At risk of sounding like a grumpy old man, being an anime fan is easier when you’re young. You have more time, more freedom, and thanks to the internet the cost barrier has been practically eliminated. But when you add in things like a job, possibly a child, and general adult responsibilities, keeping that fandom alive gets harder. So how do you keep that passion while being a responsible adult? That was the subject of the panel The Aging Otaku, hosted by Doug and Gale of AnimeCons TV. Here’s some of the advice they had to offer:
- Remember why you became a fan in the first place. Everyone has their own first series that really got them interested in anime. The first one that they wanted to know everything about and really drew them in. If you’re feeling like your interest is waning, try to remember that, what it was that grabbed your interest.
- Stay informed about what’s happening and what’s popular. It’s easy to lose touch with what’s happening in anime, but just as easy to get back in touch. Looking at forums, listening to podcasts, checking retailer websites, all of these are simple ways to find out what’s coming out and what’s popular. And a note on what’s popular: don’t let the fans ruin a show for you.
- Find a way to share your passion. Join a local anime club. If there isn’t one, create one. Create your own panel to present at an anime convention. Or perhaps try staffing at a local anime convention. Warning: staffing at a local anime convention can be great fun but is seriously detrimental to your sleep schedule. A bonus to sharing your passion is it allows you to give back to the next generation of anime fans.
- Make use of your experience. If you’ve been watching anime or going to conventions for some time, then you have the advantage of knowing what you like. You know by reading descriptions what upcoming anime will be good and what will be a cavalcade of dreadfulness. You know from reading a panel description if it’s going to be something informative and thought provoking or just a bunch of people sitting in a room talking about how much everyone loves a certain series. Your experience makes you an efficient fan. Utilize that.
- Be pragmatic about sharing your passion with your adult colleagues, but don’t be afraid. Some people will never be open to anime and the fandom around it, but if you describe it, your interest, and your involvement in the community in a way that is both adult and relatable, you may be surprised just how accepting people can be. After all, everyone is a geek about something, be it anime, cars, sports, etc. What is going to a football game wearing a players jersey if not a form of cosplay?