It’s undeniable that the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh is an effective presence in the culture war. I’ve defended him on multiple occasions, most recently about an old 2011 clip of his where he described how the issue with teen pregnancy was never actually teen pregnancy, it was unwed pregnancy. It was a pretty logical take that I backed him up on, resulting in days of online leftist mobs accusing Walsh and myself of pedophilia. Pretty rich, coming from them, but also wildly inaccurate as I would explain in an article.
But Walsh has a talent for getting things very right while simultaneously getting things so incredibly wrong. His latest take, for instance, is one I can’t help but wildly disagree with. The topic was on the medium of anime, the Japanese style of animation, and Walsh labeled it as “Satanic.” He admitted that he had no reason to believe that, it just gave him that vibe.
Daily Wire host on anime: "I think it's all Satanic. I have no argument for it — I have no argument for why it's Satanic, it just seems that way to me" pic.twitter.com/LTNCluYeDR
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) October 17, 2022
It’s a hot take that is, frankly, a bit ridiculous. It reminds me of people who used to say Dungeons & Dragons or jazz music was Satanic. It’s a stance that usually rises out of ignorance, but you’d figure by now that we’d have grown past that kind of pearl-clutching about the unknown, at least on the right.
That said, while I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with the medium as many around the world are, I’m definitely a fan of it. Something about anime hits differently and I’ve yet to find out what it is about it that makes it so appealing.
Personally, I grew up on it. My afterschool programming consisted of Dragon Ball Z and Gundam Wing. I was young when I first watched Cowboy Beebop and continue to go back to it as I get older. I rate it as one of the greatest animes of all time if not one of the best television shows ever created. If you were to ask me what my top favorite shows are at this moment, “Attack on Titan” and “Goblin Slayer” would be among them.
The medium allows for all kinds of stories to be told, and to be sure, they range from deep and thought-provoking to silly and ridiculous. It allows for many different styles that appeal to many different age groups from older adults to small children.
In fact, I would (and have) argued that American children’s television is currently so infested and infected with the leftist ideology that Japanese anime is mentally, educationally, and emotionally better for your children to watch.
The bottom line here is that anime isn’t Satanic, it’s just another medium for storytelling in the same way any other medium is, be it a movie, video game, or book. Its style allows for sensational visuals and over-the-top action that looks wholly odd in other places.
Take, for instance, the action-packed visuals in a mock-up of an anime opening homage to the Star Wars original trilogy. It takes the already fantastic visuals of the epic and applies some spice and grandeur in a way that sends it into a new but exciting direction.
Contrary to Walsh’s conclusion, my lifelong enjoyment of anime has never made me into a satanist or tempted me to become one just like my enjoyment of rock music or tabletop games never tempted me to side with Lucifer.
All in all, I can’t recommend some anime to the general public enough. While some would argue that this is a form of animation and that animation is meant for children, I’d counter that this simply isn’t accurate. The art in some of these shows is what you would consider great works, and many of them have concepts that mature minds would love to think about and pour over.
But that said, even the sillier animes have a quality to them that makes them worth watching well into adulthood. “Trigun” can, at times be childish in its animation and humor, but it’s still worth watching as an adult for the deep themes it tackles. In fact, Yashuhio Nightow, the creator of Trigun is a Christian and his themes are seen in the show and manga series it’s based on.
In the end, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of childishness. As C.S. Lewis once said, he used to hide the fact that he’d read fairy tales, but as he got older he would begin reading them in the open. They had a deeper quality to them than what was seen on the surface, and it was in coming to terms with his love of fairy tales that he wrote one of his most famous quotes:
“When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”