Do anime fans want to keep their hobby hidden from the mainstream?
My friend Lindsay was nice enough to check out Anime Your Way the other day. I don't think she's ever seen an anime, but she's nice enough to support me in the things I care about. She jumped over to the blog and was going to leave a comment, but couldn't get the login to work. She ended up emailing me her comment, and I thought it would be an interesting one for discussion.
"Niche markets cater to die hard fans, die hard fans spread the word and it's this self contained mania. Things lose their appeal when they "explode" and are oversaturated. Fans find solace in taking an interest in "obscure" and "covert" hobbies, this would take away from their "secret society" of Anime Gurus etc."
I think Lindsay makes a really good point. There might be other reasons at play for why anime is causing a quiet crazy among otakus. Are anime fans keeping all the great content they see to themselves? I could certainly see a mentality where people believe anime needs to stay with the true fans, and the masses need to be kept far away.
There are plenty of instances where certain cultures, entertainment options and other hobbies end up overstaying their welcome due to millions and millions of people catching on. For example, there are plenty of bands that had quiet followings for years and years, but those bands fell apart when they come into the spotlight. More attention leads to more advertising, and then too many people giving input for where the band should go. Too many cooks in the kitchen, if you catch my drift.
Again, I could see how this kind of situation would worry anime fans. Why would anyone want to see an entertainment medium they love get driven into the ground? Just take a look at what happened with the Dragon Ball movie. Things came so far and so many people far from the source got involved, and we ended up with a disaster that hurts the brand.
Is this how you feel about anime? Do you work hard to keep your anime hobby within the 'secret society' of online otaku and convention attendees? Is it time for certain anime followers to open up and spread the word on this great content?