Aniwords – Being an Anime Fan in the 3D World

One thing I really enjoy about being an anime fan is seeing how this particular hobby that I have interacts with the non-anime liking world. I’ve had some great experiences—like friends watching the entirety of shows I like and love (SAO and Chihayafuru, respectively) with me—and some not so great ones. But we’re all anime fans who live in the real world, and not all of us (aka, me!) want anime to just be a hobby that we keep in the privacy of our apartments. I’m not ashamed of liking anime, but every time I try and dodge telling people about it makes me feel like I am.

I don’t want to be that kind of person. I want to be someone who is authentic, even if it means that I get into some awkward moments sometimes. This column is a story about that wish.

Here’s the link~

Concrete Revolutio

Bonus Content:

I’m fortunate to know a lot of you guys who read my stuff frequently pretty well, so I actually already know that many of you have really cool ways that you’ve integrated being an anime fan into your 3D lives—sharing it with spouses and/or children, leading clubs, etc. Seriously, that is so cool. You all are so cool.

I guess I’ll go the lazy route and ask you guys to provide the bonus content this week. Hit me up in the comments with your own stories about being an anime fan who also has to interact with the real world. What do you guys do? I’ve shared how I try to go about things, but it’s not as if I think that’s the only, right way to go about things. So, yeah, let me learn a little bit more about you guys—cause I love ya all~

8 thoughts on “Aniwords – Being an Anime Fan in the 3D World

  1. To be honest, I wish I interacted more. Your article inspired me to honestly answer the question more often when people ask me about my hobbies, rather than giving a dodgy answer. I’ve been pretty blessed to have friends who are also anime fans, as well as a pretty cool anime club (that I haven’t been going to very often), so I get plenty of anime interaction in a 3D world, but perhaps I’ll be more open about my hobby!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Honestly, I already have so many weird hobbies and interests and almost all my friends are SCA, with their own weird hobbies and obsessions… adding being an otaku to the mix hardly changed things.

    I do have a few friends I talk about anime with (and of course my lovely wife is also an otaku), otherwise the topic rarely comes up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very few of my close friends are into anime but I feel comfortable with them talking about it, which is great. I’m sure they humor me but we all have our niche interests and take turns indulging in our geekdom. Fortunately, my interests are pretty wide-ranging, so I always have something to talk about–whether it’s J or K dramas (verrrry popular with the ladies), Japanese pop, or tokusatsu or Western stuff like Doctor Who and other TV shows. I was never into anime club because watching anime is really more of a private activity for me but it’s always refreshing to meet someone who’s watched more than just Pokemon and Sailor Moon.

    Given that most of my coworkers are at least 10+ years older than me, I sometimes feel self-conscious talking about my interests. But hey, it turns out that I have more in common with their kids so at least we can talk about mainstream anime and stuff like Power Rangers or Super Sentai so they can hear me give my two cents on whether the media their kids are watching is actually appropriate (it’s more than just boobs and kids on superpower steroids beating up each other up :D).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmmm. Well, all of my colleagues at work already know that I’m an anime fan. Besides running the club, obviously, I also have a bunch of anime pictures decorating my cube (alongside some video game, sports, and music memorabilia), so anyone walking by can see at a glance where my interests lie. We don’t necessarily discuss it that much, but occasionally they’ve asked me questions, or I might tell them a little bit about a specific series I’m watching if I’m really excited about it (though I always try to describe it in terms a non-otaku can understand). I did just get one of my colleagues to put School Idol Festival on her phone, though. I decided our club is going to have a SIF competition in December, so I downloaded the game to our staff iPad, which will be the official competition device (that ensures everyone will be using equal teams, and won’t just win because they stacked their rosters), and I’ve been playing it during my break times to gain some levels and build up a decent song library for the kids to pick from. When I told her what I was doing she got curious enough to grab the iPad and try it herself, and next thing I knew she was downloading her own copy.

    Outside of work, a lot of my real-world friends are also anime fans, so with them its easy. It rarely comes up with my friends who aren’t fans, and I always have plenty of other hobbies and interests to talk about with them anyway, but again they all know about it and might occasionally ask me a question or two. Basically I don’t flaunt my fandom among my circle of friends, but I don’t make any secret of it either. It’s just there, and I leave it up to them whether they want to engage with it or not.

    As far as how I share that part of myself people who don’t already know me, if I ever do, I’m always very specific about how I bring it up. I never just go, “Here’s one of my hobbies. I’m an anime fan.” My approach is often more like, say, a conversation topic comes up and I see an opening where I can casually mention, “Oh yeah, that reminds me of something I saw in a movie/TV series once.” Then I’ll talk a little bit about some relevant scene or storyline (again in plain non-otaku English). If that doesn’t catch their interest or they don’t ask me anything else about it then I’ll let it go, but if they show some curiosity, or ask me what the show was, then I’ll answer their questions and that’s when I’ll add that it happens to be anime. I find that by broaching the subject in a more inclusive way, where it’s easier for them to relate to what I’m saying, it leads to a more open conversation makes it a lot easier to avoid those awkward pauses like what you talked about. I was once able to tell a 75-year-old lady who’s one of our library regulars and loves police procedurals a little bit about Standalone Complex, because she was talking about something she saw in one of those shows – CSI or NCIS or whatever – that reminded me of something from GITS:SAC, and she was actually genuinely interested in what I had to say. Whereas if I’d just dropped it on her with no frame of reference, I’m sure she would’ve shut down immediately. Same thing with another regular we have who’s really into both foreign films and certain styles of horror movies – I was able to tell him a little about Kara no Kyoukai and actually got him interested in seeing those.

