Friday, May 17, 2013

Anime is a Big Tent

This may not exactly come as a surprise, but I love anime fandom. It's a warm and comfortable place filled with cool people who are all pretty much on the same wavelength about what's important in life. Thanks to the Internet, anime has experienced a "golden age" of sorts, allowing fans in all corners of the world to become part of the same extended "meme group," sharing ideas and pop culture freely. If I were to visit Russia or Mexico or Spain or South Africa, I might not be able to speak the local language…but if I can locate a group of anime fans, I know we'll be able to communicate in the language of manga, Vocaloid and Touhou. One thing I love about fandom is the way it's really a "big tent," composed of many smaller related groups. Aficionados of Gundam model building are quite different from fans of the latest moe cuteness from Kyoto Animation, and serious cosplayers might have different priorities from fujoshi geeking out over girl-centric games and BL manga. While our individual obsessions might each be different, in the end we're all part of the same family, or -- to borrow the Gaelic term -- clannad.

I love fandom because it's a "big tent" full of smaller groups.