I was suprised the other day when my husband was tuned in to the Hero Channel, which is an anime cable channel and I looked at him and asked, "You're watching that?" He said yes and I just kept quiet. I think he was watching Ryukendo at that time.
I am not a fan of anime, but I found the characters interesting. My husband then explained that anime is extremely popular in Japan and is known throughout the world. It is commonly referred to as an art form and places a large emphasis on visual style. I think anime has gained more worldwide popularity now, especially among the teenagers and adults alike. I also remember having seen a cosplay in SM Megamall, in which a lot of the participants were playing characters from anime.
These anime fans form groups of their own, and serves as their social network in relating to other people with the same interests as they are. With the hype of anime getting stronger, I'm no longer surprised that there is Anime Chat, a place where people interested in anime can meet and talk. It is here where you can know of anime conventions and anime clubs that have become prevalent in colleges and high schools.
One thing I've noticed though is the language used in these animations. I oftentimes find it violent and inappropriate for children. Maybe this is the reason why it is more often considered as cartoons for the adults. The stories also have deeper meanings in relation to Japanese legends, which why an Anime Chat can also be a tool for broadening Japanese culture understanding.
Sometimes I see young people in the malls sort of having a meet-up and discussing anime characters or shows. An anime chat room is an ideal place to broaden one's knowledge of the different aspects of this Japanese animation and how the different styles of animation can be categorized as traditional and modern Japanese anime. In return, other facets of Japanese culture increased in popularity aside from anime as this has made significant impacts in the Western culture.