Untangled: Should I Tell My Parents I Watch Anime?

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?

— Micah

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!

TWWK

Husband. Dad. Occasionally Korean. Enjoys Star Wars, ASOIAF, and Meg Ryan movies. Tweets before proofreading. Ghibli. Oregairuuuuu. Jesus is King.

2 thoughts on “Untangled: Should I Tell My Parents I Watch Anime?

  1. I appreciate TWWK’s thoughtful response to you but I honestly believe that you’re old enough to decide what’s right for yourself when it comes to things like this. And nowhere in your question did you name any specific reasons that you felt your parents should really know about everything that you’re watching. Do you feel like they should know about it? And why?

    I’ve always been a big believer that, when a person gets to be a certain age, somewhere very close to your age, it’s important to begin to figure out who you are and begin to establish an identity for yourself outside of the person that you think your parents want you to be. You absolutely should talk to your parents about really important issues, matters concerning your health, your future, your relationships, but I don’t think that you should seek their approval when it comes to this, especially considering that you’ve already been watching anime for 3 years now. Just my 2 cents.

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