Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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?


  1. I love anime, even though it has been a long time since I seriously watched anything new.

    And of course they keep it hidden. It's like gaming. They want it to be taken seriously, but they hate when 'casual fans' join in and don't know what makes it so special, they just think it looks cool.

    It's really bizarre. They can get mad that they have to go out of their way to get shirts of their favorite anime, but then when they show up at Hot Topic they rage. They just can't have what they want (generalization).

    Naruto and Death Note are good examples of things that exploded into mainstream more recently. Fullmetal Alchemist was also in the spotlight for a while as well, and I actually got mad. Not because I cared that other people were getting into it, but I hate oversaturation. I can't stand things being shoved down my throat, even if I like them.

    This goes for music and video games as well.

  2. I don't mind others liking anime. The only time it would be bad, would be where they extend the anime because it got so popular, and then it becomes less interesting because of the fillers.

  3. Yeah, I can kind of see that happening. I have a bad habit of liking things more than I should just because they are not mainstream. However, most of my friends already like anime, so I don't know if that is happening here. Although I would be reluctant to share some of my niche obsessions with others, I don't think anime is one of them. However, I can see how that could be the case with some people.