Learning Stuff Through Anime

Don’t worry, this isn’t one those “I think I’m learning Japanese through anime” scenarios (though picking up some stock phrases phonetically is more or less inevitable, I think).

I was hanging out at a friend’s place yesterday for his birthday. After the customary banter and food eating, we all ended up watching Sherlock Holmes. A scene came up with a character sending a message through Morse code. While that was happening, another friend of mine who was sitting beside me, made out the message partially, while trying to reiterate the dots and dashes himself. Entertained as we were, we couldn’t help but ask where he learned the Morse code. I was expecting he only remembered from our old computer classes back in the day, so I didn’t really count on his answer that he learned it from Detective Conan.

Well, it was more like he was compelled to learn more of it because of the famous kid-detective (most of what he picked up from the series was how to transcribe “SOS” into Morse code). It’s fun learning random stuff from time to time. It’s even more fun if you learn it outside school. How much more awesome is it that you learned it through anime? Well, I guess it’s not that awesome that you can substitute it for a good lesson, but I guess it’s enough to make you want to proudly hold your chest out and say “I’m glad I watch anime.”

I think we all tried to learn how to do a certain thing (or even just learn something in general) that we saw in a series once or twice in our anime-viewing lives. I for one was moved to learn some “ayatori” or cat’s cradle because of how cool it looked in Canaan and Usagi Drop (and well, Guilty Crown too). I also got around trying to learn (I still lose at times, lol)  the Hanafuda Koi-Koi card game, because of Summer Wars and that one episode of Nisemonogatari.

How about you guys? Has a series ever got you interested enough to learn something new?

21 thoughts on “Learning Stuff Through Anime

  1. Oh man, I love tangential learning. A lot of my more obscure mythological and historical knowledge comes from that sort of thing, which is why MegaTen is one of my favorite series.

    If you’re more interested about the subject, check out the Extra Credits episode on ‘Video Games and Learning,’ it’s the first thing I thought of when reading this.

    • Yeah, learning factual stuff is also a fun ^^
      MegaTen is a nice way of learning about various, diverse myths. The anime equivalent of that for me is Fate/Stay Night, wherein I learned a ton about Celtic myths and such.

      Is that from a gaming podcast? Definitely checking it out later 😀

      • Not so much a podcast, more of a video series. It’s a really great series if you get around to watching it (new episodes go up on Wednesday, if you like it).

        And I LOVE the historical/mythological bits of the Fate/ series. That’s half of what made me love the original visual novel.

        • I see. I’ll add it to my subscription list then ^^

          Same as me, and yeah, the VN really offers some very interesting tidbits of info that are indeed true. I actually got to answer a question right ’cause it was about the Sumerian kings, lol

  2. I became interested in learning Reach Mahjong after watching Saki. I felt that I was losing out on some of the excitement from that anime by not knowing how to play, so I eventually taught myself. Same with Japanese. Though I still have problems writing and reading kanji, anime was my starting point in my self study, and now I don’t need subs when watching. We should try to learn stuff in everything we do, even with entertainment. Thank you for such a nice read.

    • Almost the same reason as to why I tried to teach myself how to play Hanafuda Koi-Koi. It kinda took away from the epicness of some scenes in Summer Wars when I didn’t know what was happening with all the cards and the crazy combinations (plus it looked like a really fun game) As for my Japanese prowess, I’m still on the phonetic level of things thanks to anime, but I do hope that one day I can watch shows without subs too.
      Thanks as well. I’m glad that I got the idea across ^^

  3. I remember Spice and Wolf made me want to learn a little about economics. I think in cases like that, you want to learn because it would add an extra layer to the show when you do.

    • Spice and Wolf has that effect I think. I learned about “buying on credit” from it first before my economics class, lol
      Yeah, I guess it kinda does add another layer to a show. It gives a sense of interaction with a series, which in turn becomes a fulfilling kind of feeling, more so if you really like the show.

  4. Hey man, for a split second watching the pic I thought “he learned how to kidnap two little girls?!” 😀

    But yes, I do have learned something from anime as well. See Spice and Wolf with economics and a bit of story…:P

    • I totally lol’d at that 😀 I was planning on using Inori but, meh
      I-I’m innocent I tell you! Innocent!

      Yes, more love for Spice and Wolf. It’s true that they deal with economics in such a fun and interesting way. I want Holo as my econ teacher! ^^

    • Ah, I see ^^
      It’s actually a nice move by the guys at Ghibli since their stuff is mostly for the general audience, making lessons about environmental awareness spread to all age groups.

  5. I think I’ve learned quite a few from Conan as well. There was that episode where Conan blurted out basic survival skills like determining which direction is south simply by using the hand of your watch and where the sun is. He even explained stuff related to phloem/xylem patterns and sunlight, haha. It’s so geeky, I know. And of course, if you’ve watched Moyashimon, you’ll clearly end up learning about micro organisms and how fermentation happens. It also basically made me remember that bacteria A. oryzae up until today.

    • Nah, it’s not that geeky. The watch compass is actually quite cool ^^
      I haven’t watched Moyashimon yet, but after checking out the synopsis I can see why you say that, lol, definitely checking it out

        • There’s that too, with the passing mention of Mencius, and his view of humans being fundamentally good (along with that inverse philosophy of..Zhu Xi, if I’m not mistaken), which really did come up in my history class, so that was nice.

          Though the episode I had in mind was episode 3, where Koyomi and Kanbaru went and played some hanafuda. Koyomi supposedly had this unnaturally lucky hand, but there was no way of me knowing until I searched around the Net. lol, so random ^^

  6. Pingback: Real Talk – Nisemonogatari teaches you Hyperreality and Simulacrum | Leap250's Blog

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