The older we are, the more embarrassed we become of our interests (anime/games/etc)

We only played this at home. Since it’s quite embarrassing telling the whole world your love for anime (and games too).

I am not sure if this is prevalent among anime fans, but don’t you realize the older you are, you tend to be more secretive over your interests. I talked to Reverse Vampire about this, and she agrees with this observation. I do not know why I feel this way too though. It makes no sense to be actually EMBARRASSED over your interests. Why?

I grew up watching Dragonball, Orange Road and many other interesting anime on my local television series. I used to share with others about my love of anime, particularly to my friends in secondary school and junior college (For our visitors in the Western hemisphere, it’s high school). However, now that I have become a policy analyst that serves my nation’s students, I suddenly feel like qualifying my love for anime when asked. Some of my colleagues know of my interest in anime, but I seldom tell it out.

For me, personally, I think the key reason is the stigma toward anime. The two likely responses you get when you ask people about their views of anime are “cartoons” or “porn.” With such negative connotations, I am not going to go through hell in order to pursuit my casual interest. Sure, there will be many anime fans that will criticize our judgment, but I guess in the working environment I am in, it is not that easy to clarify things. Of course, I try to educate my peers, as well as my superiors on what anime is in order to get rid of any inaccurate images. However, it is hard to get people away from this misconception despite the clarifications. Sometimes, it’s better to keep mum about it, instead of displaying it externally.

I think there is also a juvenile perception on anime activities too. People tend to frown over activities such as cosplay, considering them to be weird, and as such lump all anime fans with such “bad” stereotypes. However, it is a little weird why people have such misconceptions of anime compared to like “book readers” or other activities.

Reverse Vampire:

I grew up watching ‘kiddie’ anime such as Pokemon, Digimon, Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura…you get the idea. It’s quite embarrassing telling my classmates and friends that you watch all these everyday. It got worse when I entered secondary school, which I NEVER told any of my friends and classmates (With the exception of my best friend, who is more of an anime otaku than me.), since most of my friends are either into soccer, Korean-pop (Don’t even try to name every Korean boy band and for the record, 99.1% of my school’s female population are into this, don’t get this started readers.), Twilight (Even the boys in my class read it. It’s the truth.) and girl talk. It’s so hard to get my interest in anime to anyone, afraid of being laugh at (And I don’t want to be remembered as an ugly otaku girl for the rest of my life by my classmates. People know my name really well in secondary school. Or being reminded that I’m too old to watch ‘cartoons’.) I did not told most of my classmates about me interested in games, as they have the stereotype mentality that ‘games are for boys and tomboys only.’ Especially with my obsession with the Kingdom Hearts series. It’s sometimes hard to reach out with people especially when they had this sort of mindset.

Sometimes I wished my friends could understand my (And a minority of anime lovers in the school population) interest in anime, manga and games. Like Impz had said, it’s harder for us anime enthusiasts to get the misconception explained to others. Right now, I think it’s better I didn’t tell them anything rather than making my classmates misunderstand even further. That also explains why I had very few friends in my social life; I’m still happy the way I am.

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69 Comments

  1. Posted May 23, 2010 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty shameless lol, still I pick my spots. I think if you’re pretty good at what you do (work, sports, studies), the less you’ll be judged by your interests.

    • Impz
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:15 am | Permalink

      True. However, that can be a major concern too, the very fact that you like anime. I am not sure why there is such a negative perception of anime among non-viewers. I just find that it is a little sad that there are some stereotypes that run true among fans of anime, that could have dragged down the majority of anime fans who are just the typical person on the streets.

      • Kherubim
        Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:44 am | Permalink

        Being discerning is the first step, as long as you don’t wear eroge loli t-shirts or drive an itasha, you’re good to go… So far there doesn’t seem to be too much of a stigma associated with anime fandom in Singapore, but just like the moral panic hysteria of the 1980s with metal, tabletop RPGs and comics, that may change if some tragic cases occur which the Press may decide has a link to anime fandom.

        • Posted May 23, 2010 at 6:46 am | Permalink

          In Singapore, it already has.

          It’s associated with “piracy” and “intellectual property theft”.

          • Kherubim
            Posted May 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

            That’s nothing compared to the crazy BS of the mid to late 80s, what with the Satanism panic associated with metal music, AD&D and western comics… Even now I still RAEG at the thought of 1st edition DMGs being consigned to the flames…

          • Impz
            Posted May 23, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

            Wow that absolutely reminds me! I used to be all into AD&D tabletop (2nd edition) when I am 6-7. Yes, I started quite early because my brother and my cousin are huge fans of D&D, and well I probably pick it up from them. I remember the whole fury by conservatives and religion attacking the living lights out of D&D, calling it satanic and what not. I mean, it is just a fantasy game for Christ’s sake!

