Evolution of an Anime Fan (Part II)

Foreword

Gunslinger Girl Claes

Some time ago, I wrote a brief history of how anime became a huge part of life in the context of my cultural backgrounds and real-life social interactions. (It might be nice to read that post first.) A year later, this is part two.

Casual Ignorance

My Neighbor Totoro scan Ghibli Miyazaki

As a child growing up in Taiwan, where there is a vibrant anime culture, reading manga was a natural and common part of most childhoods. It was not a defined hobby, but simply something I, as well as most kids, did. At the time, I had no idea what sets manga apart from other flavors of print cartoons, but I enjoyed reading manga. When I moved to the US, after-school TV shows – such as Pokemon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Sailor Moon – replaced those trips to manga cafés. Still, in my mind, these were indistinct from any other forms of animation. However, once my after-school became occupied by other stuff, I stopped watching anime.

Putting Anime on a Pedestal

abe yoshitoshi haibane renmei rakka wings

Sometime later, prompted by a few Ghibli movies and an enthusiastic introduction to the medium from a childhood friend, I begin recognizing anime’s own sets of styles, tropes, and surrounding culture. In the following months, I caught up with classics, explored new genres, and kept current with airing shows. As my interest developed, my appreciation grew as well to an almost excessive degree. Yes, I had that phase when I hailed anime as the best thing ever. I would eschew other forms of entertainment, while making sure my anime watching sessions were “perfect.” Because anime is that good. This reaction is hardly surprising; there were just so many incredible titles I had not seen before. I was a fascinated kid in a toy store.

Barely Social

fujino shizuru kuga natsuki kikukawa yukino suzuhiro haruka my hime mai hime yuri

Despite my quickly growing interest in anime, I never tried to bring anime into my highs school life, and kept this hobby strictly hidden. Besides the obvious reputation-killer reasons, perhaps I also delighted in the questionably romantic idea of having a guilty pleasure. In some ways, my love for the yuri genre further adds to that.

Blogging

Sono Hanabira 5 CG Reo Mai Anata wo Sukina Shiawase peko

However, I needed an outlet for my thoughts on anime, and eventually I turned to blogging. My first posts were very private, and written with no particular attention to its content or other audiences. Most of these were rants and streams of emotions.

At some point, I gained a few readers. And, perhaps not unrelated, I wrote with a bit more focus and structure in mind. At the same time, I broke away from the blind obsessive mentality about anime. Putting my thoughts down, really thinking about the genre, and hearing what others have to say helped me to put the medium into perspective.

Fleeting and Lasting Interactions

akiyama mio animal ears hirasawa yui k-on! kotobuki tsumugi muta ryouhei nakano azusa tainaka ritsu

The social aspect that comes with blogging has been especially significant in developing my mindset and approach to anime. Anime has become much more of an interactive hobby as opposed to something I watch alone in a vacuum and without context. Though these interactions all seem quite transient – a comment here, an email there, and some tweets in between from people who come and go – there is still a surprising persistence in these fleeting relationships threaded by our common interest in anime. I still keep the hobby mostly to myself in real life, but more because of my transitional life than anything else. In some ways, it makes these spontaneous interactions via social media all the more relevant.

Some Ending Notes

aria mizunashi akari pokoteng coach undine

Nowadays, I approach anime fairly casually. I pick up series on whims, and watch most episodes as time-killers or while multitasking. Of course, there are times when I do make myself very comfortable and focused for a perfect night of marathon. Sometimes I like to wax pretentiously the themes and ideas underlying series; at other times I simply watch stuff for the cute girls. It all depends on my mood. Mostly, I am just looking for a relaxing time.

Appendix

victorique de blois gosick gothic lolita loli victorica morerin

This is a response post to Nopy’s wonderful project collecting people’s histories on anime. Because I had already written on this topic a year ago, I decided to write this part II and approach the post with a different lens. As it turns out, I actually had very little idea what direction I wanted the post to go. Not only did this end up all over the place, I never really got into what anime I watched and when. I guess the pictures do give a slight idea… Kind of…

Well, enjoy nevertheless.

About Yi

''lol...you're either sleeping or eating'' ''oh and watching anime'' ''and indulge in fashion.'' ... Ahh the busy life~
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109 Responses to Evolution of an Anime Fan (Part II)

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  2. Bass says:

    I seemed to have followed this same trajectory (although I guess that’s the point of the post, being that this is quite a common evolution). Except instead of manga as a kid, it was pokemon and digimon for me.

    There was a huge gap in between though, since the majority of highschool I was oblivious to anime. After the cartoons of my childhood, friendships and sports had a 24/7 grip on my life during that period. It was only during senior year I rediscovered the love when my cousin introduced me to Naruto, Slam Dunk and other manga.

    Since then, I’ve been hitting the same points highlighted here so I definitely agree with everything mentioned.

    • Yi says:

      Yea, we really do have a lot of parallels in our timelines. I guess this is indeed a fairly common experience: early exposure, a gap, then a resurgence. Interestingly, senior year of high school was also when I started consuming lots and lots of anime again. Second semester senior days were pretty chill with so much free time. I had also taken a break from swimming as well as most club activities, and on days when I wasn’t hanging out with friends, I was watching anime. What a coincidence!

      Anyway, thanks for reading and sharing. ^ ^

      • shumbapumba says:

        I followed almost exactly the same history as well. Watching (mostly shonen) titles like DBZ, Pokemon and Digimon after school haha I couldn’t wait to get home everyday. And the pedestal! haha spot on (at the time I was reviewing titles for my anime review site, poorly written ones…). Then a decline, then a resurgence and now blogging (with a new perspective). This is a great idea for posts.

        • Yi says:

          Oh yea, I totally forgot Digimon. That was also part of my after-school TV shows.

          Anyways, seems like all three of us have very similar experiences with anime. I think that’s super cool!

          Thank you for reading and the comment. ^ ^

  3. Tsuki says:

    This seems to be the common path from which fandom seems to develop in the USA. Or at least, most of the anime fans I’ve met have developed their interests in a similar way. It really is a shame, especially if you consider how anime as a medium has some great stories and characters; the negative stigma associated with anime in the USA is kind of unrepresentative of that.

    My experience with anime was slightly different, growing up with friends who also loved stuff like anime and video games here in the USA. I never really openly discussed my anime fandom with total strangers, but then again I’ve never really had to. It was just a common interest I had with some close buddies, and that pretty much has defined my approach to anime in general. Blogging in a way is an offshoot of that, the only difference being that blogging tends to include a much larger audience.

    I do think that anime is starting to become a bit more mainstream, though, especially now that the Pokemon, Digimon, Dragonball Z generations are near adulthood. Seeing Anime and Manga become a more accepted part of one’s childhood is certainly something I hope will happen, but it will probably take some time.

    • Yi says:

      The hardcore anime watchers get a pretty bad rap too in most places including Japan and here in Taiwan, even though anime motifs are pretty everyday. And in the US where anime is much less prevalent, many look upon anime with even harsher judgment. I’m not too surprised too. While there are some true gems, what usually sticks in people’s minds are tentacles, curious animated sex, and fan service.

      It’s nice that you have close friends who also like stuff that you like. And I think it’s kind of cool that although we arrived at blogging with different motivations, it all boils down to the social aspect.

      I also think that anime and manga is becoming more mainstream. I’m not sure if it will ever stop being a “geeky” thing, but I think at the very least, it will start getting proper recognition from most beyond the most shallow sides.

      Thanks for the comment and the bit about your own experiences!

      • Tsuki says:

        “The hardcore anime watchers get a pretty bad rap too in most places including Japan and here in Taiwan”

        Hmm, I’ve heard of the bad rap that anime fans get in Japan, but I’ve always thought Taiwan was much more accepting of anime and manga. I’ve never actually really heard too many stories about what stereotypes people have about anime outside of Japan, the US, and a few parts of Europe, so hearing that Taiwan is similar took me by surprise. The only country where I’ve heard anime has been well received is France, and even then I don’t know how valid these stories are.

