Before I begin let me take two terms and compare them against each other.
First “ANIME” and second “CARTOON”.
These are two different terms but are often regarded as the same.
Let me clarify what I mean with an image:
”Imagine a plain paper on which nothing is printed. You can use that paper to print a Physics book as well as a History book. The only thing which is common between them is that they both were printed on paper, but the content is nothing alike.
The same thing applies with anime and cartoons. Both are animations but the content is the exact opposite.
And yet this is how anime fans in India view the industry.
Though India has a population of 1.3 billion, the perception of the animation industry hasn’t changed much. Even in 2018.
The first animated movie in India was The Banyan Deer (1957). Since then 130 movies have been produced in India, with animated shows targeted towards children. That one thing should be kept in mind (1957-till now).
In 61 years we weren’t able to develop a well-functioning animation industry of billions, despite being well recognized in the sector of computing and IT (even if the IT revolution came in 1980’s) .
This is why I feel we still consider animation as a cartoon in India, not as a unique medium of story-telling.
Being an anime fan in India is a completely different story all together.
“Anime” is a term which people rarely know about in INDIA.
They’ve seen it as children, whether it was:
- Dragon Ball Z.
- Ninja Hattori.
For most Indians it’s all a cartoon because of the mentality they grew up with.
From the moment a person is born till he or she reaches college, they have the perception that every animated thing is cartoon.
After entering college they suddenly become aware that something known as “anime” exists.
We can thank shows like Death Note for playing a major role in that.
Shows like this offer more than GOT, Breaking Bad and Western sitcoms seeing as anime is so diverse.
When Indian fans start searching for something more in anime (like Naruto), it becomes the definition of awesomeness and day by day they become hardcore anime fans.
This tends to happen in IITs and IIMs and a few more popular colleges.
But for fans like me who reside in cities like VARANASI, INDIA, it’s hard to find fellow anime fans. So for me, the medium I use to interact with fellow anime fans is:
- And other mediums online.
That’s why when i do meet a fellow anime fan it’s like a heartfelt joy. It’s like meeting your long lost brother. So as Indians we start searching on Internet for Indian anime content.
The few famous YouTube channels for Indian anime content:
Indian Anime Bros
These anime channels are gradually increasing day by day, showing positive a trend in anime popularity in India.
Here’s an example from Google Trends for India:
This tells us a lot about anime in India. People are becoming more aware day by day towards anime.
A few other reasons anime hasn’t taken off in India is the amount of mindless content being produced in India. Entertainment shows like Big Boss, which is the Indian version of Big Brother, promotes a culture of people who enjoy watching brainless fights in India).
This doesn’t contribute anything to the intellectual Indian audience. The same is true for t.v series produced in India like Sasuraal Simar Kaa that showcase total nonsense and mindless drama.
Anime offers Indian audiences and teenagers much more diverse content that can’t be found on TV. Because after all, the only anime channel we have is Animax, which was replaced by BU Sony.
I want the Anime Industry of Japan to ease down licensing and start marketing anime in India
Because INDIA is a very huge market in terms of population (1.3 Billion).
The last thing I want to say is I can recommend a few anime for beginners in India. Many of which have dubbed versions (since many Indians shy away from anime that are subbed).
Here are a few anime I recommend:
1. Death Note (Thriller)
One of the best series and gateway anime for beginners. Personal Rating-9.5/10
2. Hunter x Hunter (Adventure)
May seem childish at first but it’s well developed in terms of characters and story. Personal Rating-8.5/10
3. Another (Horror and Thriller)
Gore lovers would definitely like this. It takes mystery and combines it with bloody scenes, making this series a must watch for horror fans. Personal Rating 8/10.
4. One Punch Man (Comedy)
A kind of satire of super heroes of today. Personal Rating 8.5/10
5. Tokyo Ghoul (Horror and Thriller)
Story similar to those of vampires (eating human rather than drinking blood) a new gateway anime since Death Note. Personal Rating 9/10.
6. Attack on Titan (Action-Adventure)
Kind of gave me a feeling of Gulliver’s Travel at first but that completely changed after watching the anime. Personal Rating 9/10
7. Pyscho Pass (Sci-fi/Police)
if you are into science fiction you will love this anime. Personal Rating 8/10.
8. Parasyte (Horror)
if you like body horror and a good story you will like this. Personal Rating 8.5/10
These are few anime which you can try as beginner if you want get into more deep as your interest increases.
Anime has everything to offer whatever your taste is, that’s the reason i got into anime because it gave me what i was missing in other forms of entertainment.
I first didn’t know what anime was. Then after few years passed, in 2013 or 2014 i got into world of anime through ANIMAX India.
I got a whole new world of emotions and story to which i could relate.
Since 2014 till 2018, watching anime turned me into a more mature and understanding person.
I have watched more than 50 anime now and i can say that if you start watching it without any bias you’ll enjoy it. I’ve also met a few great people due to my anime journey. I’ve become more extroverted in searching for friends.
That’s my story of what it feels like to be a fan in India, and how it started for me.
What’s your story/opinion of the anime industry as an Indian fan?
Tell me in the comments!