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Old 2009-06-11, 03:19   Link #1
wistfulloner
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Is anime a taboo?

I've been casually watching anime since about a year ago, and I really have no regrets spending countless nights refreshing youtube or coalguys' website until the next episode was released.

Recently, I was skyping with one of my friends in the USA, and he told me of his experiences as an anime fan (not otaku yet) in school. Apparently, some of his classmates avoided him once they knew he even touched anime, and quite a few of his close friends have actually suggested that he quit, almost like they were telling him to quit smoking. He recounted an incident about a real otaku in his school; the poor guy got beaten up while he was fanatically defending his viewing anime from his classmates.

I was pretty shocked to hear that. I live in Singapore, where although no one proudly shows off their love for anime, no one is aggressive towards it either. I can have a bunch of friends over and I watch Welcome to the NHK while they chill around and they don't say anything negative, sometimes even watcing it with me out of curiousity.

I feel fortunate not having to bear the dirty glances of anime haters, but I'm curious to know if people elsewhere see anime as a forbidden fruit. How do people in your country react to anime viewers, or anime in general? Do they celebrate it? Tolerate it? Become annoyed with it? Or just down right despise anything to do with it?

Please share your views, it'd be interesting to know!
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Old 2009-06-11, 04:34   Link #2
othera
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Theres already a few discussions about this(well similar topics) but anyway

Where I live(Aus, QLD), Anime is quite unknown, Many people don't even use the internet and it isn't aired on TV and is sold in a single shop, which has about a meter wide section for it.

Noone has really refused to talk to me, or hated me for mentioning that I like it, Outisde of my friends ripping on me for having an anime background(though really, That's just them being annoying)

I could hang posters up in my room, Talk about it at school(if anyone listened -.-) and wear some anime related shirt(though not many people would even recognize it) and I doubt anyone would(if they noticed >.>) say much more then "your weird"

Not a single person I know in real life(exluding my brothers) watch anime, 1 of my friends watched Burst Angel when I was at my house, To my surprise he actually asked if he could watch the entire series(after seeing me watch a random episode) he did, But then other then that I don't think he's so much as tried to watch any other animes :/ Again everyone just see's at as some strange hobby I have or something, Noone I know likes it themselves but they are not going to annoy me about it.

In short: People find it odd, But definitely not a taboo.(Where I live)
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Old 2009-06-11, 05:11   Link #3
npcomplete
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I'm not surprised, unfortunately. Yeah America is diverse place but it can also be clique-ish, polarized, radicalized and segregated along those lines. It shouldn't be this way, but that guy either should have brushed off, ignored or walked away from his classmates, or basically be prepared to seriously do more than just verbally defend his hobby. Though I would say that such bullying is mostly limited to high school and under.

But again, since America is a diverse place, peer response will vary a great deal too. I myself have not had any negative experiences mainly because of who I associate with, but I also know of other people who have had some bad experiences.
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Old 2009-06-11, 06:16   Link #4
haru_sunye
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I know a lot of people around my high school and uni who loves/watches anime, but I haven't bumped into anyone who actually views anime as a negative thing... as of yet. Heck, even my high school English teachers knew about anime when I used a few series as my related texts, lol.

I'm quite surprised about the situation in America, and it's rather disturbing that those harsh things would actually happen.
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Old 2009-06-11, 06:19   Link #5
Mooglar
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I usually don't tell people and because of my personality people don't question me or even consider me being interested in it. Thus if they say something about it in a negative way i don't really care about defending it lol

But yea if they see me watching it or they find out i like it i just tell them straight in their face that yea i like it or stare in their face like they're dumb lol

I work as a medic for my marines and i help them out whenever they need something so i have a lot of traffic through my room which is filled with anime magz and usually i'm watching anime when they come in.... but if they make fun of me ill remember it next time they need shots hehehe )D
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Old 2009-06-11, 06:29   Link #6
othera
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooglar View Post
I usually don't tell people and because of my personality people don't question me or even consider me being interested in it. Thus if they say something about it in a negative way i don't really care about defending it lol
This I gotta agree on, My family don't even know that I watch anime(They know I like it, The have never asked if I watch it, lol) and if they are bashing a game, movie, anime, or anything I like I just sit there and listen to em, It's not like defending it is going to change their minds(Defending something against a complete stranger who obviously hates it is even more pointless)
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Old 2009-06-11, 07:23   Link #7
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The number of Asians/Asian-Americans in California make anime relatively common in some areas, and it's actually easy to find people who share the same fondness for it. Where does your friend live in the States? It's probably way different from how things are here.

