How many times have you felt your eyes dim at the mere sound of someone saying;
Anime is a waste of time. ?
And how many times have you defended your ironclad love for anime against those who see it as immature and nonsense?
If there was one time when you felt that the world is conspiring against you in terms of your interest in anime, then good news.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Better news is, I experienced same scenarios first-hand so I know how it feels (…to be secretly gritting your teeth when one shoves away your point even before you get to tell him..)
And the best news is, you’re here ready to discover proven-effective techniques to sharpen your brain while watching anime.
Anime can be a waste of time if you let it be. But mindful watching can be the means to sharpen your brain (while having fun!)
#1. LISTEN & SPEAK random Japanese
Never underestimate what attentive watching and listening can do to your vocabulary. More often than not, anime fans learned their first ever Japanese word by merely watching anime.
My Best Practice: Note-taking every time I hear a particular word, phrase or sentence that can be useful in daily conversation. I pause and repeat how it’s said, list it down on my Random Anime Vocabulary Collection Notebook for later references, and repeat what the phrase meant in English.
Develop your own technique and beef up your memory with useful Japanese vocabulary.
#2. Work Out DETAILS and CHRONOLOGY (The ‘do-it-the-Sherlock-way’ method)
Don’t just let Conan Edogawa or L. Lawliet grab all the fun! Get into the story, involve yourself in solving mysteries, stitch broken thoughts and events and ace those anime detectives in solving crimes and mysteries!
Think again. Working on details and chronology can prove to be tough when you’re not keen enough on the characters’ motivations and needs.
If you’re guilty of being a passive viewer – letting the whole story unfold before you without asking ‘why’s’ and ‘what ifs’ along the way, then now’s the time to make more quality moments with your favorite anime.
Practicing this mindset can help you improve focus and observation (and in my case, note-taking skills).
My Best Practice: Note taking on my favorite sketchpad using multi-colored pens plus the mighty playback feature. (It helped me track down my Top 10 Badass Anime Characters)
A good start can be the anime Another (Anime written by: Ryo Higaki) or Mirai Nikki (Anime written by: Katsuhiko Takayama).
Be bold, be opinionated. Be critical. Do it like Sherlock!
#3. LIST DOWN striking anime lines
If you feel down (because who doesn’t at some point) and want some dosage of inspirational quotes to lighten up the mood, then this is an all-time favorite.
Wouldn’t you love to have Roronoa Zoro’s ‘be-the-best’ mantra or Kunimitsu Tezuka’s ‘don’t-let-your-guard-down’ reminder every time you feel like giving up?
Write down anime quotes you love and repeat them in you mind. Remember, WRITE them down. – no typing.
Lifehacker once wrote about Why You Learn More By Writing than Typing making mention of how the act of writing stimulates the cells called Reticular Activating System (RAS), which is responsible for filtering the things that your brain needs to process.
The physical act of writing brings what you’re writing about at the forefront of the process, thus, clarifying thoughts and remembering things better.
I love doing this. In fact, I shared some of my memorable anime quotes of all times on my previous post! They can prove useful in some of your daily conversation!
Share us your personal picks!
#4. Play the SPOT THE DIFFERENCE game like a pro
A lot of anime originated from manga (Japanese comics). Bleach, One Piece, and Naruto for instance are among the long-running manga series ’til at present whose manga and anime fandom are continually growing even as of this writing.
But not all anime we see strictly adhere to their original manga version to favor certain considerations such as that of censorship for children viewers.
- NARUTO: In the manga, when a young Gaara attempted to cut himself in a flashback, he aimed for his wrist, at the vein. In the anime, he aimed at the back of his hand instead. [Read More Differences]
- KUROSHITSUJI: Alois Trancy, Claude, and all of the season 2 characters don’t exist in the manga at all [Read More Differences]
- PRINCE OF TENNIS: Surprise! Ryoma’s jaw-dropping Cyclone Smash in the anime doesn’t exist in the manga. [Read More]
And you anime fan. Yes, YOU…are tasked to carry on a mission that will reveal even the slightest tweak the writers did on the manga, anime and live action versions – and ultimately make a striking, accurate review on your own.
Mind you – this isn’t easy. It requires time. A lot of it spent on reading, watching and engaging online with co-fans.
Unless you’re somebody who reads and watches the anime and manga versions of the show , this will prove to be one hell of a challenge.
For avid anime critics, this is a good method to start.
My Best Practice: Small group discussions with friends who follow the anime and manga versions of an anime. We discuss the effectiveness of the changes and critic on the overall impact of the change to the story. (Heck..we even talk about how it impacts the installment’s sales! )
#5 Have the VILLAIN MINDSET (and debate with the anime’s protagonist – mentally)
And then you can always side with the villain (or maybe not).
…and question the protagonist’s statements, decisions and actions. Ask why he or she does that instead of this; why he said it this way rather than that way.
(Note: Taking notes on important lines can help.)
Probe. Be inquisitive. Contradict the protagonist for the sake of seeing the bigger picture of the story.
Find out what his next move might be and think of a countermeasure. Then check if the antagonist (s) is thinking the same way as you (which is a boost to your antagonistic mentality if ever), or if he’s doing what you would have done in his place.
This is a mental activity. You listen, analyze and strategize. You can be the third player of the story.
I would have to say though that this technique is not for everyone. Unless you are extremely capable (and willing) of ‘hard-focusing’ and really want to do a dialogue with the characters, then you may find this technique ‘not working’ at all.
But c’mon….who am I to stop you? Go ahead. Give it a shot!
My Best Practice: For a start, focus on one character rather than a group (i.e. Naruto instead of team Kakashi) and deal with him. It’s better if yo have your eyes at someone particular. It’s not a piece of cake but it’s easier that way.
These 5 techniques are effective – but only if you take time to learn and practice them along the way.
It’s basically like going to a ninja academy. You learn the basic fighting techniques; formidable defense plus killer attacks.
But none of these will ever prove its worth unless you work on passing the ninja exams and eventually dealing with real battles during field missions.
It’s all a process. You cannot reap what you didn’t sow.
Now… ready to take your anime watching experience a knot higher? Have fun working on these 5 techniques!
Got any best practice while watching anime? Share them with us on the comments!