10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Watch Anime

As a long-time anime fan, I can list down a multitude of reasons why anime is worth watching. However, because I have been in this space for so long, I can also objectively identify some of the downsides to watching anime.

Anime can be very addictive and time-consuming, which makes it impractical for people who lead busy lives. The fact that anime is brutal and contains a lot of fan service also means that children and parents alike should be wary of anime.

In this article, I will outline ten practical reasons why you shouldn’t watch anime. Read on to find out more!

1. You shouldn’t watch anime because it can be addictive

Some people make it seem as if an anime addiction is healthy and funny. However, when it comes down to it, we will realize that becoming addicted to a particular form of entertainment can be very detrimental to the mental, emotional, and social aspects of our lives.

Here’s the thing: anime is very well done. There is a reason why millions around the world actually become addicted to it. And for many of us, it was a slippery slope. It began with just one episode, and before we knew it, we’ve sat down through one entire season.

And once we’re finished with one series, we have to find something else to fill the hole it has left. Hence, we move on to watch another anime series. It becomes a cycle that is difficult to end.

This isn’t to say that using anime as a coping mechanism and a form of escapism is inherently wrong. But, you have to be mindful of the fact that it can become destructive if you’re not careful.

You may eventually find yourself ignoring your family, friends, and responsibilities in order to watch more anime.

In 2009, Hiroki Azuma wrote a book entitled “Otaku: Japan’s Database Animals.” In it, he uses research and philosophy to look into the characteristics and dangers of the subculture.

Now, not all anime viewers become addicted to it. Some are just casual viewers, and you could totally fall under that category.

But, if you already know that you have inclinations towards behavioral addictions, you may be better off steering clear of anime.

Naruto is an awesome anime and it can be quite addictive. We explain why it is so addictive here.

2. You shouldn’t watch anime because it is time-consuming

It is entirely possible that you choose to watch just one anime series without getting addicted to the entire medium. However, even then, it will still take up a lot of your time.

When you begin watching anime, you will most probably choose a series that is popular, mainstream, and accessible.

This means titles like Naruto, One Piece, and Fairy Tail. But each one of these will take at least a hundred hours to finish — and no, that’s not an exaggeration.

Just consider this list of hours you would need to finish one famous anime series:

Series titleTotal time to watch the anime
Naruto348.5 hours or 14 and a half days non-stop
One Piece355.1 hours or 14 days and 19 hours non-stop
Fairy Tail88 hours or 3 days and 16 hours non-stop
Bleach183 hours or 7 days and 15 hours non-stop
Gintama155.03 hours or 6 and a half days non-stop

Even if you do choose to watch a one-season anime such as Your Lie in April or Horimiya, it would still take you at least 10 hours. If you look at it objectively, you could have spent that time reading, studying, working, or just doing something more productive.

3. You shouldn’t watch anime because its presentation of Japan is limited

Many fans would say that watching anime is an excellent way to study the Japanese language or learn a different culture. But the truth is that while certain traditions, beliefs, and styles are evident in anime, they barely represent the realities of Japan.

A limited portrayal of Japanese culture

This is especially true for anime that have fantasy themes. When a new world is created in anime like The Seven Deadly Sins, we have to reconcile that this new world is not representative of Japan.

There may be echoes and inspirations drawn from it, but the entire thing is more fantasy than reality.

Now, there are anime that manage to capture Japan’s culture, such as those with slice-of-life themes. However, you can’t expect it to delve into the nitty-gritty of what it’s truly like to live there.

I mean, according to the World Health Organization, Japan has one of the highest suicide and bullying rates in the world. But we don’t really get to see these kinds of details in anime.

If anything, it paints a pretty and idealized picture of Japan — saved for the few shows that deal with deeper themes.

A poor way to learn the Japanese language

Then there’s the perpetuation that watching anime can teach you the Japanese language. Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s entirely possible to pick up phrases here and there, especially when you’ve been watching anime for a long time.

Personally, I know how to use basic Japanese words and phrases, all thanks to anime. However, it is still not an effective or efficient way to learn the language.

It would take long hours of comparing sentence structures to the subtitles before you even figure out which words translate to what.

It is also important to note that the way anime characters speak is not an accurate depiction of how Japanese speak in real life.

Anime tends to include a lot of slang with informal language. In contrast, the Japanese tend to use semi-formal language in their day-to-day conversations.

