Falling In and Out of Love (With Anime)

As I mentioned in my origin story, anime is my “home” fandom, where I always go back to eventually. On the other hand, that means it’s sort of my backup plan, my friend with benefits who always takes me back, whatever you wanna call it.

The first time I fell into the anime world, I fell hard. From about the ages of roughly 12 to 18, anime was the #1 thing I spent my time on short of school. Even if you include all my high school theater work as “school” anime dwarfed it. I lived half my life on IRC chatting with people about anime (and other stuff, sometimes). I watched all kinds of stuff, mostly just whatever I could get my hands on: Sailor Moon, Magic Knight Rayearth, Bubblegum Crisis, Devil Hunter Yohko, Vampire Princess Miyu, a random assortment of Tenchi TV and OVA episodes and movies, Bakuretsu Hunters, Love Hina (everyone watched Love Hina), Azumanga Daioh…the works.

Then I went to college. Internet bandwidth was throttled– in freshman year this wasn’t too big a deal because the file serving protocols on IRC weren’t throttled, so you could still get OK download speeds to grab episodes. But I don’t remember much of what I watched at this time (think 2002-2004ish), and I instead got sidetracked first by a heavy infatuation with the Harry Potter series- which resulted in my first, albeit unpaid, writing gig, without which I wouldn’t have the career I have today. I didn’t watch zero anime in this timeframe, and I watched some really good stuff, but it wasn’t what I devoted all my time to.

In 2004 I transferred schools and switched majors into journalism and was mostly too busy to watch a ton of anime, but in senior year (2006ish) I found time in my school schedule to take Japanese classes and dove back in. And what a year for it! Code Geass, Black Lagoon, Ouran, Paprika, Haruhi…I watched plenty of B- and C-tier stuff too, like REC and HanTsuki, Zero no Tsukaima, Kyou no Go no Ni, Jyu Oh Sei, tons of others. I tried out this show called Fate/Stay Night and got bored like seven eps in. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

After college I kept taking Japanese classes, co-founded an anime club, and my career quickly shifted gears from toy marketing to writing about anime! Full time! For a living! I couldn’t believe it, it felt too good to be true!…which it was; a year later the site was gone. But I’d made enough traction to keep writing about anime for a living (bolstered by other freelance work) basically for the next five years, after which I shifted into anime marketing.

I worked predominantly in anime for a total of 8 years, and I watched so. much. anime. during that time frame. Lots of it was awesome. Some of it was incredibly mediocre. When you start having to watch stuff for work, and a LOT of it, it can begin to wear you down…

Which is probably why, when I shifted into video games in late 2015, I basically took almost 3 years off from watching anime except for a very few exceptions. Major stuff like a handful of movies and can’t-miss shows like Yuri on Ice and Boku Dake ga Inai Machi.

Even now I’m still only watching a few shows a season…I still love this fandom, but it’s hard for me to sit still and watch shows as much as I used to ^^ And to be fair, with so many shows it can be harder to pick out the ones that will have real sticking power! There are SO many more shows now than there used to be, it’s insane!

TL;DR: it’s okay to fall in and out of fandom every so often. Life gets in the way, and sometimes you just need some time to go refresh yourself and absorb other content. 🙂

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  1. Pingback: Must-read Monthly Monday (May 2019 ed.) – The Animanga Spellbook

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