The anime community is very welcoming, and we speak with each other using different platforms. Some of us take to Twitter and create “anitwt” accounts, while others prefer other networks, like YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit. However, while many of us have a lot of online acquaintances, it still is a wonderful feeling to discuss anime with friends in real life. Although, of course, the truth is not all of us have friends in real life who are also into anime. It’s sad, but that’s the reality.
So, if you ever feel like inviting some friends to the amazing world of anime, here are a few tips that can help you:
Speak With Them About Mainstream Anime First
If your friend isn’t into anime (yet), at the very least they must have heard of the most popular anime shows. Unless they live under a rock for the majority of their lives, they must know some insanely popular series. Talk about Jujutsu Kaisen, for example, which is one of the most well-known shows right now. Or maybe, some shows that are available on Netflix, such as One Punch Man or Seven Deadly Sins. If they say they don’t have a Netflix account, go with the likes of Demon Slayer or Your Name, which are among the highest-grossing animated films in recent history. And if those examples aren’t popular enough, try “evergreen” shows, like Naruto and Dragon Ball. They are well-known series even for non-anime fans.
What you need is to get the conversation going. Try to make them as interested as possible because that’s one of the ways to really get them to watch an episode or two and possibly get hooked in the long run.
Watch an Anime Movie With Them
It’s hard to convince a person to watch an anime, especially if they’re too busy. They might tell you they don’t have time to complete the series, which might end up in a cliffhanger. So, a viable solution is invite them to watch a movie. You’re lucky if a popular anime film is showing at the cinemas. Recently, it was Demon Slayer Movie, which fame was spreading like fire (no pun intended). Before that, Weathering With You was the one slowly took the world by storm (no pun intended again). If you can invite them to watch films like that with you, it’s possible they might fall in love with the media and start watching some series, as well.
Of course, cinemas don’t always show anime films. Thankfully, Netflix doesn’t have a shortage of anime movies you can watch. So, on your next “Netflix and chill” party, try putting on some Ghibli films, for example, or any other anime movie available there.
Recommend a Gateway Anime
Some anime fans recommend a “gateway anime,” which refers to shows that might pique the interest of non-anime fans and make them start watching anime as well. However, when recommending a gateway anime, be sure to abide by these tips:
- Don’t recommend shows that are too long. You don’t want your friend to be overwhelmed, so you should recommend them shows that are 25 episodes or fewer.
- Don’t recommend shows that end in a cliffhanger. In general, cliffhangers can be good, but not everybody likes them, so it’s better to err in the side of caution.
- Don’t recommend shows that are “weird.” We all want our first anime to be memorable, not weird.
- Recommend shows with top-quality animation. Sell them the media! The beauty of anime is in the “fantastical” scenes that cannot be captured in real-life drama.
- Recommend shows with a good story. We all want to have a good time when watching anime, so it’s best to let them watch series that have the best plot.
- Recommend shows that you’ve already seen. This is a no-brainer, but in case you need a reminder, only recommend shows that you’ve already watched.
It’s hard to find anime shows that tick all the boxes, but here are a few good examples:
- Death Note – It’s short, and it doesn’t end in a cliffhanger. The story is pretty good, too, so it’s easy to get hooked.
- Your Lie in April – If your friend likes some romance and drama, this is an ideal show to recommend. It’s short and doesn’t end in a cliffhanger.
- Assassination Classroom – This is a good mixture of “weird” and awesome. The first season, at 25 episodes, doesn’t end in a cliffhanger. If you’re lucky, they might watch the second season and become a full-blown anime fan because of it.
- Jujutsu Kaisen – Short and sweet! The animation is topnotch, and the characters are adorable. It’s not hard to fall in love with this show.
- Erased – Time travel as a genre is quite popular, but this one is just among the few shows that executed it well. It’s definitely intriguing enough to keep their eyes glued to the screen.
- King’s Avatar – This is Chinese, so you can rest assured that it has awesome animation. It’s pretty short, too, at 12 episodes, and the first season pretty much wraps up well.
- Mainstream Sports Anime – Who doesn’t want an inspiring story, right? Recommend them mainstream sports anime, like Haikyuu, Free!!, or Yuri on Ice.
Leave Them at Their Own Pace, and Don’t Force Them
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to let your friend watch anime at their own pace. It’s fine to check up from time to time, but don’t pressure them to quickly finish up the anime you recommended. Also, it might be saddening, but it’s very much possible that they’re just not into anime. If this is the case, don’t force them to become a fan. Everybody has different tastes, and anime might not be your friend’s cup of tea. It’s totally okay. You can still be friends, and just discuss other topics that the two of you are interested in.
If by a strike of luck your friend becomes an anime fans, here’s a big congratulations! We welcome them to the anime community, and we hope they get to enjoy more anime shows, too! #