Does watching Anime affect our Personality?

Rena Ryuuguu Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Creepy Eye Personality Not Sure If WantKonnichiwa, Mikuites! I don’t know if it’s just me, but whenever I finish an anime series, I feel a lingering shift in my personality at least for a few days, or until the next series I complete.

It’s not any medical condition I have, nor do I think it’s caused by becoming (too) engrossed in the series, unable to divide reality from fallacy. I think it just happens when I become so attached to a certain character that when everything has been said and done, I still try to hold on to that character.

For example, after watching Sucker Punch, I started to relate to and feel a lot like Baby Doll –– a hard family life, a need to escape, etc. Maybe I’m just inspired by these characters, and after watching them, a bit of their personality rubs off onto me. I felt like such a badass afterwards, like I could take on the world (bring on the dragons!).

After watching Higurashi, I felt a bit of psychosis. I didn’t feel any anger and rage like the characters did, but a part of me wanted to sit in a corner and break down. Then again, I’m sure anyone who watches Higurashi would feel a bit psychotic afterwards, if not scarred for life.

With Rozen Maiden, I began to feel arrogant and malicious since Suigintou and I both shared an inferiority complex (notice that this only occurs with my favorite character from said series).

Tell me, when we watch anime, do we see a part of us in the anime characters, or do we see part of the anime characters within us? Does watching a certain anime affect your mood/personality afterwards?

About MkMiku

Just a neko expressing what's on my mind. Nya~
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68 Responses to Does watching Anime affect our Personality?

  1. Pingback: Japanese Anime Stories » Blog Archive » Does watching Anime affect our Personality? | Mind of Miku

  2. @fkeroge says:

    I think that because we can relate to some characters and themes, our personalities are affected. For example, watching a horror movie can make you jumpy for a few days, and watching Clannad can make you forgive just about anything bad happening to you because of seeing much harder ordeals. I guess it’s more on the subconscious side of things. Fiction is a mirror of real life after all.

    • MkMiku says:

      That’s an interesting thought. Since stories, even fictional ones, are based on our life experiences, I wonder if they somehow subconsciously affect us. I know that people can become sad from watching a sad movie, but perhaps it’s because it relates to us on some deeper, personal level.

  3. Anya says:

    It happens to me too. Sometimes with a great series it makes me feel like I want to do something epic afterwards, or sometimes like you said I get attached to a character. I think it’s a mix of both seeing a part of ourselves in them and seeing them in us. My favorite characters are usually similar to me, or the kind of person I feel like I want to be.

    • MkMiku says:

      Exactly. I like characters I can relate to. As you said, usually the characters we like are the ones we want to be, so I guess that carries over into real-life, at least for a few days. Omochikaeri~!

  4. TRazor says:

    Well, yes, it does.

    Like you already pointed out, it’s becuase of the characters. We put ourselves in their shoes and try to progress our story (our life) the way the character would have.

    Of course, this applies only for good or impactful shows with well written characters.

  5. Kohaku says:

    I get this. I obsess with my favorite characters.
    You should’ve seen when I first saw Kenpachi on Bleach. I became the maddest cunt, then went home to watch anime.

  6. pimple says:

    This goes for almost anything on TV. It really affects kids though. I watched evangelion with my siblings when i was pretty young (approx 8). I didn’t understand it, I just like the blood or whatever. But I became pretty rebel to my parents and a little violent (but not at school, only elsewhere). It wasn’t anything big but I was less springy, you could say.

    Then I started watching more harems and became very very outgoing and happy. Although I don’t think Higurashi is realy effective…

    Also because we like to act like the people we like. Hahaha. The old personality rubbing off on you, you know/]?

    • MkMiku says:

      I don’t mean it in a bad way, like playing violent games will make you more violent (if anything, shooting people online sounds way more fun), but — like everyone else has seemed to mention — because we tend to act like the people we like/aspire to be. That’s interesting how not just the characters but the genre affected your personality in life.

