I swear I’m a walking anime database to my friends and acquaintances. If they want anything anime-related, I’m the person to turn to. Not that I mind, but things can get a bit tough when the person who ask for series recommendations isn’t someone I know very well.
This acquaintance of mine has recently started her Japanese lessons and is having trouble understanding her teacher’s heavily accented English and her tendency to explain things in Japanese. So she turned to me for anime recommendations in bid to improve her listening skills and understanding of the language. She doesn’t want to watch Japanese dramas or movies because she thinks they are boring. Frankly speaking, I am not prepared to introduce anime to a person who once thought Naruto is synonymous to anime, a person who until yesterday avoided anime like a plague.
But she insisted, and I’m left without much of a choice. Thank goodness she gave something to for me to begin with. I should eliminate anything brutal and bloody since that the very reason she hates Naruto.
I was toying with the idea of giving her Kimi ni Todoke to start with. But then again, I remember she said she doesn’t like Korean series very much due to the drama and sappy stories. Nodame Cantabile? Right, she’s not a fan of Classical music. Slice-of-life anime sounds good no? It’s light and fun. Lucky Star? Nah…she wouldn’t understand most of the references. Tamayura Hitotose? Will she find it boring instead of healing?
Genre is considered a minor thing. What worry me the most is some of the content in an anime. I don’t know how she will feel about fanservice. Take for instance, Nisemonogatari is what I consider to be a good series but it’s loaded with fanservice! Tons of it! Will she let it slide and enjoy the overall experience? And then there are the yuri and yaoi subtexts in anime to consider.
Why am I so worried, you may ask? For starters, I don’t want to give her the wrong impression of what anime really is. Remember, she’s the very person who thinks anime is Naruto. If I gave her the wrong title to start with, she’ll leave with bad impression, and I don’t want that. It’s bad enough that anime haters tend to generalize the entire industry based on one episode of that one series they watch. At least, she’s willing to change her initial opinion of anime and try again.
At the end of the day, what I’m asking which anime is considered safe? What kind of anime would be enjoyable to both fans and non-fans alike? What anime will make a non-fan screams for more? What will you introduce?