The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

Anime studies should be offered in American high schools

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/25/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,518 times Debate No: 30309
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (29)
Votes (5)




Anime is an art form akin to novels or movies. The definition of anime is sometimes controversial among fans of the art form who worry if Korean or American work is really anime. For the purpose of this debate, the definition is:

anime: a colorful style of animated feature produced in Japan and reflecting themes that include traditional Japanese values or conflicts, often in a science fiction or fantasy setting (

This debate is not about Pokémon or Card Capture Sakura or Dragonball Z, or others in that genre. I don't have a problem with that type of anime and there are things in that genre worth studying, but it's not prime turf. Just as "literature studies" technically ought to include romance novels, it's not the prime focus. I will argue that anime series like Chobits, Habane Renmei, Kamichu!, and others are worth studying in high school.

I intend it to be unnecessary to have seen any of the specific anime I cite to follow this debate. I will assume that the reader has seen at least one anime designed for the age 13+ audience, so the general style need not be explained.

The resolution says "should be offered." That means that the anime course would be an elective, not part of the core curriculum. No one would be forced to take the course. I grant anime studies would be inappropriate in a very small high school that offers few electives. A school large enough to offer electives in literature or cinema would be in the category that should offer anime studies.

I assume that school resources are finite. One might argue, for example, that "high schools should offer a course in magnetoeclectrodynamics." on the grounds that having more courses is better than having fewer courses. That would be true were it not that school resources are finite, so if something, something else has to go to free up the teaching time and classrooms. I will argue that what ought to be replaced are some courses in classic literature, cinema, ethnic or general multicultural studies, or studies of other aspects of pop culture.

The Debate

Thanks to my opponent for working out this topic and agreeing to this debate.

This debate is in round two of SPinko's Elo Tourney II. updated

In this debate I will number references sequential from the start of the debate. This allows citing a reference in a previous round by just giving the number of the reference without also giving the round number. Con is not obliged to use my numbering system.


This opening round is for definitions and acceptance only. I will give the Pro case at the start of the second round.

Standard debate conventions apply. I list them here for the benefit of new debaters and readers. I believe there is nothing tricky or eccentric. Both sides agree to the following rules, and that violating the rules is a conduct violation, with anything contrary to the rules to be ignored by readers judging the debate:

DR 1. All arguments must be made in the debate. Evidence may be cited or linked from the debate, but only in support of arguments made in the debate. Arguments made in Comments are to be ignored.

DR 2. Source links or references must be included within the 8000 characters per round limit of the debate. No links or sources are permitted in comments.

DR 3 Any term not specifically defined before use is to be taken with the ordinary dictionary definition of the term that best fits the context of the debate.

DR 4. No new arguments shall be made in Round 4. Pro may rebut previous arguments using new evidence solely for that purpose, but no new arguments are allowed. Con may not present any new evidence in R4.

DR 5. DDO site rules always apply. Neither side may add or modify rules for the debate once the challenge is accepted.




1. My knowledge on anime is limited to very few T.V. shows, and comic books. For all intensive purposes, I am willing to do research on any anime saga that my opponent brings up in this debate however. My intention is that the reader overlook my in-experience with a lot of anime, as I will be attempting to do this debate through principals, and personal philosophies, etc.

2. In accordance to this debate tying around elective classes, I will try to focus my arguments a little more on neccesities, and try to hash out problems that some current schooling systems may have. My intention is for the audience to realize that my position shouldn't be assumed that I currently agree with all of the trending schooling functions (I know alot of schools offer other silly classes such as "study of middle earth" etc.

I look forward to this debate, and wish you good luck Roy!

My appolagies for such a long wait.

Your definitions seem fine to me. I have no definitions as of this time, as I hope this debate's purpose is clear enough that there won't be such definitional problems here-in the debate.

Debate Round No. 1


I'll link some video clips to illustrate the anime genre, but they are not essential to the debate. In the Rouruni Kenshin saga, the marshal arts master Saito appears to be discouraging Sanosuke, he's actually encouraging him. [1. ] In Japan, heroes must work hard. In a harder-to-understand clip from Kamichu!, girls at a Shinto shrine are preparing for the Christmas holiday. [2.] The view of Christmas bears explanation.

1. Anime takes youth seriously

In Japan, anime is mainstream culture, with more than forty anime series running on television at any one time. Top talent goes into its production. Older people in Japan have a much greater interest in the shaping of youth than in the U.S. or most other cultures. Schools are faced with problems of too much parental involvement. Americans tend to idolize youth in a way that mimics the fads and sometimes irresponsible behaviors, but the Japanese fascination is much more with the problems to be solved.

The challenges of youth endure throughout life, hence the continuing interest. Even though Romeo and Juliet is about young teenagers, the story has a universal interest. Anime has that type of appeal.

The result of the broad Japanese interest in anime is that plots are more mature and more substantial. The long serial formation allows for complex plots. A story arc is likely to go for ten or twenty episodes, tractable within a high school course. Anime is fun to watch, which makes for more interested students.

Here are a few anime themes: How should a young person deal with an elder they are obligated to respect and who is brilliant in some respects, but wildly eccentric and even disreputable in others? What does respect demand? In the comedy series Ranma 1/2, [3.] the wizen old grandpa in the clan is a marshal arts master and smart enough to often trick people into doing what he wants. He is sometimes selfish and sometimes benevolent. The old man has a hobby of sneaking around at night in ninja costume and stealing women's underwear off of clothes lines, an endless embarrassment to his grown son and teenage grandchildren. The family must control the geezer while remaining respectful. The theme of resolving conflict between respect and disagreement appears repeatedly in anime. (Incidentally, Ranma changes into a girl when splashed with cold water. Gender play is a recurring anime theme.)