            Sigh, I so wish to play D&D again. No one around me plays that though.

          • iamTN
            Posted May 23, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

            Ah… the wonderful game of D&D… it’s hard to find games, and it’s even harder to find the right people to play with. That’s why I’m huge fan of Bioware games, their RPGs are about the only ones I enjoy now-a-days.

          • Kherubim
            Posted May 24, 2010 at 1:35 am | Permalink

            2nd Edition was the “cleaned up, PG-13″ version, the one which made all the big hoohah (and expensive bonfires in 1980s SG, I kid you not) back in the day was 1st Edition, the one with a “harlot random encounter table”. The ecchi artwork in Queen’s Blade (gamebooks and anime) makes 1st ed artwork look tame…

          • Posted May 24, 2010 at 4:55 am | Permalink

            :3c

            Impz… … …

            Did you just say D&D? :3

          • Impz
            Posted May 24, 2010 at 7:34 am | Permalink

            Ya, big fan here. I am no Dungeon master or a good role player by any chance. Sigh, I do want to play some nice tabletop for a change.~

        • Posted May 23, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          I suppose you’re more vulnerable when you’re younger. When I got my first middle management post, I was 27 and my superiors were only maybe 5-8 years older. They were part of a generation that still got to see 70s super robot shows in their youths.

          One of them told me (one of the bigger bosses even then) “Why do you have such a huge picture of a guy wearing fllip flops in your office?” He was ribbing me about my huge Kenshin wall scroll, but I could tell that he’s seen enough episodes to know what he’s talking about. When I left that office, there was a minor bidding war for that scroll.

          I naturally gave it to the most attractive female bidder.

          I suppose that anime is more widely accepted here in the Philippines.

          • Impz
            Posted May 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

            Oh, you teaser :P

            You make me feel like bringing my Samurai Champloo poster to work now. Should I, or should I not. Sigh, I guess not. I do have a FS/N board cutter on my desk. That is perhaps the only thing that betrays my normal existence and into the realm of an anime fan. HAH

  2. Soulstrider
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    Personally I never cared I like to watch what I like to watch and I am not going to deny it, at least where I live people usually respect what you like to watch, personally plenty of people know I like anime and none ever said ” That’s for kids”.

    Unrelated note: It’s not all western hemisphere who says “High School”, it’s just the English speaking countries I believe, I live in Europe and in my country we also call it Secondary school.

  3. Cynn
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    In my secondary school, our Form is filled with quirky characters of sorts, and about 7 or more of my classmates watch anime, and those same people plus with several schoolmates are mad about KPop, JPop and MPop (mostly just Jay Chou and Wang Leehom). But that’s mostly just limited to those of Chinese descent. Because of our interests, we stuck together, like how the saying goes: birds of a feather flock together. There was the KPop clique, the Ragnarok clique, the English Music clique, the Bollywood clique and so on. I belonged to neither, mainly because I was interested in everything and nothing. Sometimes I’d pop into the JPop clique and exclaim, ‘Did you listen to Big Bang “Koe wa Kikasete”?’ and we’d have a conversation about that. And after that, I would pop into the Anime clique and yell, ‘DRRR was GREAT!’ and we’d have a long chat about that too. I have a close Indian friend who was crazy over Super Junior, and we would sing SuJu songs together. It didn’t matter what we liked, as long as someone else could talk about it, or it was something everyone could join in without much in-depth knowledge prior to the conversation.

  4. Posted May 23, 2010 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    I actually do not know any anime fans IRL outside of my siblings (whose exposure to the anime fandom is entirely my fault). Anime is definitely viewed as ‘those weird japanese cartoons’ or ‘isn’t that just porn?’ round these parts and as such I’m very reluctant to broadcast my interest.

    My family know I’m obsessed since quite a sizable portion of my room is given over to a bookcase full of anime and manga, but most people don’t have a clue – not even my closest friends (who know I have an interest in Japanese media but don’t know quite the extent of that interest). Oh and no one besides my brother knows I actually blog about anime!

    I suppose its less a sense of shame and more a sense of ‘I can not be bothered correcting your incorrect views’. People in work already think I’m a bit odd since I can be seen reading those ‘weird backwards comics’, have been caught humming anime theme songs ocassionally and then there’s the fact I have Suiseiseki dangling from my carkeys…….so I’m in no hurry add fuel to the fire so to speak. It does irritate me that I can’t really talk about my hobby, but since I’ve kept it quiet since I was 16, I see no point in talking about it now.

