Owning My Anime Hobby in The Real World

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A few weeks ago I got in touch with an old friend from university. She was a junior or senior during my freshman year and was eventually going to join the literature department as a lecturer. You can say she was my sempai, and was an onee-san figure in my university career both in my life as an undergrad taking a bachelors in literature, and eventually as a lecturer and scholar myself sometime later.

(Note: I am neither a lit professor nor a scholar. I gave that up over a decade ago¹; so did she – we are both salarypeople for different transnational corporations) I had not seen her since my wedding almost five years ago, and we really hadn’t really connected for almost a decade. Well, we saw each other a few days prior during my best friend’s wedding and committed to catch up.

During the reception, we were talking about our work (she was in training/capability development; I was in human resources) and I said something about not really all about winning the rat race. Her reaction was cute: “Wow I’m glad to see there’s still something left of the lit major in you.”

Well, true – but not for the reason she thinks. I don’t want to rise in corporate because I want to win in business. My being in corporate is a result in not winning in business – yet. Along with Mechafetish (the co-founder of We Remember Love) we have a number of projects and ventures. These are the things I really care about, and not rising to the top of a transnational corporation. But her remark was followed up with “Do you still write?”

MOMENT OF TRUTH MIKE

I tried to remember that if the world thought of me as some freak otaku, I still have my family LOL

“Um, yes. I actually started putting out poems again a year ago… in some site I don’t really share.” [I was never a fiction writer, my published work is all of three poems in 2 different magazines back in the ‘90s, and two fluff essays for politicians in a different magazine in ‘04]

She gave me this nodding, kind of interested look but didn’t really elaborate. I didn’t, couldn’t deal with the pause, the silence, and that’s when I knew I was going to say it.

Yeah.

“But actually, I have been busy writing the past three years. I run this blog, called We Remember Love, where I write about anime and manga.”

Silence.

“I don’t do criticism and theory really though, though some of my pieces show evidence of my academic background. What I really do is anime appreciation pieces rather than reviews. That’s the kind of criticism I’m really into anyway.” [As opposed to my undergraduate thesis which was a post-colonial reading of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion LOL]

“Uh-huh.”

Fear my Atlas, it's in water, overheating is NOT a problem.

I blabber a little more about how well I thought the blog was doing, citing stats and comment count, but this conversation was dead. We wouldn’t get to talk much further during the reception but we did agree to see each other after-shift the following week. That time we had more time to discuss and catch up. She told me she knew nothing about anime which is why she’d never ask about WRL, even though she could tell it was important to me. We caught up how little reading we’ve done the past half-decade, but it was good in that in each other we opened the shutters into our past when we were really into writing and books. I shared with her my poems (my tumblr LOL), and she asked for my help on what to cosplay because that was the theme of their corporate Xmas party.

“Voltes V, Sailor Moon; dress up in a schoolgirl sailor uniform and you’re golden.”

“Oh yeah, those are anime right?”

It wasn’t that hard, was it? She and I had a great night out, had good beer and smoked cigarettes (funny as hell, because I could never imagine her doing these things back in university because she was as straight-laced as they came). We had one of those conversations I used to have with people when you discover each other for the first time. Not just meet, discover. I enjoyed how far she’s come in the world (and how far she’s traveled around the world). She loved it at how, after marriage, fatherhood, and a decade of working for the man, I still had it in me – that guy who loved poetry. The night wasn’t about me liking anime LOL, but we remembered love.

All 3 are married men, all 3 watched DBZ, 2 of them watched all of Code Geass, can you tell which?

Two months ago during my first day at work I was introduced in some kind of welcome party for n00bs and I was outed immediately. I thought one of the girls was just trying to get to know me, but she was actually one of the emcees. “Mike is a certified blogger and he writes about anime.” LOL, well the cat was clearly out of the bag.

Later on, I’d be adventurous after a meeting with one of the managers I support. He was into video games, and I told him I was into anime. He took a long pause, and then he said he liked Samurai X back in the day.

What am I trying to say here?