        I wonder why Anime seems to have such a negative stigma around the world in general, even though we as fans know that those stereotypes are not always true. I guess it’s just those few bad examples that leave a lasting negative impression on the people outside of the anime fanbase.

        • Yi says:

          I should probably clarify a bit about Taiwan’s perception on anime. In general, I think it is fairly socially acceptable for young people to read manga and watch anime occasionally. Manga cafes are everywhere and all the kids have read at least some manga. However, when you’re identifying anime as a hobby or yourself as an otaku, that’s when it kind of crosses the line. Also, a grown person reading manga and watching anime gets a bad rap too.

          So yes, anime is well received in Taiwan, but as a casual past time, not as an actual hobby. I hope that made sense…

          “I guess it’s just those few bad examples that leave a lasting negative impression on the people outside of the anime fanbase.”
          I think that’s probably a huge reason, although it’s not really few examples. Fan service anime is very prevalent, so it kind of makes sense on multiple levels that this is what most people remember. Plus, hentai is a huge part of the industry too, and that can leave negative impressions as well for obvious reasons.

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  5. hoshiko says:

    LOL – I tried watching an anime while multitasking. I usually will only do this if I’m not that interested in whatever it is that I’m watching. I’m not much of a multitasker, so I tend just do that one thing I’m doing while watching and totally forgotten that my laptop is playing an anime that I’m suppose to be watching! And if a glimpse caught my attention, I had to rewind back to see what happened. >.<

    • Yi says:

      It took me four years of practice to be able to multitask like I am right now with anime. But the busy/ boring times of college can do wonders.

      I started with just watching lots of TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, and such, shows that I can play in the background and understand through dialogues only, while I studied, wrote papers, and stuff. And eventually I moved onto movies with lots of script (romantic comedies are especially nice for this). Eventually, I could both watch and do stuff at the same time. Now I’m really good at it! Haha.

      I still have to pause and rewind occasionally though. And for shows I really really love, I make sure to give them my full attention.

      p.s. Kimi ni Todoke 07 is playing in a window on my laptop as I type this. ^ ^

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  8. EmperorG says:

    Even though animemiacs are rare in the Caribbean, I still have few worries about expressing my fandom for the genre. It matters not that very few people understand my passion for the medium. As long as there are some who understand it and myself, I’m satisfied. It would be wonderful being able to find more but for now I’ll stick with the few animeniacs I already know. As for the online communities, let’s just say they helped influence the G-Views’ creation.

    • Yi says:

      Anime fans being rare might make expressing the fandom even harder in some ways. Many can be so judgmental to things they’re not familiar with.

      The internet really has been quite wonderful for me as well. I like eing able to interact with fans who share a similar passion and who have likable personalities. It’s also nice to be able to talk with them at my own pace. I think that may be one reason I never got into anime clubs. Clubs just felt too structured, and the people there tend not to be people I enjoy.

      Anyway, looking forward to the next 100 G-Views. ^ ^

      • EmperorG says:

        I’ll make sure to pick some interesting ones in this next set of 100 shows.
        That’s true. With so few people to discuss your shows with it’s not easy expressing your passion for a misunderstood medium. We need more green eggs and ham Yi-san. It will help make the world a better place.

        The problem with anime clubs is that most of them do not have the same wavelength as I do. They like anime, yes, but not the same ones I do. So yeah. In any case it’s good that there are anime fans to begin with.

        Kind of off topic. Iono-sama invading the Hanabira school. Can you imagine the bliss?

        • Yi says:

          “We need more green eggs and ham Yi-san.”
          Haha what?

          I think that’s my biggest problem with anime clubs. I just can’t seem to stand most of the club officers I meet…

          “Iono-sama invading the Hanabira school. Can you imagine the bliss?”
          That would make my day!!

  9. Joe says:

    All this makes me wonder what’s worse: for people to despise anime out of sheer ignorance, some vague distrust of it’s weird “otherness,” as they so often do in America… or for society to judge its fans for specific, widely-held reasons, as they apparently do in Japan where it’s a more visible part of the entire culture.

    • Yi says:

      That is something to think about. But to be fair, some anime don’t really give the best first impressions. Tentacle rape, panty shots, and lolis are all arguably questionable. Still, it’s a shame that much of the incredible works are stigmatized because of a subset of the medium.

      I guess it is what it is…

  10. Baka-Raptor says:

    I’m ok with letting others know I watch anime. Now, letting them know I blog about it, that’s a whole different matter…

    • Yi says:

      Nowadays, I’m pretty comfortable with people knowing that I watch anime now. I don’t broadcast it, but I won’t go out of my way to hide/ deny it. Still, I keep my blog and my real life very separate. After all, there are a lot of mature content and even borderline legal material (loli yuri) here.

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  12. It amazes me how differently people can behave about the same topic. I mean, in my own post for Nopy’s project, I made it quite clear that I am very open about my fandom and I’m friends with other fans and all. Still–differences happen and there’s nothing wrong with that. And also, yay Victorique!

    • Yi says:

      I was pretty shallow back in the days and cared a lot about my image and such… Silly high school stuff. I think I don’t care much anymore, which is nice. You’re right about our differences! They do happen and it’s certainly more fun this way.
      ^ ^

      Agreed about Victorica! She’s lovely!!

  13. Nowadays, I approach anime fairly casually.

    For me, it seems I’ve degraded as a fan. Back in elementary/highschool, I would watch tons of anime, but now I’ve reached the point where I only see 2 or 3 shows per season. I’ve become too picky, BUT I CAN’T HELP IT!!! It’s like you see one fanservice and you’ve seen them all, although I do agree that an occasional brain-fart is okay. Hmmm.

    But yeah, I’m super picky. Like Peter Piper. I pick my peppers with a windshield wiper! (ahhha yeah~)… btw, that Akari has an IMPRESSIVE set! PLEASE tell me you have sauce?!

    • Yi says:

      I don’t know if that counts as “degrading” or “evolving.” Being more picky can mean you have a more developed and defined taste, so I don’t know…

      Anyway, I’ve become much more selective too, but that’s more because of time issues. I can only pick up so many series, so I want to be sure the ones I do watch are worthwhile.

      Thank you for sharing about your own fandom. ^ ^

      ps. I think that Akari is by pixiv artist, こーち: http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=11076806

      I didn’t notice her set until you mentioned it, and they are very nice indeed.

  14. Johnny says:

    I read ur post, but what i retain most of all is… the picture of a Shizuru watching with loving eyes the lying, beautiful Natsuki while Yukino is trying to calm down the furax Haruka… and also Mai teasing the cute, tsundere Reo !

    Btw, i will remember the fact you love watching cute girls and that u hide ur hobby (particulary yuri… i understand u, no one in my family and a few of my acquaintances know i love girls love !).

    • Yi says:

      “I read ur post, but what i retain most of all is… the picture of a Shizuru watching with loving eyes the lying, beautiful Natsuki while Yukino is trying to calm down the furax Haruka”
      Haha, I think this post is a success then. ^ ^

      Anyway, I don’t really hide my hobby much anymore. That was sort of a thing in high school, but I think my attitude has changed. If you read part I, I ended that history post by saying that I’m much more comfortable with letting people know about my interest in anime.

  15. Ristlin says:

    I actually picked it up in a really random way. One of my friends is a hardcore fan and basicly nagged me until I watched Death Note. I liked the show but didn’t really get into it until I watched a certain Angel Beats last year. Since then, I went through the “putting anime on a pedestal” stage and have settled in a rather comfortable position of balancing all of my hobbies. Though for me, I was never a closet otaku; people simply took my hobby as it is and many of my friends turns out to also be anime fans even if we like different genres. Of course, I never tried to be quiet about it either, I voiced my opinions where I see fit because for me, a enjoying animes with a group of friends is always more enjoyable, and discussing about them after is also an important part of the experience.

    • Yi says:

      If Angel Beats is your “gateway anime,” So I guess that kind of makes you a relatively recent anime fan. Further, we arrived at our fandom through such different paths. It was quite interesting to read how you came to like anime, so thanks for that!