    • Impz
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      Oh, my family knows just a bit of my interests. They thought of me more as a gamer. I think the reputation among my family happened because of a certain incident during my GCE A Level exams (that’s like a qualifying exam for university entrance). While some of my neighbor’s sons and daughters are studying from day to night, I was gaming on the exam days with glee without really bothering to study at all. My personal belief is that last minute studying just makes my head hurt, and I rather go into exams with a relaxed demeanor.

      I think you are probably right in the view of “I cannot be bothered.” I always get a strange look when I say I like anime, and have a blog. It’s weird, but I got used to it with my close friends.

      • Posted May 23, 2010 at 6:47 am | Permalink

        I actually denied that once. Someone was close to finding out, and I flat out denied it.

  5. Posted May 23, 2010 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    Hmmmm…

    I never really cared what other people think of me so it’s not a problem if I say it. Sometimes I might even bring it up in conversation along with an attempt to pry out whatever the other person likes as well.

    My really good friends are not the kind of people who watch anime, but are the ones who don’t mind that I do (on an obsessive level).

    • Impz
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:22 am | Permalink

      Same here. My close buddies are not fans of anime per se. That said, I don’t watch anime on an obsessive degree by any means, so I don’t feel that way. However, there are people who are incredulous that I watch anime, as though someone who was one of the top university students should have nothing to be associated with anime. I find that weird, amusing and a bit worried at times to tell others of my interest.

  6. Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    I don’t feel embarrassed at all, but uncomfortable. I transferred from an uni with anime club to one with no club at all, so my new friends doesn’t know anime related stuff too much. I particularly don’t care, since I got tired of discussing anime and stuff, but sometimes I feel that I’m left behind, ’cause I don’t have much to talk about that’s not anime and stuff, to begin with. Anyways, I learned to blend in with the group, so I can talk about random crap withou being seen as a “geek” =S

  7. Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Here where I live there are these stereotypes of anime like it’s porn, it’s only for kids’ it’s only for nerds/cosplayers and others. I would say that of roughly 300,000 people, 5% are fond of it. The only Anime we see in television are pokemon and yugioh.

    So as for anime, manga, fans we are laught at and ridiculed because of the misunderstandings. It’s tough but we don’t care, we laugh at them because they don’t understand. You should do too. If you like something it doesn’t matter if others don’t.

  8. d3v
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Funny thing is, especially growing up in SEAsia, alot of the people who you hide your anime fandom from actually do have fond memories of watching anime and playing video games and, at least in my case, would be more than happy to talk a bit of shop.

  9. Hana
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    I’m not too bothered about what people think either, but then I’m fortunate to be from an Arts/Humanities background. My friends have pretty ecclectic tastes so that circle is not issue, and as a young teacher most of the people at my workplace are under 18s anyway and many of them like anime too. My last workplace was a secondary school (I live in London btw) and once the kids found out I liked anime they came up to me with a petition for me to start up a lunchtime anime club in my classroom! (Aw, the memories!) I’ve recently switched jobs and I’m at a sixth form college now (for what we call the ‘further education’ sector, usually people aged 16-19s) and I usually tell the other people in the English and Humanities office that I’m into anime if they ask me about my hobbies. But yes I usually qualify my answer so that they know the kinds of genres and stuff – not least of all so I can send them website links and convert them too and thus have more stuff to talk with them about!:D But these people are fellow lecturers of a similar age/ with similar Artsy interests, so I’d probably leave out some of my ‘geekier’ hobbies if, say, my manager or one of the senior leadership teacm asked me lol. So I guess the short answer would be depends who I’m talking too, as long as they seems open-minded.mildy-interested enough then I have no probs with sharing the anime love!

  10. Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    *shrugs*

    I dunno what you were talking about. I have no problem talking about my interest and makes no effort to hide them. Sure I got single out regularly but hey, this is all me. Either you like it or you don’t. I don’t give a fuck.

    • Impz
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      It’s really different people; different strokes. I cannot just live my life sadly by whatever I want to do, due to the fact of my position. I do admire people who can or will do whatever they want to in full display, just not my style and I don’t like to be singled out.

  11. Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    My family are well aware of my anime fandom – I once took a punch in the stomach from my brother over the ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion – a moment I will cherish forever because it was one of the only times I ever convinced my twin bro to watch anime.

    I once talked on Australian public radio about Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha manga to the locally prominent John Safran – look up Youtube vids of him being crucified at some Asian religious festival if you want to get an idea of how crazy he is in his journalistic adventures.

    Anyway, I seem to have better luck with anime when I don’t try and force it on people. Am watching Azumanga Daioh currently and am liking it.

  12. Posted May 23, 2010 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    My policy is “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

    For me, it’s not that I’m ashamed about it, but rather, I have no burning desire to tell people. Not because I am embarrassed or anything, but rather, I have zero desire to tell people about it. It’s a private thing, your hobbies. There’s really no need to tell people about it or anything.