Another common theme has to do with treating evil people who believe they are acting morally. The most vile of villains often provide philosophical rationalizations for their behavior. The virtues of villains include clarity of purpose, decisiveness, and loyalty. The story often evolves that they need killing, and are dispatched accordingly, but that's no reason why their positive qualities should not be recognized. The Rouruni Kenshin plot is a good example.

Conflicts between family loyalty and love interests --the Romeo and Juliet theme-- are played out in anime, but the importance of the family connection is more believable than in Western use of the theme. Ai Yori Aoshi [4.] is a good example. In the anime, much effort goes into winning the consent of the two families, which ultimately resolves the conflict.

2. Anime deals with adapting to hypermodern society

For all the merits of Shakespeare, he doesn't say much about relationships with robots. Japan is further along than the rest of the world in having a subculture that is more comfortable deal with machines, ranging from reclusive obsession with video games --and anime-- to talking cars and computers. Per capita, the Japanese consume twice as many electronic gadgets as Americans.

Borderline human/robot beings common theme in anime, with Chobits
[5., Mahoromatic [6.], and Solty Rei [7.] are among many examples. The robot theme explores questions of "What is it that makes a human human?" and "What odd limitations and defects are tolerable in a relationship?"

3. Treatment of Religious Topics

Discussing Western religion in schools is limited by political correctness. Buddhism and especially Shinto are not so constrained. There are very few places in America where a completely frank discussion of Shinto cannot be undertaken without fear; yet the philosophical questions addressed have a great deal of overlap with Western religion.

In Kamichu! [8.!], Yurie, a middle school girl, awakes with god powers. Shinto has thousands of kami (spirits), each with limited powers and a role in the world. There is a kami for poverty, who has a lot of angst over his job, a kami for nostalgia, and even spirits that move trash in the wind. Yurie must figure out how to act as a kami and what her role is. The spirits are organized and give training seminars. The role of the local shrine in the village and the foibles of promoters and precaution's are played out.

Few modern Japanese believe the kami actually exist, but the series shows the merits of treating the world as if they do exist. It explores what it takes to be a god.

Haibane Renmei [9.] is concerned with the concept of redemption. The notion is that redemption lies in resolving inner conflicts. The Third [10.!] has a religious theme originally concealed that builds through clues.

4. Multiculturalism

All anime references Japanese culture. It is interesting because of obvious differences from Western culture, but it deals successfully with common issues of all societies. While something can be learned from study of any dissimilar culture, the Japanese are technological advanced and have a sophisticated society. It is monocultural. Americans are taught the virtues of multiculturalism, and those virtues are true, but monoculturalism has strong advantages as well. By measures of crime rates and education, Japanese society does much better than American society. In other areas, not so well.

Shakespeare is an example of world cultural literature. The stories and themes are known to educated people around the world. Anime has a substantial following around the world, so it offers a modern avenue of world cultural literacy.

"While anime had entered markets beyond Japan in the 1960s, it grew as a major cultural export during its market expansion during the 1980s and 1990s. The anime market for the United States alone is "worth approximately $4.35 billion,... Anime has also had commercial success in Asia, Europe and Latin America, where anime has become more mainstream than in the United States. " [11.]

Making Space in the Curriculum

Shakespeare is awesome. So is Twain. There is great literature worthy of core study in high school. However, not all traditional literature is well-suited to high school. Ronald Reagan said of Jimmy Carter, "Anyone who says they like to get up early and take a cold shower will lie to you about other things as well." A similar sentiment applies to the morbid vain of classic literature. Studying Thomas Hardy, most of Dickens, and all of Chaucer are among my picks for deletion. Tess of the d'Urbervilles starts with Tess' horse being gored and proceeds downhill for 300 pages to her horrible demise. Imposing that stuff on high school students is tantamount to abuse. Trimming it in non-core courses will make room for anime.

Vapid attempts at multiculturalism fail as well. Get rid of them. They are mostly different recitations of conventional thinking. Japan provides genuine diversity in culture.

Anime has provided valuable innovations in artistic style, including character design, animation style, and the strong integration of music with content.

Anime is unique. It's well-worth studying.



Anime, in the world today, is quite a blissful way for youth to enjoy themselves, and find a great amount of entertainment. I myself, have found myself intricate in some Anime throughout my youth. But should it be taught in schools?
The suggested course name for this hypothetical class is "Anime studies", which seems to suggest or imply that the students would be learning first hand, the meanings and concepts that are portrayed in these anime saga's. My purpose in this debate, is not to undermine anime, or the fact that Anime can be meaningful, insightful, or even philosophically intrinsic, but that it overall, will be more of a detriment in the schooling systems than it would be a benefit.

Most of my case will be a Rebuttal to Roy's, but for the sake of being professional, I will go over Roy's point individually (though briefly, so as not to repeat myself).


1. Anime takes Youth Seriously.

My opponent makes a point to the themes and purposes of Japanese based anime, that the concepts of an anime can help teach youth. He uses examples of respect for elders, even though they are sometimes odd. My tack on this example is, that as a youth who is supposed to not only respect their elders, but learn from them as well, will this type of Anime really influence someone to do good?

"Our children are watching us live, and what we ARE shouts louder than anything we can say." - Wilferd A. Peterson

This Quote supports the argument that children learn from their superiors. According to a study done by the university of Chicago, called the Journey to Abnormal Psychology, "Social skills can be interpreted as everything from the basic polite "please" and "thank you" to speaking in front of crowds."

If the message that these anime's are giving to students revolves around stealing woman's underwear, is the impact of studying this in schools really going to be beneficial?

