What My 11 Year Old Watches Part 1

Part of my main purpose of starting this blog was to not only express a few thoughts as an anime fan, but to also provide parents with a few tools before they let their child watch a show. Rather than try to rate a show by age or other guideline I decided to just list a few things that parents may (or may not) find offensive so they can make their own decision.  Everyone’s sensibilities are different.

Today I decided to list some of what my 11 year old watches. This is not a suggestion for you, but just what I have (rightly or wrongly)  let him watch.

The long form shows

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Naruto and Fairy Tail. I am not a fan of long, ongoing shows myself (I am too impatient, I like my stories wrapped up), but he likes them. Aside from some fighting, one may object to some skimpy clothing in Fairy Tail, but these shows are largely fine.

Still Airing

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Sailor Moon Crystal. The reboot of the classic Sailor Moon anime which is supposed to more closely follow the original manga. He kind of resisted watching this at first, but when he finally did, he really got into it. There is very little that is objectionable here.

The Most Objectionable on this list

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Sword Art Online. One could argue that there are some dark themes and violence, but I don’t think any permanent damage will be dealt upon his psyche. Plus he will have a better idea of what to do if trapped in a immersive video game than non-anime viewers.

The Best Comedy

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Sgt. Frog. Good god is this show funny! The English dub is what I am referring to as well. The original, Japanese show contained a lot of topical and pop culture references, so when it was dubbed by Funimation they re-worked it for an American audience. This is one show where the dub is better.  There are a few off color jokes, but no worse than you’d see on The Simpsons or Bob’s Burgers. Watch this show. It is too fun!

It Had Tanks

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Girls und Panzer. It has cute girls driving tanks. What is not to like for an 11 year old boy? Nothing really objectionable in this show.

The Biggest Surprise

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AKB0048. Pop idol group fighting to bring their music to entertainment restricted planets using the power of hope and mechas. A flimsy premise, but enjoyable nonetheless. It was a way to further promote Japanese pop idol group, AKB48, but as long as you accepted that fact it was fun enough. My son really got into it. Singing the songs, dancing along. It surprised me how much he liked it. It is a largely harmless show. The only thing that irked me, which shows up in many school based anime as well, was the obsession around body image and dieting. I know this is a reflection Japanese culture, but I know esteem around weight and body image can be a real problem for many people. Keep that in mind. And if you watch it with your kid, have conversations around this subject if it is a concern for you.

These are a few of the shows he’s watched and enjoyed. There are more, there will always be more.

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Cute Girls Doing Cute Things: AKA Seinen anime

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From Wikipedia: Seinen manga (青年漫画?) is manga marketed to a male audience aged roughly 17 on into their 40s. In Japanese, the word seinen means “young man” or “young men.”

Hanayamata and Girls und Panzer are both of the seinien genre. They are both, as the title of the post implies, shows about cute girls doing cute things.

Hanayamata follows Naru Sekiya who feels average and doesn’t feel like she has much going for her until she meets a new transfer student from America (Hana N. Fountainstand) and they start a Yosakoi dance club at school. The show then follows them as they, practice, recruit members, and get ready for the big Yosakoi competition.

There is nothing inherently bad about the show. It’s cute. The story is what you’d expect and the characters are fairly standard, but not bad. Despite it not being all that remarkable I enjoyed the show.

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Attention Parents: There is nothing objectionable in this show.

I like the OP:

Girls und Panzer is a show that depicts tank warfare as a sport for high school girls. Referred to as “sensha-dō” aka “the way of the tank” is a popular martial art where teams of high school girls operate and fight with WWII era tanks. They live and go to school on Academy Ships which are large carriers that support an entire community.

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The story follows  Miho Nishizumi. A girl from a prominent “tankery”

family who has just transferred to a new school that doesn’t have a “tankery” program any longer. Tankery, needless to say, is revived and Miho is roped into taking tankery as an elective course. They then do the predictable things: get tanks, get members, train, and compete until the final big event.

It is a fun show. It is tanks fights with cute girls. The supporting teams are what made the show fun for me.
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The volleyball team

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The history club team

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The video gamers team

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The Student council team

The supporting team are a laugh and give the show some extra character. Is the show innovative or outstanding? No, it’s fun. Just mindless fun.

Attention Parents: There is nothing objectionable.

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And there is dancing…

So what makes this Seinen? I guess it is the market it appeals to: young men. Both of these shows follow teen girls which I guess is what the appeal is. The shows themselves are not overtly sexual, but the art that fans make after the fact are more so:

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It may not be the show that one finds objectionable, but the fan’s reaction to the show. Then again, this is the internet. If someone can think it they will. This applies to these shows as well.

Watch the shows. They’re cute and fun. Just don’t search Google images about the shows you enjoy.