Enter the Anime (2019) – Watch Our Anime

Anime is a medium I appreciate more than any media. It’s a piece of art, a wave of ideas, and everybody loves it. Anime didn’t have any limits. It’s not a cartoon for young people. Rather, anime is everything when talking about its history, development, and how it changes the world. Yeah, I’m a little exaggerating how I call anime as art. Indeed, your art teacher will never, I mean, never consider anime as part of the art. And it is indeed shameful and ironic at the same time. When I was in school, one of my friends tries to draw anime. On the other hand, I tried to draw a realistic sketch. My art teacher forbade him from drawing anime.

Another short story of why people always saw anime as a stereotypical characteristic for some people. However, it’s anime so there won’t be anything wrong if teens are more fond of enjoying cartoons than adult films. And that’s why it comes to my first attention to this documentary, “Enter the Anime”. The title itself, in my opinion, seems like an uninspiring thing taken from dictionaries for an edgy generation. And indeed, this “documentary” was trying to be edgy. Starting from the editing, the writing, and the director herself, everything about this film is a hate-letter. “Enter the Anime” is a hate-letter to anime.

When you want to find a documentary about the ins and outs of anime, never approach this thing. When you want to make one of your friends to love anime, don’t draw him/her with this arse. Anime, as we know, is very ambiguous. There is no exact definition of what the anime is. Of course, we know that the term anime comes from the “animation” word. In Japanese, it derives and changes it to the Japanese tongue until we know as anime.

Anime has a variety of history. Whether you want to start from Osamu Tezuka to Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, the end is the beginning. Anime quickly develops into a whole new world. It’s creating pop culture itself, unlike nerd cultures, geeks or any culture. It’s a massive brilliance of how all people enjoy anime. But, for some reason, “Enter the Anime” suddenly rose from the middle of nowhere at the bottom. Instead of presenting history about anime, this is a promotional documentary about Netflix. Yes, Netflix promotes its anime on its services too. Brilliantly meta!

I’ll never enter the anime. I’ll never look for what the term anime means. It’s like finding out about the presence of an alien in Area 51 or something. The point of this documentary, from beginning to end, is to answer a question. This question will bring you to a second door and Alex Burunova invites us all. While she was enjoying a free trip to Japan in this one-hour documentary, she wonders what the anime is about. And that’s our first and last question of this documentary.

Alex Burunova is a kind of person, you don’t want to meet somewhere. When you meet, you only want it once to not exist in front of you. I don’t know personally about Burunova and what kind of person she is. But, why should Netflix send a person who wants to explore anime but knows nothing about the medium? It’s such a parable disconnection between humans and nature. More importantly, when she came to Japan, why did she have to search it on Google? Why? Isn’t the main point of this documentary to interview the creator of the anime? Isn’t the point you should understand the term from all sorts of perspectives?

Yet, heading 10 to 20 minutes of the film, we still haven’t met Japanese anime creators. Instead, Burunova interviewed Adi Shankar, the producer of “Castlevania”, the Netflix anime, written by Warren Ellis. And I’m also grateful to Burunova that Kanye West is a fan of Shankar. Very useful knowledge. Plus, when Burunova interviewed the guest, why did she have to open Google again? Wait, is this supposed to be another promotional thing? Why didn’t I realize until now that this “film” is a promotion of Netflix itself? Now, I look like an idiot.

It goes on, on, and on but I don’t want to talk in deep about this film. To conclude, there aren’t many Japanese anime creators in this film. There’s LeSean Thomas, the writer of “Cannon Busters”, another Netflix adaptation. There is also Toshiki Hirano and other Netflix anime such as “Aggretsuko”, “Kengan Ashura”, and so on. The worst thing about this film is Buronova interviewing one of the singers from “Neon Genesis Evangelion”. But, for some reason, she never mentioned the name of the show even just once. I mean, why? It’s like I want to write an essay about “2001: A Space Odyssey”. But, I’ll never mention the name of Stanley Kubrick. Is this another agenda for them? Well played, my friend.

“Enter the Anime” is a structural piece of garbage, an insult to a journalist, to filmmaking, and everybody. The point of this documentary is not to attract anime or non-anime fans to subscribe and log in to Netflix. After that, you can enjoy their original anime. Honestly, there is a lot of good anime on Netflix especially when it comes to their originality. But, this documentary fails in any aspect. It fails to attract the attention of those who still haven’t watched anime. On the other hand, it fails at the anime fans as well. It’s a promotional video, a one-hour ad, and a hate-letter to anime. This isn’t a documentary.

1 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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