“I like anime and I’m proud of it.”

Naru Nanao & Noizi Ito

And it’s the truth. If someone random came up to me in public, in real life, and asked me, “Do you like anime?”, I would answer yes to it, because it is true, I like anime. In fact, anime is a big part of my life and I will admit that it’s my main form of entertainment, above all else.

So, if you like something, what is wrong about being proud about it? Of course, I don’t mean idiots, like this, that proclaim anime is the superior form of entertainment a good example of an anime fan, but don’t disregard that there are others who actually feel proud to like it, but aren’t being an ass about it.

“Being proud” about something doesn’t necessarily mean you have to flaunt it on everyone or force your own opinions about it on to others or even close off your acceptance about other forms of it. I personally understand that there are various other forms of entertainment that are being enjoyed by other people as much as I myself enjoy watching anime, and I do enjoy the occasional CSI or House M.D episode a lot.

But maybe it’s just because I’m a rather less opinionated person, I just feel that all this drama is rather unneeded. Liking something isn’t about whether you’re proud of it, nor whether it’s deep or not, nor whether is it frowned and stigmatized by the society, it’s just purely about whether you enjoy it or not. That’s my own 2 cents on this issue, and given that many responses towards this are pretty negative, I just felt like balancing the scales a little bit.

So, unless if I ever stop enjoying anime, if anyone asks me, “Do you like anime and are you proud of it?”, I will answer, “Yes, I like anime and I’m proud of it.”, without hesitation. As long as you like it, and you enjoy it, and remember to exercise moderation and open-mindedness, there’s nothing wrong to be proud of liking something, not just only anime, but other things as well. I’ll just sign off with this little tidbit I conjured for tj’s initial post that got the firestorm started, but somehow got stuck liking it a lot…

“BELIEVE IN THE OTAKU IN ME THAT BELIEVES IN THE OTAKU IN YOU!”

Thanks for reading :).

23 Comments

  1. 0rion Said,

    August 5, 2007 @ 3:54 am

    Good addition to this whole discussion. I think the key point you raised is “if anyone asks me…” about anime. Too many otaku are overeager in trying to forcefeed their hobbies to others, whether or not anyone asks about it.

    “‘Being proud’ about something doesn’t necessarily mean you have to flaunt it on everyone or force your own opinions about it on to others or even close off your acceptance about other forms of it.”

    That one sentence right there pretty sums up the entire issue. Sharing our appreciation of a common hobby is great, but life’s too short to get hung up about whether other people appreciate your interests. Let’s all just have a good time doing what we like and get on with life.

  2. John Said,

    August 5, 2007 @ 5:11 am

    Shame in today’s “society”, where people have a twisted opinion on what is life and how you are automatically wasting your time and being proclaimed a loser if you do not fit in the norms simply by loving what you do, which is viewing anime and really enjoying it as a form of lifestyle. Certain examples such as Riuva’s don’t address the correct issues here. If we never watched anime , then we would be more life driven, be doing things such as getting a law or doctor’s degree, and have nice stuff? While that may seem like a nice, comfortable life, that isn’t what others might want at all. It is each person’s choice as to what they make their life as, and not be deemed as a loser by “society”, simply because we they are not following what society deems you must have and do.
    It’s basically me telling you that unless you finish high school, go off to a college, and secure a job that pays all too well, that you will be a loser in life, which will amount to nothing. That certainly isn’t true, so why is it that others have to tell you that anime isn’t good for you, that it’s a time-wasting hobby, and it will never benefit you in life? It is only that if you let it make you think that way. As long as you enjoy anime, whether or be in moderation, or slightly more, and it makes you happy, then who are we, to judge them otherwise? I personally feel that certain topics like Riuva’s go into too many off-topic stuff, such as we would be better off in life if we stopped watching anime, to it being one of the dumbest hobbies. I bet you if someone off the street said anime sucks, stop watching it, you wouldn’t give a care in the world. That person is a part of “society”, yet you are willing to ignore, but when population in general makes you feel that way, you take guilt trips and agree right off the bat. D
    Disappoints me when someone could say NO, they aren’t proud to be an anime fan, yet they are still watching it? What is there to be ashamed of? Don’t let people decide on what you are, or whether or you a loser simply by watching something you enjoy.