It may be strange, but it’s not that hard for me. I prefer to demonstrate my competence and ability first before sharing personal information, but here in this huge transnational I was outed on day one. Nobody ever brought it up ever again. Even though I was this n00b who was dependent on so many people in learning all these processes that I had to master. The job is tough as hell but it’s never because it was known I had this thing for anime.  On the other hand, I get props for fronting in our boyband video singing a Bruno Mars song for our own Christmas party. This I find embarrassing as fuck.

By the way, I wore my university jacket in that video… and a Combattler V t-shirt. I owned in it too.

Maybe I’m just lucky… to be this free to remember love.

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¹For those who don’t know me or aren’t regular readers, I am a 34-year old married father of one, a lovely daughter just under two years old. I am an entrepreneur by aspiration and a human resources practitioner by profession. My wife is an attorney. She and I discovered Japanese cartoons before we started school, which at the end of the ‘70s and the early ‘80s meant giant robots. Neither of us wouldn’t get to call them “anime” until decades later. Like myself when I was a toddler, the first episode of anime I let my daughter watch was an episode of [Shin] Mazinger Z.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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63 Responses to Owning My Anime Hobby in The Real World

  1. Shinmarizu says:

    Though I don’t have a blog, I embrace the fact that I watch “Japanese cartoons / Anime” – surprisingly, when this is declared to other people, the reaction isn’t as off-putting, and they actually do engage in discussion. Certainly much more encouraging than a few years before.
    One person: “So what kinds of shows do you watch?”
    Me: “Oh, I watch the new stuff, as in just aired in Japan last night. But I’ve always liked the older stuff.”
    Another person: “Oh, like with the big robots and the magical girls and stuff?”
    Me: “Yeah, but there’s much more than that; like the cyberpunk and the dramatic, almost soap-opera stuff too.”
    Other people: “So why don’t you watch regular TV if you like that kind of thing?”
    Me: “Because the majority of stuff on TV now is complete and utter crap. But I do like my procedurals.”
    And as soon as I say that, everything’s great.

    I shed a tear and extend a hand for you to shake. Hooray for owning up.

    • Yes, that’s a great share.

      I too have less of a problem in that I am into a lot of other things… so much that anime being my biggest passion doesn’t define me.

      I am into a ton of sports: Tennis (though I haven’t practiced in over a year), MMA (been following it since the ’90s), and basketball (I don’t play anymore but I read 3x more NBA blogs every day than I do anime blogs). Most guys I know are into one sport or another, even as casualfags, so it’s easy to strike up a conversation at some level (though I weird them out when I go on full retard mode about basketball).

      Having read a lot of books when I was younger helps too, as people tend to respect others who are widely read. This seldom gets brought up though, but knowing how people tend to judge others based on what they’re into, having a lot of interests makes me confident that I can converse with just about anyone.

      Most of the time, it is I who have to suspend my judgment on otherwise sensible, awesome people who happen to be CRAZY about Twilight.

  2. >>the first episode of anime I let my daughter watch was an episode of [Shin] Mazinger Z.

    Followed by an episode of Lucky Star, amiright? (Albeit that was unsuccessful. Are you saying you successfully got her to watch Mazinger?)

    Wait holy shit is that you with long hair in the top image?! Oh my god… you look like the Filipino kid from Ninja Turtles II

  3. Ryan A says:

    Mike is a certified blogger and he writes about anime.

    That was her introduction for you? Well, I think it’s pretty awesome. I haven’t read much into the experiences of avid fans / bloggers and the interaction of their fandom with personal or professional life. It’s happened to me at work on different occasions, where someone asked if I was into anime, so naturally I said yes. These conversations usually take a different route, because it’s not always that relevant unless they want to discuss it. I’m the same…. some of my work friends are big into gaming, and they’ll talk about it all the time with me even though I don’t game myself. I don’t see anything demeaning about video games, but I won’t bring up gaming as a topic for discussion simply because it’s not of interest to me and I know they’ll start chatting up a storm if I mention a popular game. Maybe a lot of people don’t function this way, or build up stereotypes in their mind before they even give a person a chance, I’m not sure. But I like to hope that it’s some odd form of consideration.

