I’ve been thinking about this for a little while and it’s something that I really want some answers on, I’ve seen it happening for years and despite being involved for years I’m still not any closer to an answer than when I started. I’m talking about the perception of anime fans, whenever I see people talking about anime fans, we’re perceived as a weird breed (and I guess we are a little weird) but it’s a bad kind of weird that people look at us as. There are few things that seem to be paired with anime fans, a lot of uneducated people think that we’re all hentai watching super perverts (that only applies to some) with no friends who seem to think that the anime world and the real world are one (maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration).
That isn’t the case, I’m not going to act like there aren’t people out there handing the anime community some serious L’s but they aren’t as prominent as people outside the anime community are led to believe. It’s really weird how inaccurate the portrayals are because there a lot of anime fans who are just everyday average people who’d probably shock most of the people they know if they got into some wild shit. I’ll admit that a fair amount of anime series don’t try very hard (or at all) to coat themselves in glory thanks to things like the goddamn fanservice but despite its name, it’s something that we don’t have a choice in (I can’t speak for all anime fans but I hate fanservice).
Some fans use anime positively believe it or not it actually helps people cope with life, it can make fans smarter by introducing them to a different culture and different social issues as well as helping fans to brush up on historical figures. The range is really wide. One thing that makes the perception of anime fans really weird to me is the fact that there are so many things in western pop culture that are inspired by anime, the Lion King springs to mind as well as certain elements of the Transformers series. I’ve never really seen film as something that’s looked down on but there’s an argument that film nerds are spiritual anime fans (in a very sly way).
Before I get off the point and go on a rant about something completely off topic, I’m trying to get to the bottom of the perception of anime fans. There are so many things that I’ve looked at with regards to this subject and I have to be honest, it doesn’t add up. The view that anime is for children only definitely doesn’t do fans any favours especially when you throw things like cosplay into the equation because it probably comes across as children and adults dressing as children (and men dressing as women like Sailor Moon). I understand that there are a lot of things which don’t make the anime community look great but that’s definitely the same for many other fandoms.
When it does come to looking at cultures and subcultures, I know that a lot of people can be lazy (e.g. reading three links from Google and using that to form an opinion) and I personally feel as if anime is a serious victim of this. Everybody accepts the possibility that their view might not be entirely correct but sometimes they might not have the time or desire to do some proper research and the opinion formed from the minimal research is likely to be shared by the majority. I’m also sure that anime hasn’t become mainstream enough (despite so many popular titles) for it be considered cool, although it’s on its way there.
These are just some of my thoughts on this topic, what do you think on it? Why do you think anime fans are looked at in a negative light?