      I think discussing anime after a series is a huge part of the experience. It really makes me enjoy anime so much more.

      • Ristlin says:

        It’s completely true that I’m a relatively new fan. My gateway anime litterally turned me from someone who watch a couple of episodes once in a while to a totally new level filled with all night marathons. My enthusiasm in this also brought many of my already-fan friends together and got them a lot more implicated in the social aspects of animes like getting involved with the local clubs and organizing trips to anime conventions in other cities. In a nutshell, I believe animes

      • Ristlin says:

        Are only enjoyed to their max when all of your friends follow you into your fandom ( or renew theirlove for them ) . Either way, being social is always better than keeping something to yourself because you are afraid that your social standing will go down (doesn’t apply to all situations 0.o) Excellent post btw, it totally doesn’t feel wordy or redundant.

        PS srry for the double post-iPod bug

        PPS srry for the horrible typos, they make me feel ashamed compared to the excellent texts that you write, but I’m always too lazy to re-read what I just wrote ;)

        • Yi says:

          I’m kind of jealous that you have friends whom you can get together with and organize trips. One of the reasons I have never been to an anime convention is simply because I have no one to go with, and it doesn’t seem that exciting to by myself.

          Well, one of these days, I’ll drag someone with me, even if she’s not into anime or stuff. Haha.

          Anyway, agreed about the social aspect. Anime has become much more fun when there are people to enjoy them with! And thankfully, the internet exists. ^ ^

          p.s. Hm… For some reason, my spam filter keeps marking your comments as spam. Sorry about that! :(

          p.p.s. Don’t worry about the typos. I make a lot of them too. It’s only because I can go back and edit them all the time that they’re not everywhere. Plus, comments are much more loose and casual. ^ ^

  16. Yuffie says:

    Whoa. my “how you became a anime fan” has yours ups and downs”, it’s a big story. I Will tell after U class ends, mainly beacuse i have to translate my idiom to english.

    • Yi says:

      “my “how you became a anime fan” has yours ups and downs”, it’s a big story.”

      Please do! I really look forward to hearing about it!

      • Yuffie says:

        Sorry for the delay, I got sick in recent days ç-ç

        Well, the first cartoons that i watched was in open TV that only had 8 channels (Brazilian Tv is bad). Looney Tunes, Jetson, Pica-pau (don’t know how write it in english) captain planet and others. It’s fun to remember the endings that weren’t dubbed, i didn’t undestand only these parts.

        Still in the open TV, in 1996 a blessed channel (really blessed, the owner was a priest) brought the first or the second anime to the country (Brazil by the way), “Os Cavaleiros do Zodíaco (Saint Seiya)”, this was the first anime that i saw. The sucess was monstrous, really monstrous, mark in the country. That time i loved Saint Seiya, today i see not so much thing in it. After come Samurai Warrios, Shurato, Dragon Ball, Magic Knight Of Rayearth (really liked it) and Sailor Moon (good times to dream as a tenshi, funny to think that Amy was a influence to choose Medicine). That time was high to animes, where everything begin.

        Unfortunately the priest dies and so the channel in 1998. Stopped with anime because of this and because curiously the girls didn’t watched, only the boys. Didn’t wanted to be only with them.

        In 2000 comes DirecTV, it had so much channel. Only watched Cartoonnetwork (John Bravo, Dexter,Powerpuffgirl) and Nickelodeon (Hey Arnold). Then one day i found this channel, Locomotion. It had a lot of animes. Watched Evangelion,Saber Marionette, Blue Seed, Red baron and Sakura Diares for example. A litte girl with 10 years, didn’t understand a thing, only thought that was cool. Other problem, the channel started to became really awful&weird, almost immedialety i stopped watching, to soon for me. Ah, this year was released the first manga here, don’t remember if was Saint Seiya or Dragon Ball, well i bought thinking that was black&white to paint…..

        Miraculously in 2001 cartoon network bought Dragon Ball Z, it made a good success ( not as saint seiya in 96). Really liked but stopped after a while. Didn’t had a single friend to talk about anime, people had a awful prejudgement about this, if you watch that you will punch or kill people, you will try to fly, and others. Ah society judgment you boring. Was forced to watch what other peoples likes, and discovered for the rest of my life that i hate BR novels.

        Well, now starts the biggest and complex part, if it was boring i stop here XD
        Obs: Sorry for some mistakes in English, I stopped studying it 5 years ago, plus my lack of sleep and this sad flu.

        • Yi says:

          Don’t worry about the delay. ^ ^ I’ve been terrible with timely replies too. Real life got in the way, and I had so many papers to write and such; I hadn’t had much time to do anything. Anyway, I hope you’re feeling better now!

          I watched Looney Tunes too as a kid… I don’t know the others though. I did also really like this TV show, Madeline.

          It seem Sailor Moon really had quite an influence globally. I remember watching Sailor Moon first when I was in Taiwan, and later when I went to the US. It was a huge hit in both places, and it looks to be a huge hit in Brazil as well.

          I personally never watched much Cartoon Network. I think this is the time I had a break from anime. I did watch Dexter and Powerpuffgirls though. I liked both of them. I didn’t watch any of the anime you mentioned during 2000-2001 (including DBZ), except for Evangelion much later.

          It’s kind of disheartening that people have an awful prejudice against anime in Brazil as well. But I guess that’s sort of expected. :(

          Anyway, that was a super fun read! It’s a great insight into the anime culture in Brazil, and thank you so much for that! It’s so fascinating to see how anime catches on in different areas outside Japan. So thanks for sharing. ^ ^

          p.s. Your English is great!!

        • Yuffie says:

          Hahaha, after so long let’s end this xD

          In 2002 i was living one of the worst years of my life. ///Jumping the sad part/// one day finally I found a friend that like anime too! Was so cool talking with him! This year I was finally understanding what anime really was because of him. Besides the animes already mentioned, this year was a especial one (for animes sadly), Inuyasha was passing on Cartoon Network. I fell in love with this anime! Until today is one of the best to me. Locomotion was the king of animes until this year. Cartoon gained some space.

          In 2003~2004 some things changed. Cartoon was the top in animes. Was showing 6 animes (Gundam wing ,Cyborg 009 which I hated because removed beloved inuyasha , yu yu hakusho, saint seiya, dragon ball and one that I don’t remember, believe me, it’s a HUGE thing ) Locomotion failed. Finally I won a good pc to watch some animes with my brother. Was cool sometimes, boring because has to watch it in determined hours.

          In 2005 Sony brought locomotion and brings Animax. All about animes 24 hours per day. This was a dream to otakus in Brazil. Sadly only works in some TV, mine didn’t have it. I was hell tired to watching anime in “that hour”, then I remembered the Ipod Classic that I have (until today it works) can play videos. 90% of the anime that I watched was from it. I don’t know how my eyes are healthy with this, but 6 years after my left hand has some problem with the ulnar nerve, my right started to show some problems too, really give my arms to animes hahaha

          2005~2007 The high school years. Really great ones. Because of the Ipod I could watch a lot of animes. Animax was becoming greater every year. Cartoon failed in animes. Was the golden times in anime to me. Found a lot of people who liked it too! Really liked these years xD

          2008~~ June 2009 was studying to enter med school. Stopped everything this year.
          Jully 2009 Entered the Med School / Unfortunately no one in my class or my senpais or even my kohais like anime. But the people don’t mind it, they didn’t have the bias from past years. Where I live can be considered a medium city, it’s hard to find someone who like it. Hahaha I really love medicine to survive what she does to me xD My free time was over, but I managed to watch 2 animes per day or a marathon in Friday or Saturday. Sadly I can’t watch the older series (2009 behind) made the choice to watch only the newer ones. Nowadays I watch or in my Ipod or my Note, why? In Ipod when my parents are home, in Note when they are out or at night. Usually I try to watch all the new ones, to choose the better ones. The begin of the season is a trouble one for me, didn’t choose yet and my vacation over Saturday now ç-ç My taste is very diversified as can be seeing in my MALs list: http://myanimelist.net/animelist/Nayara_Tohsaka

          Ah, the Brazilian TV in animes now? It’s a shame, a big shame!!! Cartoon (Naruto and Dragon Ball are the only ones I think) Animax became Sony Spin, anime only in dawn (bleach,blood, fullmetal, I think it has 8~10 at most).

