THE LADY AND ANIME

Exploring the World of Anime

No Friend Zone

Image from GoBoiano

           Image from GoBoiano

When I started this blog, I discussed not really having any people in my real life to enjoy anime with; watching together or having conversations about shows. I started this blog so I could get my thoughts out and interact with others who have this interest. Lately, it has started to bother me that I don’t have friends with similar interests. Or family members. Sometimes, I feel that anime watching and K-drama by default is a lonely hobby. I no longer mention to people that I watch anime or am interested in other things outside of reality tv shows or whatever popular sitcom is airing.

I didn’t grow up knowing anyone in my community who watched anime. Or played games like D&D, or read comics, or read books (fiction or non-fiction). I didn’t get introduced to anime formally until college. I had watched anime without knowing that was what it was, i.e. Sailor Moon, Pokemon, and Digimon. But I didn’t realize the magnitude and scope of the fandom until adulthood. I know there are people who have formed bonds with each other over the net and probably chat offline and watch streams together via video chat. However, I have not managed to create those bonds and mainly because of my reservedness. Many anime viewers that I see online are quite young and their tastes skew young (ish). Still I would prefer to have a circle of friends that I could count on that would always understand my anime references, my love for Gintoki, my aversion to extreme fanservice. I would love good-natured arguments on the best series over dinner and/or wine. I probably need to step outside of my box and see if there is a local anime community for adults that is active. Maybe I’ll have some luck there. Do you have a local anime community? Do you have real life friends that you share your anime fandom with on occasion?

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22 Comments

  1. I’m really lucky and do have a lot of friends that do. Every time I come across people with interests like mine I make sure to cultivate that friendship. It may be easier for me, living in a big city. I did used to be very reserved as well, but as I grew older I started to realize that if you can’t be proud of your interests then why do it? You’d be surprised how many people I learned liked anime just from having put a couple anime portraits I drew up on my desk at work. You have to put it on display, because people like us don’t just walk around asking people they meet, “Hey, do you happen to like anime?” haha.

    • I put a couple of anime portraits up at work and it was met with scorn. I kept them up even though one person kept trying to hide one because she thought it was “scary”. I even had figurines on my desk. It was not hidden that I was a fan. I’m just not in an environment where people appreciate the medium. 😦

  2. I used to go to the Henrico Anime Club when I was down in Virginia. The club president was somewhat older than me with a small family, but most of the others were college age. It was fun. Nowadays, I watch anime with a friend of mine through Skype and talk about anime with three or four others via email. Watching anime can be a lonely hobby, but it’s rewarding. At least, there’s blogging to give us a virtual circle of fellow anime watching friends.

    Speaking of anime, what have you been watching this season besides Gintama? Seraph of the End looks pretty good.

    • Because we all know how much I love Gintama so I must be watching it! Haha. I’ve continued watching I Can’t Understand What my Husband is Saying (Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 2nd Season)and World Trigger. Got through one episode of Plastic Memories. But that’s it for now. I am sticking with my plan to watch some older series I haven’t seen. Right now I’m on Arakawa Under the Bridge.

      Seraph of the End – Hmmm…vampires. I might look into that after World Trigger ends. What have you been watching?

      • Seraph of the End has that softhearted yet anti-social character type I’m particularly fond of. It also helps that the action is intense and the post-apocalyptic world seems pretty unique. I’m also watching Danna ga Wakaranai. (My abbreviation for the series–not sure if anyone else uses it. 🙂 ) Just a little disappointed that there’s no new addition to the family as the last season promised. Otherwise, the characters are as likable as ever and the humor is still great.

        Otherwise, Arslan Senki, which has the beginnings of a great fantasy epic, has been placed on my list, as have Eureka Seven, Gintama (around episode 131–I have long way to go!), Gunslinger Stratos, Re-Kan, Strike the Blood, and Urusei Yatsura. So, only about four shows from this season, and most of them are pretty light: Arslan Senki, Seraph of the End, and Eureka Seven are the grimmest shows I’m watching. I might have to add Plastic Memories in the future, but this seems like enough for now.

      • I was also disappointed about Danna ga Nani… not adding the new addition. Or at least writing in the shenanigans that comes with being pregnant. That would have been hilarious.

        Where can I watch Seraph of the End? It’s probably on Hulu.

      • Yep, you can find Seraph of the End on Hulu. Not sure if there’s another legal venue for it.

