Are you so addicted to anime that your whole life revolves around it? You spend all your money on DVDs, manga, action figures, and conventions. Perhaps you have started falling behind in your classes and have abandoned your social life to stay up to date on all your favorite series. You know you have to get over it, but you don't know where to start. This article will offer you some tips that can help you overcome this addiction.
Part 1 of 3: Recognize Addiction
Step 1. Determine how much you depend on anime to be happy
If you can't tell if you're addicted to anime or just interested in it, try to remember how upset you were the last time you couldn't watch anime. One of the signs of addiction is anger at not being able to satisfy a craving. If you were upset because you were punished and missed an episode or because the episode was postponed, then you are probably addicted. If just thinking about not being able to watch anime bothers you, then you most likely have an addiction.
Step 2. Determine your emotional connection to anime
Does your whole life revolve around anime? If you really can't notice it, you probably should take a step back and try to see things from an outside point of view. Ask yourself these questions to determine how emotionally attached you are to anime:
- Are you more attached or attracted to anime characters than to real people? There is nothing wrong with having a favorite character. It becomes unhealthy only when you become so attached to a fictional character that you start to reject relationships with real people. A fictional character cannot give you the same love and attention as a real person.
- Have you gotten into a serious fight over an anime? It is perfectly normal to disagree with someone or discuss theories, as long as it is done in a mature way. However, if you are so attached to an anime that you defend it tooth and nail and lash out at anyone who doesn't like it, chances are you are obsessed with anime. Such behavior can even cost you friendships.
Step 3. You should know if anime affects your social behavior
Do you speak or act like your favorite anime character or do you use too many Japanese words to be more like that character? Anime, much like cartoons, are often exaggerated. What appears to be acceptable in an anime or cartoon is often not acceptable in real life society. You may not mind being treated like an anime character, but others may be offended if you treat them the way your favorite character would treat them. Some people may think that your behavior is confusing or upsetting and may treat you with less respect as a result.
Step 4. Find out how much time you spend on your hobby
Do you spend so much money on anime that you can no longer afford necessities like food, clothes, school supplies, or rent? Make a chart on a sheet of paper and create sections, such as "anime," "food," "clothing," and "school supplies." Every time you buy something from one of these categories, write down how much you spent. Write down how much money you should spend, then look at how much money you spent in each category.
- If most of the products you bought are in the "anime" category, you are probably addicted.
- If you stop buying food, clothing, and other necessities in order to purchase anime-related products, you are most likely addicted.
Step 5. Find out how much time you spend watching anime
Some people may accuse you of having an addiction; However, are you really addicted? Knowing how much time you spend watching anime and how long doing other things can help you know if you are really addicted.
- Do you turn down your friends to watch anime? Being an introvert is not a bad thing, but ignoring your friends to watch anime can cost you valuable friendships. If you prefer to watch anime instead of spending time with your friends, chances are you are getting addicted to anime.
- Do you spend every spare minute watching anime at the cost of sacrificing sleep, health, and hygiene? If you spend a lot of time watching anime and have stopped bathing regularly or eating healthy (so grabbing a box of candy is easier than cutting an apple to eat), you may start to feel lazy and tired and get sick more often.
- Do animes affect your performance in school? Once you get home from school, do you get to work on your homework or would you rather catch up on your favorite anime show? Keeping grades high is important; some colleges and jobs require a certain average.
- Do you give up other hobbies to watch anime? Did you use to enjoy soccer or play the piano, but skipped lessons to watch anime? If so, you are probably addicted to anime.
Part 2 of 3: Distance yourself from anime
Step 1. Try to limit the amount of time you watch anime
You don't have to completely stop watching anime, but instead of watching it every day, consider watching it every other day or once a week. If you see it for several hours almost every day, try this method:
If you watch multiple episodes a week or even every night, try to limit yourself to just one episode a night or a few episodes a week
Step 2. Try to limit the number of shows you watch
If you feel the need to watch all anime shows, try to fight this urge. Some shows run for several seasons and require you to spend a lot of time on them. Pick one or two shows that really interest you and stick with them. You don't have to watch every single show to be an anime fan.
Step 3. Consider taking a break
You can also try to take a break and not watch any anime or read any manga for a set period of time. Try to do it for a week and see how you feel. You may be surprised to find that you have other hobbies and interests that you can fill the void with.
Step 4. Use anime only as a reward
Consider other tasks that you enjoy less before settling down and watching some anime. Not only will this reduce your addiction, but it will make watching that anime more enjoyable. Here are some suggestions:
- Don't watch the anime until you've finished your homework, but don't watch it after your bedtime either. This will encourage you not only to finish your task faster, but also not to put it off. If you don't get your nightly fix of anime, don't despair, you'll always have the next night.
- Save the anime for the weekend. Your excitement and anticipation will build during the week, but you will also be able to do many other things during that week.
- Do all your homework first. Tell yourself that you won't be watching the latest episode of your favorite show until you've finished your chores (be it cleaning your room, folding clothes, doing dishes, etc.). You will do your tasks faster and in the end, you will have a nice reward.
