Watching Anime with Non-Anime Friends

This past weekend I was spending some time with some good friends, sitting in the living room trying to decide what to do. It was Saturday afternoon, we had just gotten done with some errands, and now we were in that weird dull-space of time between running around in the morning and partying at night. It was a nice day, about 65F outside (18C for my metric people), and normally I would be playing soccer or napping after having played soccer. Our options were few. Netflix came on pretty quickly.

I took this as a golden opportunity to bring my friends into my world. Now they are not anime fans, but they are solidly open minded, which made things easier. Thankfully Netflix has a decent list of series, so it wasn't hard to find something I was sure they'd like. We tried Fate Stay Night UBW first (totally skipping Fate Zero 'cause I like to live dangerously). They liked it enough as you'd expect. The visuals were rich, the action was incredible, but they weren't quite captivated by the characters or the story. I figured I should find something that would hold their attention a bit better. Enter Attack on Titan. It was a winner from the first minute, though it helps that the first minute had a skinless muscle giant. There were a few "Oh no why did he eat her?!" and "Are they using jet-packs or what?" but they hung in there and really got into it. We ended up watching almost a dozen episodes, and my mission was a success!

My experience is one that a lot of us have probably been through. More often than not our love for anime is met with laughs or jokes or whatever. What I have found though is that at the end of it anime is just another way to tell a story, just like a live action or 3D movie, or a song, or a novel. If the story is good, you are guaranteed to have an audience. Next, be patient. Some of the questions my friends asked had me a little confounded. I couldn't help thinking can you really not imagine that MAYBE the show's creators did not want to give everything away in the first episode?!! Give it a minute!! But I bit my tongue (for the most part). Ultimately I was just thrilled that we were watching anime together in the first place. It was a moment, and I wasn't going to mess with it. Lastly, give your non-anime friends some credit. Don't be afraid to show them what you're about. I think in a way my friends appreciated that I did. With any luck I have won over two more to our side! I encourage everyone to try it whenever the opportunity presents itself.

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