Anime Crash Course

Enter a world of samurai swordsmen, ninja wars, and magical beings.  Travel across mystical lands in search of treasure, knowledge, or survivors.  Meet aliens, talking cats, and schoolgirls who can travel through time.  These are not cartoons for the rug rat set.  This is anime!  The universe of Naruto, Bleach, Inuyasha, and countless other characters that operate in a world where the laws of physics and the laws of logic are totally thrown out the window.  But what exactly is anime?

Anime is defined as “a style of animation originating in Japan that is characterized by stark colorful graphics depicting vibrant characters in action-filled plots often with fantastic or futuristic themes.” (Merriam-Webster.com)  How else can you explain a gun-toting vampire (“Hellsing”), an outlaw cowboy from the future (“Trigun”), or a kid alchemist (“Fullmetal Alchemist”)?   These characters and more push the boundaries of reality and fantasy to their limits.  Whether anime is your obsession or just a passing fad, there’s something for everyone.

Many consider anime to be for true enthusiasts or the fringe set, but anime has grown in popularity since its introduction in the 1960s.  In fact, anime has influenced many shows that you watched as a child (or now as an adult). These shows would include (but not limited to) Yu Gi Oh!, Dragon Ball Z (and its recent incarnation Dragon Ball Z Kai), Scan2Go, and Beyblade.  Remember, the Power Rangers?  Well, this live action show was the creation of Saban Entertainment  – a Japanese company – and very heavily influenced by anime.  The Power Rangers (and their MANY incarnations) have been battling aliens and beasts since the 1990s and are still very popular today.  How many kids since the show’s launch in the U.S. have dressed up as Power Rangers for Halloween (how many adults for that matter)?

Anime can be found at most retailers such as Walmart and Target. purchased online via Amazon or Ebay, or rented via NetFlix or Red Box.  In addition, anime can be viewed for free on such sites as Hulu.com or YouTube.  There are countless anime streaming sites where you can also watch shows for free.  You can watch anime with sub-titles, dubbed English, or strictly in Japanese.  Make sure your virus protection is up-to-date as some sites contain computer damaging bugs.  You should only visit secure and trusted sites.

Below is a list of anime streaming sites that I’ve found provided a variety of anime to choose from:

1.  Hulu.com

2. YouTube.com

3. Anime Crash.com

4. Vizanime. com

5. AnimeFreak.TV

So, sit back, relax and enjoy the anime!

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