I’ve been an anime fan since I was 10 in the glory days of the 90’s. Stop me if you heard this in one of my first blogs; went into Hollywood Video (may it rest in peace) and wanted something to watch until I chanced upon this section with lots of cartoons that I didn’t recognized. So I see Tenchi Muyo In Love and decide to rent that.
Changed my life forever!
The animation was on point, made me laugh, gave me a sense of surprise or shock what went down with the main plot and the characters were very expressive, from Tenchi’s weird faces, Ryoko’s blunt and snarky attitude to the sophisticated Ayeka, etc and the cream of the creme the ending song which I listened to the end after it ended along with those sneak peeks of the Tenchi Muyo franchise.
Than it moved to what cemented my anime-styled life when I rented Ranma 1/2 and I was in it! The opening theme song and endings, characters with interesting and enjoyable personalities to downright slapstick and bits of nudity (seeing girl type Ranma’s boobs), it was all awesome.
Telling my mom she didn’t shun me away from it and actually was supportive. Flash forward some years to discovering my first ecchi moment of Devil Hunter Yohko when a scene flash of her almost having sex (didn’t happen just fan service) left me somewhat traumatised till some months after that I watched it again and got over it by fast forwarding to see no penetration happened and the grandma saved her. I did enjoy Yohko kicking some ass with her sword and doing flips, you know stimulating my pubescent mind to Chuunibyou (which I was one with doing the exclamations and being very…let’s say dramatic in my freshman classes.)
So going by the title I gave you a brief turnout on my coming into anime but what’s this about quitting? Interesting you ask, not that you didn’t given this is what I’m thinking you are saying so this makes this completely awkward….
Anyway let’s get down to it! Like I said I got into anime around 94 or 95 and it changed my life. I was amour with how expressive and colorful it was. Hearing songs in Japanese was a first due to only being an American and never hearing it before.
What can I say this was before the internet but more on that shortly.
Discovering this really opened my eyes to how different it was. Yes it was an animated cartoon-yes I’m calling it a cartoon because when you boil down to it and leave out the pretentious BS, it’s a cartoon for a culture with differing views and content, but not the kind I ever saw on TV.
When I discovered Sailor Moon was anime I was on cloud nine! The show that was supposed to be only for girls is an anime dubbed by a Canadian company that is broadcasting in the USA! Of course when I watched and started getting the gist in seeing how it was anime really made me happy.
I mean when you see teenage girls get half buck-naked while transforming, have different colored hairstyles and how they act, it just screams “FROM JAPAN!” (but with edits).
So going to the mall I started collecting Ranma 1/2 and Tenchi to start me off and didn’t regret it. Looking into and discovering how OVA of Tenchi was different from Tenchi Universe was homework (all before the internet to tell you) and once figuring it out made me proud of myself.
FYI Tenchi OVA is the better choice in Tenchi content. Only go to Universe for Kiyone and the kick ass first movie!
Then I found out, through trailers, that there was some more products from VIZ Video and that got me into Fatal Fury (and some of the games) and boy did that open my eyes! Not only did it have some hardcore fighting but bad language! The only language I heard off some of the one’s mentioned was “damn” and “hell”.
My mom wasn’t happy when I asked her “What does bastard mean?”
But I digress soon I got into ADV which was Blue Seed, Evangelion, Burn Up W, Sukeban Deka to name a few. ADV was like a party especially how they had cool trailers that I could rewind and watch before the show.
Of course anime isn’t always neat and how surprised I was when my mom wouldn’t let me get Cutey Honey when I was like 12 or 13 years old due to “that girl has too much chest!!” or how some content were for 18 year olds.
I remember them letters clearly on the VHS, I felt like I was missing out along with the tagline of one of them went like “All he wanted was a cold beer, a nice lady and the like and he got this” with an image of some anime guy holding some weapon with a female’s clothes getting ripped (on the case) but only covering the sensitive parts.
Pretty much my mom was cool with anime (even though she didn’t really get it) but she knew how some content was not for my mind and given I was rather optimistic with the world she did it right to protect me.
Huh what about Devil Hunter Yohko? This was after the fact (when I cried as a 13 year old) and she was more mindful of it but when she saw I overcame my fear (and lack of forgetting what happened in said movie) she let it go (somewhat).
Now being into anime had its concerns due to I was the only one that knew about it. Friends at school never even heard of it and I only knew some that was aware but these were the “dark days” man.
Anime was underground for the most part. I didn’t even hear of some “classic” ones until I was in high school like with Ghost in The Shell or Ninja Scroll (to till this day I’ve never watched).
Along with discovering that some anime got played on Scifi channel but on absurd scheduling times after I was asleep or on a specific night. I remember some form of commercial which made me excited for it.
Middle school happened and I hated it. I think anime kept me going as I was bullied and called horrendous names and made me see that one could have friends and awesome adventures (sadly this is adolescence so I did my share of hurting too).
Then after the first day of my 8th grade year I discovered Pokemon which was released after Labor Day in the US. I caught the fever for 5 years. Sorry, no need to go into my pokemon phase but Misty was my favorite character in that show, water pokemon are my favorite (ice coming second) and Pokemon Pikachu was the bee’s knees (I cried when I had to shut it down, devastated I tell ya! Oh fuck, I’m getting feels now!)
Really thinking on it made me sad, I mean it was a virtual pet and I got emotionally invested? Damn, such easier times.
