In our Untangled series, we answer questions that readers submit to us about anime, religion, and/or the intersection of the two. You can submit a question to staff through the “Ask the Staff” button on the page menu.
Q. Hi, im 16, and i have been watching anime 3 years this summer however my family does not know i watch it. In fact only 3 people know i watch it: my 10 year old sister (was 8 when she saw me watch the fairy tail movie), and 2 of my friends i have asked if they watch it. So my question is, should i tell them i watch it and watch it during the day, or not tell them and keep watching it at night like i have been?
A: Micah, thanks for coming to us for advice! It sounds like your situation might be a bit tricky. I gather that your parents are restrictive about the media you consume and may not approve of anime series. That’s definitely a tough thing to deal with if you’re a big anime fan.
If you’re a Christian, though, I think you need to look at your heart and your motivations. If you feel you’re doing something wrong, as in deceiving your parents or otherwise, you very well could be. If your parents want to monitor watch you watch, then you’re lying to them by hiding your viewing habits. As Christians, we should be striving to live holy lives, even though we mess up (and will continue to). If you’re not purposely hiding anime from them, then maybe you should just watch it in the daytime and see how it goes.
However, if you’re worried about your parents criticizing anime, but do choose to tell them about your viewing habits, I might suggest that you go in “armed.” It might be helpful to tell your parents about what anime is and what it isn’t. Our new Christians Guide to Anime would be a good place to start. If you’re watching specific series, you might want to see what we’ve written about them to show your parents that even in animation – and a form that carries a sometimes unfair bad reputation – there are godly themes and ideas that one can pick out.
Thanks for the question, and good luck!