    Hey, I watched Kenshin at age 10 or something. Almost unsupervised and my mom did sit in a few times.

    Though in Singapore, anime is associated with “breaking the law” so… … … yeah.

    • Hana
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      ‘breaking the law’?! Really? I don’t get it, seems nuts… but I gues that’s because here in the UK it’s not that popular or well known, except for a few random channels that show the more well-established, younger target-audience-orientated shounen animes.

      • Posted May 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Heard of the ODEX incident a few years back? It’s their fault that the anime industry in Singapore has to falter.

        I visited this site NKDS a few days ago, they started talking about radio stations unwilling or refused to broadcast Japanese anime music (Some of it are top of the music charts that week, something like that). That got a number of anime fans mad.

        • Hana
          Posted May 24, 2010 at 7:19 am | Permalink

          Hadn’t heard of it before I Googled it, thanks for clearing that up. Sounds like ODEX etc could learn a lot from the American distributors, who have a better dialogue with their fans. No wonder it’s such a delicate subject in Singapore. The music thing sounds nuts too, of all the things for people to be wasting their time trying to censor eh (*sigh*)

  13. Posted May 23, 2010 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I’m not.

  14. Posted May 23, 2010 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Enjoying another form of media is not embarrassing at all, but spreading a fog of misconceptions about you among co-workers can be dangerous. Would I pro-actively tell everyone at work that I like anime? No. However, if a conversation moved to that direction, depending on the open-mindedness of a person I am talking to, I would take some time to discuss anime. The key would be to reveal any presumptions a person might have about anime. It will be kind of like CBT haha

  15. A concerned child
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Yeah its kind of true, though my family have a vague idea im into this stuff I keep it quiet anyway. With others I dont really bring it up unless theres a question about interests. That said I have found people around me to also be fans by chance.

    In the UK theres a perception that its all for children because of series like Pokemon.

  16. iamTN
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I guess it’s a bit for me, because I grew up in Southern California and grew up with the internet. It wasn’t rare for me to walk around on college and spy some anime or manga being enjoyed on laptops. And I can’t recall a time where I didn’t see someone at the manga section at the bookstore “previewing” it for hours at a time. Or hear people ask each other did they see the most recent episode of Naruto or Bleach. It just feels to me that the people around me aren’t that embarrassed about their hobbies.

    I’ve always been very comfortable with who I am and I enjoy watching anime.

  17. Rhine
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    For the record, if any GUY (or, indeed, anyone) is going to criticize you as ‘childish’ or ‘weird’ for liking anime when they read(!) Twilight of all things, I don’t think their grounds are very stable at all for acting like arbiters of normalcy. I’d be less embarrassed of people knowing I’ve sat through the entirety of Sister Princess than if they knew I’d had any knowledge of who the hell ‘Bella’ is (TEAM JACOB!).

    I tend to stick with the above-mentioned strategy of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’. In this world, everyone is ignorant about something, it’s probably best not to give them fodder. However, I’ve never had the need to trumpet my interest in anime before – it’s always been what it was, an interest, nothing more. I’m glad to talk about it if the subject comes up, but it rarely does.

  18. Posted May 23, 2010 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    I don’t actively talk about my interest in anime, but if someone asks, I won’t lie. I can’t help but feel embarrassed because, as you say, most non-Japanese think that anime is just kiddy cartoons or porn. If people didn’t have such ignorant views, I wouldn’t feel like their image of me gets distorted whenever I tell them that I’m an anime fan. If asked, I’ll say that I’m into anime, but I won’t go on and on about it unless someone’s clearly interested in hearing about it.

  19. Exar
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Usually when someone asks me of my interest, Im not afraid and say that I like anime. Its true that many non-viewers see it as some form of sterotype, which in turn pisses me off, which ends up with me having a serious conversation about them not doing enough research or just going with what popular culture says on the whole concept of anime. This is why i have a hatred towards anything shonen, because it becomes “mainstream” and the majority of anime watchers are shounen-lovers, the non-viewers see it as something EVERYONE sees, which in truth clouds their judgement and makes me go on a murderous Rant.
    I tell them about serious shows like Honey and Clover and Kare Kano, which most i have talked to have taken it into a more open-minded view. But I’m not afriad of telling people I watch anime, since most of the people that know me, know that the majority of my influences for writing come from it.
    Mostly I recommend they at least TRY to watch a “good” show, and if they dont like it, well too bad, at least they know that anime isnt always about ninjas or having supepowers..

  20. Neko
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Oh my.. I know, latelly even though I’m still in high school I get weird comments like ‘oh watch that kind of stuff…?’ and weird looks at times, but I really don’t care. I get pretty excited when someone talks to me about anime I born watching it, I can’t deny it. Never<3.