During this period of course I was into the Golden Era of Toonami, Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Thundercats, were my bread and butter to watch after school which soon went into Gundam Wing and others.
I standby Toonami was at it’s best back then, sans the “Golden Era” by me. Sorry but this Toonami is lackluster and even though I enjoy live tweeting the shows with some the fan base really is obnoxious.
So moving on with lots of anime VHS tapes, finding my still good friend John who also enjoys it (he’s more like family now given known him since 97. Pain in the ass he is but family none the less) it was very fun for me.
Discovering more and more about it, liking the culture and thinking Akihabara is the milestone for any otaku to go too and spend, spend, spend, it was some good times.
Going to conventions was also awesome and a learning experience so I keep that close to my heart as well.
Now we are getting into the heavy, when I joined twitter. Lonely at first given didn’t know what to do on there before finding my way around and having a click and befriending some people. Learning the ins and outs of what you can say vs. what not to say. Having convos to even heartfelt ones.
Actually I met my now good friend @mmorose1017 on there and let’s just say that was an interesting beginning. He might not have thought this was a big thing (if you’re reading Mike, what up?) but when he confirmed that “we were friends” and not just online, I’ll admit my tsundere male heart was really touched. I mean I was speaking to someone and forming a tepid friendship at first to flash forward to now and we got this back and forth thing as if we’ve known each other for a decade at best.
I also discovered some other friendships which had highs and lows but I dealt with them fine. Now here it is…anime fandom’s are sickening.
I know what kind of anime fan am I to say that to some fellow otaku’s? Well that’s easy, the internet says fuck you to being nice! The anime community dubbed “anitwitter” (like “black twitter” but for anime fans) is cancer. You can’t say an opinion without someone coming out of the woodwork saying your opinion is stupid!
The anime community (and let’s be honest, other fandoms relating to geek culture in general with a fanbase) are toxic at times. Sure you can try finding a nice club online to join but it can get pretty heated. I mean you post a picture of what you brought and some ask why you have Fairy Tail and that just screams toxic or maybe just curiosity. Or you post something that get’s no likes after a couple of days that leaves you feeling inadequate as an anime fan all together and though you try to play it off you are secretly mad or sad by your choice.
Yes these are from my experience.
Now not EVERYONE is a butt-hurt fanboy(girl) as you can find like minded ones who might not agree with the opinion but respect ya for it, which is true but the anime community of today is full of General Z and they are the most absurd ones. They are the ones that think Kill La Kill is the savior of anime, jump onto the latest hype train, ramble about it to the setting sun and when it ends say “was the best one out there” before hopping on the next train (with same cliche tropes like spiky hair syndrome) and say the same thing.
Rinse and repeat.
Yes, the fandom have lowered my own opinion of anime and there were times I wanted to quit or just drop it. Why be in a place where it can be so toxic and words get lost in a sea of “your anime is shit” or “you’re stupid for not liking this anime”.
What happened to the innocent times before the internet came along and just turned what I love into this baseless nonsense of fans not being unified. Though it can be unified but not really?
Not sure how I can explain…it’s like having an unspoken truce of “not saying anything rude” or something.
What also gets me down is the quality of anime have gone down as of late. Same old-same old sadly enough but (always a but isn’t there?) again gems scattered underneath all this dirt and grime.
I mean what happened to 24 episode anime and we only get 13? Well doing some research it goes to the economic structure of Japan and how not many births are happening so not many kids/teens (more or less) and the bubble might have burst?
Anime used to make me excited but at times now, being an adult and dealing with work, it seems so far away from the good old days that I once knew. Fandom killed my love for anime.
It what made me take a break from twitter because I couldn’t stomach this lawless place of something that’s supposed to feel great after a crummy day. To make me believe that there is something more to life even if it is made up.
This isn’t what I expected in my 30’s, early ones at that! Yes, I’d say I’m an elitist but I think I’m not super critical. I referred to Asterisk War (on twitter) as being something for noobs who are getting into anime but not for me and giving it a C grading.
Of course that’s just one of the reason why I think about giving up anime. Another just has to do with life itself. Where do I see myself? I find myself getting frustrated at work lately but that’s a can of worms I prefer not speaking about on here.
But then again I’m just wondering about my future and what I want to do vs. my own sense of practicality of what it means to be an adult (having a job and dealing with the ups and downs of life).
So after all this rambling here’s the question, will I give up anime?
Why give up something that will forever be a part of my life in the first place? I have my grievances but I will never stop watching or enjoying it. It gives me inspiration to write fan fiction and even blogs.
Playing Japanese RPGs are also my hobby which I find is a nice relief.
Though I do wonder if I’ll just quit at some point doesn’t mean I won’t pick it up again. This is a form of growing up and knowing how things will go.
Fandoms will never change and the world will keep on spinning with or without you. Even though it is hard with so much shit of today and yes, I will question what I want in my life along with bitch at the anime community for being droves of lemmings going down a hill (I mean they can’t even take a joke when you don’t take the Kirito/Asuna moment where they were opening a door seriously), there are good people on there too.
So aside from anime I enjoy reading manga, light novels, playing video games, writing fan fics, I also enjoy shows on television, particularly when new seasons of ones I watch come on in the fall.
I’ve been watching regular shows as a break from anime which is always good and reading some books and comics to get my mind off the tropes of manga/light novels.
But if it bears repeating (because I do like doing anime related post) I will always love anime at my core no matter what happens.
I think that’s it for now and leave with that.