Lynna’s Journey (Entry #2): Anime vs Books vs Me

Lynna’s Journey will be posted on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month this summer.

When I was 11, I knew nothing of anime. I just loved books.

I was home schooled at the time, so my mother would sometimes have to actually physically separate me from my books in order for me to get any schoolwork done (Although often I had left books in various places all around the house so this did not always help.)

When I went back to public school, and I still loved books as my primary form of entertainment, even if I had less time for them and I was on the internet more often.

But then 13 came, and I discovered anime. Suddenly, everything was about finding a new manga to read or anime to watch. I became absorbed in it. I would waste hours watching AMVs. Suddenly, books were not my most loved thing anymore.

This was a problem, because I had become a bit pretentious about reading. The adults in my life had praised and encouraged my reading while discouraging me away from visual media, so I thought that books were superior. It was something of a shock and an identity crisis when I realized that I hadn’t read a book in months but had watched all 50-something episodes of Tokyo Mew Mew.

It was probably one of the best realizations I ever had. Until then, I had thought I was better than my peers, when actually, I had just been misinformed on the value of different kinds of art, and that had naturally given way to pride.

Now I appreciate all kinds of storytelling. The written word tells a story in one way, and anime tells it in another, and neither way could serve as a full replacement for the other. It’s like claiming one language is better than the other: they create different sounds and feelings, but they’re all equal. This humbling realization was not a bad thing, but a gift that has opened up my world to so much joy. When I let go of pride, I found that I could enjoy my life a little more, and I try to remember this when the temptation to think of my interests as superior shows up. I will like what I like, and other people will like what they like, and the world is so much more interesting if we can appreciate each other’s interests.

2 thoughts on “Lynna’s Journey (Entry #2): Anime vs Books vs Me

  1. Very true! I hesitated on writing “you learn more from books though!”, but that wasn’t your point. Media can be enjoyed in different formats, and like you said it’s just in a different way. Just like everything in life, we have different experiences and we can’t say one is better than the other, it’s just different!

    I need to read more actually, been watching too much media myself….

    1. In regards to learning more from books, I think that kind of depends on the book or anime. As a storyteller, I feel like I learn quite a lot from anime– even if it’s a bad anime, I can learn about what not to do. But it’s true that as writing is the specific craft I am pursing, it definitely makes sense that reading would help more. I guess if you mean learning facts, books do tend to contain a lot more useful information in them, but then again, so does certain anime. It all depends on what you want to learn.

      I’ve actually surprised myself by reading a lot more than watching anime this summer, mostly because I started reading on the bus.

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