    As for blogging, it’s totally relevant to writing, regardless of the topic. I hope your long time friend wasn’t put off by the subject matter, you know, there is useful perspective everywhere if we know how to see it.

    Cheers!

    • Oh with my friend it’s more like she wouldn’t know how to talk about anime and everything I say will just go over her head.

      Our conversation ended up about reading with gender goggles:

      She told me she can’t really read male writers, because they write like men. It’s a difficulty of hers.

      I realize that I rarely read female writers as well. I’m not utterly stopped, but it’s very rare for me to go out of my way for them. I like reading macho things as well.

      Anime, for the most part and especially my interests, are very puerile and very male LOL

      This tells me that she will not find much of interest in what I write about. If ever, I will introduce her to Utena LOL, but even that is a man writing about a girl.

  4. Kiri says:

    Interesting experiences.
    I have less of a reason to be discreet in my fandom seeing as I got a degree in drawing comics. It rarely comes up when I’m with clients though, mostly because I don’t get very personal with clients, haha. I’m just there to do the work, dammit.

  5. kluxorious says:

    nothing wrong at let people know where your passion lies in my opinion and I am quite lucky in a sense that everybody knew about it, based on facebook and twitter (yeah I don’t have a real life) and sorta embraced the idea of being so engrossed in anime.

    Your experience with that sempai of yours was very sweet indeed. Now I have an urge to call up my friends who I haven’t got in touch with for over 5 years.

    • It’s good to keep in touch. It’s good to see how time flies and how people grow, grow apart, and somehow keep something of each other that may be worth growing in other ways.

      Go call your friends.

  6. animekritik says:

    Interesting read :)

  7. Tenryu says:

    you let your daughter watch Shin Mazinger Z? really? what was your wife’s reaction?

    • Shinmarizu says:

      I’m curious about that as well. Please, let us know.
      So that I’ll be prepared when I introduce my children to anime in the future…

    • My wife is awesome.

      2 weeks ago she read ALL of the Mazinger Z manga. Even I won’t do that.

      • Tenryu says:

        i’m happy for you. But it still doesn’t answer the question. i should also ask which episode you let your daughter watch?

        • The first episode, it was on TV and it was my wife who noticed it. My kid was in her crib nearby so instead of switching it back to Disney Channel or Nickelodeon we stayed with the local anime cable channel so we got to watch it dubbed in Tagalog. I don’t think she followed any of it really, but she paid attention to the loud shouting and what I would think are action-filled sequences.

          My wife and I are part of the Filipino Rocket-Punch generation, where Mazinger Z was one of the earliest shows, although it’s really Voltes V that captured our generation’s imagination.

          Ultimately my wife isn’t for it, but at that time, there’s no stopping us.

          • Tenryu says:

            my curiosity is satisfied thank you.

            i myself only knew about Mazinger, Getta, Combattler and Voltes through SRW 4(at least i think its 4)and only watched Nadesico beacuse of SRW A on the GBA. Guess what i’m saying there are less bloodier shows you can show a 2 yearold, i would be be horrified if i let a kid (16 years or less) watch it, thank the tv box it was he first episode.

            I grew up on kiddy ‘magical’ robot shows(wataru amd grandzort)

          • My generation grew up watching very, very, very violent Japanese cartoons. I don’t think it adversely affected us at all. In your average episode of Voltes V, soldiers get dismembered routinely, and the enemy robot gets killed in a very violent way: (video starts with Combattler V, followed by Voltes V 1:25)

            Again, we came out ok really.

  8. WhatSht says:

    Your daughter is going to be the most hot-blooded toddler ever.

  9. My heart would have dropped into my stomach after being outed like that. But it’s all good. When someone else shows up and they got that driving, burning passion for quality anime in their belly, they’ll find you. And if you’re lucky they may even be an old fag like us. X^D

    It’s great to catch up with old friends isn’t it? It’s comforting to see people your age walking a similar path and knowing you haven’t lost sight of your past. ^__^

    • Like I said to Shinmarizu, it always helps to have other interests. I know you are like me in that you’re into basketball and MMA (and other sports). That makes for easier ice-breakers.

