There comes a time in an anime fan's life (often repeatedly) when one has the seemingly endless challenge of trying to explain anime to someone who effectively has blinders on. Now in the non-fan's defense chances are the only thing they have seen of anime are the brief glimpses of western dubbed, merchandise motivated, anime series (you know the kind that that attract the very fanboys/girls/etc... that drives everyone nuts) as they channel surf. Such an experience is nearly always guaranteed to drive people away from the whole concept of anime and write it off as a bad experience.
So what to do, what to do.....
I tend to alternate with not even trying to explain it, if the person in question doesn't seem like they really want to know, with equating anime with any other type of media that tells a story such as books, movies, live-action shows, and what have you.
Most look at me blankly at that last concept. =/ Some just let the possibility that what I said is true just drift on by like a dandelion in the breeze. What keeps me from giving up on future attempts are those few people that almost visibly gain that lit up light-bulb over their heads of understanding. By George I think they got it! Not that it will always make one iota of difference in their attitudes about the medium of anime, but at least they have caught a clue. XD