Truth be told, I don’t watch anime. I love the art form and I enjoy the soundtracks to many well-known animes, but I don’t actually watch much of it. RWBY and Avatar are really the only anime-style cartoons I’ve been able to enjoy.
It’s a cultural thing, really. Japanese culture advocates for exposure to mature content from a young age. They aren’t hesitant to include sensuality and graphic violence in their most kid-friendly cartoons. I think that’s why I prefer Western, anime-inspired shows (although even my favorite, RWBY, is getting pretty mature). I get to admire the artistic style of people with wacky-colored hair and bug-eyes without the culture-influenced elements I am incapable of appreciating as a prudish person.
Whenever people recommend animes to me, I usually check them out on IMDB first, but with little success. In my experience, IMDB is fairly lax when it comes to animes and British productions. Again, it’s probably a cultural thing, that maybe Japanese and British people are both okay with mature content that Americans (and prudish Americans especially) would not be as cool with.
Additionally, whenever I research animes that are kid-friendly (meaning with little to no explicit content), I usually find kiddie animes. I’m a big kid now – I’d like a nice, big-kid-friendly storyline without too much violence or suggestive content. The good news is, my research has finally paid off.
If you’re a prudish young person who’s new to the anime community like me, or you’re a parent who isn’t sure what to make of these weird cartoons your kids are talking about, I’ve found a resource that just might come in handy: A Parents Guide to Anime from The Anime Cafe.
They preface their guide with the following message:
Please note that we do not advocate censorship. … Ultimately, it is the parent’s responsibility to determine what is, and more importantly — what is not appropriate for their children.
This is exactly what I’ve been trying to say for years! I have personal preferences and issues with the world around me, but I’m not one to impose my views on others. If parents want to keep things from their kids, it’s their right – and if parents want to expose their kids to mature content early on, it’s not what I’d do, but that’s their right too. It’s nice to see a website that understands where I and many others are coming from, a site that understands the true meaning of free choice and parental discretion.
The site has a very nice, diverse list of animes at various audience maturity levels. For me, I’m using the list and reviews to find animes that I could potentially watch. Parents might find it useful to check titles their kids are asking about, and decide accordingly whether to bring them into their homes.
The one shortcoming I’ve noticed is that many of the modern titles my peers are recommending aren’t there. It seems like this is a list of slightly older titles, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad place to start.