Step 5. Reduce your merchandise expenses
Do you buy brooches, action figures, bags, patches and other anime products just to add to your collection or because you really like and need them? If you buy things just to increase your collection, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I really need it? A new bag with your favorite character can come in handy if you're out shopping for school supplies, but you probably don't necessarily need that new Funko Pop figurine. If you don't have a lot of money, try buying things that you really need.
- I like it? Instead of buying something just because it's from your favorite anime, try skipping it and saving for something you really like.
- What will I do with this? Some products, such as mugs, watches, bags, and T-shirts, are helpful. Other products, such as figurines, patches, or brooches, are for decorative purposes only. You can control your addiction by buying things that you will actually wear (rather than things that you will just look at).
Step 6. Try to stay away from fan sites and remove them from your favorites list
Just reducing the amount of time you watch anime may not help your addiction. Visiting fan sites and discussing your favorite shows will only make you think "more" about anime. Stopping visiting fan sites can help you control your addiction, and not talking about your favorite shows will help prevent any temptations.
Step 7. You must be able to distinguish between reality and fantasy
It is perfectly normal to have strong feelings towards the characters on your favorite show, it is not something you should be ashamed of. But when those strong feelings turn into an intense romance with a fictional character, it can be confusing, embarrassing, and frustrating. Maybe you cried for an hour when a character you liked died or maybe you bought a full-body pillow. Maybe you spent hours drawing a fanart of your favorite character when you could have gone for a walk around the part where you used to play in your childhood. You remember? Remember that anime is only fiction (something invented by a group of writers and artists) and that it is not real. Words and characters cannot replace the people around you.
Go outside and find something that you consider beautiful. Is there a tree with a bark pattern that looks like an apple background? Are there any nice rocks you want to collect? Look outside and find something that you consider absolutely incredible. It probably won't take as long as you think. Then take a moment to reflect on how great it feels to be outside, taking in the beauty that reality has to offer
Step 8. Consider reducing your collection
Sometimes the only way to control an addiction is to get rid of whatever reminds you of it. This does not mean that you have to sell or donate your entire collection of figurines, sleeves, T-shirts, bags and so on. However, consider donating or selling some of these products that you no longer use and try to buy new things to expand your collection. The homeless kid you saw on the way to school probably loves a T-shirt with a cartoon character.
Watching anime online is very tempting and distracts you from school work, consider deleting video files from your computer or deleting web pages from your favorite browsers
Step 9. Pay attention to your behavior
If you try to imitate your favorite character or try to use a lot of Japanese words (which you know bothers other people), you are probably not doing your addiction any good. Try to figure out when you do it so you can stop. If it has become a habit that you want to break, ask your friends to let you know when you imitate your favorite character or use Japanese words unnecessarily. Your friends will probably be happy to support you in this decision.
Step 10. Take the conventions into consideration
If attending multiple anime conventions is a big part of your addiction, you may want to consider attending just one or two rather than the five or more you normally attend. Not only will this help you save money, but it will also help you get further away from anime.
Part 3 of 3: Distract yourself with other things
Step 1. Consider finding another hobby
You shouldn't spend all your time on one thing, even if you love it. Explore other interests and hobbies that you may have once enjoyed, but have forgotten over time as you became more and more fan of anime. Here are some things you can try to do:
- Martial arts. If you like anime and Japanese culture, you may be interested in martial arts, especially a Japanese one, such as aikido or judo.
- Play a musical instrument such as the guitar or the piano.
- Jogging, climbing, and biking can not only keep you fit and healthy, but they can also help you relax and enjoy the natural world around you. Going to the gym might be a good option.
- Knitting and crocheting will keep your hands moving and busy. You won't have time to think about anime.
- Photography will help you get out more often, meet more people, and see the world you've been missing. Get out there and look at it.
Step 2. Find another fandom to be a part of
Sometimes, you can overcome your addiction to anime by turning your attention to another fandom (not anime). This includes books, movies, and television shows. You are likely to spend less time watching anime and more time spent on the new fandom. If you don't know where to look, consider asking friends or classmates for suggestions. Tell them the kinds of things you like, like horror, medieval fantasy, or vampire drama.
If you like role-playing, then consider trying some other non-anime fandom, such as one based on books or movies
Step 3. Spend some time with your friends
This will help distract you from the anime. It will also remind your friends that you still care about them. This way, the next time you really need to talk to someone, they will be more willing to be there to support you.
If you don't have friends, try to find some by joining a school club, going to a bookstore or library, or even going out to the park
Step 4. Ask your friends and family to support you
Tell your friends and family that you want to overcome your addiction to anime. They will likely try to help you by not giving you more anime-related stuff for your birthday. If you have friends who are also interested in anime, they may be able to help you by not talking about it when you're around or showing you other anime series.
- If you have another friend who also has an anime addiction, consider asking them to fight the addiction with you.
- If you need more incentive to stop using Japanese words, keep in mind that you may be offending people (people who are Japanese) by using these words without knowing their meanings. This is called cultural appropriation and it is very frowned upon.
- "Kawaii" and "senpai" are especially overused terms and can annoy many people if you use them constantly.
- You could experience withdrawal symptoms, just like any other addiction. For days, months, or years, you could experience anxiety and other things (if you always indulge in your addictive behavior, talk to a doctor).
- People with disabilities like autism or ADHD tend to be particularly interested in some topics. That is not a bad thing and you do not need to change it. It is part of how your brain works.