Metrolife: Cartoons help adults revisit their childhood

Characters of ‘Bob’s Burgers’.

For many years now, animated series has a tag ‘only for kids’. However, that hasn’t stopped show creators from exploring their audience range.

Set in complex universes with bizarre characters, anime shows such as ‘Family Guy’, ‘Simpsons’ and ‘Bob’s Burgers’ have been on the air for years with a fanbase all over the world. Even the mention of the word anime makes heads turn due to the popularity of the Japanese creation. Series like ‘Death Note’, ‘Fullmetal Alchemist’ and ‘Naruto’ are some of the popular ones. The reputation of these shows is not only because of their quirky animation but also because of their content.

“The world of anime is a completely different one. ‘The Legend of Korra’ deals with topics like LGBTQ characters, suicide, terrorism and fascism,” says Achinth Bharadwaj, student at Moscrop Secondary School and a fan of the series. “The show talks about fallacies and failures of our world with a backdrop of fun and sacrifice,” he adds.

Some of the simpler series focus on important aspects of friendship. “Young adults everywhere can relate to the joys and struggles of these characters. ‘Fairy Tail’ is a classic anime series,” says Sayantani Banerjee, BA MEP student at Christ. “I like it because it’s about friendship and standing up for what you believe in.”

A lot of these series have out-of-the-box stories focused on sci-fi universes, an apocalyptic aftermath, futuristic lives and so on. Some of the shows explore and critique controversial themes such as religion, abortion, aliens and depression and society and its many nuances.

Light hearted comedies and an abundance of dark humour seems to draw the younger audiences more. “My favourite is ‘Bob’s Burgers’,’’ says Cynthia Jemima David, BA JEP student at Christ. “I love it because each character is different but they all gel well. The content is funny with a hint of dark humour.”

The reason some of these shows are able to enjoy a cult like status is due to their character-driven storylines. “The main reason I watch the show is the nihilism,” says Syed Afnan, 1st year BA LLB student at Christ Law School, about the series ‘Rick and Morty’ which recently got renewed for 70 more episodes.

“The way they portray the fact that nothing really matters and the universe is full of crazy things amazes me.”

The animated world offers a wide range of prospects to tell the same story in a million different ways. “Anime make up for their violent bloodshed with their childlike storylines of hope, friendship and will power. Animated shows are all about balance,” says Harini Srivatsan, ASE Mechanical Engineering.

“‘Samurai Jack’ was every 90s kid’s dream idol, fighting demons and aliens to protect people. The show started over a decade ago and just last year, they added the final season of the show on adult swim, highlighting the very dark struggles that a man who never grew old had to face in an apocalyptic world. Yet the show gave perfect closure to its now adult fans,” Harini adds. 

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Metrolife: Cartoons help adults revisit their childhood

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