          Obs1: Tried to make a resume, sorry if it became big
          Obs2: I’m glad that you praised my English! ^^ But again, sorry some mistakes.

        • Yi says:

          Thanks for sharing! It’s always lovely to read about other’s experiences. I had no idea what the Brazilian anime scene and TV looks like until today. Thanks for that.

          It’s really nice to watch anime with a friend, isn’t it? I also had a childhood friend who helped me to understand kind of what anime was when I was young. We’ve since grown apart, but it’s still really cool to hang out with him whenever we meet. He’s the president of his school’s anime club, so we talk about anime on those occasions.

          I think I’ve caught a few episodes of Inuyasha when it was on TV. I liked it somewhat. There are some pretty exciting episodes.

          I’m about to attend medical school in a month or so, so I’m a bit concerned I won’t have time for anime anymore. It’s kind of sad. But I’m really glad to hear that you still get to watch a decent amount of anime in med school. Hopefully, I’ll have enough free time to do the same.

          Anyway, it’s really awesome you got to watch anime all this time, even though sometimes you had to so on your ipod. It’s super cool.

          Thanks again for the lovely comment, yuffie.

          Cheers!!

          p.s. Your English is totally fine. Don’t worry. ^ ^

        • Yuffie says:

          When I traveled to USA in 2005 and saw the American TV I was stunned, so much cool ç-ç Hahaha, I have to agree with you. Talk about anime with friends it’s so good. But I prefer to watch alone (even movies I prefer to watch alone or with somebody who doesn’t talk during the movie). My friend chose medicine too, he is my senpai, but stopped to watch anime =(

          Uhm… before I enter the med school I really thought that I had to stop all my hobbies, that my social life was over too. But it depends on several factors. Telling my own experience. The 1º and 4º period were the “tranquil ones”, the themes were boring but “easy”, I could watch 1~3 anime per day, could put it in day, have a social life, but I slept 3~4 hours every day (note: I really love to study at night, so). You can think “so why you didn’t use the time that spent with anime to sleep?” I watch it after lunch (have 2~3 hours before other class). During the week with tests I went berserker with studies, theses weeks really stopped to watch.

          2º and 3º period were the hell ones. Almost failed in physiology (really don’t like the part with the nervous system, biophysics, homeostase, my first grade was 6, then the teacher put ALL the GUYTON in the second test, I need a 8~9 to pass, I don’t know how I survived/ Molecular Biology was a trouble one too, so much details that I really didn’t like it) I have done the crazy thing to stay awake for 2~3 day, never I will do this again. This year I reduce a lot anime&social life.

          Your social life will reduce? Yes. Your sleep time will reduce? I’m so sure about it. You will stop with your hobbies? Don’t do it! We really need some time to relax, have peace. Some weeks you can have fun, some other can’t. It’s a question to balance things. Don’t worry, it can be scary at first, but you will be fine ^^ I’m wishing good lucky for you.

        • Yi says:

          Thanks for talking about how you survived med school with anime. I’ll definitely try to budget my time even more wisely between study, hobbies, and social life. It’d probably be pretty hard, but I hope… I think I can do it. Seeing how you’ve got it figured out really helps too, so thanks, Yuffie. ^ ^

  17. Swordwind says:

    Someone’s awfully pensive~

    • Yi says:

      Pensive, not necessarily. Wordy, most definitely.

      This is what happens when I don’t have any posts planned, and the last post was a week ago. I start to desperately cling onto any idea and try to squeeze some words out… Luckily, Nopy’s project idea is a nice fit.

      • Swordwind says:

        Ah, someone’s posting under false pretenses.

        • Yi says:

          I don’t think it’s really false pretenses. After all, while this may be a squeezed out last minute post, it is still fairly accurate depiction (in my mind) of my anime history. Actually, I think so far, most of my posts have been quite true to my own feelings.

        • Swordwind says:

          Someone’s bragging~

        • Yi says:

          Haha, I guess I kind of am… :(

          Someone’s being especially critical of my words today~

        • Swordwind says:

          Yeah…I haven’t said anything to you in a while, and I didn’t have anything particularly edifying to say, so I thought I’d just tease you…sorry…

        • Yi says:

          Oh you tease. ^ ^
          Don’t worry about it!

  18. Nopy says:

    I used to put anime up on a pedestal as well, mainly because there was nothing good on TV. After I finally found some non-anime shows that I liked, I realized that anime isn’t anything special, just another medium.

    One of my reasons for blogging is the same as yours. While I’m still friends with everyone from my high school anime club, it seems I’m the only one left that still watches anime regularly. With no one to discuss or share my thoughts with, I turned to blogging in the hopes that someone would read my posts or even discuss with me. I have to say that its actually turned out quite well, and although I spend a lot of time on my blog now, no one in real life seems to know about my hobby either.

    • Yi says:

      Same here. Once I really started to pay attention to some TV dramas such as Law and Order and such, I realized that there are plenty of really good shows out there. Anime offers a very special flavor, but it certainly isn’t the only thing worthwhile. I still love it though, but I don’t think I’m super obsessed anymore.

      I think we bloggers, and probably most anime watchers, all inherently want to discuss our thoughts on anime. Some turn to friends or clubs, others to forums, and I guess blogging is our preferred method. I’m glad it turned out well for you. It turned out well for me too I think. I spend way too much time on blogging though… Probably way more than I should. Haha.

  19. Pingback: Hoshiko’s History with Anime « World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko

  20. Jo says:

    Other than watching anime/cartoons when I was younger, I didn’t really know much about it. It was just whatever was on TV that morning (or evening ie. The Simpsons, Family Guy etc..). To me everything was cartoons, even Evangelion was a cartoon..

    It wasn’t until a friend said that she would be studying a course called ‘Manga and Japanese Contemporary Culture’ at uni, that I thought ‘hhmmm why not?’. I ended up taking the class whereas my friend didn’t. On the last day of class, students were asked to bring in an anime they like/watched. Someone brought in K-On!, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star and Voices of Distant Star. They only showed about 5-10mins of each show, but I was hooked (K-On! and Huruhi made the biggest impact, didn’t really care for Lucky Star). This was back in 2009 and I’ve been watching all sorts of anime ever since…

    With anime its been kinda up and down for me.. My sister pretty much despises it, she thinks that its for children and too perverted. So most of the time I have to hide the fact that I’m still watching anime and reading anime blogs. It’s pretty difficult, cos she has a tendency to barge into my room, look at my screen and ask ‘what are you doing?’… She even has a problem with my anime soundtrack music which she considers too anime-ish, whatever than means.. So yeah, that and people thinking anime=weird kinda makes me keep it a secret of some sort.
    The ups, I guess is just being able to do something I enjoy and knowing that there are other people who also enjoy it as much as I do… Also, the soundtracks that anime gives us…another bonus!!

    Well that’s my story..sorry for being so long winded.. ^^

    =)

    • Yi says:

      I didn’t really understand the distinction between anime and other forms of animation either as a kid. Things like Teen Titans and Avatar also further blurs the line. Anyways, my childhood cartoons were mostly Pokemon, Sailor Moon, and Madeline. I loved Madeline!

      “Manga and Japanese Contemporary Culture” sounds like a really fun class! I wished my uni offered something like that too, even if it’s just a seminar course. I’m glad your classmates have good tastes! K-On! and Haruhi really can make quite an impact on the viewers.

      You sister kind of sounds like some people I know, except no one ever barges into my room. I don’t really bother explaining why I like anime anymore.

      “she considers too anime-ish,”
      My sister has used that term too! And about soundtracks. Haha.