This means that if you walk up to someone in Japan and say a sentence you learned through anime, you will be thought of as rude or ridiculous.

Here’s a good video that gets into whether watching anime is a viable way to learn Japanese:

4. A lot of anime includes fan service, which can be concerning for parents

It’s no secret that anime has a lot of fan service. In fact, entire sub-genres are dedicated to catering to certain kinds of fetishes. It’s something we have to be wary of even as adults. For the most part, we just try to stay away from the ecchi and hentai genres.

The problem is that even mainstream anime with seemingly harmless plots such as Shokugeki no Soma and Sword Art Online contain fan service.

It’s like signing up for a cooking class, only to find that the chef’s take the concept of “food porn” quite literally.

Then again, the fact is that most shounen anime contain fan service in one form or another. Some definitely have more than others, but nonetheless, they are to be expected.

This can be troubling for parents who want to be careful about the media their children consume. Anime may seem like it’s something for children because of the misconception that it is similar to cartoons.

But you must remember that the storylines and graphics are entirely different.

“Fan service” is a term that emerged in the 1980s. However, panty shots and other provocative shots have been evident in forms of Japanese media even before then.

Still, there is the reality that your children would be exposed to these kinds of things in one way or another. And so one thing you can do is to simply screen the type of anime that they watch.

Run through it once on your own, and decide if they are of age to watch it.

You can also opt to watch it alongside them and discuss their implications and repercussions on gender images. In this way, you can even use anime as a learning opportunity.

5. Anime can give you misguided hopes and perspectives on how life works

Anime shows usually like to share encouraging messages and ideas when it comes to life. For example, characters who tend to be positive usually have things working out for them.

By the end of a series, you have an entire group of people bonded in love and unity, regardless of the rocky path it took to get there.

Likewise, those who endure a form of trauma or bullying always get retribution. Either their bully changes and apologizes, or they end up being so successful that those who used to tease them come around.

Anime shows that if you are well-intentioned and kind-hearted, life will be good to you in the end.

On the one hand, this gives people a very hopeful perspective. On the other hand, it can lead many to feel as if they have been misguided and deceived once they find out that the real world is much more cruel and unfair than the anime world.

For instance, we have characters like Midoriyo from My Hero Academia. Realistically speaking, there is no way for him to become a hero, no matter how sincere he is or how much he wants it.

At the end of the day, he was born without powers, and that’s that.

People may also laud him for his heart to jump in during that fight involving Bakugo, even if he didn’t have much to offer.

However, if this had happened in real life, he would have ended up dead. His naivety and wide-eyed innocence could not make up for the fact that he did not have the abilities.

But because this is an anime, his sincerity is eventually rewarded with the opportunity to become a superhero with superpowers to match.

Many fans love it because they feel like it gives hope to those who have dreams, but there is also the fact that this idea could just be setting them up for disappointment.

This shouldn’t be a problem if you enter anime knowing full well that it is not an accurate depiction of real life. There is also nothing wrong with being hopeful and optimistic.

However, if you know that you tend to be impressionable, you may want to be mindful about keeping yourself level-headed.

6. Anime can be too brutal or graphic for children

Anime tends to be more graphic and brutal than cartoons because there is less censorship on them as compared to Western media.

This is because most anime are directed towards teenagers and young adults. Hence, a lot of parents are uncomfortable with having their kids watch anime.

Now, this is a very fair reason. Still, it may be worthy of note that anime such as Pokemon and Doraemon are child-friendly, even though there are arguably “battle scenes” in them. For as long as they stay away from horror and guro, they should be okay.

Guro is an anime genre that is known for its graphic grotesque scenes.

7. Anime can detach some people from the real world

Earlier, we discussed the reality that some people tend to get their ideas of the real world from anime shows. This is already proof of detachment in some form.

However, there are some people who end up thinking that the anime world is real, which is another level of detachment altogether.

In fact, there are even those who end up marrying anime characters! Here’s a video of a man who did just that:

These kinds of anime fans become so engrossed in anime that they can no longer identify what is real from what is not. In a sense, anime eventually becomes their reality.

A similar problem may be seen in younger children. After all, kids are very impressionable, and some may attempt to mimic the things that are being attempted in anime.

This is what happened in 2016. A six-year old girl in Osaka was watching an anime about children who can fly. Later on, her family found her standing on top of the balcony from their penthouse — and they lived in a 43-floor condominium.