      Yeah, getting back in touch with old friends is priceless. It’s one thing to be trapped by one’s past, but that’s not me. I’m just here to remember love.

  10. foshizzel says:

    Nice! Post here Ghost, yeah most of my family knows I review anime and post on a blog, some even know about the podcast stuff haha it is quite funny trying to explain the purpose of a Ani-blog or what the hell a podcast is to like my aunt or grandma.

    • I don’t think I can really talk to my aunts and uncles about blogging anime since they’re from an older generation altogether. They’re barely on the internet anyway. But thanks for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  11. Anya says:

    Wow, that’s pretty awesome. I just let everyone know that I’m into anime without bothering to hide it, but I have the benefit of being in a college environment as opposed to a working one with an older generation that is generally biased against it.

    • Here it’s not too weird. My generation had Voltes V and it was a big deal.

      Succeeding generations had Dragon Ball Z, Yu Yu Hakusho, then Slam Dunk, then Naruto, etc.

      It’s with the generation that came before me that I really go out of my way to not bring this hobby up. Other people have their own things to geek about. It’s not to say that it’s something I proudly wear… but then again I don’t go around telling everyone how I’m so into tennis or basketball or MMA.

  12. megaroad1 says:

    Nice read Ghost, I can really relate to that.

    I haven’t been really been outed as anime fan, for the most part because Denmark is a bit of a desert when it comes to anime (unless you’re talking about Dragonball, Naruto, Bleach and that kind of thing). I moved here 6 years ago because of my “special lady”, and for the most part, people my age or older in this country, don’t even comprehend what anime or manga is. They only started showing shounen shows on tv a couple of years ago. So even when you try to explain what anime is, or try to tell people that stuff like LOGH goes into history and politics as deeply as any tv series on the planet, they’ll still just look at you politely and at the end just say: ‘So you like cartoons then?’ To which the only thing left to say is ‘yeah, I guess I do’. But there’s no real understanding that ‘adult’ stories might be presented with animation. So my hobby is so misunderstood that it just stays kinda in the background.
    Luckily I do have a couple of other hobbies that can be presented to colleagues and casual acquaintances and my anime addiction remains something that I share with friends and family.

    Man, you undergraduate thesis sounds uber -interesting! The Silmarillion is absolutely fascinating and I can see how looking at it from a post-colonialism perspective would be very relevant.

    • I wouldn’t even call it anime under those circumstances. I’d call it animation. They’ll ask if you mean cartoons, but then you can say yes but for grownups. etc. etc.

      Well, when you’re 19 or 20 your head is filled with disruptive and/or subversive thoughts. At that time there wasn’t much attention paid on Tolkien, it would be another year before major buzz about the films would come out. Basically I said that The Silmarillion had a yearning for a purer, white supremacist past, long gone now after the Third Age.

      You can shoot these fish in the barrel:

      “Good People”

      Dunedain = Men of the West

      “Bad People”

      Easterlings = Mongols/Asians
      Southrons = Moors/Arabs

      Then of course you have the Elven master races — the Vanyar being the purest, having spent the most time in the land of the Gods, they are also the whitest and blondest. All the elves that passed this world made the Journey to… wait for it… the West.

      All of them are gone, and The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of The Rings are but ways to remember love for those times and those people.

      • megaroad1 says:

        Absolutely. I remember reading TLR back in the day and after a while thinking “Ok. Mr. Tolkien I get it, no need to rub it in. East is bad, very bad and West is all that is good”.

      • Matt Wells says:

        I always read Middle Earth as old man Tolkien having a total hard on for Saxon Age England, then conflating it with good ol’ Imperial Racism. Britain in 600 AD had Aryans as far as the eye could see… though quite what Warrior Kings and their farming peasents had to do with ethereal elves I couldn’t say.

