I Hope Nippon-sempai Notices Me: Gundam Wing and Why I’ve Always Hated Anime Fans
I’ve mentioned this story to some friends of mine, and listeners of older Nerdfit podcasts, but it bears repeating here. It is the story of how I came to be introduced to Gundam, and it bears this kernel of truth. That despite hanging out with friends who enjoy anime, and my convention goings – at the end of the day I have always hated the anime fandom.
Now when I was young lad I did enjoy watching my DBZ, my Sailor Moon, and the other of the Toonami block. Of course I had a friend who was very much into anime as well – specifically Gundam. Then at one of his birthday parties he made us watch Gundam Wing Endless Waltz, back to back. Of course being small children at an overnight trip we were trapped.
While I remained friends with this person this is what led to my overall feeling that no matter how I feel about anime, or it’s fans – the idea of the anime fandom doesn’t jive with me. In a way this differs between normal nerd fandoms. You would wonder how exactly this can be possible.
Surely nerds around the world are all the same – it doesn’t matter if you’ve spend days picking apart the logistical failures of Battlestar Galactica scripture, or figured out which method of wood carving makes the best daffodil – at the end of the day you are a nerd, but that’s fine. You should enjoy and revel in your nerddom, and while it’s best to not force it down other people’s throats – feel free to find an outlet to express that nerdiness – like writing for a comedy?media?blog? site. (seriously we have no idea what we do here at Nerdfit, but join us)
Anime fandom differs in this regard for one critical reason, and that is because anime is seen as bodies of work, not a medium/genre. In part this is a fault of the medium itself and it’s inability to break out from it (but I’ve covered that). In short that leads to the dilemma of an obsessive Gundam fanboy being on par with a loli-loving Strike Witcher, a Naruto cosplayer, and someone who actually enjoys good plot and story and isn’t afraid of subtitles.
You can say this is a culture and perception problem, and that much like how maligned common fantasy and scifi fandoms were – the diversity will come as the medium gains more acceptance. I don’t see that happening though without massive growth of the material in terms of what it offers, and in turn this limits the fandom into it’s own category, but a category not secular enough where those with differing ideals and tastes are not forced to clash.
My resolution this week is simple, an anime called Gundam End – a show that is without a doubt by contractual legalities the final Gundam series. This is something I feel we should adopt in the west as well with some properties that simply have run far too long and need to stop. Don’t go out with a whimper though, go out there and make a show that fans will want to watch 16 times over, just let me leave the room.
Anyway kids that’s all for this week, hopefully sempai notices me and makes Gundam End
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The Buffalo is Nerdfit's longest active content contributor. Having helmed various podcasts (What's Nu in Animu, WritersCast), columns (I Hope Nippon Sempai Notices Me, Advanced Game Theory, Booze Reviews, Anime Season Previews, etc) - currently he writes a weekly article column of 'Buffalo's Shit to Think About'