  3. I’m also quite stuck, when it comes to meeting people with an interest for anime/manga. IRL I know two people who like anime, but I only see those about once per year and we talk via Skype or Whatsapp only every few months. So that’s not really discussion-friendly. ^^ I want to go to a few cons and see what happens there, but for now I’m alright with just getting my thoughts into the world via my own blog. But maybe (as you said) there are a few fan groups at your city? 🙂 Or a bigger city close to you has a manga café, where you could lurk around the shelves with the manga version of your favorite anime and jump at people who showed similar taste: “THIS IS THE BEST SERIES EVER!! I WANT TO TALK TO YOU!” 😉

    • Oh, I totally forgot. How about trying Anitay? They seem to be a really big community of otaku-bloggers and otaku-readers. 🙂 http://anitay.kinja.com/one-year-in-wonderland-krakkens-confessions-part-2-1699141745

      • Thanks for the recommendation of Anitay. I don’t consider myself an otaku but I will check it out. Probably has some good input on shows I have yet to watch.

      • I just assumed “likes anime = otaku” 🙂 But would be great if you found something new this way.

      • Haha. Western culture’s definition of otaku is different from its original meaning. Otaku has a negative connotation in its original and current context in Japanese culture. General meaning of one who is completely obsessive, doesn’t work, or leave the home. I consider myself to be a serious anime fan but definitely not otaku.

      • Oh, okay. I knew that the original meaning different from the way I use it (aka “fan”), but I always thought the real “shut-in weirdos” were called hikikomori (no guarantee for correct spelling :D). But good to know that I should never introduce myself as an otaku or call someona else otaku. Sorry! ^^

      • You’re right, hikikomori does mean recluse of the young adult male group. My initial response should have been more specific for otaku. Otakus shut themselves in because of their obsession with technology and anime. Though, I think, an otaku can eventually become a hikikomori.

        Many Westerners have appropriated the term “otaku” to mean fan and anime nerd. And have given it a more positive meaning. No need to apologize! If you want to introduce yourself as an otaku, you can!

      • They are probably more likely to become one than less obsessed people. ^^
        Thank you for the explanation! And I apologized because I didn’t want to label you as something you might think of as “eeww” just because I didn’t think enough before writing.

  4. Oh my gosh! I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about! Anime, tokusatsu (tokusatsu especially! I don’t know anyone else who loves Kamen Rider as much as I do!), Asian drama….any other nerdy interest was almost non-existant amongst my circle of friends. It wasn’t until college where I met my best bud that I found someone who is just as obsessed with anime as I am AND willing to call himself “otaku” (although I prefer J-nerd…but that’s a whole ‘nother story!)

    Still, it can be hard finding people who love anime as much as you do. Anything nerdy can be a lonely hobby, but anime takes the cake!

    • Anime really takes the cake in nerdom especially in communities where nerds are few and far between! I’m glad you found a best bud in college with the same interest. I wish I had done the same. Someday, I’ll find that kindred spirit!

  5. Ah, this got me thinking. I’m quite introverted and, though I’m not sure this has to do with my introversion, I easily get burntout even from constant interactions with online anime friends. So it appears that I’m always enthusiastic at first, and gradually become a more soft-spoken member of any community I’ve been in. As a result, I’ve tried moving from one to another community. It kinda went like: Crunchyroll > MAL > 2-year break from any interaction > Twitter/blog. And now, I’m experiencing another burnout again. I love talking with friends, but I always feel the need to be myself most of the time. And since there’s this apparent security on twitter that I’m *always* available, I’m worried that those I consider friends won’t even bother checking on me whenever I disappear for a while.

    As for real life, I mentioned it in a comment on your other post. Most discussions tend to be pretty shallow, though. Okay, maybe not always shallow–but ‘light-hearted’. Perhaps because we share the love/hate for a series that we don’t even try to argue and get something else out of it. Oh, and we seldom watch anime together. I’m easily distracted when someone watches with me and he/she starts talking.

    • Thank you for your comment.

      I understand what you mean. Sometimes I need recharging after interactions which leads me to withdraw from people until I reenergize. I used to be more interactive on forums but the larger ones make me feel like just a voice in the wind.

      • “I used to be more interactive on forums but the larger ones make me feel like just a voice in the wind.”

        That is how I feel, too, and probably a large percentage of my ‘Sorry, I gotta leave for now’ pile of excuses. I avoid tweeting a lot about anime these days, not because I’m restricting myself, but exactly because I haven’t really been into anime lately. Thus, I’ve barely anything to say that will be of interest for conversations to casually occur. Nonetheless, talking about real life struggles can be pretty comforting when you know someone can relate to you.

      • Even when I do tweet about anime, I don’t really get many responses. People tend to respond to the most random tweets. But also people aren’t watching what I am at that moment.

        Your last statement is very true.

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