        • Well, that’s not really the only thing going on… there’s a longing for more racially pure times or for racial orders. Then again Tolkien identified with Hobbits a lot, who lacked the majesty of the master races. His and his wife’s tombstones have Beren x Luthien on them, which is a story of an inferior race’s ability to win the love of the superior.

          Just as important is how he feels about technology. Sharkey fucking up the Shire is an oft-overlooked part of the narrative — the movies themselves excise it.

  13. When I read your post, I noticed that I never made my love for anime/manga/video games a secret in my past. Guess I was lucky, none of the people I know (and knows me) did ridicule me or made fun of me because of my hobbies. Most of my friends watched the same cartoons (actually they were anime, but they know it as cartoons) on TV at the same age and they played games, too.

    My family were always supportive of my reading comics, watching cartoons and playing games (and LEGOs) since I was very small. I grew up with a wide-open and creative mindset, with a huge dream world. I am glad that I turned out to be a socially fine person even though I was a loner as a child (even with four cousins as brothers and sisters, you need some imaginary friends ^_^). Anime and manga is still my foremost hobby in my 35 and will be until I die. I am proud of it, actually. I see so many people that has an empty skull at the top of their body: no reading, no playing, no dreams, nothing interesting inside…

    • Well, I’d refrain from passing judgment on those who seem to have no culture in whatever form. All this tells us is how we can’t use the culture we know to entertain or impress them, and that they have nothing apparent that interests us. I’ve never really found it difficult to make small-talk or conversation with most people, precisely because I don’t pass the kind of judgment that sometimes we are afraid people are making on us for the things we like.

      Encounters are adventures if you let them become so.

  14. revolemina says:

    I’m rather ambivalent regarding this post, for various reasons.

    My family never approved (they still don’t) of my reading manga and watching anime. They’d always tell me to grow up and stop looking at things meant for ‘small kids’ – and this was when I was following Berserk(!!!). On the other hand, I consider my secondary school years to be the apex of my anime-watching years. I didn’t usually watch the same shows my classmates did (which included Gundam SEED and subsequently GSD, glad I escaped THOSE disasters), but on the few occasions we did, we’d abuse my powers as an AV rep and practically turn the classroom into a cinema during recess. My circumstances degraded progressively after that, but at present I can’t really call it bad. What I have a problem with is the continual mental conflict caused by these 2 opposing environments: to say it does not go well most of the time is a gross understatement.

    ‘Fluff essays for politicians’ sounds highly intriguing and amusing at the same time….

    • I didn’t have this problem with my family because during high school and university I read a LOT of books, and many of them literary classics. I also watched a lot of films, many of them cinema classics. The fact that I was also watching anime wasn’t something terribly strange for them since they can tell their son is just voracious about media.

      I suppose if I still lived with my folks and my brothers there’s bound to be some conflict… but then again it would be more about sharing resources, making the TV available for whom and at what time (video games, soaps, common viewing, etc.).

      I think if you excel in other things your hobbies will be very easy to overlook, instead of being the thing your parents possibly think as what’s holding you back (from excellence, maturity, w/e).

  15. ces06 says:

    “I too have less of a problem in that I am into a lot of other things… so much that anime being my biggest passion doesn’t define me.”

    This. But it really gets me sometimes how even though the “into a lot of other things” criteria is fulfilled, when people hear that you’re into anime/cosplay/tokusatsu/mecha/tcg’s and stuff, they tend to overlook all the other factors that define you and just slap a giant label in your face.

    It’s irksome how these kinds of stuff that’s supposed to be already rooted in popular culture as much as any other western popular fiction, is still considered strange or “geeky”. My friends and close relatives don’t mind this (Though friends will always be friends and poke the subject from time to time, lol), but to strangers most of the time it’s irritating to the point I tend to avoid bringing it up. But in the end you just laugh it off, I guess.

    Well, that said, nice read. Good job owning up like a boss!

    • Reid says:

      Your life is my life, dude. I think most all anime fans go through this same thing. It is extremely annoying and disheartening to think that people only take one aspect of a person’s life and make that the defining thing about them. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was something everyone agreed was really awesome like “EXTREMELY RICH” lol. Hang in there, bud.

