to encounter people who share your hobby. Talking about anime with other people can be very intimidating; how are you going to tell so many people they have wrong opinions? Fortunately for you, we here at Anime Maru have compiled the definitive guide to talking about anime that is used by countless bloggers, forum posters, and Twitter users.

First of all, we need to be able to intelligently describe anime. Not all anime fit perfectly into the mold of action, drama, and hentai. When it is unclear what genre a show belongs in, it is slice of life. Since no one actually knows what “slice of life” means, feel free to use the term to describe any show. Romance anime involve characters falling for each other. “Harem anime” is the term for really bad romance anime. “Eroge adaptation” is the term for really bad harem anime. Of course, these are all slice of life anime as well. If a show has giant robots, then it’s a ripoff of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. If a show has cute girls and death, then it’s inspired by Madoka Magica. I know this is a lot of information coming at you at the same time, but try to keep up.

Sometimes shows are kind of boring. I, too, occasionally prefer to watch bright colors and flashing lights instead of sitting still and comprehending dialogue. Unfortunately, many anime dare to have an exposition. Calling a show “boring” makes you sound impatient; don’t make this mistake. Instead claim a show has problems with “pacing.” What’s great about this is that you don’t even need to qualify it. Is there too much talking and not enough fanservice? Is there too much fanservice and not enough talking? Can’t quite put a finger on why you don’t like a show? Bad pacing.

A word of warning: be careful when criticizing the pacing of shows with lots of dialogue, especially if the dialogue is “deep.” You don’t want to give people the impression that you are not smart enough to understand complex dialogue. When confronted such shows, simply say the anime is “like Bakemonogatari.” That will do the trick.


“Hey guys what anime is this from???”

Next, it is important to understand how to critique a show for its production quality. Have you seen a few episodes of Shirobako? If so, congratulations – you are already an expert in the field of animation production. If not, let me educate you quickly.

Because animators love drawing, and because animation studios are typically overstaffed with aspiring artists, you should expect each individual frame of all late night anime to look like an entry into the Pixiv 1000. Should the show fall short of these standards, you can say things like, “the episode’s in-between-animation was out of sync,” or “I suspect the key frames were rushed.” Nothing can escape your astute eye for animation. The critical point is to throw in a random word associated with the animation process (just pick a category from the end credits). Don’t forget to claim that the work was outsourced to any Asian country other than Japan. You can further impress people by being able to tell which country it was just by watching the finished product. Finally, you can complain about the CGI. As a rule of thumb, if there is CGI it is “bad CGI.”

Occasionally, shows will come along that actually have good, praiseworthy animation. In this case, you can sound intelligent by comparing the animation style to Miyazaki. This will show your audience that you are both cultured and knowledgeable about Japanimation. When naming specific Miyazaki films, be sure to steer clear of Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke and instead bring up his more obscure works like Monmon the Water Spider and Ponyo. If you want to appeal to more contemporary audiences, I advise you to compare to Makoto Shinkai instead.

Finally, remember that all anime are bad. People who like anime obviously have not seen enough anime.

You are now ready to start your own anime blog or sign up for the ANN forums. Ganbatte.

discussing anime for dummies

About the author

Editor-in-Chief, CEO, and Fearless Leader of Anime Maru. Expert in Japanese media and pop culture because I run Japanese tabloids blogs through Google Translate. Twitter: @kevo31415