#5 What is an anime you’re ashamed you enjoyed?
Given that I’ve watched hundreds of shows at this point, there are actually quite a few that I’m ashamed to have enjoyed! Hm, maybe I’ll write a separate post about them at some point? Anyway, shows that I’m ashamed to have enjoyed are usually ones that I know, objectively speaking, aren’t really anything special, but I, usually for quite dumb reasons, like fancying a certain bish, enjoyed them anyway. Shugo Chara is definitely one of those shows.
Look, I know that Shugo Chara, the anime, is adapted from an award-winning manga that was immensely popular with young girls, but, if I’m being critical, it’s not earth-shatteringly good, now is it? It’s been nearly 10 years since I began the show, so my mind is somewhat foggy on the details, but here are some reasons to backup that potentially contentious statement:
- A child’s desired persona manifesting itself as either an egg or a cute chibi character in need of protection as a metaphor for growth, rebirth, and/or a struggle to establish one’s identity is a bit cringey. Sorry.
- Leather-clad, underage cat boys. Because, why not?
- Some of the relationships between Shugo Chara’s characters made me super uncomfortable. Like Utau and her hots for her brother, Ikuto (incest is not wincest). Or Tadase and Amu, who despite being set up as half of a love triangle, had about as much chemistry as you’d expect between two preteens, i.e. none. And, finally, the weird sexual tension between Ikuto and Amu. Maybe I read too much into their interactions, but playfully biting somebody’s ear or snuggling them in bed comes across as kinda sexual, which was weird given that Amu was 13 (at most), whereas Ikuto was 17.
My shame is compounded by the fact that Shugo Chara is a children’s show aimed at preteen girls. Even nine years ago, at the tender age of 15, I wasn’t exactly the show’s target audience. So to be 24 and admitting to liking Shugo Chara is a bit embarrassing. Heh, heh.
Nevertheless, in spite of these things, and in spite of Shugo Chara being the kind of girly, hearts, flowers, and sparkles everywhere kind of show that I tend to viscerally hate, I still enjoyed it. I liked that, despite being a children’s show, one of its main characters struggled with their gender identity. I also liked that its production values were extraordinarily high. It was colourful, vibrant, and its characters looked super cute. The transformation sequences were especially gorgeous (and there were so many of them!) Not to mention that the OP and ED songs were incredibly catchy! Whilst I’m embarrassed to admit to knowing all of the words to Shugo Chara’s first OP (even after nine years), it makes me feel much better knowing that my bear of a husband does too! Additionally, I liked that the show was always fun and easy to watch. Being a children’s show, Shugo Chara’s story was (mostly) upbeat, straightforward, and uncomplicated, which can sometimes make for a nice change of pace. And, finally, in spite of myself, I did like the relationship between Amu and Ikuto. There was an ease between them and a level of banter that you don’t see all that often with anime couples, who are usually too embarrassed to even breathe the same air as each other. I would have liked to have seen them couple off, if only they were just a bit older.
So there you have it, one of my deepest, darkest anime-related secrets: I LIKE SHUGO CHARA. Phew. Feels good to say! So. What anime are you embarrassed to admit to liking? Don’t be shy! It feels good to get it off of your chest!