This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Debayan Das. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

What Pokémon Brought To The 90s Kid In India Has Turned Into A Rage

By Debayan Das:

12300252If you have grown up singing to the tunes of the Pokémon theme song or tried to imitate Goku in every possible way imaginable, then Congrats! You have watched the right television shows during your childhood. And if you are still on that track, unable to part with your favourite collection of ‘tazos’ or Duel Master Cards or even the Pokémon Red Emulators, then you, my friend, is what we call an ‘Otaku’ – completely bonkers about anime and manga.

And if you have landed here accidentally then briefly – Japanese hand-draw or computerised animations are called ‘Anime’ while manga refers to a unique style of art that’s peculiar to Japanese comics. A majority of the 90s Indian kids had grown up watching Cartoon Network and were quite surprised with the sudden freshness of content when the channel started telecasting popular anime shows like Pokémon, Dragonball Z, and Naruto. This opened up a new world for these toon addicts to explore as such visual content wasn’t easily available to most (with Animax – a channel dedicated to providing real anime exposure – unavailable in most Indian TVs back in the days of cable connections).

A still from Hayao Miyazaki’s Laputa In The Sky.

In Japan, anime is like a cult. It is as commonplace and celebrated as Bollywood is in India. People from all age groups take this form of art quite seriously, and characters and genres have their dedicated fan following.

However, in India, anime is still a foreign concept. One of the most common misconceptions is confusing ‘cartoons’ and ‘anime’ which are two different styles of animation altogether. While cartoons and anime are both caricature sketches that are in turn animated, the latter has a very distinct style of art using specific visual elements for its characters. Anime originated in Japan and is aimed not just for humour (unlike cartoons) but quite often branch into stories that deal with serious issues, adventures, romance or anything else for that matter. A majority of the animes are based on manga comics which were not easily available in India until online shopping companies started selling anime DVDs and manga comics from other parts of the world.

However, it would be wrong to say that the anime culture isn’t developing in India. Growing fan clubs; online social media groups are providing great platforms to share and gather information; stores are printing anime clothes, cups, gifts and other merchandise for shopping in several areas. Though not in every city, Comic Cons are being organized and promoted as well. Awareness is increasing, but slowly.

There’s something for everyone. Tokyo Ghoul

But what’s so special about Anime? Isn’t it just another type of cartoon? Well, that’s something you can and should decide for yourself! Try out some of the recommended classics from the list below and you will realize that it’s more than just a show – it’s a feeling!




Here are some Animes you’d love to watch:

  • Death Note
  • Naruto
  • Dragonball Z
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
  • One Piece
  • Fairy Tail
  • Pokémon
  • Bleach
  • Attack on Titan
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Code Geass
  • Hunter X Hunter
  • Clannad
  • One Punch Man
  • Tokyo Ghoul
You must be to comment.
  1. Mysterious

    Nice article ! I sure have grown up watching pokèmon dragonballZ beyblade and Digimon all thanks to the Japanese channels

  2. Wishvesh Chaturvedi

    Death Note at the top in the recommended list ? … Nice .

  3. Fiza Azam

    There are a ton of anime out there including bleach, fairy tail, one punch man, and if you are interested in sports then kuroko’s basketball, haikyuu(volleyball) and many other anime will leave you speechless at a moment and make you laugh at other part…It becomes a lifestyle once you have anime on tv

  4. Amlan Nanda

    Good anime is not always these recent ones. The best anime are ALWAYS films of Studio Ghibli. So if you have just watched some shonen stuff and are yelling ‘anime is so cool’, be prepared as they are nothing in front of the ghibli gems like : Princess Mononoke, spirited away, my neighbour totoro, tale of princess kaguya, wind rises, pom poko, whisper of the heart, nausicaa of the valley of the wind and many more.

    1. sehaj veer


  5. Aquib Hussain

    Death note… Death note…. Death note…. Death note!!!!!!!! What is this obsession with death note!!!! Its a great anime. No doubt about… But its way too mainstream these days… Why didn’t you mentioned animes like Ghost in the shell and my hero academia??? AND MORE IMPORTANTLY… BOKU NO POKO!!

  6. Ishaan Suresh

    Death Note is a very good anime to start off but if you liked the deep levels of psychology and liked the action in Code Geass Neon Genesis Evangalion is an anime which is very worth mentioning because it dwells deep within the psychology of each and every character and the action is even better than Code Geass.

  7. Ishaan Suresh

    You could go on a site called my anime list and go to the top anime section and see which one you find most interesting.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

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She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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