In-between Generations of Fandoms and loving It

I feel like I’ve in-between generations of things. A quick example of this is the technology boom. Do you realize that I was alive when dot matrix printers, dos computers, and floppy discs where in style? What about when we made the transition to CDs and flip phones? Did you know that in Junior High, pay phones and modems that required multiple home phone lines were a thing? I got my first cell phone during my sophomore year of high school and it was only a flip phone and the iPhone made its appearance in my senior year of high school. DSL and thumb drives started appearing around that time as well and they were expensive then. Yes, I know my experiences aren’t the most original things in the world. Why? Because I am one of many people born during my birthday of that year and that years have 364 more days where people can be born for some reason. There were people born before me, during random the period changes that I’ve have mentioned, and it’s still happening. Kids, man. You know what, everyone has had their unique experience with technology. Where is this concept leading? This is my exact experience with anime as well. Being in-between different generations of anime fans is a lot of fun, but kind of lonely as well.

Connection to Older Fans

At this moment, I don’t think that I will ever fully understand what the anime community was like before the year 2000. I’ve heard the stories, read some posts, and listened to different podcasts of that situation and I couldn’t imagine what that was like. My generation started watching anime on tv when it appeared on Toonami and had access to the internet. I mean, I used to watch anime videos on youtube and veoh in parts. Maybe there was a connection with pirating, but I didn’t have to know people or purchase content, it was just on the internet for free. Crunchyroll wasn’t around back then.

The way that I connect with older anime fans is by watching more older anime series, which is what I love to do. I still feel like I know enough about classic anime series to have a conversation with that great group of fans, but I still have much to learn and I am happy about this. I know that I have talked about older anime in quite a few posts and that love hasn’t left me at all. I have an older series or two I watch while going through seasonal anime. Being attached to a generation that is slightly older then I am is just another selling point for it all. There are a lot of great people everywhere that I would like to learn from and find more anime gems that I have never watched before yet. Kind of excited about this aspect, because that opens the door to more, unique anime.

Connection to Newer Fans

Then there are the newer fans of anime that I connect to as well. Why, because I am a pretty big seasonal watcher because I watch at least 10 new shows each season. I still learn towards mech series, space operas, and shonen battle anime, but watching seasonal anime has turned my head toward watching other genres too. I mean, my seasonal experience isn’t finished unless I have a slice of life and romance anime series thrown onto my cour watchlist. That has later moved onto watching older series of the same genres that I have a large interest in watching. Maybe I don’t watch all the most popular anime or have a strong dislike towards a lot of them due to the series I have watched before hand, but I am still here. Watching one episode of anything weekly is my preferred format, so having the power to watch a lot of the newest anime as soon as possible is very desirable for me. The fact that it connects me to newer anime fans in a lot of ways is a positive.

At the same time, I must constantly remind myself that all of these season anime series are the firsts for a lot of fans these days. It’s a lot like watching younger kids using smart phones when I finally got one as an adult. I know the history and the build up to the smart phone because I have lived through the developments, but it’s the only thing that some kids know. In this sense, the seasonal anime is the connection point and a not a lot of newer anime fans are interested in looking back to watching older series. There is nothing wrong with this at all because if that is all you know, then it’s all you know. As long as there is a point of relation, that’s fine. That doesn’t mean that I can’t lean fans into different directions on the “this show is like that one” highway with some nuance. That’s the best sort of approach.

Conclusion

I know that I have talked about older groups and younger groups in this post, but I haven’t talked much of my own generation. That is because there are nuances here in that relationship as well. So many of the people that I grew up with are still stuck on series that aired when they were kids. They never learned anything about the shows that are airing now unless they are break out hits. That isn’t true of everyone, but this is the case with a lot of people that I know of. The result of this, the way that I watch anime these days regarding older series and simulcasts, and the fact that I blog, means that I don’t feel like I fit anywhere.