  7. gigaPew says:

    Perspective and inspiration? They are probably the main reason why I watch anime. Now as far as the first question goes… is it not pretty much the same? Sharing something with someone means that that someone shares something with one. :P

    I have definitely seen my mood, personality, and experiences change over something I watched. A couple of high school life anime I watched not so long ago changed the way in which I treat people. Shows like Kashimashi make my blood boil. As an aiding tool, ever since I first saw it, I have noticed this scene can get me through anything after I watch it.

    So… yes! It does (title).

    • MkMiku says:

      Nice response.

      To further specify the question, some people can empathize with the characters because they see a reflection of themselves, whereas others who aspire to be like a certain character may discover traits of that character within themselves. For some people, it could be a bit of both! xD

      I agree that watching certain anime has changed my attitude toward people. There’s a big difference between watching Elfen Lied and High School Rumble.

  8. thatredsky says:

    I guess maybe it’s because somewhere within us, we want to become the anime character, thus we see ourselves in them and adopt their personality.

    It’s like, after I finished Durarara!!, I had this urge to start going around trolling people like Izaya did.

    And on a more recent note, I wanted to adopt Ohana’s “Don’t ever rely on anyone” attitude after I watched Hanasaku Iroha 02.

    I wonder if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, really. xD

    • MkMiku says:

      I think we can agree that becoming an anime character would be a dream come true. x.x But until technology catches up, the best we can do is replicate their personalities and fashion. ^_^

  9. Miss Nellie says:

    attached and inspired; those words describe my admiration on it. Being a Gemini person is a crazy life already and adding to this thrill is being an otaku cosplayer. Life has never been so good with anime around.

    I always wanted to have a cat like Nyanko-sensei but with my fear of the unknown I doubt I will last a second having a real youkai beside me.

    - Miss Nellie -

    • MkMiku says:

      Sadly, I think that’s the one cat anime I haven’t watched yet. :( Well, at least you cosplay. That must be fun.

      • Miss Nellie says:

        Its really fun! You get to know a lot of people, test your self confidence and enjoy yourself for day that us otaku rules.

        The title of the show is Natsume Yuujinchou and Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou for the 2nd season.

  10. Johnetta Navarrete says:

    I’m very impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? whether way keep up the nice capability writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one today.

  11. A H says:

    I don’t think it affects me much, I do feel sad when a good show ends though.

  12. Sebz says:

    I remember feeling really spiteful around people after watching Jigoku Shoujo and BLOOD+ back to back. And I learned how to really troll from Izaya.

    Anime, and possibly the rest of media, is made to appeal to an audience, and can influence it to a certain degree.

  13. Riyoga says:

    I have become much more kawaii uguu~ since I started watching anime.

    No, but seriously, as most people already said, it’s pretty common to have your personality affected by characters you like. Your personality has always been a combination of ideals you like and/or agree with, so when you find a character that you also like, it’s natural to take on similar traits they have. It’s like when you’re little and you have a superhero to look up to; you’d always copy them.

    Honestly, it’d be more strange for people to NOT start taking on traits from characters they like.

  14. Ryo_kun says:

    Well..yes. Manly tears were shed while Clannad..just like Okazaki-kun. Angel beats! made me learn to live to the fullest because seeing the dead reminiscing their past life makes me wanna appreciate life more – haha maybe that’s just me. So yeah, in short, my mood and personality will only be affected while watching sad animes.

    • MkMiku says:

      Only sad anime? I suppose they are more emotional, but watching comedy anime always puts me in a better mood (unless it’s a stupid series, in which case it could potentially do the opposite ^^;). Lol, manly tears…

  15. baka~ says:

    I guess it goes both ways. People would oftentimes go on a journey of self-discovery and it is during these journeys that we realize who we are based on how we see the world. This can be interpreted as seeing something all too familiar that we have experienced ourselves or something out of the ordinary that we aspire for; we awe, we get envious with, we desire, we long.

    We see the world as it is yet we see it from a different perspective when we indulge ourselves in a world of fiction and fantasy. From what arouses our imagination and understanding, we owe it to the gift of comprehending, appreciating, and loving anime :D

    • MkMiku says:

      Nicely worded. xD This is exactly why I love anime so much. It lets us perceive the world in ways we never have, and concurrently enlightens us in ways the world never has.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Nice review! This is exactly the type of blog post that should be shared around the internet. Shame on the search engines for not ranking this article higher!