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  5. I don’t talk much about anime at all, but I’m also not hiding anything (not even the ecchi shows, which have freaked out my sister). My father once watched me stream an anime (don’t remember which one), and there was a scene where a girl was stretching upward to look out of a cellar window, opening it. The scene had a close up of the hand as it opened the window, and my dad said it was amazing how detailed they draw the fingers and all, when their faces are all so flat and featureless. I thought that was a pretty cool comment, because it’s true. Anime often takes a very detailled approach to body language, while the faces often remain iconic with minimal lines. (You need to remember that I’m 44, and my parents have watched me watch anime since I was 4, so there’s no surprise there for anyone involved).

    I also got my mum to watch Usagi Drop, and that’s pretty much it. I’m an anime loner.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So courageous. It’s hard to completely not conforming to society’s expectation.

    One or two years ago I would have been avoiding telling others that I’m a huge anime fan, for fear of being labeled as “otaku”, “weeboo”, and other degoratory terms.

    Now I’ve been exposed to the good things that anime as a form of media can offer it has become less imtimidating.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s plenty different for me I guess, because in my country anime (and manga) are really not considered as ‘niche nerd hobby’; they’re relatively mainstream entertainment, or at least used to be. You can approach any person who’s born in 1980s-1990s and who’s ever own a TV, and casually talk about shows like Rurouni Kenshin, Hunter X Hunter (old one), Captain Tsubasa, Chibi Maruko, One Piece, and about a hundred other shows. For my generation, ‘anime’ doesn’t have much negative connotation as it was reminder of an awesome childhood/teenage period when television channels offered an amazing variety of Japanese shows, a lot of them are stuff that can be enjoyed by the whole family. We literally grow up with them, and in that sense, all of us are ‘fans’.

    (I worked in a construction factory a year ago, and one of my fondest memories there is bonding with our Safety Officer, a scary-looking bear of a man. We had a lot of anime talk, and he mentioned about how he’s a big Sailor Moon fan and been re-watching the original series with his daughter, who always try to stay awake every night so she could watch an episode together with daddy. Also, in the same construction office, almost every single person around my age recognized my ringtone at the time, which was a musical cue from Rurouni Kenshin).

    Granted, while about 8 of 10 people I know in real life have anime/manga series they felt strongly about, almost every single one of them didn’t really follow the latest industry trend and just like to re-visit or keep up with their old favorites. I was that way too, at least until a few years ago when I stumbled into Paranoia Agent (and Satoshi Kon in general) and suddenly find myself interested to discover more of ‘modern anime’. Thus, generally in real life it’s more of a nostalgia thing (I, my cousin, my gf, and her brother plan to watch the Digimon Tri movie together when it’s screened here, for instance) for me, while my engagement with recent anime/current industry is mostly limited to online discourse with English-speaking fans.

    Tbh, I’m not sure how much of a fan I am; I don’t really buy any merch stuff, rarely attend cons/events, and when people visit my place they have to really look before they can see a bunch of manga volumes and anime DVDs interspersed between regular novels and films. Still, I love experiencing them either by myself or with others, talk/write about them, and spent a significant amount of time reading people’s opinion on them… so yeah, I consider myself a fan. My project in the near future is to have a group anime watch & discussion with the teenage kids in community school I teach on part-time basis, most of them are already anime fans (although limited to the stuff that’s on TV such as Doraemon and Naruto); gonna start with Tokyo Magnitude 8.0.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I guess my main way of interacting with anime in the real world is via blogging. I know this technically takes place in the privacy of my own home, but since I’m also interacting with people in a way that’s also, for me at least, very open and honest, I still count this as being more real-world than not.

    As far as offline interaction goes, it’s a bit of a tough one for me. While views on otaku and major anime fans in Japan are gradually changing, they’re still often viewed with some prejudice here, even if it’s not necessarily a conscious thing. So when I say to co-workers who ask about my hobbies that I enjoy watching anime (which I don’t mind doing), and they ask me what anime I like, I tend to mention titles that are considered household names – Fullmetal Alchemist, Evangelion, Ghibli films, etc.

    Of course, if I already know that the person asking is an anime fan themself or that they like a particular title which I’m also into, then I feel comfortable branching out a bit more or going into further depth. Consequently, some of my fondest memories include the time I discovered that a fellow teacher was really into Cowboy Bebop, and when a student who I taught was a huge fan of Free!.

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