I have met more mech fans around the blogosphere along with people that watch older and newer anime at the same time in increased frequency as I continue blogging, but I feel like this isn’t as common. None of this bothers me, though. I like not being defined by a certain age group, because I like trying things that many people wouldn’t bother to do. I have always been like this with whatever I have been into, because knowing the history of different mediums is very exciting for me. Not going to say that my experiences are unique, because there are bloggers who are the same way, but I haven’t met people in real life who watch anime in the same way that I do yet. (I need to meet some of my fellow bloggers). Not a bad thing at all because variety is the spice of life, right?

24 Comments Add yours

  1. Pete Davison says:

    I’ve stopped really thinking too much about the “generation” I’m in because I like lots of different things from throughout the ages, and always have done. I follow a lot of people who are half my age on Twitter and get along with them just as well — perhaps more so — than people my own age. It’s nothing to do with age, though; it’s to do with having a shared interest in and passion for something. That transcends such arbitrary boundaries that we use to divide ourselves, in my experience. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      I get what you are saying, but there are clear experiences that align with age groups which no other age group has involving those people that define generations for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pete Davison says:

        Oh yeah, not saying that *doesn’t* happen, I’m just saying I’ve always been a bit of a misfit 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Scott says:

        We need to make a misfit club.

        Like

  2. ospreyshire says:

    That was a mature post. There are times where I’ve talked about and reviewed older anime including movies and series that came out before I was even born. I certainly remember floppy disks and my first phone was a flip phone during my high school years. I remember the pre-Crunchyroll anime era where people had stuff online and people used BitTorrent. There were some stories I heard that anime fans in the 90s would trade VHS tapes with fansubs which was crazy to think about. Granted, I’m not knee deep into newer anime series like most fans since I had a period where I stopped watching.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I think that means that we must be around the same age. Cool!

      I had a little bit of an anime drop out as well, but got back into it on college and now I’m in the thick of it. I mean, I started watching Nadia while also watching seasonal stuff and two older series. I don’t have enough time for that, yet….

      And thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ospreyshire says:

        I guess so. I kind of surmised it from the tone of the post and some previous comments about older anime. Growing up on the original Toonami was the first hint. Hahaha! My first experience of anime despite not knowing what it was is Teknoman/Tekkaman Blade which aired on the now-defunct UPN where I’m from. Granted, I was little when I saw that show and it was edited, but that’s the first anime I remember watching.

        Gotcha. You’re story is the opposite since I barely watched anime while I was in college. Nadia is something I want to see the whole series instead of random clips and episodes. If I do review it, then do expect me to reference a certain Hollywood movie that has eerie similarities to it. Hee hee hee…

        No problem, Scott. It’s always a pleasure.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Scott says:

        Man, I had no idea UPN had an anime thing.

        Well, Nadia borrows from 2000 leagues under the sea and maybe Castle in the sky, so that seems to be a thing that happens.

        😁

        Liked by 1 person

      3. ospreyshire says:

        They didn’t have an official anime block, but back in the 90s they did play some shows. They had Tekkaman, Eagle Riders (edited version of Gatchaman), and they were the first station to play Dragon Ball Z years before Toonami picked it up.

        That is true. I heard that Miyazaki almost was a director or producer for Nadia. At least they actually admitted the Vernian influences, but that other movie had similarities to what happens in Nadia, but said creators denied it despite the obvious. Hahaha!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. WeekendOtaku says:

    Great attitude, Scott. Different people are different but it’s good to see that you can relate to their experiences no matter what kind of fan they are.

    With the pace of change not really slowing down, it stands to reason that more and more people will find themselves in the same position. It’s important to realize that experiences vary and not to be judgmental when the whole point of this hobby is to enjoy it.

    “years have 364 more days where people can be born for some reason.” made me lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Thank you! It’s come to my attention that I’ve been watching anime for a while, but not as long as some other people so I an glad you liked this little self reflection. I’m glad that more and more anime fans appear over time! Just means there is more people to talk to about it!

