Published in Mental Health - 2 mins to read

Today I renewed my Crunchyroll subscription (the most popular anime streaming service) and proceeded to lose myself in various bright coloured, unnecessarily shout-y worlds for the next 8 hours before I realised I was hungry and should eat dinner. I haven’t really watched much anime in the past couple of years, largely because it requires a significant investment of attention (reading the subtitles makes it impossible to watch passively), and in part because I largely feel like there is no return from that investment - it’s the polar opposite of productivity. With that being said, anime is one of the strongest forms of escapism for me; I find myself easily transported into other places, other times, other worlds, none of which have coronavirus, and I think in a sense it’s a bit like a drug. Watching anime means I can forget all my problems and essentially turn off my brain, and not many activities in life give me that, but it’s not especially clear whether that is a positive or a negative. There’s a lot of rhetoric around using quarantine as a time for self-improvement, and I myself have peddled this plenty, given we have all this extra time, we ought to use it efficiently. Perhaps the solitude is an opportunity for introspection, to face some demons, blah blah blah. Or perhaps the goal is just to make it to the other side of this in one piece, and if that is the case, then some light Japanese-animation-aided-dissociation might be the perfect tool for the job.