      Anyway, thank you so much for the lovely read. ^ ^

      • Jo says:

        Did you ever watch Babar? That was a pretty good show…

        If that classmate brought in Bleach or Naruto instead, I don’t think I’ll be posting on this blog.. or have anything to do with anime at all, other than the odd Miyazaki film…

        Ha..but is your sister as dismissive of soundtracks as my one is? Anything linked with anime is no good for her…

        =)

        • Yi says:

          Hm… I’ve never heard of Babar. Probably a time or regional difference in airing shows.

          My sister is not that dismissive of soundtracks unless they sound too “anime-ish.” I think that usually means the more electronic or cute-ish songs. But if it’s some nice J-Pop, she doesn’t particularly mind even if it was from an anime opening or something.

  21. Kyle says:

    That was a very interesting read. I grew up on Toonami as a child watching DBZ, Sailormoon, Tenchi Muyo, and those other series. In high school I went through a similar phase of putting anime on this high pedestal as the greatest form of art to bless humanity…but that changed. Before I would watch any series out there just because it was anime. Now I get bored at times. I can point out a series that is just…bad and do not feel bad about dropping it. I do tend watch in spurts. I do not watch every day or even every week. I watch whenever I feel the need really.

    • Yi says:

      Toonami, I remember that! I think I never got into Toonami though. Right before Toonami was when I watched Pokemon and the likes on Kids WB (I think that’s dead now… :( ) Then around Toonami time was when I took a break from anime, so I passed over on all those DBZ and Tenchi Muyo stuff.

      I’m pretty critical of most anime now too. I still enjoy a lot of series, but very rarely do I hold one dear to my heart. Before, I’d probably claim any anime to be masterpieces without really considering how good it really is.

      I get bored much more easily by series now too, though I still usually tend not to drop series.

      “I do tend watch in spurts. I do not watch every day or even every week. I watch whenever I feel the need really.”
      That’s kind of my approach too. I’d hold marathons on a whim, and I’d have days of not watching anything, and days of sporadic catching up. It all depends on my mood and what else I have going on.

      Thank you for the comment!

  22. lovelyduckie says:

    I REALLY can’t watch anime whil multi-tasking. But that’s because I watch it subbed and well…I need to read. Even if I listened to it dubbed I doubt I could make myself multi-task. Sometimes I try to put on a favorite old movie while I do chores… I find myself stopping to watch the TV over and over and before I know it I’m simply watching TV and no chores are being done.

    • Yi says:

      What I usually do is just split-screen it and do stuff on one side and play anime on the other. It works if I just glance over occasionally, though I do have to pause and rewind occasionally, especially for plot and action heavy shows.

      “I find myself stopping to watch the TV over and over and before I know it I’m simply watching TV and no chores are being done.”
      It happens to me all the time too. And if it happens when I’m writing a paper or something… That’s bad news bears, and usually means an all-nighter. :(

  23. fathomlessblue says:

    I’ve had a pretty on-off relationship with anime so far, and the weird thing I’ve noticed is that as much as I treat watching it as separate/isolated from my everyday life, I’m also seemingly reliant on others to maintain an active interest with it.

    This is currently my third foray into anime, the first being a short-lived interest in pirated VCR movies in early highschool, which quickly ended once my friends and I developed an interest in the RL activities of your average teenager, while the second was at an anime club at uni, which again, ended soon after I graduated. Now I’ve somehow stumbled back into the scene, it seems interaction with blogs is feeding my interest more than it ever has before. I really should be at the stage of consumption to be cutting back on the amount I watch, but if anything I’m watching more than ever. I have a feeling this will settle down soon enough, seeing as I don’t have time to watch the massive backlog of ‘classic’ anime that’s been stockpiled.

    All in all, I’m pretty content with my current situation. I don’t mind telling people I enjoy anime, but seeing as most react with the huh?/so?/ewww! range of emotions, I’m much happier going online instead. People will alway remember the bad side of things over the good. To an anime detractor, a five thousand world article about the brilliance of Haibane Renmei will always be disregarded once they get wind of, say the synopsis of upcoming anime Lotte’s Toy (I just read it prior to this; dear lord!). In the blogs people are roughly on the same wavelength concerning what to expect regarding the medium, so it helps put everyone on a similar footing.

    Anyway, rambling aside, I’m rather envious that you’re able to multitask whilst watching shows. If I could do that maybe I would have been able to find the second season of Index slightly more bearable. Maybe.

    • Yi says:

      While there are some parallels between our experiences, the differences are much more noticeable, both in terms of timing and what we did in each of our previous forays into anime: your pirated VCR and anime club to my childhood manga cafe and secret hobby. It’s really cool though that we both end up in the anime blogosphere now though. And when this phase is over, I wonder if our histories will collide again.

      As much as anime drives my blog, blogs now feeds my my anime watching, much like they do for you. Wanting to know what others are watching and discussing, taking in recommendations, and reading critiques and analysis from commenters and other writers have all become huge parts of my anime experience. Still, despite being passionate about all of this, I’m watching much less because of real life… The growing backlog… :(

      I prefer online interactions to anime as well. It’s just so much easier to find people on a similar wavelength. We don’t have to share the same tastes or approach or even attitudes, but there is something about the people I discuss anime with online that makes me feel more comfortable relative to my real life friends or anime club members. It’s also nice to have to go through the whole conversation about the misconceptions of anime.

      It’s so true about people paying more attention to the negatives. It’s part of the reason so many people dismiss great anime like Strike Witches II simply because of its pantsu. p.s. I had to google Lotte’s Toy, and oh geez…

      “I find myself stopping to watch the TV over and over and before I know it I’m simply watching TV and no chores are being done.”
      How did you think I got through 17 episodes of Touma’s monologues in season I? ^ ^ I have yet to finish the series though. It’s been a struggle.

      You comment is really fun to read. So many things to reflect on from your experience. Thank you!!

      • fathomlessblue says:

        Oh, mine was definitely a secret hobby too :P, especially during the uni phase, for the same social concerns. I tried my best to keep it a lock-tight secret outside the club I went to, although unsurprisingly, my 2nd/3rd year housemates found out eventially. Disappearing every wednesday night and watching foreign language shows on in your room gets noticed in time.

        With two of my housemates being fellow rugby league team members and the other in the boxing club, they were pretty merciless; not mean-spiritedly or anything, but it was a rather alpha-male house and we all enjoyed a laugh at each others expense. Of course, finding it funny to tell some of the girls we knew that I was into cartoon porn was pretty infuriating, seeing as many believe/ed anime to be nothing more than that. Bah!

        Naturally, these things build up your resistance in time, and nowadays I don’t care who knows, although I don’t announce to the world or anything. I’ve heard all the jibes and sarcastic comments; it’s all water off a duck’s back now. Still, thank goodness for the internet!

        ps. I have no words for Lotte’s Toy, although the sound of a facepalm is as good any description.

        • Yi says:

          I used to care a lot about hiding my interest in anime back in high school, but once I went to a university, I started caring less. Part of it is also because it became impossible to hide it unless I cut back significantly on everything. My roommates found out pretty quickly since I’m playing anime on my laptop all the time, but luckily, she’s pretty chill about it. No teases there. ^ ^

          My brother, on the other hand, does throw a jibe here and there though, kind of like your rugby friends. But it’s all in good fun. Plus, I force him to watch stuff with me all the time.

          “Of course, finding it funny to tell some of the girls we knew that I was into cartoon porn was pretty infuriating, seeing as many believe/ed anime to be nothing more than that. Bah!”
          Ooh ouch! That has to be pretty… awkward. :(

  24. bluedrakon says:

    It was interesting seeing a view that is not commercialized and from another country. It was unique that you had a early life filled with it to the point of norm, while here it is a ‘passing fad’.

    As I am well beyond my teenage years (as well as twenties), I find it hard to try to keep up with everything. It has so much evolved from those early days as I remember it. It seems sometimes ‘flooded’ with new shows.

    I have sometimes come at my own crossroads to continue or stop collecting and watching. There seems so much being turn out now that I do not have the time to do with juggling a family and the responsibilities of such.

