I am the father of a 6-year old son. Although I’ve been watching anime off and on for the past 15+ years, I’ve been the most actively watching it since my son was about 1-2 years old.
(A reminder: This is part of my 12 Days of AniTAY 2018. Big thanks to Zarnyx for suggesting to go ahead and do it in mainline-TAY, and RedStripe118 for putting me on to the 12 Days of Anime idea in the first place.)
I started watching the occasional anime in college. It started with a few movies my roommate rented, and then I watched Cowboy Bebop with a friend after catching a few episodes on Adult Swim. After that, I watched a few more movies, and as I got out into my first job, watched a few shows, including Samurai Champloo on the recommendations of friends and co-workers.
In 2011, I got married, and in 2012, our son was born. I continued watching a few shows with friends.
It was somewhere around Kill la Kill when I decided to start paying for a Crunchyroll subscription, and from there, my watching habits have expanded. (I’ll have a whole separate post in this series about my anime-watching habits.)
In that time, of course, my son has been growing up. At first, this didn’t require much of a change in anime-watching habits. I could watch a show like Kill la Kill, or anything else with violence and/or borderline to full ecchi, and not worry to much about what he was seeing/retaining.
By now, however, my son is not only old enough to remember and understand a fair amount of what’s going on, he’s even able to start reading some of the subtitles, so it’s become really important to think through what shows we can all watch together, and what shows have to be done after he’s gone to bed.
In addition to worrying about subtitles, we’ve watched/rewatched some anime dubbed. As a result, some of my son’s favorite series are Sword Art Online (you may recall his cosplay as Kirito for the anime convention one year) and The Devil is a Part-Timer! (which can be really awkward when he wants to tell his own stories about “Mr. Maou and Chiho and Kirito and Asuna” while going to Catholic grade school).
In fact, regarding SAO, I’m particularly glad I caught details/spoilers on episode 10 of the current arc. We had been watching as a family, but this is an episode that he’s not going to see. (The stuff with Oberon and Asuna during the “Fairy Dance” arc was bad enough as it was.)
On the other hand, however, my son is also now at the point where he’s not always paying attention (he’s a kid, with a kid’s attention span) to the animes any more when we have our typical Friday anime nights. (He’s still happy to watch things on his own, including Pokemon and Yokai Watch on Netflix, though.) So, it’s a little sad that what was an early tradition of watching things together is sort of falling apart. Hopefully, as he gets a little more older, we’ll all be able to start watching things together again, and all enjoy (appropriate things) as a family.
That SAO episode 10 is still gonna be off-limits for a good long while, though...