I’ve been on social media lately…arguably this was possibly my first mistake. Anyways, I’ve seen a lot of unhappiness leveled at the anime community by the anime community. Friends and online acquaintances expressing their disappointment in the group. People pointing out how imperfect we can be at times.
I don’t entirely disagree. But I’m essentially a personification of cotton candy in many ways. I figured, it would be a nice little time to remind myself of the good sides of our community and why I love sometimes in spite of itself!
Here are my top 5 reasons for liking the anime fan community.
5) Anime (duh…)
I really like anime you guys. Like a lot… So of course, anything even remotely connected starts off instantly on my good side. It won’t necessarily stay there but it gets a head start. A whole community of people I can interact with to extend my anime experience is a great thing in my book.
Where else am I going to be able to let loose to my nerdy heart’s contempt without gathering suspicious and/or dumbfounded looks? Who else is going to seriously debate with me the psychological impact of dress length and colour on imaginary characters? Only special, lovely weirdos like me can appreciate the finer things in life!
99.9% of the time we seem to be trying to tear each other don or rip each other apart. We make fun of each other’s fandoms, sneer at each other’s preferences, judge everything from taste to hours spend watching shows. But once in a while, sadly too often after something very bad has happened, we come together.
And in those times, we are really at our best. When e can actually agree on something (which like I said, isn’t all that frequent), we can make just about anything happen. I think the very existence of cosplay is proof of that. So maybe e could just concentrate on those unifying factors and be the most powerful force in the world! Although maybe not…I do have anime to watch after all.
The anime community aren’t passive fans. They want to get involved in the creative process. It’s amazing the talent and energy that we foster in our ranks. A new show comes out and within minutes of the first episode, you’ll have breath taking fan art and fanfics that will make your heart flutter. Amateur reviewers will spend time thinking about it and sharing their impressions and opinions with everyone. Occasionally creating posts that are art in their own right. Essays ill delve into the deep narrative questions; authors will offer free script doctor advice. Fans all over will create memes, and skits and sometimes even songs.
This is not a community that simply takes in their medium of choice. We transform it and recreate it. Anime is not just a passion, it’s a muse! Who doesn’t love being surrounded by creativity?
2) Always evolving (and devolving…)
Maybe because in many respects, the anime community is comparatively new and has grown very rapidly, it tends to be particularly mutable, or volatile depending on how you look at it. Within a year we can go from being openly bigoted to almost too sensitive on the same issue. We are still very open to and capable of changing our views. And that is amazing.
Sometimes it can be a bit uncomfortable. Change is always a little frightening and backlash is inevitable. Sometimes, it seems like we have taken some huge steps back instead of forward. But this capability of changing and adapting means that our community still has the potential to become just about anything and that’s plain exciting! I want to be there to see it bloom.
1) A home for us weirdos
I’m not really calling you a weirdo. I’m calling myself a weirdo. I like that word. If you want, we can be weirdos together. There’s plenty of room. Despite the best efforts of gate keepers and anime snobs the world over, our community has ended up creating a place where most people can find a spot.
There’s no dress code or popularity level requirement. You’re a clean cut, by the book nerd with few but loyal friends. Perfect! You’ll fit right in! You’re a wild anti-establishment loner with a penchant for insane and flashy fashion! Yup sounds like one of us! You’re the most popular kid in school and almost too perfect to be true. Welcome aboard, we have a few guys like you!
The one and only actual requirement is to not dislike all anime. That’s it. You can’t really tell who’s an anime fan unless they have decided to advertise it. For instance, I carry around a bag full of anime pins but otherwise need to have a conservative professional look at work (I manage it more or less…). A few weeks ago, a very professional looking lady gently asked me if one of my badges was the Seirin crest and when I said yes, we enthusiastically shared a few minutes of Kuroko fangirling before she had to go her own way. I would never have pegged her for an anime fan, let alone a Kuroko one for some reason, And it’s amazing that she was.
I don’t know your name but if you’re reading this HI! It was great almost talking with you!
That was fun. I do like being part of this community and it’s nice to spend some time remembering why exactly that is!
How about you? Are you completely disillusioned with the wider anime fan community or do you still love parts of it? What is your favourite thing about the anime community? Tell us about it, you’ll see it’s kind of therapeutic.