If you’ve finally decided to take the plunge to learn the Japanese language, it is time you swim! One of the most popular Japanese cultural elements to master this language is through the world of anime (or Japanese animation). Watching anime can assist you in your Japanese language learning aspirations. It could be a relief to switch from formal classroom training to learning Japanese with the help of anime. This art form offers a glimpse into the culture of the country, along with providing an insight into less formal usage of the language. As many teachers would agree; using a variety of media, like comic books and anime, improves grasping skills and adds an important layer of culture and art in language instruction. So, technically, you will be doing something productive and good by binge-watching a new anime show!
How can anime support your goal of learning Japanese? What are the best anime to learn Japanese? Let’s read on to find out!
How to Use Anime to Learn the Japanese language
Watching anime, which uses a much casual approach to the language, informal pronouns, and even “just-for-anime” made-up words, will challenge you as a student to listen to the words carefully. It allows you to compare it to what you hear in a classroom. You will get the opportunity to dive deep into a formal and informal use of the Japanese language, which is a requirement of any well-rounded course of study.
However, we ask you to not think that watching an anime will magically make you fluent in the language. Anime can be an effective support to all those hours of studying how to write kanji, but it should not be your primary teacher of the language. You wouldn’t expect to learn Hindi by watching a Bollywood movie, no matter how fantastic the movie is in India. You need both formal and informal forms of instruction.
That being said, how should you incorporate this medium into your instruction to get the most out of the time you’re going to be watching anime? We have a couple of ideas:
Start incorporating anime into your lessons after you are able to grasp at least a basic level of Japanese.
If you start too soon, you might not have the footing you need to understand anything you hear. Take notes as you watch, writing down new words or usages so you can check them out later.
Watch anime with subtitles to increase your understanding and help you learn or review the kanji text.
Rewatch segments that are hard to understand; your understanding will improve each time. Also, keep rewatching episodes as your Japanese gets more proficient! You will be surprised at how better you understand.
Okay, are you ready for that list of the best anime recommended to learn the Japanese language? Get ready to enter the world of anime with this top 5 anime to add to your instruction. Do note that these are in no particular order.
- Doraemon (ドラえもん)
This Japanese anime classic follows the story of a child named Nobita who faces problems that all kids his age face: bullying, grades, and friendship problems. He is friends with a magical cat robot—Doraemon—who supports him. The original language of this anime is basic and easy to understand. This anime uses a lot of common Japanese words used every day, so it can be used as a reference by all levels of Japanese instruction. This anime (based on manga) is one of the most popular animated shows in India. It is dubbed in multiple Indian languages. If you have tuned into the Indian kids’ cable network, chances are, you have already seen a dubbed version of Doraemon!
- Pokémon (ポケモン)
The Pokèmon anime series has been around for decades thanks to its motivational messages about hard work and friendship. As a Japanese language learner, you can assimilate a great mix of useful information including over 300 Pokémon names. Students who are past the basic levels of instruction can also explore more complex words introduced throughout the show.
- “Dragon Ball”(ドラゴンボール)
One of the longest-running anime series, Dragon Ball has been around for thirty years. It’s one of the classic anime series that every anime lover in India has heard of. Goku, the main protagonist sets out to gather the seven wish-granting Dragon Balls. The show follows his martial arts training and journey as he collects the Dragon Balls. The series is exceedingly entertaining for all groups. Watching Dragon Ball in the original Japanese language is suitable for beginners and above for vocabulary and cultural references.
Apart from these three, we recommend a couple of more shows :
- Detective Conan (名探偵コナン)
Based on the famous Sherlock Holmes character, Detective Conan is an anime that follows a high school detective named Conan who accidentally turns into a young version of himself while solving a case. The series has over 900 episodes to date and therefore the viewers will have a lot of material to hear. They can expose themselves to a mix of both formal and informal language.
- Cardcaptor Sakura (カードキャプターさくら)
Sakura is everything you expect from a female superhero. She is cute adorable and loyal to her friends. She has a wide array of powers at her disposal thanks to her cards and the magic she possesses. This series will help you learn the language as well as give you a glimpse of Japanese school life.
Ready, to be a master!
With millions of people across the world speaking the Japanese language, learning Japanese can open doors for your job prospects and allow you to meet interesting people. As with any teaching technique, the methods you use to learn the language while watching an anime can play a huge role. It can help with both formal and informal usage of the language, but be careful about the slang words in a formal setting. Keep an open mind and you will have a very entertaining experience.
Many language applications can also help with learning Japanese. Try to incorporate a variety of media to help you achieve your goal. Go ahead, grab some wasabi peanuts, sit back, and let your Japanese education begin!