    I dream of my own bygone era and hope that I didn’t turn off the movie or stop reading that manga – but we never know.

    • Yi says:

      I often wonder if I will still keep my interest in anime in another ten years when I’m so removed from the high school life, and more importantly, when real life gets in the way of keeping up with shows. But I think seeing your blog and knowing that you’re still a fan gives me some hope that this interest will not die completely in the years to come, though things may slow down eventually.

      “I dream of my own bygone era and hope that I didn’t turn off the movie or stop reading that manga”

      Wouldn’t it be nice if that era can last forever?

      p.s. Thank you so much for your perspective!

  25. Cell says:

    Yea, I remember watching Totoro with Chinese dubs with my parents when I was still in Elementary school (lol the good ol’ times). Back then anime culture didn’t seem very significant to me since the people around me didn’t treat it very specially. Of course, when I got older I started to be able to distinguish anime/manga from western cartoons/comics. (side-note: Has anyone else ever realized that most American cartoons don’t have plots and focus mainly on comedy? example: Family Guy, Simpsons, etc. while most anime have a storyline and give you a wider range of emotions that you can experience while watching?) Honestly, in my opinion, anime is probably one of the most important factors of life. Not only does it serve as a hobby for those who have no interests, but it also serves as a boost for the economy~.

    • Yi says:

      I watched Totoro too with Chinese dubs as a kid! Those were such fun times, and it’s such a beautiful anime. Anyway, agreed about anime being an important factor in my life. It’s a great hobby for me, though it kind of drains my economy at times… Figures can be so expensive. :(

      Thanks for sharing!

      p.s. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with your view on American cartoons. There are cartoons that are very similar to common genres in anime. The superhero comics have parallels to shounen. Shows like Madeline feels like slice-of-life. Of course, the current most popular ones (Family Guy and Simpsons) are comedy, but I wouldn’t generalize too much. And if we were to look even broader, animated films like Up and Toy Story 3 are both masterpieces in their own rights. That said, I get very emotional while watching anime very often.

  26. Sakurai_Hideru says:

    Haha really jealous that you can watch anime while multi-tasking… So jealous!! That’s why I keep telling my mum to sign me up for a Japanese language course but instead she keeps signing me up for an English course instead… -__-‘
    Lol anyways, I’ve never really been shy about my anime obsession, practically all of my friends online and offline knows I LOVE anime. But I have to keep the yuri side of it a secret obviously… Its a guilty pleasure of mine XD
    And I didn’t know how people who watch anime were looked down on until I watched Nogizaka Haruka and boy was I shocked. I guess its cuz since I was young no one ever told me about it? Yeah maybe…
    Hopefully I’ll be able to watch anime even after starting work and stuff, but tht will probably never happen… Makes me sad thinking about the future. :'(

    • Yi says:

      I think multitasking while watching anime is still doable with subtitles. Just split screen whatever you’re doing and the anime. I’ve done that with foreign films and documentaries too.

      Anyway, I should keep taking Japanese language courses to improve my Japanese.
      “she keeps signing me up for an English course instead…”
      Your English is plenty good though!

      I don’t try to keep my hobby a total secret anymore, but I don’t really broadcast it either. I guess it’s a fairly casual approach to fandom. I keep the blog a secret though because.. There’s a bit of a stigma against hardcore anime fans, but we shouldn’t let that bother us too much. Well, easier said then done.

      I think you will be able to keep watching anime after work and such. Maybe not at the same rate, but I hope you’ll still find the time to fit in a series here and there.

      Thanks for reading and sharing!!

      p.s. Don’t be sad about the future. ^ ^

  27. afkeroge says:

    Well, you’ve already seen my early history watching anime but I don’t think I’ve told you about the events after that.

    I don’t really keep my interest in anime a secret since it’s not really considered a bad thing here in the Philippines. Heck, all of my friends know that I watch anime and they aren’t really weirded by it. In fact, most of my friends who were interested in anime now actually ask me what’s good to watch. I guess I just “evolved” too quickly for my own good… haha :D

    And about yuri… believe it or not, I don’t hide that too. I will always point out GL undertones in any anime that I watch with my friends. Even though I get laughed at or get weird stares, they generally accept my little perversion of sorts (it’s about the only one I have! ;) ). When asked why I like yuri if I can persuade them by saying that it’s really cute and has this warm and fuzzy feeling to it. I’ve never been asked by a girl about this, though.

    • afkeroge says:

      Aw, shoot…
      “When asked why I like yuri if I can persuade them by saying that it’s really cute and has this warm and fuzzy feeling to it. ”

      When asked why I like yuri, I try to persuade them by saying that it’s cute and have this warm and fuzzy feeling to it, It kind of gets easily accepted. I actually say it wholeheartedly because it’s true. :)

    • Yi says:

      Most yuri do have this warm and fuzzy feeling! I love that about it too. ^ ^
      Anyway, I don’t really keep anime watching a secret anymore. I don’t really tell people either. I’m kind of just indifferent I guess.
      As for yuri, not a lot of people irl know I like it for some reason. I did show my sister a bunch of yuri manga in the past; she didn’t really like them. Haha.

      p.s.
      “I guess I just “evolved” too quickly for my own good… haha”
      Perhaps. ^ ^ Although I used “evolve” merely to denote a change in attitude.

  28. Fai D Fluorite says:

    Wow it was nice reading about your experience with anime ^^
    I read both the parts!

    Actually I kinda envy people who have RL friends who share common interests in anime/manga.For me,it was somewhat opposite to your experience.In my childhood,I never knew what “anime” was and I used to see disney toons and some dubbed anime on CN like Pokemon,Beyblade etc. And after when Animax channel launced was I first introduced to anime and I explored further and am a big fan now!For me the only way out is sharing on the internet.It feels nice to read about anime posts in anime blogs like yours and others,comment whenever possible and even more nice if the writer gives a feedback!
    Some of your experiences are quite similar to mine,like telling a college mate that you like anime.It really sucks when you’re made fun of :(
    Nevertheless we anime fans always know the pleasure of anime!
    So ~cheers for anime~ :)

    • Yi says:

      I’m kind of envious of people who have a group of close real life friends to share in their interests and hobbies too.

      I think we actually have more in common. I never knew what “anime” was either until much later. Disney, Pokemon, Sailor Moon were all just cartoons to me. Today, my main mode of sharing, like you, is also on the internet. Hence all this blogging stuff. ^ ^

      “It feels nice to read about anime posts in anime blogs like yours and others,comment whenever possible and even more nice if the writer gives a feedback!”
      I’m glad you’re enjoying this. I’m really loving talking to you and others as well. It makes me feel kind of bad that I delayed a response for so long. Haha. Just been so busy lately… :(

      Anyway, agreed that we anime fans probably do appreciate the medium a little more than non-fans. After all, we know much more about the tropes and the styles and such.

      Cheers~

      p.s. Thank you so much for reading and the comment!

      • Fai D Fluorite says:

        “It makes me feel kind of bad that I delayed a response for so long.”
        That’s okay ^^
        In I appreciate it that you do respond to everyone’s comment inspite being busy and having a large number of comments to respond to!
        I did understand lately that it must be quite hard to write more posts plus respond to comments.
        Anyways keep up the good work!

  29. Aya says:

    Interesting Evolution thanks for sharing :D ,in contrast I more grown with Manga than anime even till now since for me anime turn boring this past 2 years,I also grown with tokusatsu(kamen rider,ultraman,sentai/ranger), HongKong action movies(mainly were John Woo’s) and some child novel especially Roal dahl’s , as for anime almost similar with you I quite grown with girlish Anime pokemon,Digimon,sailormoon, cardcaptor sakura,Gundam series and some more anime that promoting toys like mini 4WD. I barely watch anime Nowadays I read manga a lot but prefer watch tokusatsu show over anime.
    anyway is the first picture Claes ?

    ps:found your blog from tsuki-board hahaha

    • Yi says:

      I had a time when I preferred manga and a time I preferred anime. I think right now, I like both equally.

