We all have that one parent, that one friend or a combination of the two; multiplied. We hear the rebuttals, we suffer the labels and side-eyed glances. Why then does Anime matter to that person? Why does it fill their lives, their dreams or their hopes? It is such a human thing to scoff at something so foreign, so alien that we often shudder those around us for enjoying something different. For me I was fortunate enough to have a mother who cared less about why I enjoyed Japanese animation or Korean pop. She wanted me to focus and enjoy what I loved without impedance. Understandably many of you out there either are in a situation where a family member or friend doesn’t understand or maybe you are the friend or family member who doesn’t understand.
So why do they love it? Frankly speaking, why do you love the activities that you engage in? We all have an interest, a burning desire if you will to enjoy a hobby of sorts. That can range from the simplistic all the way up to overly complicated. We enthrall ourselves in sports, fashion, card collecting, televised dramas and home projects. Most of these are hobbies for the majority and careers for the select few. What one must understand is that they too will run into a situation where someone finds something weird about their interest. You may collect old fashion or maybe old socks and that in of itself is pretty odd. Just because you love it, doesn’t mean someone will see eye to eye with you. Anime gets a bad glance because of how it is portrayed by the few to the many. It is seen as a lair of sinful delight, showy skin and tits abound. Fan service is its own issue, but frankly speaking you are taking an opinion at only face value and on pocket change.
Why a person loves anime can be so much deeper than what you think it is for. For you only see the scantly cladded women and men, you only see the childish like humor and skits. What you fail to see is a world that has substance, that offers adventure on the cheap; that offers an escape from the mundane. To them (and myself) anime is an artistic window, a collection of vibrant worlds full of so much wonder and enjoyment. Sure, there are the red light districts dotted here and there, but there is always going to be a red light district in any hobby. Photography has it’s lewd scene, gaming has its lewd scene. Heck, even sports can get pretty… interesting and sexually tense. It doesn’t have to be just lewd; it can be cultural.
You hear a different language, see unique things and you can’t help but see it as alien. The biggest step for anyone is to detach yourself from bigoted stances, from a view that your culture is the culture. It’s not and shaming a family member or a friend for liking another cultures artistic medium is insulting to say in the least. They enjoy it because it widens ones view, it creates a perspective that is greatly needed in todays world. Instead of mocking them for not fitting your standard of how a person should be, evaluate your world interests. More likely than not you have an interest in Europe, The United Kingdom or South America. There are plenty of individuals out there who would think you strange to have a fascination with those cultures. You become the oddity, the strange one with too wild a view.
But they collect those plastic figurines and froth at the mouth over them. Isn’t this not the same thing a sports enthusiast does with a favorite team, driver or player? Is this not what you do with fictional t.v. drama characters as well? You may fawn over the dashing Karl Urban but trust me, someone thinks that is creepy as heck. What one collects is what makes one happiest. I collect figures from the shows I’ve enjoyed. Not because I’m enamored with their character or I have an urge to proclaim my undying support for them. I get figures as a physical representation of the shows I’ve enjoyed over the months, years of watching. Maybe asking them why they collect them and having an open mind to the idea goes a long way in learning more about that person. Too often do I see people comment on how they cannot showcase a figure(s) because a family member is against them doing so.
What they fail to see and understand is that we won’t live up to an expectation, nor will we ever be a perfect carbon copy of the interests you share. A friend, especially a parent, is supposed to be understanding of ones interests; ones passion. To have that support is the difference between someone feeling accepted, feeling as if they aren’t being isolated because they happen to enjoy something different. Anime is a tapestry of interwoven pieces that add up. It is a medium that is so diverse in theme, content and quality. It goes beyond just a normal hobby for some and other just take it entirely too far. I’d encourage an open mind and one that is willing to look past preconceived notions that are formed on lacking information and false information. Ask, take the time to understand and you to might just understand why it is that a person you know loves anime.
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