While this is a minor point, The main thing I am trying to get across here, is that while an Anime may have theme's and concepts that people can interpret as good, does it overall serve us to teach them in school? If we wanted to be technical, we could play a porno in schools, using the excuse that it is artistic way to show how people have to choose between true love, and family betrayal, when a young woman is having a sexual affair with her father. We can look into any anime, and find important concepts, but are the youths really focusing on this aspect of the Anime, or the entertainment value of the anime?

2. A Hypermodern society

This point is kind of a blunt, context-less way of saying that Japanese anime is a futuristic. However, I am kind at a loss for a rebuttal to this, as it lacks an impact on the benefit this type of anime brings to schools. Not only do literature classes in school use modern, or futuristic context such as a Brave New World, The giver, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and even the hunger games (as silly as it sounds, yes they are reading it in schools), but they also have their own subjective philosophic value to schools. Shakespeare isn't the only thing taught in schools. I am not going to go into much detail, because my case will touch more on my impact. However, older text's such as Shakespeare, are taught to give students a better understanding of where alot of our literature originates from.

3. Anime and Religion

I have no doubt that anime has an impact on religion. For the purpose of clarity, however, what's focus on the importance level of religious aspects being taught in schools. It is my intention to stand by that religious merits, and philosophical beliefs should be kept on a students own time, rather than being gleamed in schools. I stand, that elective classes teaching such religious material, should be taken out of schools, as they can be pursued on a students own time.

4. Multi-Culturalism

To me this point seems a little redundant. If we want to study Japanese Culture, can students not take other classes that prioritize a bit more in the bigger cultural aspects of Japan? From one World Studies Course, a student can learn the major principles of Japanese Culture, and other countries as well, while Anime may focus on one specific culture aspect, and devote it's entire saga to that principle alone.

I agree completely with Roy, that things can be taken out of the curriculum to make space for something else. But is anime really what we should be substituting it with?


Contention 1: The problem with the current schooling system.

Before I can address the harms of anime in a schooling system, I have to in-corporate my position on what the flaws of the current system are. So I ask the question: What is the purpose of school? While many different schools have many different mission statements, the overall underlying aspects of school can be collectively agreed on that Civic, Emotional, Cognitive, Vocational, and Social Development. In addition to this, schooling can best be attributed to how it can best best progress, or incorporate skills into a students life, that can better help them be successful later in there own careers.

Do current schooling systems support these above values? Some do, some don't. Granted, not all schooling systems are flawless, most could definitely use improvement. So we must consider the value of specific classes to a students development.

Students have a lot of stress as it is in trying to meet the graduation requirements.

    • Three years of English

    • Two years of mathematics (including Algebra I)

    • Three years of social science (including U.S. history and geography; world history, culture, and geography; one semester of American government; and one semester of economics)

    • Two years of science (including biology and physical science)

    • Two years of physical education

    • One year of foreign language or visual and performing arts

Not only do students have to worry about failing and restarting classes, but they also have to worry about the effect that studying on their own time will accost them. While some of the more go-getter's can achieve 4.0's and still manage to succeed in these areas, what curricular classes should they explore on their own time? Does it benefit a school to give classes that people seek out for mere entertainment purposes only? Not only would the school have to pour the limited use of government money into classes, that can benefit the school no more than an adding entertainment value to a students life. A class on the art of video games can be just as equally interesting as a class on anime studies, however should it be used in the same school hours that students need to gain the skills listed above? These types of interested are better pursued in their own time, or in college, when a student has their entire life to pursue their own career goals.

Contention 2: Priority of classes
Tying into point in C1, What type of electives should be offered? The American schooling systems should weigh the principles of importance of classes when it comes to distribution of government resources. In accordance with my opponents point about cutting down curriculum, maybe we cold cut some of the more useless classes, an add in courses that could better benefit the student in their futures. Hands on classes, things that deal with real world applications, etc. American Finance, is an elective class. But shouldn't learning how to stay financially healthy be more important than learning how to write an essay?

I love anime, and people should definitely get into it if they want some good entertainment. But is watching Sanosuke get his butt kicked going to benefit someone's education?
Debate Round No. 2


The purpose of an Anime Studies course is to provide exposure to alternative ways of looking at problems, with the focus on problems facing youth. The goal is not to teach students that the Japanese way of looking at these problems provides correct answers. In fact, anime occasionally allows the central problem to be left unresolved, despite heroic attempts. More often some aspect of the problem will be left unresolved. For example, the anime Initial D is about the role of passion in pursuing life goals. Too little passion leads to accomplishing nothing, but unrestrained passion leads to a "crash and burn" outcome. Multiple plot threads demonstrate the results of too much and too little passion.

The mantra in modern education is that students should be taught the tools of thinking rather than what to think. That's a worthy goal rarely accomplished. Anime can live up to that challenge, and that's why it deserves a place in the curriculum.

1. Anime takes youth seriously

Con argues that since anime depicts aberrant behavior in older people and treats the problem of dealing with it, that youth may mistake the point and mimic the bad behavior. So is there a real danger that high school students will miss the joke in Ranma 1/2 and decide that dressing in ninja costume and sneaking around to steal girls' underwear is really acceptable behavior? I don't think so. Every character except the perverted old man finds the behavior unacceptable. No, there is no mistaking the behavior as acceptable. The problem is how to deal with it. The old pervert is honored for his merits while being soundly denounced for his anti-social behavior.

In anime characters who are to be respected often have flaws to deal with. Teachers, held in high respect, have problems with alcoholism. They abandon their class to run away with a lover. The concept of respect for elders is more highly developed than in American culture, and the problems of sustaining the concept are dealt with squarely. Students immersed in American culture are not likely to start conforming to the models of Japanese culture; the goal is to teach how a different culture handles common problems.

Con worries that the story lines of anime will be ignored by students in favor of the entertainment value. That problem arises in studying literature, and the way it's avoided In literature is for teachers to pick the works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky rather than Ian Fleming to study. A good literature course should pick works that are fun to read as well having a valuable message worth studying, and that's the rule for anime as well. It's going to be Habane Renmei and not Pokémon.

