So there’s something we really need to talk about–as an anime community. As you know, anime has become more mainstream than ever before. No longer are the days where weebs feel ashamed to show it and wearing nerdy things is actually cool now. Even those who don’t consider themselves anime fans are familiar with and respect certain shows. But with all the acceptance from the mass populations, a new problem has reared its ugly head within our own community–anime elitism.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the typical disagreements within the anime community, such as whether dub vs. sub or manga vs. anime is better, and the likes. While these debates still happen, the one I hear more commonly is now a “true fan” vs. a “fake fan”, “baby weeb”, and/or “poser”. And if I’m being quite frank, this debate makes me the most heated up. First of all, why are we, a small community to begin with, fighting against each other on who is better or more of a fan? It has always been perplexing to me, but I think we’d all be lying if we said that there wasn’t a single time in our lives when we either intentionally or accidentally took sides in these debates. However, when it comes to saying that people who only watch mainstream anime are fake fans? No. I don’t understand that. It is unnecessary gatekeeping.
Think about it like this: when I was growing up, anime wasn’t cool. It was nerdy and weird so I always felt strange shouting my love for it. But now that it’s mainstream, it’s alright to do so. Anime is finally being accepted as not weird, and not as many kids get bullied for wearing a Naruto headband or anime girl shirt to school, so why are we still trying to keep it to ourselves? Why are we keeping out others from our little anime circle? Shouldn’t the appropriate response be to welcome them and in and grow our numbers? Who cares if they only like “mainstream” anime. Some of the most seasoned weebs I know only got into anime/manga from the “mainstream” (aka toonami). Of course, a lot of the anime community accepts all–even those who might’ve mocked closet otaku’s before, but there’s a loud portion who shit on the fact that anime is cool now. They do this by putting down new anime fans, or fans who might only be into My Hero Academia or Boruto. They say things like — you’ll never know good anime.
Just stop. Stop with the gatekeeping. Stop with hierarchy. You are welcome to your opinion on anime but you shouldn’t look down on others for theirs. Let people enjoy what they want to enjoy. Let anime go mainstream quietly, because it’s better for us all that way. Welcome new weebs with open arms, talk to them about their tastes. They like Boruto? Awesome. Maybe recommend them some other anime they might like to. They don’t want to get super hardcore into anime? That’s perfectly fine too. Let them enjoy Boruto, and My Hero, or any of the other things they want to enjoy. Stop trying to make yourself cooler now that anime is “cool” by talking down to people who are just getting into it. Elitism in the anime community just needs to stop. It’s honestly the last thing we need in the world right now.
Sorry this ended up just being a big rant, but I’m really tired of seeing this going on, even if only by a small portion of the anime community. It just really gets my blood boiling. We’ll return to our normal otaku content next week! Stay safe out there my friends