  3. suguru Said,

    August 5, 2007 @ 5:43 am

    Great post–I feel the same way. I know exactly zero anime fans in real life (unless you count getting my wife hooked on Cardcaptor Sakura a while back, but generally she watches regular TV) and I don’t go actively trying to convert people, but I don’t hide my anime DVDs in the attic or anything, and I’m not ashamed to admit I like anime. It’s always easiest to follow the herd and just watch the same thing everyone else is watching, like Friends, Lost, or whatever, but life is too short for that–if I get more entertainment value watching what everyone else calls cartoons (and I do) then that’s what I’m going to watch. I don’t pretend anime is “superior” to US TV, or movies, or stamp collecting–it’s just I like anime more than the other entertainment out there, and to me that’s what matters when I choose what to watch.

    In the end, all the debate seems kind of silly–saying anime is better or worse than something else is no different than saying blue is better than green, or hamburgers are better than sushi. There’s nothing more subjective than what someone finds entertaining, but no one else can tell me what I like or don’t like–they’ll take my anime out of my cold, dead hands.

  4. Farinelli Said,

    August 5, 2007 @ 9:28 am

    In a way, it is indeed true that anime may be better than US dramas, or hamburgers maybe better than sushi.

    Except that that is what you think.

    Nothing wrong with that. Just don’t, like Orion said, forcefeed it on people.

    I like anime and I’m proud of it. And since that doesn’t do society any harm (except maybe one more oversized Ichigo cosplayer), it’s not theirs to lecture us about it.

  5. Syaoran Li Said,

    August 5, 2007 @ 10:55 am

    I have nothing more to add; just agree with you.

    If you like it, you do; if you don’t, you simple can walk away without causing much trouble to others. That’s something I believe since a long time ago, when some people on middle school tease me just because I like it anime. But thanks to the ones who like it, I could learn to keep with my beliefs. I love anime since I can remember (even if I didn’t know it was anime on that time); and now is part of my dairy life. My family doesn’t mock me about it; or my friends at college, work and elsewhere; so I’m happy and proud for enjoying anime in all its forms and shapes.

    Even we’re here because we all agree on that, right?

    Maybe someday my mind will get tired, but until then; I’ll enjoy it

  6. xXMikotoNakadaiXx Said,

    August 5, 2007 @ 11:22 am

    I like anime just about as much as I like other forms of entertainment. It really doesn’t matter if it’s the part of the “superiority” of entertainment or the “inferiority”. If I like it, I like it. No one can stop me, as you said. If a person just walks up to me saying “Stop watching anime. I don’t like it.”, then I’ll just ignore it and shrug it off. If people can’t accept my opinion and wants to change it to fit their own little world, then they’re no longer human.

    I agree with you 100%. If I like it, I enjoy it, I make it a fun hobby… then dammit, I’m PROUD of it.

  7. Avisch Said,

    August 5, 2007 @ 11:26 am

    One thing I dislike my personality for is the fact that I may hide something about myself to save face.

    However with anime I’m never hesitant on my opinions about it. Mostly because it’s something I can just like and describe with no insanely strong opinion.

    I really like this post Kurogane.

    Arigatou.

  8. Peter S Said,

    August 5, 2007 @ 12:05 pm

    I think a lot of people are saying more or less the same thing here, that you shouldn’t flaunt it, but shouldn’t be ashamed of it either. As for me, I’ve pretty much given up on recommending anime shows to my friends; they’re obviously tired of hearing about it. It’s not like they dislike it. They just have other interests.

    Though I disagree on what some people here are saying about an “anime fan vs. society” mindset. We’re not apart from society, we are part of it, one that loves Japanese animation, just as others love a certain sport or certain non-anime TV show. It’s the mix of all of us that makes a healthy society.

    In May I was in Rosemont, IL, and passed by where Anime Central was taking place. We drove by groups of cosplayers and the others in the car made comments. Then we went and watched a hockey game, where thousands of fans were wearing Chicago Wolves shirts and caps, and waving giant foam rubber hands. What is the difference?

  9. sadakups Said,

    August 5, 2007 @ 12:19 pm

    Well, I have almost the same sentiments as all of the people here. Not that I’m too lazy to write my thoughts… ^_^

    Although, I’m not exactly proud of some certain anime. Especially the cute ones. It doesn’t fit for a big guy like me. ^_^;

  10. xXMikotoNakadaiXx Said,

    August 5, 2007 @ 1:08 pm

    ^ Hm, I SHARE to the world my love of cute anime. And girls love me for it. :OOOO

  11. 0utf0xZer0 Said,

    August 5, 2007 @ 5:08 pm

    Nothing wrong with being proud of it, although I have to admit I find it difficult to be open about it, probably because most people around here associate anime only with kid’s shows. Also, a lot of people don’t “get it”… no surprise given that it took me a few episodes of Moon Phase shown at a D&D club I attended for me to get into anime. Two years later and I watch lots of anime and have a nice collection of H game catgirl pics.

