My thoughts on my place in the anime fandom

For the first time ever, I’m not going to post about an analysis of something, but rather, I’m going to basically ramble. I am basically typing whatever comes in my mind at this point.

Eureka7: Your standard epic "difficult type" anime

As you’ve noticed lately, there’s this two big factions in the anime fandom: the moe fans and the intellectuals and as you’ve noticed, the two fandoms really do not get along for the most part, although there hasn’t been an open argument between the two factions, if you’ll notice (at least on twitter) that most moe fans aren’t friends with most intellectuals.

When I talk to moe fans in my hood, we tend to argue because I tend to criticize the fact that it is sometimes chock too full of fan service that it becomes too retarded for my taste that they call me an intellectual. When I talk to the seinen fans/intellectuals, we tend to argue because they can’t see the point why I am so in love with anime like Lucky Star and K-ON!! where there is nothing much to examine except in their opinion, retarded cuteness and they tend to over analyze things.

I sit down alone and think. Why is there such a division in the anime fandom the first place? The greatest reason, I think, is that there is a generation gap between anime fans.

What I’ve noticed is that the intellectual anime fans are those that re what I call the ‘90’s anime fans. Evangelion, Gundam Wing, X1999, etc, strip these anime of all the novelties such as pretty boys, awesome mechs and others and you’ll see that they have deep concepts that can make you really think your ass off. Even the cutest anime during that time such as Saber Marionette series and Cardcaptor Sakura can make you pause and think for a second if you take a hard look at it.

The current generation of anime fans have awakened to the more “visual” sense of anime. K-ON!!, Haruhi no Yuutsu, Setokai Yakuindomo all focus on the “otaku” aspect of anime fandom which is basically cuteness and having the female characters not romantically linked for the most part. I can seriously say that the current anime generation is more otaku-centric.

This is where the problem starts.

As I’ve said, the current anime generation is otaku-centric, which basically means that it caters to the Akiba style otaku which fancies everything cute and in catering to the otakus, the current anime trend focused a lot on the cuteness and anything mental like Eureka 7 was considered “difficult type” anime. The so-called intellectuals reminisce in the fact that in animes before, you can get a good, intelligent discussion and learn a lot while current moeblob anime is just plain fanservice and retarded focusing only on the characters and almost zero story at all. Moe fans counter that intellectuals are elitist bastards who think that they are high and mighty and discriminate the current trends of anime.

Lucky Star: One of the greatest moe anime, ever.

I’ve observed in twitter that some of the more moe fans tend to ignore me and I can’t even strike a conversation to those of the higher minded fanbase. I’m not saying that both sides of the fandom are snobs. Heck some of the happiest conversations I’ve had in twitter are from a few awesome moe fans while a few of the intelligent fans gave me some of the most insightful discussions I had in twitter.

And the realization hit me. I’m way too balanced of a person to be considered a moe fan or an intellectual because as much as I enjoy my Evangelion and Eureka 7, I also enjoy my Lucky Star and Zero no Tsukaima.

To be honest, I really do not care anymore about the damn feud. I enjoy anime and I’m happy, that’s it. I really don’t get why moe fans and intelligent fans have this division, they really should stop nitpicking at each other’s genres and just start enjoying anime.

I don’t know about you, dear reader but I have a different philosophy regarding anime (and manga) fan hood. I believe that a true anime fan should enjoy all genres of anime and manga and one should not be locked on a specific genre. As much as I enjoy my shonen One Piece, I love my shoujo Gentleman’s Alliance Cross and Sailor Moon. As much as I enjoy my deeply psychological Perfect Blue, I also enjoy my K-ON!!. As much as I enjoy the silly otaku knowledge imparted to me by Lucky Star, I also enjoy the lessons of Japanese history taught to me by Shura no Toki. As much as I love my yuri Kannazuki no Miko, I love my yaoibait Gensomaden Saiyuki.

I now ask myself, what’s my place in the anime fandom? To be honest, I really don’t know. You can call me the all around anime fan (if there is such a term as all around anime fan) but I’m certain about one thing: I’m proud to be an anime fan.

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13 thoughts on “My thoughts on my place in the anime fandom

  1. You don’t really have to create such a divide if you think about it.

    I find it funny if these so-called intellectuals actually believe they’re being smart when they dismiss shows like Lucky Star.

    What really happens most of the time is that they’re not the fans being served. These science fiction/robot fans like robot fanservice. All anime is visual, and we tend to dislike shows with poor visuals.

    A show that’s lauded to be ‘deep’ like Kino’s Journey does not engage me as much as it could because I find the visuals unappealing.

    To say robot anime, or science fiction anime like Planetes aren’t visually strong is wrong.

    The ‘difficult’ tag for anime is also misleading. If Lucky Star was so easy, then why don’t they explore it? I doubt that they could. They don’t have the interest and the tools to get into what makes Lucky Star good.