They say that she slipped, but there is no denying the fact that she was there because she wanted to fly like the children she saw in the anime.

Still, there is the consideration that other cartoons and television shows portray similar fantasies. And so, if you’re a parent, it’s really a matter of being mindful and alert of what your children are doing and watching.

8. You shouldn’t watch anime because it can normalize toxic behavior

Anime likes to humor certain character types, like tsunderes, yanderes, and sadoderes.

While a lot of anime viewers would watch characters like these and laugh at their antics, there is the possibility that eventually, these characterizations may seem more tolerable and acceptable in real life.

However, these character types are essentially abusive and toxic. Let’s take a closer look to see how they play out.


For instance, tsunderes tend to physically and emotionally hurt their love interests. Because they don’t know how to express themselves properly, they end up lashing out.

Some say that they’re just hiding their affection underneath harsh personas, but that’s still unhealthy.
How would you feel if someone who’s supposed to love you ends up showing animosity towards you?

And then they say they do it because they like you? It’s a setup that shouldn’t make sense in the real world.


Yanderes are those who are obsessive towards their love interests. They keep on pursuing those they are interested in, even when their objects of affection have repeatedly turned them away.

Some characters go as far as resorting to kidnapping and murder in order to get their feelings across.

Sociopathic? Yes. Yet, they are still portrayed as cute and desirable to audiences. Here’s a video showing several yandere antics:


Sadodere characters are sadists, in simple terms. They enjoy manipulating their love interests and putting them in situations that could cause humiliation and pain.

For them, it’s a form of teasing and affection. However, those who are on the other end of their schemes only end up traumatized.

Now, there are a few people who end up dating similar personalities because they are portrayed as cute and amusing in anime.

However, most anime viewers should be in the right mind to know that these kinds of characters are toxic and harmful.

9. Certain types of anime promote fetishes you would want to stay away from

One good thing about anime is that it caters to a very wide audience, which means that everyone can find an anime that appeals to their preferences. The downside is that some of these niches cater to stuff that is absolutely weird.

Now, you would think that these are relatively easy themes to avoid. However, there are instances wherein you would begin to watch a well-reviewed anime, only to find out somewhere down the line that it has a plot where brother and sister fall in love with each other.

I already relayed this in another post right here, but let’s take Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei as an example. Nowhere in the premise does it say that the siblings will end up being in a relationship.

However, the slight hints through the first season will eventually catapult into something more.

And then there’s No Game No Life. Like with Mahouka, I began watching the show because of its intriguing premise. I was then surprised to find out that there were both similar weird themes in the show.

Here, we have siblings who have a close relationship. Sora is an eighteen-year-old teenage boy, and Shiro is an eleven-year-old girl. This shouldn’t have been a problem, except that the show frequently runs their relationships with uncomfortable undertones.

There are also the highly unnecessary panty shots of Shiro, and they add nothing to the plot but are considered fan service.

As a viewer who simply enjoyed the overarching plots of both series, I was astonished and disappointed. Hence, it’s possible that you would end up having a similar experience with other anime.

10. People can ostracize you if they find out that you watch anime

Anime is already becoming mainstream in many parts of the world, but still, it is difficult to escape some of the rampant ideas when it comes to anime fans. If you don’t care about what people have to say about you, then this shouldn’t be a problem.

However, you may be someone who is sensitive and conscious about the opinions and perceptions of other people. If so, you may want to consider that many still think of anime as weird and strange.

Although some will think you’re cool, others may bully you for it. (You should also read our article on things anime fans hate here.)

But if I may tell you this, you should not allow other people to dictate what you can and can’t like. Please don’t allow them to get to your head. Here’s a story of someone who managed to overcome the bullying brought about by her love for anime:

Because at the end of the day, all of these reasons mentioned above why you shouldn’t watch anime are manageable. If you know exactly what you’re walking into and you know how to set healthy boundaries in your life, then anime can still be an enjoyable hobby for you.

And if you’re a parent concerned about how anime can influence your child, just remember that healthy guidance and conversation can do wonders. Remember: there is no way of fully regulating what your child has access to in this age of technology.

In fact, we all know that some kids may just simply end up hiding the things they watch if they are forbidden. Hence, it would be better for you to remain open with them. That way, you can help them process these things as they go along.

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