An article for parents explaining what anime is and offering tips on how to choose appropriate anime for their children.
Telling the Good from the Bad
Some anime is created specifically for children while others have more complex stories and themes appropriate for older teens and adults, and still others are hardcore stories with graphic violence and sexual content only for adults. Telling which is which is not always as easy as it should be. Frequently the covers will have a drawing of a cute female character, and the few screenshots from the show and description on the back cover will not help. Those who sell anime may not be aware of the actual content of their merchandise, and may place it with other cartoon videos or comic books, regardless of the rating, because they're animated. For example, Hamtaro, a series about hamsters and their owners that is perfect for younger kids, could be found next to Perfect Blue, a psychological suspense thriller geared to older viewers.
Following are some tips on age-appropriate anime:
—Anime seen on the Cartoon Network (or other channels that show children's cartoons) before 9pm is probably safe for most children under 13. If it is on after 9pm, then you know it isn't appropriate for children under 13.
—Before you let your child watch any anime or read any manga, watch or read it yourself first. Even if it is on the safe list below, it still may not fit your personal criteria for what is appropriate for your children.
—Do not rely on your local video or bookstore to know what anime is appropriate for children.
—Pay close attention to the ratings and why the movie/show received its rating.
—If you rent or buy a movie from the children's section and it wasn't appropriate, go back and let the store manager know. This will help others be more educated and possibly prevent some other child from seeing something she shouldn't.