    • Impz
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Same here! I actually get excited when someone tells or talks to me about anime. Problem is, I am in an environment in which people DO NOT really talk about anime (educators and all). Sigh. :( Well, at least I have my wife and all of you to discuss with ^^

  21. vucubcaquix
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m fairly social and regularly go out with friends and coworkers from my previous jobs as an EMT and a baker. I’m very extroverted and if the topics cover current events or politics or technology I will be very active in the dialogue or occasionally dominate it. But when we’re at the bar and the conversation veers toward sports or some show on TV, I tend to get noticeably quiet.

    That was a strange night, when someone noticed I wasn’t saying anything and having to explain that I haven’t watched western television for the better part of six years. They asked if I don’t own a TV, I responded by saying that yes I do own a 42″ plasma, but the majority of what I watch is “japanese cartoons” hooked up by hdmi from my laptop.

    Turned out fine, because the drunker we got, the more we found out that the girls present all watched sailor moon and the guys watched dragonball. I can’t fully convey the hilarity of drunken mahou shojo transformation sequences or kamehameha waves over the internet.

    Ah, good times.

  22. Posted May 23, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I know when I was in middle school I was scared shitless of telling people that I liked anime out of fear of being shunned, but once I got to high school I changed my view for the better. I just said directly that I liked anime if asked of my interests and got one of two responses:

    1: “Oh, ok.” or stuff on those, with some being interested as to what some anime are like.

    2: “Fag” and or” Nerd”. My response would typically something on the lines of “Is that so? Well then, Fuck you sir, and have a nice day,”.

    I never really knew anybody in high school that watched anime (my two that did were a Narutard and guy whose deepest and most compelling anime was “Love Hina”) so I was just kinda “the dude that watches anime”. amongst my friends. And that was fine, since no one gave me shit about it, and I didn’t give them shit about their interests.

    When I got to college it was pretty much the same thing, except there was a lot more of the former, a lot fewer of the latter, and a Japanese Culture Club (which was just an anime club in disguise) to hang with. :)

    • Impz
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      You know what is ironic about my anime enjoyment? I am actually embarrassed of being associated as a Narutard or a Bleachtard, as much as I am just an anime fan like them. I find myself detesting at times by shunting such people because it seems that they are so narrow-minded in their views on anime. It’s probably how outsiders should have stereotyped anime fans on the whole, the same way I stereotyped these naruto fans.

      I have much to learn.

      • Exar
        Posted May 23, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        Actually you should see how the the outsiders think that everyone who watches anime is a narutard and bleachtard. Prolly why I rant on anyone i know that thats all anime is. And in a while you are right in them having narrow-minded view on anime. At my town’s anime convention i made a survey and 90% of the ones that went were narutards and bleachtards, with their view clouded by the fact that they think anything besides these two shows are crap.

  23. Posted May 23, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    For me, I have certain circles of friends in which I would never bring up anime or video games and I have others where it’s the subject of most of what we talk about. I also don’t hide it but I don’t flaunt it either. That said, I will openly defend any criticism of the media if anyone tries to do so.

    • Impz
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Well, I have to admit that it is hard to defend certain otaku culture things such as cosplay and the likes, since I myself don’t enjoy or engage in such activities (some of my friends consider cosplay to be rather juvenile in nature, and the participants are quite rowdy). I think it is much easier for me to defend on grounds that are easier to defend “general view of anime”. I am not sure if that is the right approach or not though.

      • Posted May 24, 2010 at 12:28 am | Permalink

        Even though I don’t cosplay myself, I’ll be happy to defend those who do.

        Here in the states people go crazy for the chance to dress up for Halloween. Anyone who dresses up as Freddy Kruger, or Batman, or a slutty witch shouldn’t say two words about others dressing up as an anime character. A while back there was a big trend of people partying in togas — same thing. I went to Venice once for Carnevale; people were dressed up in all kinds of weird outfits, and it was really cool. You could see that many people had put a lot of time and effort into their costumes.

        As far as I’m concerned, if people are having fun, and they aren’t hurting other people, no one should be giving them lip. Even if someone is just putting a dumb cat-ears thing on. It doesn’t hurt me. There are people actively doing things that harm (directly or otherwise) other people. If we’re gonna start criticizing people let’s start with them, and leave the cosplayers alone.

