Exploring the World of Anime

An Awkward Pause

Do you have that excited feeling in your gut yet for the Fall season? Have you been met when crickets when someone asks you, “What are you doing this weekend?” And you respond, “Oh, nothing much, going to a fashion show, out to dinner, watching anime, and playing COD.” The person is very much into your response until she/he hears anime and COD. Eyes get a glazed look, mouth slightly agape, and the awkward pause. Then they wake up and seem to have figured it out:

“Oh, so you’re into that Japanese stuff and you’re a gamer?” – The person who believes they’ve understood. I usually don’t explain, I’ve stopped explaining. It’s easier to show the person or recommend something for them to watch. They either do or they don’t. I always recommend Spirited Away or My Neighbor Totoro to someone who has children; I see it as the most non-anime watcher friendly. If they watch it, I don’t get the awkward pause again. If its a guy, I recommend Ghost in the Shell, its got boobs and fighting. Usually works like a charm. I’ve had only one “friend” read my blog and he referred to it as creepy.   Not sure why, it’s not like I’m into moe, yaoi, yuri, bishonen, hentai, to name a few.  Others just considered it weird, and one actually thought it was cool although his experience with anime is laughable. It’s not that I am saying anything is wrong with what I mentioned previously and I don’t particularly find those genres creepy, they’re just not my thing.  It doesn’t matter because when people hear I really enjoy anime, those genres are what pop in their head; tentacles pop into their heads.

Not for the first time, I wish I knew more people in my everyday life that enjoyed anime as much as I did. Of course, I would prefer they liked similar genres or it wouldn’t be much fun. It could be interesting if they were able to introduce me to something new but I have found that it helps if you like similar types of anime.  Where did all this ranting come from? I got an awkward pause.


  1. The first version of Dungeons and Dragons was published in the mid 70s, and I discovered it around 78 when I was in highschool. I had also discovered wargames a couple of years before that. I was always an oddball at school anyway – I didn’t care what ANYBODY thought of me. I had good grades and was athletic, but I hung out with the wood/metal shop guys, got into a lot of fights, and had these weird hobbies and talked about weird science things. I suppose the other kids just couldn’t figure me out. I got called a devil worshiper more than a few times because of the DxD.
    My attitude never changed through college, gradschool and into my work life. I met my (ex) wife while I was in grad-school. Years later she admitted she joined our role playing game group because she quickly figured out she might not get to spend time with me otherwise.
    Right now on my duel monitors at work I have a mosaic of screenshots from four of my favorite anime as desktop backgrounds, and we work in an open (no walls) environment so they are easy to see.
    I guess I still just don’t care what other people think.

    • That is awesome. I do not have dual monitors at work but I have a huge monitor, and my background is Gintoki. My calendar is from My Neighbor Totoro and I plan to put a poster up. Rather have that up than pictures of my dog or hamster.

  2. I never actually got the awkward pause really. Usually when a relative or a friend of a friend mentions Japan or something Japanese related, my mom immediately jumps in to say, “Oh she likes anime.” The reaction? “What’s that?” or “That’s nice.” Never really an awkward pause. It’s more like a “I don’t quite get your interest, but that’s nice,” sort of reaction. Maybe I’m lucky to encounter people who are the anime/gamers/both set in general.

    • I’m assuming I get the awkward pause because I don’t “look” like someone who likes anime, let alone know what it is. Sometimes I get quizzed by those who claim to love anime and it eventually turns out I know more about it than they. Or they say they like it but have only ever watched Pokemon.

      • The most usual response I get is “so you watch cartoons? You mean like Pokemon?” My usual response back is “No, I watch drama, romance, action, adventure, and comedy. It just happens to be animated.” and leave it at that. 😉

      • Zing! Good one.

    • Haha, same~ Maybe we’re just lucky. Actually there are a few older relatives like grandparents that I don’t bother trying to explain cause the way they were brought up was totally different so even if I try to explain to them why I like anime and video games, they will still think it childish. Most aunts and uncles are familiar with it because most of my cousins at least play video games, so they don’t find it weird.

      Never got such reactions from people my age either. I don’t really advertise it, but I don’t hide it either. Maybe I was just lucky to run into people with at least some experience in the mediums or open-minded in general. I do have one friend who didn’t really get why I like anime, but she just shrugs her shoulders and that’s that.

  3. Reblogged this on Medieval Otaku and commented:
    Here we have a perfect delineation of the usual response people who don’t watch anime when they learn you do. Black Strawberry has several great, well thought out articles on anime, and I highly recommend you to peruse her website.

  4. Errant Princess

    I sympathize with your plight, personally I kind of got into anime because I am pretty introverted and don’t really mind my hobbies not also being social activities. Still, I do hear the sound of chirping whenever I mention anime around most people in my life. Although I have gotten a few of them to watch certain shows with me, I don’t know of many who love anime like I do.

    • We all live on the internet. When you go to cons, you realize there are many fans and none of them live near you. Heh. I don’t mind it not being a social activity but sometimes I would like to watch a show and not have the person watching with me fall asleep EVERY time. How can you fall asleep watching GiTS???

      • Errant Princess

        When people are bored or fall asleep during something you like, it can be a highly frustrating thing. I am sure there are a couple people out there who share your tastes, but it can be difficult to locate them!

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