    That said, I do have to wonder why a fandom formed around the anime medium… with live action shows, fandoms tend to form around genres. There’s not a hell of a lot of similarity between, say, Gurren Lagann and Honey and Clover, yet I, like many anime fans, enjoy both.

    Finally, don’t let fanboyism blind you to other great things. After all, my favourite TV show isn’t anime, it’s a live action show called Firefly, which I’d recommend to anyone who likes well written space opera.

  12. Karura Said,

    August 5, 2007 @ 6:25 pm

    This post is great, it sums up pretty much how I feel and negates point of the whole ongoing ‘dorama’ in one fell swoop.

  13. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    August 5, 2007 @ 6:25 pm

    Thanks guys for all the comments. I was honestly expecting a flame or two, but glad to see there aren’t any.

    And 0utf0xZer0, thanks for mentioning Firefly. I used to watch that on local TV until it got cancelled. Need to go get it when I can.

  14. manga Said,

    August 5, 2007 @ 7:50 pm

    everything that has potential to become a big mess tends to be…

    I don´t know if I´m proud of watching anime or not. I´m a little biased at this topic.

    On regards to the post, nicely written :)

  15. lanie-emon Said,

    August 5, 2007 @ 10:19 pm

    In the end , I reckon it ends up to the individual to make up their mind of the topic. One should be proud of oneself but moderation is virtue that you should follow.

  16. Silent Minstrel Said,

    August 5, 2007 @ 10:33 pm

    Nicely written~~

    Can’t agree more with you.

  17. xXMikotoNakadaiXx Said,

    August 6, 2007 @ 12:22 am

    I like it how people think fitting into society makes you such a damn winner. In my honest opinion, society these days suck. Society doesn’t care about f*cking opinion, esspecially in school societies, and you only “fit in” if you constantly fiddle with your overhyped Apple products (a.k.a “The iPod”) and go on picking on the new kid just because everyone is doing it.

    Who stands up for the lonely kid in the corner that can’t conjur up his courage to make friends? Me. Does liking anime make ME a loser? Are people that fit into society REALLY winners? If being intellectual means you have to fit into a crowd of idiots, then I’m very much proud to be a “loser”.

    Excuse me, I’m going to run into the streets and point and laugh at the losers that collect stamps. :roll:

  18. Melonpan Said,

    August 6, 2007 @ 12:25 am

    I’m a proud lolicon hikikomori. Really.

  19. Simplicity~ Said,

    August 6, 2007 @ 7:05 am

    House MD ftw ^_^

    on the main topic, i totally agree with you =]

    Nuff said~

  20. Otoboku.se » Blog Archive » Proud of watching anime? Said,

    August 6, 2007 @ 7:21 am

    […] like this, that or even this tend to get a lot of flames or just praise and I´ll jump the wagon and write […]

  21. DKellis Said,

    August 6, 2007 @ 8:13 am

    Well said.

    I think we already went through something like this (started on THAT) a while ago, or at least something which would also prompt my usual “this is not unique to anime fandom” rant.

    I like anime. I also play MMORPGs (City of Heroes/Villains mainly), and I play tabletop RPGs, and I write fanfiction (mainly anime). Each and every one of these traits I’ve been told I should be ashamed of, and I don’t really see why.

    Heck, just taking the fanfiction alone, I should be doubly ashamed, since I’m engaging in a hobby looked down upon by people who are theoretically looked down upon. It’s like a hierarchy of dorkiness; I’ve heard mostly cynical views that everyone needs someone to look down upon.

    It’s just that I don’t really grok all the “we should hide our participation in this fandom” commands. I mean, it’s not like it’s our fault that the Bad Apples exist; I don’t think any sane and rational person would blame a group for its extremists.

  22. patin Said,

    August 7, 2007 @ 11:15 pm

    Kurogane and the rest of otaku out there, I am really proud to be among of you!

  23. Reppu Kiri Said,

    August 8, 2007 @ 12:31 pm

    Many people don’t admit that they like anime. mostly beause they shy of ‘misunderstanding’. but a true fan never hide themself from the fact that he likes anime. same case like i’m proud to call myself a Tokusatsu fan. why should i hide. i like heroes in spandex :P

    your words remindes me again that i should not hide the fact that i’m an anime fan and proud of it

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