• 31 Aug - 06 Sep, 2019
  • Mag The Weekly

It takes a lot of audacity to make a documentary on something you know nothing about, but that’s exactly what Alex Burunova did for Netflix’s Enter the Anime. Well, at least that’s what she claims in the introductory narration, but don’t believe it for a second. Enter the Anime purports to be about finding the “soul” of anime, but the hour-long project is nothing more than a cynical, obnoxious, and even racist advertisement for Netflix original anime.

If it really wanted to explore anime and the culture surrounding it, it could have employed a dozen different tactics. With Netflix branding U.S. productions such as Castlevania “anime,” it could have examined what actually defines the term. It could have looked at the depth and breadth of stories that exist. It could have taken an ethnographic look at anime subculture and fandom. It could have examined anime’s rich history, or taken an in-depth look at its evolving production and surrounding work culture.

Enter the Anime is an hour-long infomercial for Netflix original anime that wastes everyone’s time. The trite, condescending narration only serves to regurgitate dehumanising “weird Japan” and “orderly Japan” myths. The interviews will bore anyone not already interested in anime, and Burunova’s framing narrative will irritate anyone who knows anything about the medium. You’re better off checking out one of the hundreds of anime starter guides on the internet that don’t have an agenda.

Save your Netflix stream-time from this one!