      I have an online friend who is really interested in tokusatsu as well. He introduced me to the basics of Tokusatsu: http://goo.gl/rl8YW Since then, I’ve always thought tokusatsu to be quite fascinating. Although it might not be my favorite thing ever, it does have that unique style and allure to be interesting.

      The picture is indeed Claes. I really like Gunslinger Girl. It’s one of my favorite anime ever, and that’s why that picture is at the top.

      Anyway, thanks for visiting and commenting. I really appreciate it. ^ ^

  30. Persocom says:

    Nice history there ^^ Manga never played a very influential part in my life, as until the last 5 years or so I didn’t really have much access to it. However we share a bit of connection with Toonami and Sailor Moon there. I never really considered that there was a stigma against anime until people started mentioning it along with seeing how it’s portrayed in anime. I’m quite an open out there type of person who doesn’t hide my love for anime, though I’m still quite nervous doing many things (figure shoots in public places especially). I finally went and wrote up my contribution to the Nopy project tonight after reading this also, had to come back and comment though XD

    • Yi says:

      Toonami seems to be quite influential for many US anime fans. My manga background is probably more because I grew up in Taiwan.

      I didn’t really realize there was a stigma against anime either as a kid. And I don’t think there is one either for kids. I think it’s more during high school when people are especially judgmental and mean that anime is most looked down upon. Now that I’m out of college and stuff, I find that it’s not such a big deal anymore. As long as I don’t seem obsessed (and I don’t think I am), there really isn’t too much stigma. So I’m fairly open and casual about my anime fandom too nowadays.

      Still, I’d imagine figure shoots in public would draw more than a few stares. ^ ^

      Thanks for reading!

  31. Sakurai_Hideru says:

    ‘Your English is plenty good though!’
    That’s the 1st time someone praised my English… Sank yuuu sooo much! XD
    My mum would say the opposite: Your English is terrible! I’m signing you up for a course! -__-‘
    Lol I think your English is absolutely fantastic too! It isn’t your native language right? Real amazing stuff there…
    Anyways I can see why otakus are shunned and seen as disgusting by people; most of them are people who don’t interact well with others imo and so they escape reality and immerse themselves in anime. Mostly anime that has lots of cute girls in it. Lol thankfully I am social (i think), and that’s why I’m not shy about my anime. X)
    And why is it that those who don’t watch anime almost always associate it with hentai? I asked some of my friends about their thoughts on anime and they say : Oh, isn’t it those cartoons where schoolgirls get raped by tentacle monsters and such? And I’m like what?!?! Have you ever watched anime before?! Lol they have no idea…
    This is all imo of course… What do you think about it?

    • Johnny says:

      Such a narrow view of anime ur friends have… unless they like to watching that secretly…
      They’d better watch “Shoujo Sect” or “Sono Hanabira” !

    • Yi says:

      @Sakurai_Hideru: Haha, I really don’t see a problem with your English. Anyways, English isn’t my native language, but it is the language I’m most comfortable with. I left Taiwan at a young age, and my Chinese is no where near my level of English. It’s not that amazing since I have been in the US for the last decade and more.

      I think it’s really important to have a social life. It doesn’t necessarily have to be with people who share all the same interests, but just have a few people to hang out with. Human interaction is still incredibly important, and cannot really be replaced by a hobby. There are definitely those who withdraw from all personal and social interactions, and instead stick to an obsession like anime and figures and such. If by choice, not exactly something I would do…

      As for the association between anime and hentai… I think the short answer is simply that hentai leaves a much stronger impression than any other anime to non-fans. I don’t blame peope for equating the two. Hentai is a fairly large industry and it certainly is pretty memorable once you know about it. And ecchi stuff (including tentacle rape) do come up in anime fans’ conversations so often.

      • Sakurai_Hideru says:

        Haha I have the face of a Chinese lad, but I know next to nothing about the language. All I know is how to say Happy New Year! and Thank you! but that’s all… I know that it confuses many Chinese ‘aunties’… Hehehe

        I so agree with that. The interacting with people thing. I actually know someone who is so shy, she can’t even talk to anyone. If she does she actually breaks down and starts crying… I swear she scared the hell outta me… I stood there like an idiot while her friend comforted her…

        Anyways, how’s the essays and research coming along? It must be hard, being super busy… I feel for you Yi-san.
        I think the only time when we can really be free is when we retire and have many children taking care of us… My grandma just sits on the couch watching T.V all day… -__-‘
        Good luck with whatever you’re doing now, and I’ll comment on your new post when I get back to Malaysia. Bye for now! X)

        • Yi says:

          Well, at least you know the right Chinese sayings to get red envelopes come Chinese New Year. ^ ^

          The shy girl’s case sounds kind of extreme. I hope she can overcome that…

          Thanks for asking about the essays. I’ve somehow managed to finish before the deadline, but those days were just super exhausting.

          I know I shouldn’t look to retirement yet since I’m just beginning my prime, but a relaxing life with little responsibilities does sound nice.

          Anyway, have a safe trip to Malaysia. ^ ^

  32. Sakurai_Hideru says:

    Haha that may be true, the watching it secretly part. I love Shoujo Sect! High-five dude! XD

    • Yi says:

      @Sakurai_Hideru + Johnny: I love both Shoujo Sect and Sono Hanabira too, but not sure if animated ecchi is for everyone. ^ ^

  33. MkMiku says:

    “Yes, I had that phase when I hailed anime as the best thing ever. ”

    I can so agree with you on this! XD Surprisingly, even though I don’t marathon as much as I used to, out of all other mediums of entertainment, anime is still my favorite.

    I think the cool thing about blogging is that you don’t have to keep your anime life so hidden, and people won’t give you weird stares about it (at least not physically). ^^

    • Yi says:

      True true. I’ve since moved away from putting anime so high above all other entertainment, but it still holds a special place in my heart. I love it!

      “I think the cool thing about blogging is that you don’t have to keep your anime life so hidden, and people won’t give you weird stares about it (at least not physically). ^^”
      Agreed! To a certain degree, I feel like I can be more open to strangers than to people I know. Kind of ironic.

  34. AS says:

    Wow, your life sounds a bit similar to mine. Originally I watched pokemon, CCS, and sailor moon when I was growing up as it was something to watch in the morning and afternoon. I kept my interest in anime to only my friends who weren’t exactly into it like I was but I could talk a bit about with. I’m more picky when it comes to anime now I think as I pick things that only appeals to my sense of taste rather than popularity.

    • Yi says:

      Those were the reasons I watched Pokemon, CCS, and Sailor Moon as well. I think they were usually on during the 3-5 pm block on weekdays, which is just perfect for chilling right after school (school ends at 3 pm). New episodes were on during Saturday mornings, which was nice too.

      I’m much more picky about anime now too. I just don’t want to and can’t afford to waste time on anime that either I don’t joy or has no value.

  35. necro says:

    I thing we could create a chat, smt similar to that what was in Durarara!!, it was kinda hillarious out there to read it, and watch it, beside i thing it would be a good way to share opinions. I wonder if anyone would join such idea.

    • Yi says:

      I think a chat or some sort of a forum would be a great idea! I’ve actually been thinking about doing something like that for a long while now, but I have no idea how to set one up.

  36. abscissa says:

    Another fun read, thanks for sharing. Although I never hailed anime as the best thing ever, I can never deny that it’s part of my childhood–a rare form of recreation with my siblings. Just like you, I don’t discuss it unless asked. In high school, I slowed down from watching anime. One of the reasons is because there’s barely one to discuss it with. Most of my friends and girls of my age don’t talk about anime. Then, my interest in anime rekindled during the time when I undergone a leg and hip rehab—I tried to pull a snowboard trick but failed miserably. During that period I was always at home. One day out of boredom, I intruded my brother’s files and the rest is history. :)

    On the other hand, my fascination with yuri is always kept hidden from everybody, because people are judgmental— I maybe a daredevil but not with this kind of a risk. Fortunately, the digital world gives me the enjoyment of anonymously meeting people; otherwise I could’ve never liberated my views about this wonderful genre. :)

    So that’s my little story, sorry if it’s lengthier than the usual. I have also read your most recent post, good luck on your proposals. I know a little bit about biomolecules, but specifically more on the biostats. I deal more with numbers that’s why it’s a struggle for me to write an essay. Ganbatte kudasai!