  17. Arc7Angel says:

    It’s probably because every fiction story is based off something real or some pre-existing story. It is very difficult to think up of something that someone else has not yet made something similar too.

    I also personally think it is the excellent creators of anime who can pass feelings through the series. Just like good stories can pass morals that you can relate to later in life, anime pass morals that you probably already can relate to.

    • MkMiku says:

      True. Because stories are based on pre-existing experiences, it’s like the author passing their experiences down to us. I think as humans we all have similar experiences in life, which is why we tend to relate to these stories so much.

  18. sweetlilywhite says:

    You own a great talent of writing.Best of luck and get going.And yes i have digg your site mkmiku.wordpress.com .

  19. Ebola says:

    Miku’s blog>Miku

  20. Wiguan says:

    Osaiyo…. guess which personality possess me. :D

  21. Yi says:

    Hm… Maybe. It’s hard to judge myself objectively. One thing’s for sure though. I know I change what kind of personality I want to have depending on which character/anime I’m infatuated with at the moment. Whether my personality does change to meet that, I can’t tell.

    • MkMiku says:

      Similarly, my personality seems to change depending on what character I like at the moment.

      I guess it can be hard to judge yourself. At least for me, it’s not a drastic change, more of an inner feeling than an outward expression. :)

  22. Nopy says:

    A good anime will make the audience relate to the characters in some way. With me though, I don’t think it affects my personality. If it did, someone probably would have said something by now, but people always say that I never change.

    • MkMiku says:

      Heheh. Well, liking Rena, for example, doesn’t mean you have to go running around cutting people with a cleaver. Sometimes, watching a strong character can make you braver on the inside or seeing a character do nice deeds can make you more generous.

  23. Q says:

    A late comment from me here, but this is nevertheless an interesting question proposed to us, and it can also be applied to other media such as films or books too, or even other people’s real life stories.

    While I usually watch things that fit my style (e.g. I tend to watch series with a serious theme rather than a comedy/parody), I think we do want to be something like a character that we like or are inspired by to some extent. The changes are likely to be subtle, but more apparent in kids as pimple has mentioned above. Probably not as far as changing our personalities but how we like to act to some environments or people… I guess.

    • MkMiku says:

      Nice comment. ^_^ I do believe it can be applied to many things, not just anime. I’m sure the media as well as other people influence us in some sort of way, even if it’s something subtle. The main point I wanted to make with this post is that anime can affect how we view the environment or interact with other people, which you mentioned in your last sentence.

  24. Pingback: The End of the Road | Mind of Miku

  25. Pingback: Does watching Anime affect our Personality? (PART II) | Mind of Miku

  26. Pingback: Does watching Anime affect our Personality? (PART II) | Mind of Miku

  27. Pingback: Can anime affect our personality? | 毎日アニメ夢

  28. Anonymous says:

    Yeah I think it does. After watching Elfen Lied I was left in a depressed state for a week untill I started a new anime because I related to the character. Maybe its just a normal human function to be influenced by those who you share similarities with so that you can understand who you are?

    • Anonymous says:

      Same here. I just recently watched elfin lied, and I just can’t get it out of my head. There’s something about that anime that leaves me to dwell in a feeling of complete loneliness and longing. There’s something about lucy that I really loved. It’s as if, despite all the horrible things she’s done, she’s so innocent. She’s been plaqued by feelings of hatred and sorrow. It’s like she said, her time with Kouta was a happy dream in a life that’s been a hellish nightmare. I know many of you won’t agree, but I felt for Lucy, because I know what it’s like to be different, to feel like your the only one who you understand, and to finally have someone who can look past all your differences and see you and love you for who you truly are? That could change anyone, and could blossom anyone from the cocoon of sadness and loneliness. It brought out Lucy’s true loving nature, showing that she’s not some evil pschychotic killer after all. In fact, the true evil was everything around her that led her to misunderstand the world she was a part of, that tortured her so much until she couldn’t take it anymore. She became a ruthless killer, mainly because she saw everyone else as ruthless and evil and unforgiving. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I agree with you 100% of the way, that amines can change you. This one in particular changed my life.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Ofc it does.But i think we shouldnt make anime characters big deals we should watch it for fun,for learning various languages and we shouldnt think of animes/characters a lot after finishing them