  24. Eva
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I found it hard to discuss Anime in the public or even read mangas in the classroom. I used to have two boys that sat beside me and wouldn’t shut up about whether I’m watching or read porn anime/manga or crap how stupid it is. It pissed me off to no ends. My high school “friends” also used to make fun of me and told me to stop talking about it, or trying to encourage them – or express my fangirlsm about a latest episode or chapter. It was absolutely miserable.
    On the other hand, now ever since I’m in college: I’ve joined the Anime Club (it took me a long time BECAUSE I wanted to hide the fact that I watch/read this stuff) I have been able to talk about it more openly in the public and not be as nervous as I used to be. :D

    • Impz
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      There was actually an anime club in my university, but I was way too embarrassed to join it. Also, I have to admit that I sacrifice social time for the pursue of my valedictorian position (didn’t get it eventually, but was close) during university. That said, if I have joined an anime club, we won’t be commenting and discussing in this blog. This blog arises from the fact that I didn’t have many friends to talk about when it comes to anime, and to share my joy and views about anime to anyone and everyone on the Internet.

      This love has brought me more than 3.5 years of enjoyment. :D I think it’s a pretty sweet deal.

      • Eva
        Posted May 24, 2010 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        XD It took me 2 months before I had the guts to enter the anime room. Boy am I glad I did. I used to be completely alone all the time!!!

      • Impz
        Posted May 24, 2010 at 7:36 am | Permalink

        Hahahaha, well, i wasn’t alone since I am quite a sociable person. The only issue was the sharing of my joy about anime. Now, with this blog, it is all complete. Plus, I found a wife this way. Pretty good deal, if you ask me. ^^

  25. Posted May 23, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    People tend to hide their interests if its not one of the interests that is accepted by the majority of the people they come in contact with. in Japan you probably wouldn’t come across it, but in other country’s where anime is hardly known it is just not a thing that most people would like. so when you start to talk about it they got no clue as to what you are talking about. Do note, the people who would associate it with hentai are the ones who have seen hentai ! =P not that that is such a bad thing… we all explore certain varieties of content for our sexual interests.

    most people that know me also know i like anime, and though some think its strange, most people just ignore it and got an opinion of “so you like that, no problem” i kinda even flame the ones who think its the same as cartoons for children ^_^ still, its also probably cause i do IT and work with computers alot that its a bit more accepted that i like gaming and anime. though i do understand people thinking its weird. but i always explain it with anime being like the alter ego to the “normal” TV series and how they are quite similar. just that anime is drawn and the normal ones are taped with actors.

  26. Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Great post by the way, While I was in high school I never really brought any manga to class until a friend of mine showed me Shonen Jump and I started to order that and eventually bring it to school, not many cared about it some where interested but just looked at the pictures lol, I drew a lot of “anime” style pictures sometimes during class most just thought I was drawing Dbz people. Now when I have friends over they can see my room full of wall scrolls not sure what they think, probably think its strange to have have that in my room lol.

    Only people that kind of give me a hard time with it is my dad, now he doesn’t mind anime he grew up watching some old school anime, I do remember him showing me some when I was 12 so guess he got me into anime, but todays shows he sort of doesn’t understand like Bleach for instance shows a good ten minutes of great action then five minutes of wtf comedy, he can’t stand that so he pokes fun lol.

  27. Narkins
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Errr I was more of a gamer than a Anime fan, still am to be fair but I don’t really have too much of a worry about people finding out. My housemates and friends at Uni found out pretty quickly about my hobbys (highjacking my mates Xbox to marathon Mass effect and Eternal Sonata in two weeks put paid to any attempt of secracy I may have attempted) I still get some stick every now and again but after a few choice insults of my own thrown back the conversation goes back to football, sport, when were next going out and whats for dinner.

    Generally in the UK gaming heavily is no longer seen as a sigma, you know that gaming is no longer really seen as “nerdy” or “geeky” when you see 5 very pissed uni football club members arguing over the best gun in modern warefare 2. Anime is still holds a stigma but I generally ain’t too worried about what people think, wouldn’t shout it from the rooftops though.

    • Impz
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      Hahahah, nice analogy at the end. I actually find that a former “negative” activity, gaming, is now well received by most people simply because of the presence of social games that reach out to the majority of people. Anime, on the whole, will never become mainstream. It is always an acquired taste no matter if Miyazaki makes a billion wonderhits for anime. The truth is that animation on the whole is catered to children, and anime is just a sub-group in it that is more for adults with its adult themes and story lines.

      I can actually envision what the conversation can lead to football. Tends to happen with my mates too (substitute football with entertainment).

  28. Sacchi
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    In my 16 years of life, in real life, only 3-4 people know that I like anime. An old friend who I’ve lost touch with, who introduced me to anime (and liked drawing hentai, which gave anime an even worse reputation), my sister, I think maybe my cousin, and I’m not sure if there’s a 4th person.