    • Well, these aren’t people who really want to get to know you very well to begin with.

      I mean seriously, by slapping a label on someone, you don’t have to get to know the person justifying the antipathy and/or indifference you’ll treat that person with to yourself.

      At my workplace there’s so much work to do, and the culture is such that people are really more interested in doing good work and getting better at work than socializing, that these idiosyncrasies matter less because the primary interaction you have with everyone is work… and if you do good work, you do everyone good and this is appreciated far more than anything else.

      In more social environments such as university, the dynamic is a lot different… it’s not as bad as high school but you’re still socially limited somewhat by your hobbies.

      In my case, back in university I was able to interact with many people without concern due to my active participation in political organizations, despite being a very out in the open M:tG (and other CCGs) gamer. The only group I didn’t truly penetrate is the high society rich kid set because I really don’t have their kind of cars, money, parents, etc. I just wouldn’t be able to keep up with their lifestyle.

      • ces06 says:

        In my college I’m in this extracurricular unit that mostly consists of people who like anime/manga etc. We’re named Genshiken, like the manga, lol. Being that, some people might not take us seriously or even dub us the “otaku” unit, but when it comes to the stuff we’ve done, illustrations, fansubs, games, cosplay, and etc., people look and appreciate the work and quality gone into it. The added value of having productivity in your hobby, and the simple qualities of good hard work makes it easier for people to appreciate it even with any prejudice beforehand, I guess. Like when I tell them I can sell Yu-Gi-Oh cards for big bucks, and that “Whoah. That’s nice.” look goes in their eyes, lol.

        Antipathy and indifference aside, it’d be nice if you could just say “I’m into anime” as casually as “I’m into sports” and get an “Oh” instead of a condescending “Oh…”.

        Maybe someday? Sure hope so.

  16. Reid says:

    My experience with being an anime fan has been pretty negative, even when in the company of other fans. Few of my friends like anime and those that do enjoy it from time to time don’t like the kind I like. Plus, it doesn’t help me at all in that I have two “sets” of friends, each who see me as “the other.” On one hand I’ve got my “normal” friends; them being the ones who I talk about running, sports, fighting, cars, working out, etc. and on the other hand I’ve got the “nerdy” friends; them being the video games/sci-fi/anime fans. The “normal” folks know me as being the “geek” who likes cartoons and excessively nerdy video game genres and the “nerdy” folks think I’m standoffish to an extent because I resent how cripplingly awkward and dorky they get about stuff that is even nerdier (D&D, cosplay, Warhammer 40k, WoW) than my interests (classic sci-fi novels, mecha anime). It makes transitioning between the two groups a must – but also makes it hard to really connect with people.

    I had a pretty rough time growing up because of my exceedingly pathetic and nerdy behavior (good grades in school, video games before they were “COOL”, lame clothes, always reading books, out of shape BADLY, etc.) and then in high school I started down a road to what I consider to be a much more healthy overall lifestyle but, as I indicated earlier, I still want the “approval” of both groups, which I’ll never really get. All this was to say I have a very intense love/hate relationship with my anime fandom and, beyond that, all my geeky interests.

    It’s encouraging to find out that some of you all have managed to strike a balance between your anime hobby and more “normal” pursuits. Sorry if I derailed the discussion here, but this is an issue that I struggle with, and it’s one that interferes with my ability to love the hobby as much as some other, less stigmatized things.

    • Moderates have it tough because extremists don’t pick on extreme opposites, they pick on moderates for not being extreme enough.

      And you know this. I do this.

      When this GUNDAM GURL talks big and puts down Gundam Unicorn like she’s some kind of expert, then extols the virtues of Gundam Wing Endless Waltz I just die inside.

      When this ANIME CONNOISSEUR talks big about how wrong I am about shows I find good and then put forth Gundam SEED and Kira Yamato as paragons of good anime and anime characters, I want to vomit.