But why not study some other neglected aspect of art or literature rather than anime? It's because of the anime concern with the challenges of youth, and how those challenges play out over a lifetime.

2. Anime deals with adapting to hypermodern society

Con points to four standard works
like 1984, having dystopian visions of the future, and argues that "futurism" is now adequately covered. It takes nothing away from 1984 to note that there is more to the fuure than depressing dehumanization. Chobits ponders the question of whether it is acceptable to love a robot. The answer isn't clear; it's perhaps. One must nderstand the limitations of androids.

Anime is rank with vehicles that not only respond to voice inquiries, but offer advice and counsel. The girl protagonist in The Third has an interesting professional relationship with her armored vehicle. Apple's Siri is a real-life precursor to that future, albeit a rather lame one. Orwell and Huxley are dealing with dangers of the future, but anime deals with adapting to a society having machines in important roles. There is more to it than being afraid.

3. Anime and Religion

Con says that he wants to keep religion and philosophy out of schools, but he gave no reasons why it should be kept out. I argued that political correctness makes it impossible to say much interesting about Western religion or philosophy in American schools, but that those landmines can be avoided by using anime as an entrée to Eastern concepts.

I'll grant that there are fundamentalists who will object to the mere discussion of anything that does not conform to their orthodoxy, but Anime Studies would be an elective that could be readily avoided. I further doubt that spirits who rattle trash in the wind or a depressed god of poverty that shares the body of a cat (per Kamichu!) can be taken seriously by fundamentalists. The Japanese find value in the concepts without taking them to be literally true.

4. Multi-culturalism

Con suggests that a straight course in Japanese culture, or a survey course in world cultures, might bring more benefits to students than Anime Studies. The reasons why anime should be preferred over broader treatments have to do with the unique features of anime that make it a worldwide phenomenon. It treats the challenges of youth seriously, it talks about the future, and it speaks to moral problems of the modern age, and it does so from a different cultural perspective.

Besides, surveys and broad treatments are much less interesting than anime. We want subjects that inspire students to want to learn, and anime is proved to be interesting. Once interest is captured, students with the aptitude can be led into some very difficult anime. For example, the movie "Urusei Yatsura -- Beautiful Dreamer" [video ] combines Japanese mythology with a parody of high school traditions and an odd plot that blends into a dream sequence. Making sense of it yields many of the standard components of anime.


Con objects that students are stressed meeting the requirements now imposed, and cites course requirements amounts to 12 course years over high school. American school systems vary, so sometime there are four years designated as high school, and other times only three. I will assume six periods per day, meaning there are either 18 or 24 course-years associated with high school. With six to twelve elective slots available, there is room for an anime course. Moreover, Con says that one of the course requirements is a year of "foreign language or visual and performing arts." Anime Studies could be used to fulfill the arts requirement.

Con tries to dismiss anime as empty entertainment. A similar charge could be leveled against any visual or performing art, or any course that is not boring. The best anime represents is a uniquely innovative and creative art form of modern times. To be appreciated, students must understand the artistic paradigms, the format, the cultural traditions and mythology, and key story lines.


Anime is typically constructed in story arcs of a dozen or two episodes that progress from beginning to an end. When a series begins there are typically some lightweight episodes that introduce and define the characters before the real story begins. There are usually at least a half dozen characters, each defined by distinct appearance and personality. Some series have dozens of characters that require note taking to keep straight. Plots may be in the pattern of good guys versus bad guys, but there are three-, four-, and five-sided plots. Bad guys often have redeeming characteristics. Anime producers discovered that girls liked to see to girls in the empowered roles as action heroes, and boys are happy with that. Many series now have lead female characters in strong roles and many have romantic plots or sub-plots. Anime pays special attention to depicting specific places, the time of year, time of day, and weather.

Anime should be given a place among other electives because it teaches important critical thinking skills. I don't deny that other electives like personal finance ought to be advanced, but I wonder how much students will actually learn when they don't face many of the actual money situations discussed. Anime relates to current experience.




My oppoenent made a point to the purpose of Anime, being to provide alternative ways of looking at problems. I am going to refute this with realism. When a teenager watches an Anime, what are they getting from the Anime? Are they looking at the art in the Anime (which by all means, I am not saying isn't there), or are they looking for the comedy, action, or the drama? Let's face it, Anime's in the form of TV shows, and Comic books are meant for entertainment purposes only. They are marketed for entertainment purposes. And ultimately that is what these students care about. Yes there are similar filler classes to Anime studies (like film studies for a prime example), that could essentially say the same thing. While yes, there are students who will milk the class for entertainment, and there are also students who will actually gain something out of it, I tie priority back to this. Aren't there better classes that students can gain this same type of exposure to, that are probably a little bit more beneficial to their education? Point is, everything has to do with entertainment value. The history channel is a prime example of how something meant to be a learning source, was manipulated into entertainment disguised under a learning gesture (IE aliens, and bigfoot).

"We want subjects that inspire students to want to learn"

The problem is that the type of students who take this class, ware going to be taking it for other reasons. Students will see this type of a class as a relaxing way to pursue their own interests, and be entertained. Does passing or failing this class matter to a student? Will it effect their graduation? Probably not. No one is going to look at a student taking anime classes in high school for a job application, rather than a student who took Financial Literature in the extra curricular activities.

1. Taking youth seriously.

Just to clear up the point on Ramna, My general question is this: While teenagers may or may not replicate his actions, what inherant benefit do students gain from watching this is an educational environment? I mean yes, you can find a way to twist some sort of value on to it, (as you can with nearly anything, see my point on the porno) but overall are kids going to learn something from Ramna, or just laugh and continue on the inevitable high school immaturity that is sure to follow the viewing of the video? Again realism. Are high school students really going to care anout the respecting elders just because some fictional characters in a cartoon do?

