How many of us have heard this comment before?
Anime fans are weird.
Countless. If you haven’t heard this yet, well, then you’re weird. 😉 I’m writing about this because I noticed that quite a lot of visitors use this search term “anime fans are weird” or something similar and for some reason, are led to my blog. I’m not complaining. More visitors for me, yay!
Curious, I typed this search term and lo and behold! There are so many interesting entries in the search results. Some of them are laugh out loud hilarious; some are impressively heavy with research and theories; some are a mixture of both; some are more on personal perspectives; and some are, to be honest, so stupid and ignorant that I wonder if the authors are still talking about citizens of planet Earth. Nevertheless, all of these are very amusing to me.
As anime fans, I think that this comment “Anime fans are weird” evokes different reactions from us. Some of us are offended, insulted, and angered by this: “How dare you call our sacred passion weird, you ignorant prick?”
Some of us preen with pride: “Aaaaw, thank you. Weird is my middle name, you know. My New Year’s Resolution is to be weirder than the year before. Hehehe~”
Some of us are embarrassed, even ashamed: “Uh, uhm. I-is that so?” (runs away and hides)
Some of us don’t care much: “Huh. Okay. Is that all? Now, let me continue watching episode 479. . . Tsk. You made me miss the opening theme song.”
I must not be a real anime fan because I’m not weird enough. Says who?
Personally for me, I find this comment amusing. When people who know me in real life discover that I’m an anime fan, they act so surprised. I find this super funny. At first, they think I’m pranking them, but when they realize I’m serious, they look at me in a new light like I’ve grown horns or something. I guess they react this way because I defy their expectations of what an anime fan should look like or how one should act. They expect anime fans to be weird to a certain degree and when they find that I don’t reach the level of weirdness they expect, they conclude that perhaps I’m not a real anime fan because I’m not weird enough. To be honest, I think they’re weirder for thinking this way.
I just love watching anime and reading manga. Period. I don’t collect figures and all of those extra series merchandise like other people. I’m not very interested in them. I just want the manga and anime. And sometimes the music, too, but not always. Perhaps that’s why people don’t think I’m weird enough to be an anime fan. I’m too normal. Well, that’s what they think until they discover that I run my own otaku website here at Fujinsei. Because what kind of normal person will devote a lot of time and effort into running a website and writing hundreds of posts and talking about intelligible nonsense with other anime fans, right?
For them, the weird ones are those who spend fortunes and fill every nook and cranny of their houses with otaku collections. The weird ones are those who smack gobs of make-up on their faces and wear those weird cosplay costumes just to look like their favourite weird anime characters. The weird ones are those who learn Japanese and fly to Japan just so that they can pay homage to the anime and otaku mecca in the world. The weird ones are those who prefer Japanese culture to their own culture. The weird ones are those anti-social ones who prefer to lock themselves inside their rooms to watch 900 episodes of anime non-stop over spending time with real-life, flesh and blood, breathing human friends. The weird ones are those who are dating 2-D anime characters, even marrying them. I can go on forever here describing what a lot of people say are reasons why anime fans are weird.
Granted, even I find a lot of my fellow anime fans weird. Not because I’m looking down on them, but because I’m bewildered about the lengths they go through just to express their love for anime. In some cases, I even admire them. We anime fans are different. We each have our own preferences. We are not the same. Our methods and degrees of expressing our passion for anime are different from each other. It’s just that the more extreme ones stand out more than others, so people who don’t know much about anime think that all anime fans are weird and extreme.
What’s weird to them is normal for us.
“Weird” is relative. Think about it. Just like what Izaya tells Mikado in DRRR!!, weird becomes your new normal. No matter how weird you think something is at first, once you spend more time with it, you start thinking it as normal. It’s the same for those who call anime fans weird. They call us weird because they don’t know much about our world. I bet that some of them are into much weirder stuff like, say, alien abductions or booger collections. Since we don’t know much about alien abductions and booger collections (at least I don’t), for us, they’re weird. It’s only a matter of perspective.
How to respond when you’re told that anime fans are weird:
lt’s up to you. Like I said, each of us are different. We have different personalities. As for me, it depends on my mood. There will be times that I’ll get annoyed, even angry. There will be times that I’ll just laugh and humour them. There will be times that I don’t give crap and just ignore them. But I think a more amusing way is to strike a dramatic pose and scare the crap out of them by breaking into a dance while singing. . .
Born This Way by Lady Gaga
Uploaded by: LadyGagaVEVO
But if you’re not watching anime long unlike me, so you can’t really say you’re “born this way”, you can still strike a dramatic pose and break into a dance as you sing. . .
Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
Uploaded by: TaylorSwiftVEVO
Or you know what? The heck with them. Just annoy them by singing a Kyary Pamyu Pamyu song. They won’t have any idea what you’re doing and they’ll leave you alone eventually if you just keep singing PONPONPON nonstop to their faces. Even I would be exhausted if I have to listen to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s songs nonstop. Sorry, Kyary. I still think you’re awesome but your songs can get really annoying, you know? Peace!
Uploaded by: Warner Music Japan
So we anime fans are weird but so what? Got a problem with us?
If you hear someone saying anime fans are weird, just think of them complimenting you. If we’re weird, it means we’re not average. And goodness gracious, I don’t want to be just average. We’re unique. We’re awesome, although we’re not always sane. But who wants to live in a dull world without entertaining insanity? Not me.
And if you’re being bullied just because you’re an anime fan, you’re not the problem. No, not at all. They’re just using the fact that you’re an anime fan as a reason to bully you, those douchebags. Stand up or call your otaku senpai. Sudowoodo-senpai!!! Don-don-don-DOOOOON~ Here comes senpai to the rescue!
. . .Hm, what? Ah, yes. I’m still not finished with this post yet, am I? (wipes drool)
Anyway, just remember that “weird” doesn’t necessarily mean something negative. It’s up to you how you interpret this word when applying to yourself as an anime fan. I personally don’t mind it because the word itself is harmless. What’s harmful is how you react to it. If you suddenly punch someone in the face because you’re called weird, then that’s harmful.
And also remember that the people who call us weird are not all the same. Some of them don’t mean us any harm. They’re just stating their opinions because they genuinely don’t understand us. However, some of them are unfortunately total assholes who just want to annoy us for their own evil amusement. Douchebags.
What do you think? Do you think anime fans are weird? If you’re an anime fan, how do you react when you’re called weird?
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