Coming clean about watching anime

I recently (yesterday) decided to take a leaf out of Comic-Con Africa’s social media book. Each Tuesday is their ‘Talk to us Tuesday’ where they post community relevant questions which really gives the community a chance to really engage with one another as well as the ComicCon team. I thought this is a really great idea and way to delve into the minds of your community. So, I sat and put together a question to get us started.

The anime question:

Do you feel you can be open and honest about being an #anime fan with your family, friends and colleagues?

If yes great! Are any of them fans like you are?
If not, is this due to previous negative reactions or the concern that you will get a negative response or for another reason?

The answers:

I honestly had mixed reactions as part of the answers from fellow fans. For myself, I am pretty open and honest about watching anime. The depth to which I go with it I may not reveal depending on the person’s initial reaction. This could be due to multiple reasons, from lack of interest to lack of acceptance or rather, lack of understanding. Which I get, after all, I don’t want a full on discussion on (insert sport) when I honestly have the barest of interest in it.

I was glad to see that of those who responded, there were not many ‘closet-otaku’ and that a lot of the responses were that people felt they had people that know they are fans. Some with friends and family that are fans as well.

While I did notice that when it came to the professional, or rather the work side of things, the number of people admitting to colleagues that they are fans, was less. While this does make sense, due to the connotation of anime being for children because it is animated hurts.

I wanna get us chatting and discussing stuff over here.
After all, I did start this as a way to get in touch with and build the anime community around me. Each Tuesday I shall post a question and I hope you’ll join in and answer :p

The threads:

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Taking a leaf out of #ComicConAfrica’s social media book…⠀ I wanna get us chattting and discussing stuff over here. ⠀ After all, I did start this as a way to get in touch with and build the anime community around me. Each tuesday I shall post a question and I hope you’ll join in and answer :p ⠀ ⠀ First Question, do you feel you can be open and honest about being an #anime fan with your family, friends and colleagues? ⠀ ⠀ If yes great! Are any of them fans like you are? ⠀ If not, is this due to previous negative reactions or the concern that you will get a negative response or for another reason? ⠀ ⠀ Please comment below and let’s get chatting amounst ourselves and learn more about our community on the whole 😎 If don’t wanna comment but wanna have your say, reply as a private message and let’s discuss it 😀

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My conclusion:

The assumption that as an anime fan, we shall be judged negatively. This has obviously been the norm until recent years. However, with the mainstreaming of anime, the view of the anime community and the individual anime fan is changing for the better. To be an anime fan is not seen as negatively as in previous years. While I am speaking mainly with the South African community in mind since this is the only one I have been exposed too, I believe that anime fans are slowly but surely becoming a recognised part of the ‘geekdom’.

Once I left high school the fact I enjoy anime was first viewed as childish and then I found people who enjoy it like I do. Now that I am in my mid 20’s I have come to the realisation, their opinion doesn’t really matter. I am watching to make myself happy, not them. Plus as a hobby, it is a relatively harmless one.

Fellow fans don’t open up about being fans thus failing to find a fellow fan among real-life peers. From personal experience, I have learnt that quite a number of people in my immediate circle are friends are fellow fans. I only discovered this after casually asking the question, “so uhm, do you watch any anime?” This is still one of my fave questions to ask people when I am first getting to know them. I do get no as an answer quite a bit, but for those where I get a yes, it gives me common ground where I can potentially have a conversation with the person. As for the no sayers, well, then I move onto the next question or sit awkwardly waiting for them to use their turn to ask a question. I never said I was good at conversing with people. I just use it as a conversation point.

Overall, I feel being an anime fan is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. Rather than denying yourself, rather say yeah I like anime and if the person you are talking to doesn’t, well move on. You don’t have to admit or even mention that you are amassing a figurine collection or that soon you will need to overlap posters because you are running out of wall space. Your depth, passion and obsession is an entirely different matter to admitting you are a fan.

Thank you to everyone who answered and I look forward to learning more about our anime community on the whole.

What are your thoughts on the above?

3 thoughts on “Coming clean about watching anime

Add yours

  1. I know I’m late to reading this, I’m so sorry hehe
    For my experience, I’m very open about watching anime (or being a geek in general), but I am the same in the office just very lowkey regarding this as only a handful of people watch anime (or are geeks), and of course there will be those that think anime is a “cartoon”.
    My family is aware of it and have accepted it so no worries there.
    I really don’t get bothered on who knows or who doesn’t and if they don’t know I don’t really try to educate them unless they ask, so far no one hasn’t really been rude so that’s a plus.
    Oh and regarding anime being called cartoons, just recommend them Death Note or Afro Samurai lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pretty much everyone in my family and at work knows I watch anime and write a blog about it. I’m pretty indifferent to how people view that at this point and most people seem to just accept it or ignore it. Very few are actually rude about it.

    Like

  3. My parents and sister know that I watch anime and read manga, they are also completely award that I have a huge collection of collectables too, my brother-in-law was also curious to see it. Never got any bad reaction from it other than I should maybe not invest (read waste) that much on that.

    At work some of my co-worker knows that I was anime and read manga, in my opinion this is an hobby like any other hobby. People who think anime it’s for kid it’s because they only think/hear of Naruto, Pokemon and all other title aimed at a younger audience. I thought an 8 yrs could understand the philosophy behind Psycho-Pass or Attack of Titan or see the real problem in Gangsta.

    Like

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