    Most people think that anime is childish, or simply, they don’t even know about it. It’s quite hard to talk with friends about something they have no idea about, and I don’t think any of them would be even remotely interested in watching anime.

  29. Posted May 23, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Good job blogging about a topic that would otherwise express the opposite views–namely, that those who watch anime should freely express themselves and never think twice about it. It’d be nice to do that, but the truth is that anime has an especially potent social stigma attached to it–and I don’t think that’s gonna change for a while.

    I personally think that high school seems like the most severe time in which one can get socially ostracized thanks to anime. Impz, you mentioned the fear of your name being associated with kiddie porn and cartoons due to your hobby, but at the very least, that’s a quiet, subtle disdain. In high school, it’s open insults that spread throughout the whole school. High school’s a time when kids are just old/intelligent enough to understand the social stigma attached to anime but not yet mature enough to actually think for themselves. (Yes, this is a generalization.)

    I’m especially worried that most of my friends will find out that I watch anime. Though I managed to keep it secret for a while, my best friend found out–and now he’s flaunting the fact as often as Lady Gaga wears eccentric clothing. Even then, I was still accepted in the circle of friends. However, I noticed that I’m slowly being excluded more and more, and it sucks. Sure, there’s the group of guys that watch anime all day, ever day; but I don’t find them funny, nor do I want my name to always be associated with “otaku who likes tentacle porn.” Every time I enter the anime club to watch something, I try to draw as little attention as possible. Every time someone sees me in there watching some show, I freeze up and try to avoid their judgmental stares.

    Whew! Sorry about that rather heartless rant there. To say the least, I’m actually not angry that people associate anime with tentacle porn. I’m not annoyed that watching anime might just have the worst possible social stigma attached to it. I’m not infuriated that my friends are less and less amused by me. No, what really irks me is that I have to choose. I can’t be that guy who plays sports, gets good grades, and hangs out with the bros AND be the guy who marathons an anime season or two. Why can’t I have both? Must I choose my identity? Maybe such a dichotomy is precipitated by the other people. But I still can’t blame it on them; the only person I can blame it on is myself.

    But enough of this tirade. Thanks for the insightful post, Impz and Reverse Vampire.

    • Impz
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      Well, I do come from a perspective in which I don’t live anime in my life. Anime is just part of the many activities I have, such as gaming, watching stupid soap operas to laugh, surfing the net, going out with friends and reading journal/scholarly articles. As such, I am somewhat at the border of being inside and outside. Hence, I am not going to say nice unrealistic stuff like “let’s just do whatever the hell I want” because in society, you can’t unless you are keen to be ostracized. If you wish to be somewhat achieving in your job, the truth is that there are appearances that you have to set up, at least to the point that these supposed “demerits” are hidden.

      Many otaku will probably criticize me for this view, but heck who can blame them for criticizing me. I don’t think it’s the right thing to do, but sometimes it is a necessary evil.

      • Posted May 24, 2010 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        Interesting point about professionalism and the need to “hide” anime in order to be successful. As you say, anime seems to be much more of a hobby than a passion turned into an occupation. Although we may love these Japanese cartoons to a great extent, I don’t want it to become my life.

        Ralph Waldo Emerson may frown upon our conduct, but I do think it’s necessary to hide this hobby if we want to fit into society. Even if we don’t consider it a “demerit,” other people do That’s just the way it is. As I said before, I’m not annoyed by that; in fact, I actually agree that hobby (watching anime) and profession/occupation should be kept separate–in this case, at least.

        And you’d be surprised when you find out how many people agree with you. The otaku is a strange creature indeed. =)

  30. Kuld
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t say I’m embarrassed. I just don’t bring up those topics nor talk about it unless someone else started it.

  31. skyhack
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm…

    I’m 53. Been a fan for a VERY long time. I watch fansubs on break at work, and loan boxsets out to unsuspecting co-workers. I’m an air traffic controller, so the workforce IS pretty geeky, which helps a bit.
    I don’t watch hentai at all, and not much ecchi. I tend to watch milder stuff with deeper stories. I’ve managed to convert a few, too.

    After all, I’d rather watch Paranoia Agent, Bebop, Escaflowne (NOT THE MOVIE) or Haibane Renmei over Spike TV any day.

  32. Posted May 23, 2010 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    I also love anime for the longest time. I started during my preschool years then it peaked during my highschool years. It’s a good thing that my group of friends understood me to the point that they also watch CCS, X, Kare-kano and etc. But when I stepped into college, animation took a backseat because of peer pressure and I was afraid that they’d be turned off if they knew about my hobby. When they discovered it, they were telling me to stop liking kids’ hobbies. I was very unhappy because by then, my crowd was into bars and drinking…partying…In my third year in college, I met a new set of people who really loved anime, I left my first group and went with this one. I bloomed. LOL. They’re still my friends until now and we kept contact even though we graduated already. :D

  33. ~xxx
    Posted May 24, 2010 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    for the longest time, I also watched animes…

    and as I grow up, well we are very secretive to that part…and I kinda agree with the author….so anyway, even though I’m not too maturely grown… I still have to love anime as much as I can for each one of us is a child in nature.!