  30. Anonymous says:

    And i want to give an advice here.
    İ used to be some1 thinks a lot.Thinking about happening things in lofe,thinking about a movie characters in movie how they acted did they seem real from heart do my actions see from heart.
    İ kinda quitted thinking much lately and u can see relation ships with ppl(i dont mean gf or bf) getting much easier and better dont think so much if u want to do something(which u can count nice) we shouldnt see ourselves more then other ppl and we shall not see ourselves less then some1 see us equal this will help u guys
    Briefly dont think of it just do it!

  31. super58173 says:

    Everything an tweak minor changes in the way we behave. If I run into a tree, it’s likely that I am going to get pissed if I see another tree. If a girl admits her feelings to me, it’s more likely that I’d get pissed around women. If anything I personally know exists, it’s definite that I’m going to get pissed. Ignoring the fact that my emotions are diverse, I think having your personality change is normal.
    Also, I love DBZ.

  32. josh says:

    I do the same but it happens with EVERY anime even if i don’t like that character I’ll pick up 1 things from like 3 different characters unless I have a favorite then I’ll just copy that characters traits and personality :L I hide this by keeping myself a bit of a shady person – if I just didn’t copy that o.o !? Dafuq now I’m scared @D

    • 黒子 says:

      I completely understand!! Sometimes I “copy” character traits and keep them until I watch a new series.. And I might sound crazy, but if I’m not continuing watching anime or reading manga of any kind, I get all sad or confused. Maybe this is a problem that I have, who knows?

  33. 黒子 says:

    This is so true! Not only do I feel like a specific character, but I also want to become them.

  34. Thrax says:

    I found this site because I was wondering if this subconscious event was some kind of abnormality, but I can see now that it’s not. I too feel as though while I watch an anime series that the main character’s personality rubs off on me. After I watched all the episodes of Naruto Shippuden (That are currently out), I felt like defending what I believe in no matter what, after watching all the episodes to Yu Yu Hakusho I felt more aggressive towards things in life, and while I’ve been watching Mobile Suit Gundam 00 I’ve started appreciating things more in life. There are more animes I’ve watched that have affected me in different ways, but I can’t even remember all of them, I only know that they’ve changed me for the better, and if other people are experiencing the same sensation from watching anime as I have, then I believe that we can all benefit from this strange occurence.

  35. Chloe says:

    It happens to me but my friend says that everytime he sees me im changed, but i cant find a prime example. But my friend watches one piece a lot (and she never shuts up about it) and she became rather erotic and can never stay on the subject of what me and my other friends were originally talking about, i cant complain but shes almost never serious (which would be nice once in a while when we’re talking over some very serious subjects)

    • Thrax says:

      I could have been described with the exact same description a few years ago when I was in High School, but after I went through very “advanced” training, I became more mature and take things more seriously now. I don’t know how old your friend is, but I think it might have something to do with maturity (I’m not saying that watching One Piece has nothing to do with it, that could also be apart of their behavior). Although I would never call a friend of mine immature (Not even as playful banter), unless I was honestly trying to help them understand why something “wrong” is happening in their life due to their behavior. I still get a little pissed off when/if someone calls me immature for some “stupid” reason like watching anime.

  36. MasterPiece says:

    Definitely it does affect us. I remember watching Death Note,and I have no idea why,I felt incredible and had urge to clean my room…And it was 23h. After watching Higurashi,yea,I felt a little psycho as well,I mean who doesn’t. After watching Kenichi the mightiest disciple (Strongest disciple Kenichi) I was training like crazy at home,my body hurted all over after a week. As well for Death Note,I watched it before I went to school and pumped up myself for test. I got 5,or A.

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  38. Anonymous says:

    But one thing for sure, when you watch anime you tend to be dramatic. Like for example: boys tend to like a lot of female characters in anime (which is wierd). Believe it or not some old mans even married one, like some female characters in anime.

  39. Anonymous says:

    (That is in Japan)

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