      Haha, I wasn’t sure what I was thinking when I wrote that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. crazyidiot78 says:

    You can count me in the same boat as being between 2 generations of the fandom. I’m not a big seasonal watcher as i just don’t have the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I’m glad I’m not alone! Learning that a lot today!

      Good, you escaped the seasonal anime jail!

      Like

  5. BiblioNyan says:

    This was an excellent post and one of the best that I have read all month thus far. 🙂 I was introduced into anime when I was much younger, first with Initial D while I was racing, but I had no clue it was anime or anime even was. My bro showed it to me cause of the racing element. But my friends would chat about 80s and 90s anime and motifs of a lot of the serials, and I always found it really interesting. When I finally got into anime, while I was a newbie in college, I got introduced to both generations worth of stuff at once. I joined an anime club ran by a guy who had been watching anime since the 80s, but a lot of members who joined were into the newer more contemporary shows. So, it was actually pretty cool because I literally got to compare anime from one generation to another while watching different shows during one of our meetings. It highlighted so many generational differences and similarities, not just in anime, but outside of it as well, particularly where Western culture and Asian culture were involved. Reading your post brings it all back. I love it, thanks for this, Scott.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Only been six days!

      You have a great Anime watching backstory! Racing? That sounds awesome! And I would have loved being apart of that club! Sounds like a well balanced thing that speaks to me on a lot of levels! And sounds like the atmosphere was great too.

      I’m glad this brought a lot back to you. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. BiblioNyan says:

        Thank you! ☺️

        It was a fun club. We’d watch different serials from across different genres. Usually the first couple episodes to get a feel and then there’d be one main series we’d watch collectively from beginning to end via many meetings. We also played a lot of video games together & went to otaku events together too.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. My fandom began around 1993 and I was often watching stuff from the 80’s then as licencing was slow. You had to be pretty selective here in the UK at the time as the only way to see stuff was to buy the VHS releases in stores so I used to read a lot of reviews in magazines I’ve mentioned on the blog. Due to reading a lot of mags and books in that era I learned a lot about older shows but many of them weren’t available, thankfully by now I’ve made a massive dent in the backlog of older stuff I’ve always wanted to see however there are still titles that haven’t been translated I’ve been interested in for years.

    Although my blog is very much focused on older shows I do enjoy newer anime (and manga too) however I’m pretty selective about what I watch and rarely watch as stuff is airing unless it’s something I’m pretty excited about such as something new from a creator/studio I really like or a sequel/remake of a franchise I love. Since starting The Retro Mecha Podcast I’m often watching a longer series for a review and it’s difficult to juggle multiple things at once. I had a plan earlier this year that I would seasonally watch a few shows that looked really good every week such as the new GeGe No Kitaro and MegaloBox however I’ve been so busy that I kept forgetting and now quite a few episodes have stacked up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Wow, that’s a crazy way too consume media. Must have made you a bigger and more dedicated fan though.

      And cool! I’ve been pretty crazy with my watch schedule recently. I do keep up with a fair number of seasonals, but I’ve been watching a sort of sports anime, an early 2000’s mech show, and then Nadia as of last Friday. I mean, I don’t watch all of those in a binge watch mode because I watch maybe an episode a night, but I shouldn’t have don’t that.

      Like

      1. It was just the way things were at the time. It did make me a more dedicated fan. Buying anime was somewhat of an obsession back then. Thankfully 98% of what I bought turned out to be great but then I did read a lot of reviews. I mentioned this in the first Retro Mecha Podcast but I took a glass collecting job at a local workingmen’s club when I was about 14 just to have a bit more pocket money to buy anime. It was mainly OVAs and movies out here back then….as mentioned in my backlog article I think a lot of companies probably saw long running series as too much of a financial risk. I never said before if I had friends into it. I did but they eventually lost interest but I stayed into it. In my 20s I met a new group of people as obsessed as me and we’ve stayed in touch though I don’t see em as often as I’d like. Last year I met Ian who I co-host RMP with and the rest as they say….is history.

        Like

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