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Rated: E · Essay · Entertainment · #2181870
I need to complain about the lack of representation my mental illnesses get in anime
The lack of representation for autism, anxiety, and bipolar, both individually and combined, is incredibly lacking in anime from what I've seen, especially idol anime.

Why am I talking about this type of anime specifically? It's basically effecting my life. I work with people who watch this kind of anime, and I rely on these people to support me and keep me caught up with the others so I can succeed.

Idol animes like LoveLive! easily draw in people like the ones I'm talking about because those shows are sickeningly oversaturated with cute girls- all of whom are entirely neurotypical for as far as anyone knows. Even if a character were to display a trait common with anxiety (i.e. shyness or insecurity) or autism (i.e. social awkwardness or introvertedness), any possibility of a diagnosis is wiped away, as these traits are often shrugged off as "a part of her charm."

Yet when a real-life woman who isn't as cute is displaying obvious signs of mental illness, she's instantly called "difficult" and "paranoid". Because anime portrays mental illness as basically nonexistent, people who expose themselves to this media are so quick to judge whether a girl's symptoms of mental illness are "charming" or "too hard to put up with" based simply on her looks. Nobody ever stops to consider whether the overemotional girl in class is acting that way because she needs accommodations for helping her feel more secure what with the presence of over twenty other students being too overwhelming for her.

Not all people who view idol anime are like this; I'm just pointing out this one person as an example of how the lack of mental illness representation is problematic in anime. To solve this problem, I would suggest anime writers create more characters with officially diagnosed mental illnesses so viewers will have a more realistic understanding of how to approach women in real life with mental illnesses since a lot of them have a knack for developing their understanding of women based on how they see women in anime.

I apologize if I've offended anyone who watches anime, especially those of you who enjoy it for reasons other than the cute girls. I just decided to use that one person as a basis for why the lack of mental illness representation in anime has a potentially problematic effect on viewers in terms of helping them understand the needs of the mentally ill in real life. I just shifted to him because I'm in a conflict right now. I don't mean any offense to anyone.
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