    • Yi says:

      Yea, it’s pretty hard to find someone to discuss anime with in real life. And for some reason, I never really found too many either, except for my siblings. Good thing they put up with my constant pleas and threats to get them to watch stuff with me.

      I’m fairly casual about my anime fandom now, but I keep my blog and my taste for yuri pretty private too. It’s just a much more personal thing, especially when it somewhat ties into sexuality and such. I’d rather avoid that conversation in real life.

      Anyway, you’re a snowboarder? That’s awesome! I’ve tried snowboarding a few times, but it’s not for me. I’m not good with the cold and by extension, any winter sports. Haha.

      “So that’s my little story, sorry if it’s lengthier than the usual. I have also read your most recent post, good luck on your proposals. I know a little bit about biomolecules, but specifically more on the biostats. I deal more with numbers that’s why it’s a struggle for me to write an essay. Ganbatte kudasai!”

      It was a wonderful read! I’m having so much fun seeing what people’s experiences are and picking out all our parallels. And of course, yours is lovely. So thanks! Also, it’s really neat to meet someone who studies the same kind of thing on the internet. I don’t really know why, but it’s just fun to know. ^ ^

  37. Unchained_Melody says:

    I’m curious to know how many of these backgrounds like yours have come out of people born in the 80s – 90s. You’ll find a different sort of story, naturally for people older than that. It’s funny how shows you watched as a kid you thought were just cartoons turn out to be an anime, if horribly mangled by translation into English. I live in Australia our exposure to Anime/Manga has pretty much been nil until about the late 90s when things like DragonballZ or Sailormoon could be watched in the morning before school. Although if you ask my dad what one of his most favourite shows growing up as a kid was, it was Kimba the White Lion and he seriously didn’t believe me when I told him it was from Japan. Many fans in Australia are pretty new and I suspect a majority who know what it is are under the age of 25, maybe 30. Those who lived as kids during the 90s to now where its become such a global force that it’s even influencing Western Artists. As an example of not knowing the origins of what you’re watching, one of the first animated films I loved was the Last Unicorn. It’s not anime, but I’m pretty sure the artists were Japanese, it was a collaboration between the U.S and Japan in a sense… Even for a long time Sailormoon was nothing more than like the many other cartoons I watched as a kid. Anime didn’t become anime to me until I got older… And Dad still loves his 60s stuff. :P

    • Yi says:

      I know! Reading through the comments and other people who have written on this, I see so many similar experiences, especially among people in my age group. What’s even more surprising is that many of us were all exposed to the same program. Perhaps the 90s was the time anime started to really catch on in the west with shows such as DBZ and Pokemon.

      I love Last Unicorn too! I think you’re probably right about the anime influence on Western animations. A more recent example is Avatar, which has very close resemblance to anime styles.

      Anyway, thank you so much for the delightful read. And your dad sounds pretty awesome!

  38. Fabienne says:

    I pick my animes quite casually as well, while surfing on the MAL site or other sites and blogs. I pick the titles which caught my interest and put them on my plan to watch list or try to get them as soon as possible.

    Im pretty open minded about the genres I pick even though there are a few things I dislike, excessive violence is a no go for me, for example. I like anime which gives me a good time and touches my heart ;D

    I stopped watching anime at my pc, because Im always distracted by other things.
    thx to my wdtv media player Im able to watch anime on the big tv screen in a comfortable surrounding :)

    • Yi says:

      I see I see. I usually pick up series based on what people say on various sites and blogs too. But since there are so many anime that catch my interest each season, not to mention missed series from years past, I now have a huge plan-to-watch list. I doubt I’ll ever get through the thing.

      As for genres, I’m pretty open minded too, and I don’t really have a clear favorite genre, although there are some I tend to avoid: excessive gar and mecha. I’ve still seen some in those genres though.

      Kind of jealous you can watch anime on TV. Though I do like watching most anime on my laptop so I can do other stuff too, for some series that I really care about, I’d want to watch them on the big screen as well.

      Anyway, thanks for the comment!

  39. Manfred says:

    well growing up in Singapore, in the middle of South East asia, i watched A LOT of pokemon and digimon. i still have the complete seasons somewhere in my house. One piece was constantly on TV and many other random anime were aired as well :D

    it seems everyone here had a void period of anime :D and i had mine too during my years of education where i had no time for it until i rediscovered the joy of it again through internet. yay interwebz FTW

    i really do like anime as compared to the other american stuff i watch like South Park and The simpsons, anime has a lotta emotions which gives me warm fuzzy feelings of joy,sadness and many others when i watch it. only downside of anime is that i dun watch it with my friends as they all think its weird. tentacle porn and other stuff pop into mind when i mention it…….. especially now that im getting to like Yuri. going to a all boys school doesn’t help much in this aspect and im NOT going to tell anyone soon. i pretty sure the ribbing and teasing will never stop.

    and thanks for uploading these awesome reviews and stuff here Yi :D

    • Yi says:

      Yea I think growing up in different countries really made our childhood exposures to anime quite different. It’s interesting to note just how global and influential Pokemon is though. While other anime were few and often niche in the US, Pokemon is almost every kids’ favorite thing.

      The internet really helped to get me back into anime too. Without easy access, I don’t think I would’ve bothered to watch anime at all. And perhaps that’s why I had a gap in my time too.

      “only downside of anime is that i dun watch it with my friends as they all think its weird. tentacle porn and other stuff pop into mind when i mention it……..”
      That does seem to be a fairly common reaction. It’s a major reason I used to avoid telling people I like anime too, especially back in high school.

      Thanks for reading and for sharing your own experience. It was a fun a read, and it’s nice to hear a Singaporean perspective. ^ ^

  40. Pingback: [Zyl] Before the Anime Blog: My Anime Pre-History « hontou ni

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  42. Janie says:

    I don’t understand why people are so ignorant towards anime fans. I’m freshman in highschool, and no one knows that I like anime and manga besides my sister (who tried it, but it wasn’t her thing). I discovered anime from a friend at my camp in 2009 and have been completely blown away by everything! I don’t know anyone who likes this hobby, and it’s really frustrating. I wish I could just talk to others about it and enjoy each others company! At my school, you get judged for the smallest things. Anime is a part of me and I honestly hate how I have to hide it every single day. I feel so guilty! I also watched the cartoons on cartoon network, but I had no idea what they even were. I really wish anime was more accepted in America, life would be so much easier for all of the closet otakus out there. :(

    PS: Thanks for posting this, I finally had a place to vent -_-

    • @fkeroge says:

      Are anime fans treated THAT badly in America that you have to hide your hobby? I somehow feel angry about that… everyone has things that they like, some like Twilight, some like rap, some like Justin Bieber and some like anime and manga. They’re all interests, and none is a better hobby than another. Based on your story, I don’t think I want to go to America anymore.

    • Yi says:

      @Janie: Thank you so much for reading and talking about yourself. I can only imagine some of those feelings: having to hide a hobby to avoid being judged.

      I was in high school once too, and I can remember how harsh and mean some people can be. I kept my anime hobby pretty low keyed. It gets much easier though with time and out of high school. Also, there’s always the internet to interact with people.

      p.s. You’re always welcome here!!

      @afkeroge: It kind of depends on the specific place and age. I think high school kids are in general just much more judgmental and cliquey. It might not necessarily be about anime; it can be about anything that’s deemed “uncool.” My own high school was not that bad; or maybe I just don’t see it. But even then, at that age, being one of the popular kids was important. Haha.
      My college was definitely much less judgmental about hobbies.

      “I don’t think I want to go to America anymore.”
      Haha, a bit extreme, no?

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