Grow Together With Anime

Grow Together With AnimeShounen anime is home ground of 300+ episodes, a seemingly never ending story line, and required loyalty to a series over a span of many years. Most people have at least one series that they feel they’ve been watching forever. Whether you like it or not, you are usually stuck with that series, waiting for that rewarding conclusion that fulfills the continuing anticipation you experienced since day 1.

It’s time to utilize this powerful tool.

The fact that one series can continue for 10 years means you get to watch your Japanese grow with the series. From knowing nothing and using English subtitles, to struggling and looking up everything you don’t know, to smooth listening, to watching it like any other show you would in your native language, you evolve together with the show.

Following these long running series gives you the perfect ability to look back and see how far you have come.

As a personal example, I am a fan of Naruto, one of the top and currently long running anime in Japan. I watch it now like a Japanese person does. The thought of it as being anything besides pure entertainment is nowhere to be found.

But I started watching the show in 2005. Dubbed in English (gasp), before I knew my first words of Japanese. This quickly transitioned to Japanese with English subtitles (gasp again), to no subtitles and putting everything I didn’t understand into Anki, to trying to focus intently on listening to wade through all the confusing language, to finally just enjoying it. Every week, for over 9 years, I would watch the newest episode and it is a reflection of how far I’ve come.

Find your long running show

I recommend finding a show that will be going on for years from this day on. Try not to choose one that was long running, but has finished.

The problem with long shows that are finished, as anime fans know, is that you have a tendency to go on an anime marathon, watching multiple episodes every day, possibly finishing 200+ episodes in a fairly short period of time. Doing this makes it much harder to notice your progress.

With a show you are watching that you can only watch one new episode a week, you are setting the pace, and will notice the small increase in your ability every week you watch the show for years to come.

What have you grown with?

Have any of you grown together with a long running anime? What was it? How far did your Japanese go while you watched it?

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


Grow Together With Anime — 19 Comments

  1. I just discovered Gintama recently and it’s become my favorite anime. It’s hands down the funniest gag anime I’ve ever seen. I also find the ridiculous amount of references to Japanese pop-culture, celebrities, folklore, etc. a bonus.

  2. I watch the Superhero Time TV block every week (when I have a working stream). It’s not the same show the whole time, it’s two year-longs back-to-back, but I’m very dedicated to the franchises so it’s the same concept. I’ve been watching ever since episode 20 of Kamen Rider Fourze (which aired January of 2012). I do watch some of the big shonen anime, but I’m way too far behind to get current at this point.

    • That also works.

      It is hard when all these major series have hundreds of episodes you need to watch to get caught up on. But there are plenty of new long lasting series that keep popping up. 宇宙兄弟 is one of them.

  3. This makes me want to start back watching One Piece. I’m up to date with the manga, but havent been with the anime for a year or two. But I definitely will start back once Im done with my 1K sentences I believe! Such a nice idea :)

    • I could easily see One Piece going on for another 10 years. Shonen Jump will never give up its most popular manga.

      • I think the author stated, not too long ago, that he was about halfway into the story, and the anime isn’t that far behind the manga is it? So it should probably even be closer to 15 years. But hey, it’s one hell of a ride, so I don’t mind.

      • Im looking back at old posts for extra motivation and finding some of my old comments haha. I haven’t started back watching neither One Piece nor Naruto (although I’m still up to date with the Manga). Now Naruto is ending “soon”, but One Piece is still going strong, I will definitely try to catch back up when I can find some free time / manage to spend less time on gaming (in english, gasp!)

  4. The Detective Conan anime is really great. The voicecast and soundtrack add a lot to an already fantastic series.

  5. Does anyone know where I can find a Japanese nationally broadcast news program? I think it would be cool to watch the daily news in Japanese in the same way you are talking about following an anime series. That way, as my Japanese language skills improve I can keep track of current events in Japan too!

    • I don’t know about Live Tv, but this might help:
      5 new articles get published daily with VIDEOS. You can read the summary of news then watch the video.
      I am trying this mainly because listening to Japanese News (at least for me) is like listening to a completely different language because of the heavy usage of keigo (99%) as well as speaking faster as compared to anime.

  6. I am personally really good about watching only one episode of Naruto at a time. This is mostly because I previously watched the entire series with English subtitles. It has just concluded, but has 500 episodes in Shippuden and 256 or so episodes of the original series. Just as the series was coming to an end, around episode 480 of Shippuden, I switched to watching without subtitles. I have since restarted the entire series, from Naruto episode one and am now, over 300 episodes later now on episode 110 of Shippuden. I will continue to watch it until the end. This won’t be be at least a year if I continue to only watch it 1 episode, and sometimes 2 episodes a night.

    The beautiful thing is that in one year I have been able to notice an incredible difference from when I first watched Naruto and it all sounded like nonsense. I could only hear だってばよ! That was all I could make out. It made me wonder if the only Japanese I could ever discern was “you know!” Sakura’s voice seemed impenetrable. I doubted I would ever be able to understand her, or even make out a single word she said.

    Now, だってばよ doesn’t seem like the most common thing to come out of Nartuto’s mouth and I can even discern what Sakura is saying more often than not. Everyone’s voice appears to be slower than I remember it, or at least they seem to have more fidelity, I can pick out more of the syllables. I can really notice my growth and it is truly rewarding. In just a couple weeks I will reach my 1 year anniversary studying Japanese and it is so obvious the growth I have made comparing what I could appreciate about Naruto when I first started a year ago to what I can appreciate now.

    • It’s a great feeling, right? It also makes it an entirely different experience when you go back to a series after watching it in English. It breathes new life to the characters and story.

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