So how exactly do you expect to learn Japanese through anime?
You have to LISTEN to what they are saying. ACTIVELY listen. You can’t just sit there and read the text like you are reading a book.Starting out everything they say will sound like gibberish but once you start picking up phrases there will be less gibberish and more comprehension.
You need to hear the words they are saying and understand what it means by the subtitles, your main goal is to learn. When you do this you will begin to hear the same sentences, words, or phrases over and over again. You will be able to say them in your head but not know what they mean. This is the point where you need to look up what they mean and put it into ANKI!
Now that you know a bunch of these phrases by heart you will still notice them in Japanese animation but you will know what they mean and eventually it will be JUST the meaning and you will not notice them anymore. You will then pick up more and more phrases until there aren’t many words left to pick out. It kind of works like this:
Phase 1: Complete gibberish, nothing makes sense.
Phase two: You start picking out a few words that you know.
Phase 3: You start picking out a few phrases and sentences that you know.
Phase 4: You start picking out the few words that you DON’T know.
Phase five: Mastery of Japanese (spoken)
The mainpointthat you need to remember is that you need to ACTIVELY listen. You can’t passively watch anime and expect results. You also need to look these words/phrases up and put them into Anki. (I have a list of resources at japanese language)This way you don’t forget the meanings. No matter how good you are at remembering words,you will eventually forget them because of the high load of memorization you are going through.
Next I’d like to discuss the use of subtitles. At the start of your journey through Japanese you will benefit more by the use of subtitles. You don’t know any of the language and you will pick up words slower by having to look every one of them that you hear up. With subtitles on you will be able to figure out the meaning by seeing the correlation between the repeated Japanese word and the English text.
However, once you have reached phase 3 of your learning you will benefit greatly by watching unsubbed Japanese animation because you will be entirely focused on hearing the words being focused and not being distracted by the English words on the screen. This becomes more beneficial after you have learned a large amount of words/phrases because those words/phrases will not need to be actively comprehended by your brain, instead you will know the meanings and you can actively listen for words you DON’T know.
Using this system is a great way to supplement your Japanese learning journey. It is a fun way to learn and you will have instant gratification by knowing what your favorite characters are saying. Use this in conjunction with other methods and you will be learning Japanese in no time!