2. Hypermodern Society

I find this kind of a rather low impact point, as I pointed out initially, however I the there was a thought or two that may have been mis-contrued. I am not trying to compare and contrast current commonly studied literature to Anime. The point of the examples was to prove that we already had similar stuff to that, in contention to my opponent's thought's that Shakespeare was outdated.

Anyways I am having a hard time finding the significant importance to how justify how a human loving a robot is justification for an entire Anime class to be taught in high school. Is it worth the money, the cutting out of curriculum, and is there benefit to the class enough to support hosting a class like this? I think not.

3. Anime and Religion

My opponent asked why I believe religion is not beneficial in schools, so I will briefly elaborate. As I explained in R2, The main purpose of school is to set a student up for a future in the following categories I provided, and sourced. But how does teaching religion benefit students? My opponent talks about cutting out classes to make room for classes like Anime studies. But why would it be a wise decision for a school to cut out classes, for something that can better easily be taught at a free religious organiztion on the students own time? Why hire teachers, pay for the course, and subject students to something that is faith based? School should deal with facts, not popular opinions, as it is the best way to progress a student's education. That aside, the connection between anime and religion being beneficial to school is missing to me. Even if anime and religion tie together, why does that make it an important class for high schoolers?

4. Multi-Culturism

Again, we are talking about how the japanese cultures expodentially helps students make better choices, and live a better lfestyle. You are advocating that learning more about the japanese lifestyle is beneficial to High school Students, and I couldn't agree more. But what does Anime focus on that shows significant realistic Japanse culture? You say that it is beneficial so that studens can understand moral choices and see things from a futristic fictional fanbase (say that 3 times fast) idea of what a culture should be like. But the Beautiful dreamer, while definitely interesting, doesn't seem to answer my question of: Why this opposed to a world studies class? Couldn't this world studies class do everthying the anime classes would supposedly do, but more? I understand that there are benefits to really understanding Anime as a means of self pursuing interest, in the inevitable free time you cna spend watching this, but is what can be learned and derived from anime really enough to justify an entire course study to it? I contend, that it is impossible for the majority of students who would be interested in taking this class, to actually get more out of it than a bit of interesting knowledge, that will not really benefit them much in their lifes, other than add to an interesting bit of know-it-all conversations with their friends.


C1 And 2: Priorities, and fitting classes

I am not trying to say that the class couldn't fit in with a students schedule. I am asking why, it should take priority over a different elective class that may offer a student a bit more intellectually, and realisticly? Which class could better benefit a student's future? I feel Anime Studies falls a bit lower on the priority list. Also the pool of resources that would spend to go into the class wouldn't be worth it, as opposed to some of the other options I had listed.

I don't deny that other electives like personal finance ought to be advanced, but I wonder how much students will actually learn when they don't face many of the actual money situations discussed.

But honestly, will taking an anime class teach them how to overcome very likely potential problems they may face in the future? Maybe A student can be inspired by something they learned from an anime, but Learning how to stay out of debt, keep fair credit, and stablize themselves seems a bit more important than devoloping a cool moral philosophy from a fictional story, does it not?

I am going to end my response on this conclusion.

Anime is very entertaining, artistic, and even exciting. But it does not make a good High school class. If anything, Anime is probably one of the major causes towards students bad grades, and distractions. I know I've imagined myself as a super saiyan as my teachers have ranted on about things I cared less about. But Other than entertain me, Anime never really benefitted me or my education. And of the anime's I personally have watched, I am not sure how philosophical's intelligent I have become from watching characters extreme over reactions to simple statements, silly antics, and intense violence.

Anime will forever hold a place in my heart, But given the realistic aspect of what Anime actually offers me, or others, I conlude that Anime is overall not beneficial in Highschools.
Debate Round No. 3


Con has given us a good debate, for which I thank him.

Con's rebuttal does not for most part contradict my claims that anime takes youth seriously, nor does he deny that anime deals with modern themes, or that it expresses a different way of thinking that reflects the viewpoint of a different culture. His main arguments are than none of the potential benefits will be realized because students will do no more than be entertained, and that other subjects would be more valuable. I think those are legitimate concerns, but there is really no problem making an anime course a challenging learning experience. I'll deal with Con's R3 arguments first.

Anime has the Depth for Serious Study

Con says he has never benefited from anime beyond the entertainment. I doubt that's true, because anime is to permeated with Japanese thinking. If one only read classic literature I doubt they would recognize what benefit they have derived from it? Of course it's also possible to read only trash novels without getting much from them. Anime is produced in such volume that there is lot of it without much substance. Not just Pokémon and Sailor Moon, but the whole genre of mindless action like Dragonball Z have little more than action sequences with a Japanese twist and high production values. Anime that has value, examples of which I've cited, is generally difficult to fully appreciate without some formal instruction. Shakespeare is better with a lot of explaining, but Shakespeare was targeting the mass audiences of his times. I think that there is something to be gained from unstudied enjoyment of the better anime, and that's why anime is so successful worldwide, but it really benefits from instruction.

Anime instruction is helpful. Consider the clip of Sanosuke fighting Seito[1]. The point that's commonly missed is that Seito is performing in the role of a master preparing an apprentice. At the end Seito begrudgingly accepts that Sanosuke will join Kenshin as an ally, even though Seito has up to that point consistently insulted Sanosuke's ability and dismissed him as a worthless incompetent. Sanosuke ultimately recognizes what has been going on when he notes that Seito never hit his injured shoulder during the fight, but had carefully avoided a direct strike. Seito could have disabled Sanosuke had he wanted to, and Sanosuke realized that. It ends with Sanosuke inspired to train harder as a result of the encounter.