      They hardcore fans feel like they can criticize you for not being as extreme as they are, just as I or we, can feel awful about the examples above. Presenting ourselves as reasonable or moderate gives the opening for them to let you know. They wouldn’t bother with extreme douches. But you know, just be cool. I don’t aspire for the approval of anyone. I mean, beyond doing good work and getting acknowledged for my contributions.

      My way is to produce, like this blog. The people I get to talk to, are people who want to talk to me about shit I care about.

      • Reid says:

        I know exactly what you mean, especially with the “anime connoisseurs” of the world. Lots of those walking around out there with plenty of bogus or foundless opinions they don’t care to validate. I don’t really see myself as being “moderate”, because I intensely love lots of things, they just happen to be on “opposite ends” of the spectrum. What irks me is how people tend to label you as one thing or the other when, in fact, nobody is any one thing. This is especially tough when trying to get a date with girls who’ve known me since, well, most of our lives. They turned out ok, so did I (in fact probably “better” in many respects than the guys they’d usually go out with) but the fact that they instantly associate me with the kid who played Zelda and Goldeneye 64 all the time in 5th grade makes it a little hard – somehow – for them to accept that, yes, I did in fact “grow up.” That’s just one aspect though, and it’s not really worth beating the topic into the ground. You’re right though, Ghost, there’s not much point in worrying about garnering the acceptance of everyone. It’s better by far just to have others acknowledge good work you do – which I think is why I got into fitness so much. It’s hard to argue with numbers, mile times, etc.

        • Being moderate is a lot like being a non-hater, like you’re cool with people liking what they like and disliking what they don’t. This makes you easier to converse with, and thus easier for haters to harass. Extremists who aren’t n00bs aren’t worth talking to because they’ll just shut you down or ignore you. It’s the moderates who are willing to discuss and what not. That’s why I get a lot of grief from opposing faggots.

          Sherylfags would cast me as a Ranka supporter and Rankafags would think of me as a hater. They’re all fuckers. Minmay forever.

  17. Vendredi says:

    Is that some Dark Age I see in that picture? Judging from the tokens you’re using the click-tech game rules as well rather than proxying the models for Classic… (although no snobbery on my part; the idea of a rebooted Battletech game was sound but some of the execution was just a hash).

    In regards to the main thrust of your article though… I think the net has sort of curiously changed the way hobbies are done. Anime is certainly much easier to get into and a lot more visible – people have a vague idea it exists and there is business being done around it – but at the same time I think the ‘net makes niche hobbies even more “niche”, in the sense that a lot of potential interaction you can have around the hobby tends to happen online – in blogs, forums, etc. (similar to what 2dteleidoscope gets at in his “offkai” article) So in a sense it’s still surprising to discover someone enjoys the medium too.

    • Yeah that’s Dark Age, we’re first generation players and I’ve personally won 5 tournaments, my younger brother at least 1, and my youngest brother at least 13 including the National Championship back in ’03. We’re the first family that ravaged the inner sphere.

      We played CBT years before this of course, where a single lance vs. lance skirmish can take fucking days to resolve ugh.

      Yeah, the internet sure changed things. I mean, I still have Mechafetish and Great Boota to watch robot shows with, but I certainly wouldn’t have been able to watch this much varied and new material without interacting with online communities.

  18. sadakups says:

    Oh yes, that awkward moment when you talk about anime or manga to someone who’s not into it and crickets chirp in your head.

    Wow, man, how I do relate with this story. Honestly though, I pretty much consider watching anime and reading manga as a guilty pleasure, i.e., I don’t really show people that I’m into it. That was the case when I started working. I mean, back in my school days until college, of course, it was easier since some of my friends are into it as well. In the corporate world, you meet different kinds of people and you have no idea about their interest unless you ask them directly which is awkward to do. However, when it comes to video games, I don’t hold back. Probably because everybody else plays games and can relate at least.

    I remember during my first job, the first year, I don’t usually talk much about anything outside of work (I don’t watch too many movies and TV shows and I don’t read books that much) and usually when they talk about stuff, I end up just nodding my head. Then one day, I found one officemate reading manga during lunchbreak and that was the start. From that point on, we talked a lot and we eventually found out the others who were also into it.

