Growing up from the US, most kids have grown up with cartoons such as Bugs Bunny and Popeye which portrays the good overcoming evil as well as satires that pokes fun of political figures in a none threatening way. For kids, the majority of the time these cartoons have provided a positive impact rather then negativity or problems.
With the recent months in the rising popularity of Japanese animation especially the series of Naruto, many parents are now worried that it may pose as a negative influence for children. Not only does it portray a lot of problems shown within society, it also contains a lot of adult humor as well. Is this something that we should allow our children to be influenced with? Will this type of influence give children bad ideas about the society or their engagements with one another?
Before we further examine this topic, we have to first understand the background of the anime Naruto. The story revolves around Uzumaki Naruto, a kid that has an inner demon of a nine-tailed fox who has once destroyed many villages until a powerful kage or a leader of a village who sealed his inner demon away through a powerful jitsu or a mystical technique of a ninja. The demon is then locked away and the story of Naruto begins with the life and adventure that he has to face. All the while knowing that the demon inside of Naruto may come out someday both from his friends and foes.
From the outer appearance and storyline, Naruto doesn't seem harmful for children nor is the general storyline provides any hint of negativity in anyway. However, with different Episodes there has subtle hints of sexuality. For one, he suddenly changes into a woman wearing a bikini from a man in ways through this Episode he seduced his teacher. In another Episode, various characters posses characteristic of a woman although by nature they are being presented as man.
For parents, these are major signs of red flags that tells parents that they are not suitable for children due to inappropriate content. I however on the other hand dare to say that it's actually okay for children to be exposed for these type of influences. Children nowadays are exposed to sex, violence, and crime whether it is from television or in the public area although some may minimize such influences. Whether you believe it or not, children pick things up rather quickly from adults. Instead of prohibiting negative influences, I believe parents should really educate kids at an early age the right and wrong and lead by example which is something that is lacking at large in causing a lot of division amongst the family and the society as a whole.
Even if we have successfully screened out the popular anime from our children in an effort to protect our children, is this eliminating the heart of the problem? I dare to say no and that we really need to examine ourselves in our communications with our kids in an educational way in light to talk about such events and things. Animations such as Naruto will only increase in this age of globalization and we need to learn how to cope with it rather then excusing ourselves from facing the true reality of this world. With proper education and support, I believe we can still enjoy anime the same way that we had enjoyed various cartoons in a positive manner with our children.