Thoughts On Being an Anime Fan

While bored at work (pulling paging duty at a library is a marvelous way to ponder the great questions of life, the universe, and everything, as well as trying to decide why the Mc’s come before the Mad’s*) I have been spending some time thinking about the peculiar qualities of my anime fandom. This is a topic I explore again and again (again, bored at work), but it interests me.

As an anime fan, over the years, I’ve slowly developed into a rare sort of breed: what I will term a “holistic” fan of anime. That doesn’t mean I like everything–my “dropped” list on MAL says otherwise–but, rather, it means I am capable of liking anything. It’s somewhat hard for me to express in words sometimes, but it works something like this: I like most anything, provided it’s good. It’s a tautology, of course, so I have to expand it: if something can be objectively determined to be good at some element of storytelling, there’s a good chance I’ll like it.

I think the reason I can do this is because I approach anime not as 24 minute fun entertainment, but as a kind of hobby, an object to study and experience. There’s nothing wrong with watching anime purely for entertainment face value, but I can’t watch it that way anymore. It certainly entertains me to a great extent, but I think I connect with it on a different level than others do. This doesn’t necessarily make me a “better” fan than you, but it does make me different.

Partially, I think the reason I ended up becoming so interested in anime (to the near-exclusion of my previous hobby of sorts, reading) is because I “grew up” with it in a way. When I first got into anime (the story is chronicled here for the eternally curious) it was, of course, just another entertainment medium. However, at the same time, I was starting to really search out and expand my horizons, try new things and all that jazz. I think what happened was that, as my taste in stories matured, I gravitated more and more towards anime, as it always had the stories I wanted to see. I really can’t tell you why this is so, just that it is.

The whole flipping out about directors and direction and things, that’s more of a recent addition, a new level of depth to the activity I’ve enjoyed for five and a half years. It seems somewhat anomalous for me to be as into peripheral parts of the whole anime subculture: if one of you walked into my room, you’d think I was Moe Freak #135324, given my rather tasteless (or is it?) room decor of Megami posters, but somehow I manage to straddle the line between being someone who’s into anime for the cute girls, and someone who’s into anime for anything but the cute girls. I think what’s happened is that I’ve morphed into that most elusive of beasts: a true otaku (or wotaku, or however the kids are spelling it these days) who watches anime for a multitude of reasons, both legitimate and less so. The experience of being an anime fan is what drives me currently, it’s strangely addicting and time-consuming and all those other words. It’s gotten to the point where it’s impossible to conceive that I might one day not like anime–it defines my life, so why stop it?

This is somewhat of me rambling at the mouth again, but if I don’t put my thoughts into words they disappear into thin air, never to be seen again.


* answer: Mc and Mac are treated as Mac, hence Mc before Mad

1 Response to “Thoughts On Being an Anime Fan”

  1. 1 TheBigN 29 February 2008 at 10:33 am

    I definitely try to find something good or just something that I like in every anime I see, and I think because of that I don’t have any anime that I hate, though some of my friends spend every effort to try and rectify that. I was known as “Anne of Green Gables” among some of my friends who were also strongly into anime because of that aspect of me. :P

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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February 2008

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