Starting on Oreimo, I am introduced to a character who’s little sister is a massive fan of a particular anime series, within the anime (4th wall stuff right there), and wonders if her family would ostracize her for her hobby. She began feeling cumpulsive and longing to complete her collection of the main series. She then expanded into other areas. Luckily her modeling career has help to pay for her rather expensive and expansive hobby. Having a family that sees this culture type, a black hole that leads to destructive life habits was something the resonated with me. I was lucky to grow up within a family who was open to most world cultures and saw that it was a popular trend with my age group and would continue to be very popular. I never had to confide in my sister or brother or friends about my interest, though it was hard to engage my non-anime friends in the games and shows I watched. For many however, they may grow up in households where their families shun this type of interest or may hang around a lot of friends who may look down on otaku interests.
Having to shut off something that takes a great place in your life to your family, friends and life is something that can be quite the temperamental struggle. Having to live two lives is nothing anyone loves to do. Especially when your friends may just see these things as, ‘little kid cartoons’ or ‘overweight, anti-social reclusive NEETs’. Saying to others you like anime or are in a sense, an otaku, is almost treated like a cultural taboo. For the most part it has had a very bad reputation in Japan and has about the same reputation here, state-side. From the usual, anime is nothing but a erotic porn, or it being only for kids, or even it objectifying the sexes. Having a societal taboo attached to something you enjoy can almost make it feel like the skin your wear is just suffocating. Another matter may be that the anime they like is something that say, a mass majority of other anime fans loathe, hate, or just down right find disgusting. It might make you feel intimidated. Don’t worry about it.
If you love something, love it with all of your heart. It took me so long to show others that anime can be for kids, teens, adults and older. It can be very kiddish, naughty or action packed. It can also be sweet, caring or loving. Anime can come in a variety of layers and so can otaku. You don’t have to be fat or overweight. You do not have to be a shut-in. You can be a functioning member of society and still enjoy the things that you love so much. Yes, you are going to meet a wall and stiff resistance from your still current situation. No matter how much positive reinforcement I write, it still cannot change situations for those who may be reading this or may be experiencing something similar to what I outlined. The fact of the matter is, most are stuck until they can make it to college or out on their own. Some of them hide their hobbies and only dabble with them at night or when no one is around to judge them or berate them. However, you have the internet. You have a massive, digital nation of fans and like minded individuals to talk with, to chat with and nerd out about the anime that you both enjoy.
For some, just joining a chat forum or chat-room is helpful, connecting with others that may be in a delicate situation can be just as relaxing. You can relate to someone who is going through the same stuff you are. You now have a buddy, in the simplest of sense. I take for granted my ability to come home and watch anime, to play J-RPG’s or play J-Rock. I have a luxury to openly display my hobby that a lot of individuals may not have. It can be depressing to think about it too. To realize that what I seem to think is a no brainier, can be something entirely, intangible for another. I just want to help free those of you who may be in situations that you feel like your hobby, your love, is something that is just a costume that you get to put on when the house you live in is sleeping or away for a time.
So, if you are feeling as if you have a boxed in life, know that you can look to the internet for a release. You can engage with and connect with others who may be in similar situations. Our website is just one little island, in the ocean that is the anime fandom. You shouldn’t feel as if you have no place to call a safe-haven or a bastion. While it may be frustrating to see others living their hobbies out in the plain, open world, it gives you access to someone who you can at least talk with and engage with. If you can find and talk to others then, your situation may not be as bleak. It can be frustrating and it can be a heavy weight. Know that their is always a way out or a loop-hole that you can take advantage of. Do not let the words of someone who only sees the surface of the ocean that is anime. Don’t let society weigh you down with stereotypes or preconceived notions. The only judge that can label you, is you yourself. As always, thank you so much for reading.
If you like what we write, feel free to let us know in the comments below or on our official Twitter page! Just a friendly reminder, we are running an Anime related giveaway until December 20th! So be sure to get your foot in the door before we announce our winner on December 21st!
Official OGZ Twitter: https://twitter.com/OGZ_Kausus
Official OGZ Giveaway: https://twitter.com/OGZ_Kausus/status/673303337442275329