Do you consider yourself a part of nerd culture, but don’t have an avid interest in Anime or Manga? I’m talking to those who by all accounts are nerds. You enjoy D&D, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, etc. but you cannot get swept up in the Anime craze that has become integral to our culture. If this is you, then know you are not alone.
Because everything on the internet is misread and misunderstood, I’m going to clarify, I don’t have a problem with Anime or Manga. If you find entertainment value in them great! I really like the Castlevania video games, but it’s totally cool if you don’t. This post isn’t me harping on or tearing down Anime in any way, but to simply address that there appears to be an assumption anymore that if one is a nerd he/she is head over heels for Anime.
For me, I haven’t understood the large-scale appeal of Anime, just like some may not understand the appeal of Castlevania. Not everyone like side-scrolling platformers with little to no cutscenes with high-level of difficulty. I respect that. My perspective is different, but I can respect why someone wouldn’t enjoy those types of games. That is how I view Anime. My exposure to it has made me feel like its cringy and awkwardly over the top.
Anime apologists have said that is just because of the Japanese culture. Fine. That’s cool they’re into that. I’m not. Just like not everyone like Star Wars, that sort of thing isn’t my cup of tea. Before ardent Anime defenders come along, yes, I know it is technically an art form and it is as varied as the genre fantasy. However, there are general observations that can be made that are true quite often, such as fantasy stories tend to have wizards in them of some sort. Not every fantasy story does, but it’s more often than not that there is a wizard or wizard-like character in the story.
I know that not all Anime is cringy and exaggerated, but from what I gather that’s part of its charm (for the people who enjoy it). I’m down with people enjoying that sort of thing. I personally don’t, just like I couldn’t care less about football, though most of America does. If you are a nerdy gamer though, many times there is an assumption that you will like anime.
If you are one who considers yourself a nerd, but you don’t enjoy anime then know you aren’t alone. There appears to be a bandwagon obsession with Japan and Japanese culture for American nerds which look at that part of the world with rose-colored glasses. Again, it’s totally fine to take an interest in another place and culture. It just seems that some take it so far as to idolize Japanese culture when many of those who have these ideas have never been there. Those outside of nerdom often think all of us nerdy folk are like that, and it isn’t true.
If you’re a nerd, embrace what you enjoy and know that it’s okay not to like what other people do and they don’t have to like what you enjoy either. That’s the beauty of being a nerd, it comes in so many flavors.