Location: Washington, United States
When did you discover anime? Back in winter of 2014. I was browsing images on the internet and came across a gif of Haiyore! Nyaruko-San, which I found to be pretty funny. So I decided to check out an episode or two to see the source material. I never expected to get into anime, but I really liked watching Nyaruko, and I ended up watching everything there was to watch. Both OVAs, both seasons, and both mini series. I had learned pretty much everything there was about that show. I even waited patiently for the third and final OVA to come out that following June. I also re-watched entirely right before June. Never in my life had I been so fascinated by one show.
After Nyaruko, I watched others throughout that summer of 2015, and finished Attack on Titan, (I watched the anime and got up-to-date on the manga), Sword Art Online (as much as people hate it, I still love it, especially the light novels), Kill la Kill, Himouto Umaru-Chan, and some others that I can’t recall. This may not seem like a lot, but I was the guy who was reluctant to actually watch anime, so watching all of that was a lot for me.
What appealed to you about anime when you first discovered it? The humor. Even though Nyaruko was chock-full of references I didn’t understand until later on, I still found it to be really funny. I had never seen a show with as characters as vibrant as these.
What would you say was the most popular anime at the time? Let’s see: this was 2014. I wasn’t super into anime yet then so I wouldn’t exactly know, but I think Attack on Titan was still super popular. I can only guess at this because kids at school were still wearing Attack on Titan shirts.
What was it like to be a part of anime fandom at the time? I wasn’t really a part of the fandom per se. I liked anime, but I never got involved with the community until late August of 2016, when I got into a Discord server about anime. Then, the next month, I joined a cat café themed server revolving around just liking anime in general. I now host my own server centered around my all-time favorite anime Spice and Wolf.
How did you get into Spice and Wolf and why is it your favorite? I got into Spice and Wolf from one of those “Top 10” YouTube videos. I really loved the story. Despite what the title may suggest, there is nothing fanservice-y about it. It’s about a merchant who happens upon a wolf deity who is trying to get to her home in the north. On their way there, they happen upon many economic schemes to profit from. I recommend it to anyone who asks.
Could you tell me more about Discord servers for fandom discussion? Sure! You join a Discord server by receiving the invite link from someone inside the server. That sounds exclusive, right? They aren’t! A lot of people post their server invite links in a public place so people can join. The first one I joined, I found the link on the Crunchyroll forums right around the time I started using Crunchyroll. It was a Discord server for a group I unknowingly joined named “Shenanigans.” From there I got to talk to lots of cool people, and join other servers that people had made, who have their own awesome people in them.
Do you remember your first convention? I have never been to a convention. I don’t think I’ll go to one until after I turn 18, mainly because I show that I like anime around my friends and family. Anime is like a secret passion for me.
If it’s secret, who do you tell about it? Who don’t you tell? Why not? The only people I tell about liking anime are people online. I don’t tell my IRL friends because I’d be made fun of. I used to have their same mindset as well, thinking it was all weird weeb shit. Because of that, I don’t really care.
You said kids wore Attack on Titan shirts to school. Did that mean anime fandom was generally socially acceptable? Whether it was cool or uncool to like anime really belonged—and still belongs to—what social clique you are in. The clique I was in wasn’t very keen on anime, but there were plenty who were.
How do you think you’ve grown as an anime fan since discovering anime? I don’t believe I’ve grown much. I still watch just to watch it, and I watch what I want to watch, no matter the horrible reviews (cough Sword Art Online cough). Everyone has different likes and dislikes, and that’s just fine.
Andrew can be found on Crunchyroll.