So you want to get a newbie into the anime the scene? Maybe you just want to show someone a show so they will stop making fun of anime? Here are some tips to keep in mind when trying to introduce someone to anime.
8 Dos and Don’ts of Introducing New People to Anime
1. Start with a gateway series
Gateways tend to be very easy for non-anime watchers to get into. They have easy to follow stories, limited ecchi, and watchable English dubs if needed. Some popular examples are Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Death Note, and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
2. Pick a shorter series
You may love long runners, but it’s a gamble to introduce someone that way. Pick a show in the 12-24 episode range. If you do have to start with something like One Piece, consider skipping to the best arc or start post-time skip.
3. Think about a dub
I know, the dub or sub thing is always a matter of debate among fans. However, the easiest way to introduce some to anime is with a dub. In the case of English, most modern dubs are watchable. If your friend is cool with subtitles, then, by all means, pick that option.
4. Find a genre they like (even if it breaks the “don’t” rules)
Ideally, you should know the genres your new found prey likes. That is the easiest way to open them up to anime since it shows them the broadness of the medium. Also, suck it up if they like a genre you don’t enjoy. Remember, the goal is to get them to at least to appreciate anime. If you don’t know what they like, then consider…
5. Anything with a focused story
Great stories and characters are subjective, but some series are more focused than others. Monster and Death Note are good examples. Characters have clear motivations, not too many subplots to confuse someone with, and the characters tend to be somewhat memorable.
6. Action is a good starter genre
Not only are they easy to follow, but they tend to avoid cultural references that can trip people up, usually have a watchable dub (if needed), and have some really cool animation that can impress newbies.
7. Sports are also good
Sports are fairly popular overall and are easy to follow since most people know the rules. Japan loves baseball, so there are plenty of those to pick from, but there are shows ranging from basketball to tennis.
8. Definitely marathon with them
Make it an anime night. You never know, the anime rookie may become the master in just one marathon session.
8 Things to avoid to make your friends watch anime
1. Moe, if it’s the sole premise of the series
Everyone enjoys the occasional cute moment, but not everyone is into the “cute girls doing cute things” trend. One of the quickest ways to get your friend to dismiss anime is to pop in Kiniro Mosaic or Is the Order a Rabbit? as their first anime.
2. Limit the amount of fanservice
Anime gets a bad rap because of fanservice. For those that don’t know, these are shows with large amounts of panty shots, cleavage, suggestive poses, and sometimes nudity. It’s not for everyone, so keep that in mind when introducing a series to someone new to anime.
3. Avoid reference heavy shows
You may love Gintama, but most of the references will go over a newcomer’s head and they won’t understand the humor. Ease them into these types of shows once they have watched more anime, because everyone should experience Gintama.
4. Slice of life is a gamble
I’d suggest showing a slice of life series to fans of TV sitcoms, since they share the same general format. However, many slice of life crossover with moe and ecchi, so take that into consideration, but there are some great ones out there.
5. Don’t force a series on them
It may seem blasphemous, but if your friend is clearly not enjoying Evangelion, consider picking a different show. Anime should not feel like a chore.
6. Know when to hide your power level
Don’t go over 9,000 and ask them if they found a waifu or husbando. In fact, this might be something never to ask someone.
7. Don’t spoil anything
Remember, try to keep the series as fresh for them as possible, and try to avoid answering any key plot related questions.
8. Don’t get upset if they still don’t like anime
At the end of the day, some people are just not that into anime. The important thing is that they gave it a chance.
What are some of your tips for introducing people to anime?