Speaking “Ute” (DOG EAR)

Speaking “Ute” (DOG EAR)

ing ting!” went the bell of the coffee house.

“One cup, black, please,” I told the young guy behind the counter. He eyed my shirt. “Hey, which anime is that?”

I had to look down – I wasn’t sure how I dressed that morning. “Oh, this is ‘My Hero Academia.”

He told me his roommate watched it but he loved Bleach. I had to confess that I was dragging through it. Once the coffee was up, I went outside to read in the sun. But it was interesting that we could chat over a shirt.

Look, I read some manga and I watch a lot of anime. There is so much out there (check your streaming service and you’ll have more choices than you know what to with it all). And while a lot of it is a bit repetitive, there are a lot of titles that stand out. Spy Family. Vinland Saga. Death Note. Space Battleship Yamato. And some of you who know anime are shouting your “what abouts.” Yeah, I know – there are thousands of titles. When we went into the anime shops of Tokyo, I could pick out one character in twenty that I recognized.

But that this thing; not limiting myself to “western sitcoms” has opened up the world to me. There are a couple of young guys in the train club and when things get quiet, I always can bring up an anime title and get a spirited debate going. It gives me something that a sixty-four year old guy can converse about with young pre-twenties. And hey, the shows can be quite good.

It was the same with Bollywood movies. I’d expressed curiosity to my mostly-Indian team about these movies and the next thing I knew, everyone was suggesting titles (and pointing out the local theaters who provided this fare). I’ve surprised more than my share of Indians by dropping a title in conversation.

The thing is, in streaming you have all the cultures of the world. You can watch a Japanese drama about a midnight diner in Tokyo. You can watch an end-of-the-world series in Turkey. You can watch Britcoms. You can find favorites and find yourself branching out, learning more about the world. And you’ll be able to associate with other cultures and other age groups and widen your circle of friends.

So switch off Home Improvement and see what other worlds are out there. Expand your experiences. And have fun!