I like to watch anime to unwind. Just like playing games, watching some anime will put a smile on my face. Just being able to kick back and enjoy some free time with anime really makes my day. There's nothing else to do in that very moment but watch anime and just take it all in. That's probably why I get so much from anime! I get to sit and really analyze what I'm watching.
Sometimes if it's a particularly engaging anime, it'll get me thinking about all sorts of story aspects. I like to think about where the story could go, how the writers managed to build up the great story arc and so on. Even higher than that are anime that make you rethink how you live and what you do. An anime to make you look at your own life and reflect upon what you've done does not come often, but they are indeed out there.
I've actually been lucky enough to have that happen a couple times. Most recently it happened with 5 Centimeters Per Second. I really think that absolutely every anime fan needs to see this film. It has such a 'real' vibe, if that makes any sense. The way the story unfolds really makes you look at your life and the connection you have with family and friends. For me, it helped me to better understand myself, why I value friend connections so much, and how I should never be afraid to work hard for something I love.
Did you ever have an anime that changed your life, be it in a little or big way? I sure hope I'm not the only one!