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.
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?