  34. Posted May 24, 2010 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    believe or not, my first anime series were actually The Three Musketeers and Ronin Warriors. at that time, i was only in Primary School (Pri6) and i remember waking up, crazily enough, at 6am to watch them on Channel 8. of course, at that time, i had no concept that they were even anime. to me, there were still lumped as being cartoons. it was only after i got into Secondary School (Sec2) that i was introduced to manga (Sailor Moon!) and later on, to anime. i used to share a membership card with a friend for the Comic Connection shop to buy manga until we got so friendly with the sales person that we didn’t even need the card anymore.

    cutting a long story short, most of my friends know me as the otaku girl. i’m still buying and reading manga diligently and i’m still watching lots of anime every day.

    i’m thankful that throughout my entire manga/anime life, about 13-14yrs now, i’ve always had this constant group of friends that i can talk anime/manga with. so it made me totally comfortable telling my non-anime friends about my hobby, though it irks me when they always think anime is just about Bleach or Naruto. of course, i don’t go ranting about it to them.

    in fact, i’ve realized that they are more anime watching people around me after i tell them about it. and i’m also the person most of them will go to for recommendations if they ever ran out of anime to watch.

    ^_^.“

  35. Morg
    Posted May 24, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    I completely understand. I’m a girl who’s heavily into video games, tabletop roleplaying games, board games (not monopoly think more like power grid), both US and British TV shows and of course anime. Even within engineering and throughout college I’ve been very selective of what interests I divulge to other people. It’s exhausting trying to explain away misconceptions and stereotypes time and time again and I find it’s often a fruitless endeavor. Partially due to this fact I find myself group hopping a fair amount (board games with some, video games with others) and I’ve yet to find anyone to share my interest in anime in this area. So I often just watch it in my down time and refrain from bringing it up in conversations. It’s unfortunate, but online communities like this help alleviate some of the frustrations.

  36. Posted May 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    In all honesty, I am not embarrassed by being an anime fan. I enjoy watching anime and I do not feel that we should be judge by what are interests are. And if people don’t like what we do, then they don’t have to know about it.

  37. Posted May 27, 2010 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    When I was younger people mocked me for liking anime, because it’s something few really liked. That’s why I couldn’t really talk about it, because many didn’t really bother to listen and change their opinion about something they didn’t know about. For them, it was better to say I was weird and that’s it. But now, I personally don’t really care if people see me as a weird person or not. People at my University know that I like anime, and if someone wants to talk about it, they know they can talk to me about that.

    Fortunately, entering this Japanese language course has given me the chance to meet other fellow anime fans and talk about shows and everything. And there’s also the internet.
    I find Pokemon and Digimon interesting, since they are part of what made me an anime fan. I like different things, from these shows to Sakura Card Captors, to Kimi ni Todoke to things like Mononoke and Kuuchu Buranko. I’m happy with that, I like that and I’m proud of it. So, I’m not embarrassed about my interests at all. It’s a part of me, so, why should I be embarrassed about it?

  38. yaku
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    For me it is the other way round. I remember in high school I barely talked about what I liked since I got harassed over it by my classmates. Now I don’t scream it to the four winds, but if people ask me what I like or what my hobbies are I answer without a hint of shame “anime and manga” or “japanese cartoons” for the non-connoisseurs (in fact I say it quite enthusiastically). I accepted a long time ago that people’s impressions of things they don’t know lick about is erroneous most of the time, and I also accepted that what I like or not is nothing to be ashamed of (and nobody’s business). In that sense I’m quite happy with myself.

  39. JJ
    Posted May 31, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    lol it sounds like my life growing up XD

    even if my friends didn’t know i watched anime more than the average person, they knew i was a game-freak.

  40. Posted November 21, 2012 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    I don’t have a problem telling people I like anime.

    But what I have a problem with is in the moment after that. What series should you bring up?

    Usually someone says they’ve watched a few, but most times they’re obviously a casual-fag, who only knows Naruto or DragonBall Z and you have no idea what anime to say you watched. Its not like you’ve watched those kid shows in 10 years, but its a stranger or you sense the person is judgemental you can’t just ask if they’ve read any good ero-doujins.

    Anyway I feel stupid when bringing up anime to strangers, which is why I don’t mention it until I’ve been talking for quite a while. Makes it harder to open up though since its a major passion of mine.

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