This type of master-to-student relationship recurs. In the Kenshin series it happens several times, including Kenshin's relationship with his swordmaster. In the romance Ai Yori Aoshi, [4] the hero, after going to enormous lengths to prove himself worthy, begs his girlfriend's father for permission to marry. The Japanese-stereotypical authoritarian father responds with all manner of insults and deprecations -- but never says no. The crestfallen hero has to have it explained to him that the old man actually approved.

Compare the anime approach to encouragement to the "everyone gets a trophy" approach [12.] that's trendy in American education. In contemporary Japan there is an annual examination for the highest ranks of mastery in Japanese archery, wherein "attitude" is rated along with hitting the target. Hundreds take e test, but years go by with no one succeeding in achieving the rank. There's a popular Japanese TV series with athletes running obstacle courses. Only every few years does someone complete the whole course. People try all the harder. I don't know if the Japanese approach is the right approach, but there is much to consider. It seems deliberately destroying self-esteem sometimes motivates better than nurturing it.

I pointed out the obsession with placing characters in distinct physical environments. Strong clues are given to the nature of the physical surroundings, the time of year, the time of day, and the weather. Why is that? When the Buddha was asked if he was a god, a king, or a prophet, he replied "no" to each. "Well then, what are you?" He replies, "I am aware." Being aware is thought to be an inherent virtue. The characters in anime often adjust their attitudes to the environment, particularly the seasons. Japanese shops traditionally change decorations to mark the four seasons, as Americans do with holidays.

I mentioned many other themes and topics. There are dozens worth discussing in an anime course.

Anime reaches students. Why anime rather than a survey of world cultures or some other art form? A survey course can only teach a list of trivia, and rather boring trivia at that. To get to interesting cultural and philosophical material there has to be sustained exploration of one culture. Other cultures have many interesting features that bear study, but anime is uniquely suitable for the reasons I've cited: it's interesting, it's mainstream, it deals with modern society, and avoids the limits of political correctness.

No one is going to have a robot girlfriend or boyfriend any time soon. However, dealing with machines on a personal basis is a dominant feature of modern society right now. Video games, computers, smart phones, and omnipresent video streaming are personal machines unlike steam engines and power plants. The threat is the depersonalization of society. The Japanese are ahead of the rest of the world in experiencing the impact. A resort in Japan promoted a pseudo-romantic weekend for isolated male anime fans who idolize the female anime characters in a certain series. Anime characters have official birthdays, which are celebrated with cake. This is creepy, and the Japanese including the participants know it. The theme of human relationships competing with artificial relationships recurs in anime.

An anime course must be curriculum driven. Con worries that an anime course could degenerate into fluff posing as learning. I think that's a valid concern, and I argued that the way to prevent that is with a structured standardized curriculum. There are several good texts to support the curriculum, notably Napier's Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation. [13.] and a number of less ponderous texts, like Anime Explosion [14.]

What motivates a student to take the study of, say, geometry seriously? The desire to get a good grade is common to all coursework. Most students will not much immediate application nor later importance in learning geometry. Most study it because they do not want to be saddled with a failing grade, and if they enjoy it, it's because the problems pose interesting challenges. The benefit of learning geometry is in the methods of mathematical logic by which theorems are proved. Anime starts out with the advantage of being inherently interesting because it deals with problems currently facing young people, and which they will continue throughout life. That's a result of the design for a mainstream audience. The different perspective is inherent in it's basis in Japanese culture. A good curriculum will ensure challenging problems that will keep the material interesting.

Religion. Con argues that religion can be studied outside of school. In the West, Eastern religion is uncommon. Moreover, anime is not really teaching the religion per se, it is introducing the philosophical style of thinking. It sort of parallels the goal of geometry to teach an alternative method of deriving a conclusion.

I am not advocating that anime ought to be a basic course in high school, but it compares well against other electives. Students will learn critical analysis, new approaches to life's problems, and new essay themes. It will increase future appreciation of the art form. And it's a sneaky way to make learning fun.



To refrain from being repetitive, I am going to briefly go over the arguments that my opponent made individually, than wrap everything up in a conclusion.
I also thank Pro for a very insightful look into Anime, and for opening me up to some new Anime's.

Serious Study

I have to points to make to counter this one. I have no doubt that Anime CAN be studied seriously. If it was indeed a class, it of course would have to be orchestrated such that it could be studied seriously. But just as my high school film studies class was, no one went into that class expecting to do any real studying. The homework, was more or less, finding fictional films of the 50's and watching them. In the end, what did I really gain from watching Lord of the Flies, and the original King Kong? Maybe a bit of interest in the concepts, but overall, most the people in that class including myself, took it because it was an easy A. While the course study from Anime may be a bit different, the average highschool mind is only going to be taking that class for an easy skate through A. Maybe there will be people who take the class seriously. But that brings up my next point. What are these types of classes bringing to students that benefits the school? How many of these students are actually going to pursue a career in Japanese Anime? And of the ones who just want to gain an acruistic taste for art, philosophy, and religion, what career skills are they really going to benefit from this class? Will kids not drop out of this class when they realize that it isn't full of the mindless action that you speak of? Unfortunately a good portion of teenagers follow this kind of Anime. Also doesn't showing teens this kind of stuff in high school actually do the opposite, of open them up to new things? It's that natural teenagers concept that makes you want to rebel against parents, teachers and society. Generally you want to dis-like and hate rules, and study created in school institutions.