    However, this doesn’t automatically say that moe-moe fans are intelligent. No. Most people are very capable of consuming things uncritically. And for some viewers, cute girls super-deforming is enough. Pantyshots are enough. The same way, some robot fans appreciate transformation scenes, moe fans appreciate locker-room scenes.

    So you have fans of all kinds of anime being uncritical of things they like (and that is fine).

    And you have fans of certain kinds of anime who are dismissive of other kinds, while presuming to be critical (not as fine).

    I don’t think there should be a problem finding intelligent people to talk to who have a broad taste for anime. They’re on twitter as well (@pontifus @cinco_bajeena @owen_s @lolikitsune @8c and many many others), follow their accounts and comment on their blog posts.

    • You don’t really have to create such a divide if you think about it.

      I agree with you 150% on that. You might want to tell that to the owner of this blog. he seems to be gung-ho about the whole moe coalition thing.

      What really happens most of the time is that they’re not the fans being served. These science fiction/robot fans like robot fanservice. All anime is visual, and we tend to dislike shows with poor visuals.

      I agree with you there. It really comes down to the preferences, I guess. If you say it is anime I’ll be 90% watching it whatever genre it is, unless I’m distracted by something else.

      The ‘difficult’ tag for anime is also misleading. If Lucky Star was so easy, then why don’t they explore it? I doubt that they could. They don’t have the interest and the tools to get into what makes Lucky Star good.

      It was actually the fandom who gave the “difficult type” to anime like eureka 7. Anime like K-ON!! is given the tag “atmospheric type” because it focus more on the atmosphere than the story of the anime. Case of being dismissive by fans, I suppose.

      I don’t think there should be a problem finding intelligent people to talk to who have a broad taste for anime. They’re on twitter as well (@pontifus @cinco_bajeena @owen_s @lolikitsune @8c and many many others), follow their accounts and comment on their blog posts.

      Thanks for the advice! I just hope they would not be snobby… I really appreciate it!

      Aside from all those that I highlighted, I agree with you totally. The fans are being uncritical. I believe that fans should actually try other genres aside from what they already enjoy because I believe good anime comes from all genres.

    • Interesting… Hm, Your bunch is what I call First Generation ainbloggers. No wonder you guys are so close.

      Thanks for the advice again! I appreciate it!

      • First generation would be from people who were around in 2006 thereabouts… omonomono, Jeff Lawson, Jason Miao, lolikitsune (at least omo, lolikit and Jason are still around). Oguie Maniax is a year older than WRL, and Martin from mono no aware blog is around longer than that.

  2. You know, I’d never thought of Lucky Star as a moe anime before. I guess I’d always thought that even though moe is composed of a lot of cute things, it also has an element of sexual attraction or fetishism attached to it that wouldn’t apply to Lucky Star.

    …That, and I may have been extremely distracted by the fact that Lucky Star is pretty much the story of my life. e.e;

    • Ask everybody else and 90% of them will tell you Lucky Star is moe but yeah, I’ve observed that most anime fans today really relate well to Lucky Star.

      O shi- I still have to email you the draft for that fanfic I made! Man, I’m being eaten by blogging and other RL stuff.

  3. This was a very good read. I like the points you make about there being a divide in anime fandom. I’m not exactly sure how or when the divide started, but it’s clearly there. Still I feel I am friends with both sides on twitter, but that’s just me. I too find it hard to cauterize what ‘type” of a fan I am. I’ll let other people do that for me I guess…Anyway very interesting post.

  4. Yeah, I don’t know whether I’m an intellectual or a moe girl, myself.
    Cos I’ll spend hours and housr watching Evangelion, have a long argument with my dad over whether Kaworu is a Christ-like figure or not and then head straight to Youtube and do the Lucky Star dance.
    I think it’s more of a personal taste thing than anything else because if you really look you can find moe elements in EVA and intellectual elements in Lucky Star, too.
    It’s just what you’re looking for.
    ~The Fangirl

  5. I have to say that I don’t quite see the “divide” either. Though I will admit that I tend to like anime that are heavily story based, I also enjoy ridiculous comedies like Lucky Star and Seitokai Yakuindomo.

    At the same time I got completely bored with K-ON!! and Mily Holmes, instead picking up anime like Serial Experiments Lain and Boogiepop Phantom. I think that quite a few anime viewers (ones I have met) have similar habits.

    I think that this divide can be said about the “extremes” of cuteness and brain wrinkling anime. I admit that I tend to shy away from heavy ecchi shows that are visually appealing if they have no sense of story. However, I am more willing to watch an anime that takes a good 2-3 times before I fully understand it. Again, I feel that quite a few anime fans are like this (though I consider myself toward the newer generation so I could be mistaken).

    Either way, good post! Realized a lot about my anime viewing habits.

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