The Challenge of Raising Otakus

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So my son (11) who won the cosplay contest earlier this month at Anime Milwaukee got a bag of some promotional materials and such for winning. He got several show postcards including the “Dog & Scissors” postcard pictured above.

He said: “Dad, I think I want to watch this show.”

“Of course you do…but no.”

“Why not?”

“Not appropriate for you.”

“Awww.”

And so it goes. So many times as a parent you have to explain to the child (who often knows why fully well) why he can’t watch a show.

Many anime are geared to older kids and adults. Sifting through it all to find what he can watch is a challenge at times. However, I am a fan and so is his brother. This both helps and hinders the issue.

He will often want to watch what I, or his brother, has watched even though he knows he can’t.

Attack On Titan for example:

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Just a bit to much violence and bloodshed for his age. But he knows about the show, knows what happens, still not allowed to watch it.

There are the shows I let him start without realizing where it was going and had to stop him from watching after a few episodes.

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And then the shows I let him watch even though there were scenes that were going to get me in trouble.

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(I can’t excuse that oversight).

This is a challenge of any parent really. Deciding what entertainment content is appropriate for your child to watch. The difference I think lies in the amount of anime that is available is wide and can be intimidating. The other is the voracity with which a young anime fan can consume content. My boys like their shows and watch a good deal of differing shows.

Besides the content viewing there is how they express their fandoms. Going to a convention, if I am not careful, will leave me broke. They love their shows and would like all associated merchandise (and lets be frank: there is some cool anime related merchandise).

And if your partner doesn’t like anime….

Well, my wife isn’t a fan. That is cool too, people like what they like. This can be a point of contention too. What you may see as being a show that is fine to watch, your partner may not having no context or experience with the genre. My son understood that Kuroko, in A Certain Scientific Railgun, was the standard pervert character that will act like a creep. He knows her behavior is inappropriate. My wife, seeing her out of context, gets very disturbed by Kuroko’s behavior. Is she wrong? Not exactly, but context is different to the regular viewer vs someone just walking by and seeing the pervert character doing something creepy.

So there are challenges with raising otakus, but that is being a parent.

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By the way the wife took away his “Dog & Scissors” postcard, gave it to me and said: “He doesn’t need something like this.”

I have it now….

 

 

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6 thoughts on “The Challenge of Raising Otakus

  1. Denny Sinnoh March 3, 2015 / 2:06 am

    “And if your partner doesn’t like anime….”

    Same here. My wife watches these shows on TLC where people argue over how to frost a cake.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Otaku Judge March 3, 2015 / 12:45 pm

    Congrats on your son winning the contest. You are much more of a responsible parent than my folks who let me watch anything haha. Thankfully I turned out alright… more or less.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. madreceiver March 3, 2015 / 1:21 pm

    Thanks, he won the contest because he was the only entrant in his category, but still a cool experience for him anyways (and he got 3 voice actors to sign his head piece that weekend). I figure most kids will turn out alright despite what they watch. Different kids need different guidance. My older son could see more mature content earlier because he had social filters that told him: “I know not to say X in X situation.” Whereas his younger brother at the same age doesn’t have the same filters, so more guidance is sometimes needed. I am also more aware of what they are watching than I was when my older son first started watching anime.

    Like

  4. Matthew March 4, 2015 / 6:10 pm

    Congrats to your son. I am not a parent but reading this post was really interesting. It’s nice to see parents making sure kids don’t watch any kind of anime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • madreceiver March 4, 2015 / 7:26 pm

      Thanks. Yeah…I can’t let him watch any old thing. As he gets older some constraints will be lifted, but I know just letting him watch whatever (say Mayo Chiki or High School of the Dead) is not a good idea at age 11 (plus his mother would kill me).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Matthew March 4, 2015 / 9:00 pm

    I never heard of Mayo Chiki, but as for High School of the Dead, that is a huge No-No. Once again, it’s great that you and your wife allow your son to watch anime and avoid exposing him to inappropriate content. I give you guys thumbs up.

    Liked by 1 person

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