Anime Intruction is Helpful

In this next point, my opponent has outlined some examples of what concept and values Japanese anime teaches. He shows many ways that Anime can be 'helpful' arguably, but when were talking in terms of subjectivity, Helpful takes a whole different approach. Do these minor concepts justify Anime being used in schools? The point about Saito being manipulative teacher to Sanuke, or the authoratarian father, are they enough to make an entire course for? Now when you speak in terms of what helpful is, to what end is Anime helpful? A students mere interest in a fictional concept, or a Students growth and development? How far can a student carry these values on into their lives to have it really make a difference? Why not spend time and valuable resources on more important classes, or studies? Anime being helpful is subjective, however, we cannot find a probable explanation to believe that this course would be more beneficial than the attribute to someone's own interest.

Anime Reaches Students

"it's interesting, it's mainstream, it deals with modern society, and avoids the limits of political correctness."

My response to this, remains as it was before. Do the student recognize these cultural aspects? Do they even care? When you watch an Anime, you generally seem to moer keen to paying attention to plot and entertainment value. A regular world studies class intends to focus on teaching the students. There is not as much room for distraction from the main point. A student wanting a passing grade will focus, and study, which will inevitably make them learn. A japanese Anime focuses on ONE culture, and is intent on creating entertainment value. Any good Japanese show, has to keep entertainment value as the main purpose in order to achieve viewers. Automatically, the primary focus isn't learning but to attract viewers, which makes the cultural aspect stand out just that much less to students.

Curriculum Driven

I sort of addressed this earlier. To expound on my point, of course a course in school would have to be curriculum driven. My point is that is won't work. You bring up a point about Geometry. Yes, the passing grade would be the motivational factor to the student. While the class may not be remotely interesting to the student, they inevitably learn. There isn't funny anime drama, or action to distract their mind a way from the main concept of geometry. Geometry is straight forward, and to the point, meaning the student lears no matter what, unless they simply choose to flunk out. How many students will actually understand the deep concepts that Anime brings? Even with someone pasuing a video to stand there and talk about it, will they care? Even if they do understand them, what is being benefited other than an understanding of a fictional drama?


What specifically about religion in Anime can we really look at as pushing a student forward in their life? The argued part of religion being talked about in schol is kind of one of the "agree to dis-agree" arguments. However the main argument against this point is that there is no point! Students who are atheistic, agnostic, or of another religion, may not find it fair to be subjected to other religions through the form of a school classroom in which they have to learn. There is already plenty of problem with the teaching of evolution in schools with many students and parents. Do we need another class like this? Do who have interest in this kind of class really know or expect to be adopted in to Japanese religion as they enter into this class? Is it fair to do this to the students? Overall the religion aspect is an unfair way to subjicate someone to a concept against their own will.


My opponent has made some very good points throughout this debate. But here is what I think I have proven that Anime in schools does more harm than good.

- Anime's entertainment value is too distracting for students, to pay attention to the values attempted to be taught.

- There are better classes that can teach the same thing but with more variety.

- Anime is low on the priority level for electives, and takes up space where students could be learning things that benefit them more.

- With all of the current classes students need to graduate, a class like this could be distractive and harmful to their progress.

- Students can better pursue studies of anime on their own time if they wish to become more knowledgable to Anime. A students own understanding, can open them up to a deeper state of thinking, rather than a teacher telling them what to make of a concept.

Anime simply isn't justifiable in schools. Not only is some of the things in anime in appropriate for a schooling environments goals, but it also creates entertainment value instead of learning. It is possible to create both, but not through something that students can easily use as a scape goat class for a good grade. Even the good grade cannot be guaranteed, as there is no incentive for a student to care about these thoughts or concepts as opposed to being entertained, as the Anime is clearly intended to do.

My opponent has made some fantastic points, but overall I think I have shown that Anime in schools does more harm than good.

I thank Roy for this great debate, and wish him luck in the voting period!
Debate Round No. 4
29 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
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Posted by deever 5 years ago
I'll say, great debate on both sides, but espically for Con. After all, Pro is a real Professional.
Posted by darkkermit 5 years ago
(part 2)
-Purpose of school
Con states that " While many different schools have many different mission statements, the overall underlying aspects of school can be collectively agreed on that Civic, Emotional, Cognitive, Vocational, and Social Development."
Pro"s own argument seem to fall under these purposes, besides vocational. However, Pro mainly argues for mainly vocational skills, which seems to be a contradictory argument.
This argument also falls through without being mentioned towards the end.
-Priority of class
CON questions the priority of Anime, since other classes can be offered and there"s a limit to what a student can study. CON offers examples of what people can study instead: personal finance, and art of video games. He complains that Anime has no career-based goals. In fact, he quite frequently reiterates this argument to counter some of Pro"s arguments.
PRO shows however, that the class can be used to fulfill the visual arts requirement. Furthermore, Pro shows that certain classical literature should be dropped so that anime can be filled At no point does CON rebut this claim or show why other classical literature should be focused on instead. CON concedes that it can be fit into the schedule as well. Con also does not outright disagree that literature and visual arts shouldn"t be taught in school, so unless CON goes the full distance and say that the visual arts requirement should be eliminated or that literature should be cut back or eliminated for other classes, this point is moot.
Posted by darkkermit 5 years ago
(part 1)
-Anime takes youth seriously:
CON counters that argument by saying that anime is for entertainment purposes and one can find seriously themes in any genre of entertainment (ex: porn). However, PRO counters through showing that Shakespeare was a form of entertainment at one point as well, and so is literature.
CON concedes this point that anime can be taken seriously, only stating that students will unlikely to take it seriously. PRO shows that since it"s for a grade and there are ways to analyze it seriously.
I felt that PRO wins this argument and was unconvinced that an anime class wouldn"t be taken seriously compared to other classes.
-Hypermodern society
PRO shows that anime deals with issues that deal with a modern society. I didn"t feel like CON gave an adequate rebuttal to that, only that it wasn"t an important issue to him. I think that issues dealing with a hypermodern society are really important.
-Anime and religion
This was another argument in Pro"s favor. CON just questioned why it should be done in school and not in the free time.
PRO shows that Anime shows a multicultural society. CON demonstrates that there are other alternative methods to teach multiculturalism. While I agree with CON that there are better methods to teach multiculturalism, since Anime only shows a small part of society, it shows multiculturalism nonetheless and didn"t feel like this argument harmed Pro"s case.
Pro wins.
Posted by suttichart.denpruektham 5 years ago
Now that you mentioned it, I start to see your point. You are right, the judging rule of academic debate is really funny, even if somebody say there is a rabbit on the moon I will have to accept it if neither side had explicitly denied it.
Posted by wrichcirw 5 years ago
Hmm...after reading round #1, I will stay out of this one. I simply cannot take in a debate about anime without looking at all of the superfluous tripe that comes out of it as well, like Pokemon and Dragonball Z. I think PRO has some merit in his resolution, but only some.
Posted by wrichcirw 5 years ago
lol, I didn't read the debate...just wanted to comment at the title. LOL! :D
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
@stuttchart, There wasn't much engagement on the point of making room in the curriculum because Con agreed early on that finding room was not much of a problem. Con said, "I agree completely with Roy, that things can be taken out of the curriculum to make space for something else. But is anime really what we should be substituting it with?" He argued that the reason anime shouldn't be included was because it was detrimental, for example teaching that bad behaviors were acceptable. The personal finance thread included my suggestion that anime be used as one of the required humanities electives, for which personal finance would not do.

