Friday, August 19, 2011

What makes enjoying anime nerdy?

I touched on this one a little while back, but never made it the focus of an article all its own.  I really wanted to hit on the topic and dive into it in order to see if we can come up with anything that makes sense.  I've tried figuring it out on my own, but haven't come up with a notion that makes most sense.  Perhaps some ideas worth discussing will come together when sharing with you guys!

What exactly is it about anime that makes people think it's a nerdy activity?  Anime in and of itself has no nerdy qualities that I can think of.  I'm not even sure what a nerdy quality is!  Is the Supernatural live-action TV show just fine, but the anime adaption is for nerd viewers only?  Is X-Men acceptable in comic, movie and American cartoon form, but Wolverine in an anime style is for nerds?  Do you see why I struggle to make any sense of this?

When people are in love with anime, a lot of others are quick to label them nerds.  This isn't something that happens with other content.  People that love sports aren't considered sports nerds.  Those that love American Idol aren't nerds either.  Does it have something to do with the perceived amount of people that openly confess a love for something?  We know more people love sports and American Idol than anime, so there has to be some truth to that.

Does it have something to do with the fact that anime is animation?  Does the idea of animation for adults not factor in?  We have shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy here, but those shows focus in on rather crude, adult humor.  I happen to love those shows as well as anime.  When anime focuses in on adult situations but in a serious way, that seems to be where others have a problem.  Does anime dealing with serious topics not make any sense?  Can people not take animation in general seriously?

What do you think leads people to believe that anime is nerdy, and watching anime is a nerdy activity?  I think it's an unfair label and see no 'fact's to back it up.  Perhaps I'm just blinded because I'm an anime fan, so someone needs to take my blinders off!


  1. Yeah, sadly, the reason would be that they view it just as a cartoon for kids, and someone who "obsesses over it" (likes it) is anti-social and uncool (AKA Nerd).

    I don't believe it, but I know others who do :\

  2. I think there are a few possible explanations for it being stereotyped as a nerd activity. First, most anime usually involve some kind of Sci-Fi element and in America what social class is identified with sci-fi? Why that would be nerds, at least to the general populous. Also, anime is a niche market. Someone that is passionate of something niche is labeled a nerd or geek. I mean when you can talk about something at length or constantly, something you study and scrutinize that has no real bearing on mankind or society, then yeah, I would call that nerd-like too.

    I think it is mostly the connotation of grown men and women watching animated "cartoons". Yes, The Simpsons and Family Guy et. al. are animated shows as well, but they are intended for an American audience and for adult Americans. Most anime is taking into consideration for the Japanese only. They are not putting Americans in mind for their plots or devices, but they are meant for a different audience. I believe that is the key difference. We are obsessed with a media form that is not really meant to be directed at us, for the most part.

    But you know what? There is nothing wrong with the nerd label nowdays. Nerds have evolved from pocket protectors and cheap plastic glasses. They are not social pariahs or losers, but just a group of people who are passionate about something. I think people who are scared or ashamed of this so called label need to look hard at themselves in a metaphorical mirror. There is nothing wrong with being a nerd as much as there is nothing wrong with being a gamer, or sports fan, or anything else to that effect. These are the people who inherit the earth. Nerds are the ones that make sure awesome entertainment is still being made. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING A NERD!!!!

    *gasp gasp* Sorry, I get passionate about nerdom. Carry on ^.^

  3. I don't hear it being called nerdy that much really :/

    Just usually Japanese cartoons, hentai, etc...

  4. I've always believed its found to be geeky is because its Japanese, and as Allengator has already said, Anime is kind of a niche market over here.

  5. Oh lord. I may help with this.
    I reason they label us "nerds" is because all stupid Americans believe anime is for children. Nevermind the fact that you would never show a child the Catwoman comic books, for obvious reasons, but when it has big eyes and pigtails then it is childish.
    I feel like it is unjust, and for that reason the only ones who know of my strong obsession would be my closest friends, and the one other Manga reader at my school who witnessed me getting the information about the monthly anime club. Never again. It was full of hentai loving perverted seniors who goggled over me like I was the last girl on earth and they were sex deprived cavemen.
    They didn't know what InuYasha was, nor D. Gray Man, and the only cosplay they heard of was the one where huge boobed women strut around in coustumes about shows they have never heard of, much less watched.
    Now I have nothing against the more explicit Animes, being a anime lover I can honestly say I have experienced it, but I disliked it very much. And for my only comrades in life, those fellow lovers of anime, I do not want greasy haired pigs who oogle my butt and ask me if I wear Bulma underwear.
    I do not, for that matter.
    I may have seen more than the fair share of animes, and I may have been ridiculed for it, by men nonetheless.
    They said I only had a intrest in it because I was rather pretty and wanted to be the prettiest nerd, because in the whole general population there are lots of pretty girls.
    This aggravates me, sorry I went off on you all. I doubt anyone is reading this anyway.
    I point is, we are lables nerds so people have someone to compare themselves to. When you think of the term anime nerd, or when normal kids do, they think of pimply girls with fat rolls and greasy hair that don't talk to anyone and get their homework done weeks in advance. And I find this unjust, mostly because once guys hear you are a anime fan, they desert faster than Flash from a raving fan-girl.
    So this is why it is best to hide obsessions, until society can grow one and accept me and all my anime-ness for who I am.
    And yes, I own a D. Gray Man shirt. And yes, people think it is a band.