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Anime and Emotional Growth

Writing your own story through the stories of anime! According to, “Anime is hand-drawn and computer-generated animation originating from Japan”. As a enjoyer and self-proclaimed otaku (my current favorite anime includes “Spy Family”, “My Hero Academia” and “Frieren: Beyond Journey's End”), I have found deep meaning making social/relational connections through this form of self-expression. From the organization Geek Therapeutics and a training called “Introduction to Geek Therapy,” they speak to how anime explores common themes of the human experience like pain, resilience, meaningful connection, positive self-identity and belonging.

An encouragement I propose to you as a reader of the MMHMs is to consider making time to check out this genre of storytelling and see if it makes an impact on your personhood. Some may think anime is childish, but as an adult and appreciator of this form of storytelling, I have found watching anime to be a great way to see other’s experiences from a different perspective - whether from a cultural lens, multi-generational perspective or unconventional solution from an existential or philosophical outlook.

Here are some suggestions of anime to watch based on a variety of topics bearing in mind that each anime should be screened for age appropriateness of the viewer due to content that at times can navigate adult themes, violence and potentially trigger photosensitive epilepsy:

Although this isn’t a comprehensive list of anime and themes they explore (in fact, many of the animes listed crossover to explore a variety of themes), I would encourage you to explore this medium of storytelling with an open mind. There are times that someone like myself who uses Netflix, Crunchyroll, and DropOutTV can more easily relate to characters because of the style of storytelling used. With some flexibility in your media consumption style, it is certainly possible to gain a new perspective because of a new approach. However, if subtitles are difficult to navigate, most of these series (and many others) are dubbed in English while not compromising the quality of the experience.

So if you’re looking for a new way to experience storytelling, see an experience like your own with fresh eyes, or need a new watchlist to help navigate your general wellness - consider these series and let your therapist know what you think about them and how they relate to your mental health journey!


Lou Lim, LMHC, REAT is a licensed mental health counselor and registered expressive arts therapist (REAT) with a master's degree in Expressive Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. He is a member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association and on the committee for REAT credentialing. He has 13 years of experience in counseling and expressive therapy working with children, adolescents, teenagers, adults, and retirees.

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