You mentioned you judged academic debates. I think that's a plus in many respects, but also has some problems for DDO debates. I think academic debating weighs technical matters like dropped arguments more than is appropriate for non-academic debates. Academic debates are judged on who carried out the mechanics of the debate best, rather than whether the arguments were convincing. "Convincing" is way more subjective, and a single good argument can overcome a half dozen botched arguments. I think a DDO debate asks, "Were you convinced or not by each side? Why?"

Since I argued my case, I'll point out a defect. I only pressed two or three examples of unusual anime themes that made anime worth studying, then claimed there were dozens more. In retrospect, I should have pressed the examples less and given a list of a dozen other novel themes.
Posted by Logic_on_rails 5 years ago
A good debate on an interesting issue. I can't vote, but I'd hand arguments narrowly to Roy (Pro) for various reasons.

For me the biggest problem throughout this debate was that both sides lacked offence and didn't really stress their points, although I found Pro did slightly better on this front. Pro outlined a series of benefits to anime, which Con attacked; an instance of this was the entertainment card, but I agreed with Pro given the structure implied by his case. I enjoyed reading The Catcher in the Rye as well as Heart of Darkness for various English classes, yet entertainment is not the prime goal. I digress though.

One of the points that really struck out at me was Con's "Civic, Emotional, Cognitive, Vocational, and Social Development" aspects of school point. However, Con seemed to not recognise the potential benefits in civic, emotional and social development aspects. While the benefits may be dubious, Pro clearly pointed to a certain utility in examining moral questions... some would say (not that I necessarily endorse this view) that there is a dearth of moral education in schools. Pro easily won against this counter.

That left priorities as Con's other attack, but anime studies is an elective, as Pro mentioned. Now, there can be costs in raising teachers... but schools only offer subjects they can teach + students demand. Not every school will even offer anime studies. I'd go into a lengthy detail of this point, and Con's points resonate, but if it's an elective, and given the wastefulness of some subjects... anime studies might be better than a wasteful subject. Would Con have us substantially cull the offered courses? Anime studies fails and succeeds in many of the same ways that other subjects do, but Roy brought positives to the discipline of anime.

The above probably sounds like Con lost every point, which isn't true. There were some very interesting ideas raised, but Pro won on debating merit quite often. As to my view? Still fairly
Posted by suttichart.denpruektham 5 years ago
It wasn't raise? I thought it did when TUF said that course like personal finance should be offered instead, it may not be magnified that all elective literature class is to be replace with match or science or something more serious.

In fact because I didn't hear mush engagement in this point of the debate so I use logic to cross exam your argument and the result is something like:

Roy = Replace less effective literature elective class with anime study.
TUF = Replace anime study (Roy case) with personal finance and/or something along the line.
TUF = Replace less effective literature elective class with personal finance and/or something along the line.

Correct me if I am wrong.

Don't get me wrong your case is awesome, I would never imagine a debate that use a women underwear stealing as an argument yet so creditable and effective. I spend most of my years debate as adjudicator (judge) and this is just the way I score debate when I saw one.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Pennington 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a good debate from both sides. Pro was not able to convince me that resources should be invested into anime. Con argued that resources could be spent in better ways. Pro if facing a lesser opponent would have won but Con rebutted satisfactory to leave room to doubt Pro's claims.
Vote Placed by Daktoria 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con makes bizarre arguments about the depiction of anime (women's underwear?) and gives examples of political, not social, "hypermodern" literature. Con also seems to lack an understanding of how communication is the foundation of community. A "World Studies" class is meaningless without primary communicability. Pro also does a superb job explaining how to clear up space among other ELECTIVES as well as explaining the psychological merit of teaching religious values.
Vote Placed by darkkermit 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: See comments
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro was unable to convince me money, time, and resources should be invested into anime. School hours are limited and te time in school as con repeatedly argued should be spent on classes that can lead to sucess in the future. Taking an elective in journalism is likely more productive than anime studies. Hiring the teachers, and the monu involved with the program, is simply not worth a fairly useless program. Roy brings up excellent points, but for me he fails to uphold his BOP that our school system should have anime studies. And, as con pointed out, anime merely gives the message of mischievous activities. Overall, con wins the debate.
Vote Placed by Magicr 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter unjustified points.