    In my experience at least, anime enthusiasts either hide it or sniff others out. Right now, I have a new job and I’m back at that stage where I don’t tell anyone that I’m into it. The ironic thing is, our Christmas party is also a cosplay party. Most likely, I’ll be able to sniff-out the others. :)

  19. Nopy says:

    Wow, amazing story, I don’t think I would like being outed on day one of a job though. Not even my friends know that I blog and I’ve been doing it for 3 years too, maybe I should tell them sometime.

  20. SnippetTee says:

    Pretty much I’m same with Nopy. My blogging and any anime related stuff stay on my laptop. None of my friends are into anime, but at least one of them knows what I’m doing. I think for me, It’s not that I’m being secretive, it’s just that I don’t think I everyone needs to know about my hobby.

    But anyway, thanks for an interesting read and all props for sharing your anime fandom.

    • Most people actually don’t know about my hobby, it doesn’t really come up often at all. I merely shared what I thought were remarkable moments that put me out in the open.

      The most public thing I did was to deliver a talk on “Building a Discussion Community” in the 7th Annual Philippine Blog Summit at the University of the Philippines last April. This is a far cry from the previous public talk I delivered (on Multi-modal Urban Transportation Solutions), but it was a public conference and I spoke based on my experience with my anime and manga blog.

  21. Like some commenters here, my sister derides my increasing preference to anime as being “childish”, “abnormal: and “regressive”, insisting that I watch the TV shows that she regularly leeches and I should “grow up”.

    Good Christ, how I could I ever grow up if I keep on living on someone else’s roof? About the only thing I ever miss is my independence and the profession I still keep on fighting for (the last time I had a decent kind of employment, it was working in a computer shop, and that was powerful enough I’m second-in-command).

    This household holding anime as a form of “abnormality”, I limited their presence within this computer, and even then I don’t use any anime wallpaper, my niece and nephew could be led thinking I’m sort of a fucking weirdo.

    I have two kinds of friends: those who are normal (i.e. old classmates from high school and college) and those who are outright otaku (i.e. fellow forum moderators for an online gaming company, and now working for various infotech-related firms). The latter I can easily relate with on the same wavelength: after the first day we introduced ourselves, it turned out they’re anime nuts as I am, and was happy about it, so immediately we talked about anything (at least within Facebook now, and before that, within the boardroom prior to any talk relating to our forum operations) from K-On! to Marimite, as I shared my two copies of Anime Insider for their pleasure; the former group, we can only talk about “normal” things, like computer problems, our daily lives and plans for the future, over several bottles of beer.

    If you’re going to see what I really am, well, I’m an ordinary guy on the outside, quiet and observant; I don’t talk much because my life is usually uninteresting and mundane. I dress like anyone else, but my desk is usually cluttered with the stuff I need full access to. But the thing is, sure, I have everything a person needs: food, clothing, shelter, communications, medical care, yet the most important is having friends, especially people I can truly relate with, people who are commoners than high society, and also use the same language as I do.

    Going back to topic, once it turns out that in the workplace you have some guys having the same interests as you have (and it’s so funny that you feel like reliving Fight Club), life becomes easier, as it becomes possible to have much rapport to do something to accomplish, whether it’s company matters or personal interests.

    Funny, now I remember one of my best college classmates… I think I should pester him again on his Facebook about downloading and rewatching Macross for sheer pleasure (after hearing that he once had a VF-1 on display in his bedroom). :lol:

    • Living with our parents can be tough, with the weight of expectations blanketing all your interactions. It’s not really going to get much better… to be truthful, unless you meet someone who agrees to move in with you that shares much of your interests. If you move in with a life partner who doesn’t, you really won’t have much time to indulge yourself and it’ll be just as suffocating if not more so, now that you’re responsible for giving her company, entertainment, etc.

      I don’t really get to talk much about anime with fellow co-workers, though I met another manager who’s into comics but then asked me about this show he really liked… VanDread LOLOLOL, this guy is probably out for some hentai hehehe, something I am no conoisseur of, nor do I want to be thought of being such.

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