Otaku USA Magazine
Syrian Woman Says Anime Helps Her Country Through Hard Times

attack on titan

Anime can help people around the world through hardships. A Syrian woman identified simply as “Suzan” told the Japanese paper The Asahi Shimbun about how much anime has meant to her and other Syrians.

Suzan, originally from Aleppo, stated that during darker moments while surviving the Syrian Civil War, she would find courage from a line in Slam Dunk: “When you give up, that’s when the game is over.”

Her home was destroyed by bombs during the war, and she had to flee to different places. “No place was safe,” she said. But she kept thinking about the Slam Dunk line. “When I felt like giving up, I told myself to try again.”

Anime has been available in the Middle East for decades, and Suzan, who is in her thirties, grew up with it.

“What is interesting about Japanese anime is that it tells us the world is not just filled with good things and good people, but also with bad things and bad people,” she remarked to The Asahi Shimbun. “On top of that, I like that anime depicts people who are trying their best to make the future a better place.”

She is currently living in Japan and taking part in a doctoral program. After major earthquakes hit Syria in 2023, she says that Attack on Titan has been helpful for her fellow Syrians.

“Many people seem to be comparing the earthquakes to the giants and trying to stay strong,” she commented. She described a person who remarked to her, “I’ve been waiting (for something like this). It helps me forget my fear of the earthquakes for a moment.”

She wants people to know that anime can be more than simple entertainment for many people, including herself. “Syria has been saved by Japanese anime many times.”

Source: The Asahi Shimbun


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.