Unfortunately, I know a lot of people who view anime in a very negative light largely because of the stories they've heard about weird Japanese things and weird Japanese culture. Although, I have met quite a few Americans of various backgrounds here who are extremely familiar with DBZ, Pokemon, Outlaw Star, and Cowboy Bebop (thanks to Toonami/Adult Swim), which was a regular part of my TV diet when I was in middle school. So I guess you can say that it really depends over here.

I have gotten crap before for liking anime, though. Plenty of it. But I've never been singled out and targeted for that fact alone. Most of the time it's a joke; at most, social outcasting.
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Old 2009-06-11, 07:48   Link #8
wistfulloner
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Originally Posted by Kylaran View Post
The number of Asians/Asian-Americans in California make anime relatively common in some areas, and it's actually easy to find people who share the same fondness for it. Where does your friend live in the States? It's probably way different from how things are here.
If i'm not wrong, he attends a high school (is this how americans call it?) somewhere around New York. Predominantly caucasians I think.

I'm not sure, but something tells me East Asian countries are more tolerant towards anime than other parts of the world.
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Old 2009-06-11, 07:53   Link #9
Ichihara Asako
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Originally Posted by othera View Post
Where I live(Aus, QLD), Anime is quite unknown, Many people don't even use the internet and it isn't aired on TV and is sold in a single shop, which has about a meter wide section for it.
Maybe if you're in a tiny town, there's only a single shop that has a tiny bit of it. Many major retailers have anime sections now; JB-hifi, EBgames, Game, and plenty of other stores that carry games and DVDs. Borders also has extensive manga shelves, and decent amounts of anime in their video section.

Madman are one of the world's largest (non-R1) distributors, and ABC and SBS both play anime on a fairly regular basis. Plenty of anime on cartoon network and sci-fi if you have foxtel, too.

I'd hardly call it unknown. I've been watching anime here for over thirty years, and always been able to bump in to people who watch it, even in the late 70s. These days it's far more prolific and certainly not an underground movement or anything of the sort.

But yeah, never seen any real bullying or harassment over the matter. Obviously you have a bit of ignorance where people think all anime (often referred to as manga, thanks to Manga Entertainment) is either pokemanz or tentacle sex. But it's not difficult to correct people when ABC is playing Death Note or Code Geass, and Samurai Champloo and GitS is on SBS and the likes. (just as some examples, no idea what their current programming is). SBS often shows anime movies, too. Great way to introduce people to the medium.
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Old 2009-06-11, 08:02   Link #10
othera
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^ JB hi-5 near my place and video ezy are the only places I can find anime, I never actually asked them if they sold games, But I couldn't see any or any manga(They will most likely have manga hidden somewhere)

I said never, But anime is rarely on TV, In the last year i have managed to catch
-death note live action, if that counts
-paprika
End of list, Any that's aired I don't hear about(I gave up checking awhile ago) :/

Unknown maybe not, It certainly is for school aged people where I live though :/ (or they keep it very secret, And don't even tell me when I ask and tell them I watch it... for some reason)

EDIT: Oh, And theres yugioh and such on in the morning, I kinda of just pretend that doesn't exist though, Especially the dub

Last edited by othera; 2009-06-11 at 09:19.
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Old 2009-06-11, 08:23   Link #11
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In my country animanga has always been around since 90's and people have always welcome it. Nothing that much, compared to other EU countries {like France or Germany} or US, it was kinda more of a low-key nice experience.
In the latest years, with the internet and stuff, it has become way more popular. Of course, like everywhere, there are still certain people that consider it "cartoon for kids" but well, they do not really harass people or anything of that sort, that would be ridiculous because it all comes down to the personal view. There is nothing wrong with something fictional developing an emotional connection with the audience. People that might not want to give animanga a chance, can even understand this kind of default point.
Personally, i am just glad, that i have found people, sharing this kind of hobby and thoughts with me and so far, it always has been alright, and i hope it will continue like this. I mean God, i would not want to live in a world, where people are getting sidelined cause of their enjoyment-harmless-hobbies, like, no.
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Old 2009-06-11, 08:30   Link #12
Ichihara Asako
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Originally Posted by othera View Post
I said never, But anime is rarely on TV
As I said, ABC has been showing anime for a few years now. Every Monday night. Noein, Death Note, and currently Code Geass, just from what I've noticed personally (I don't watch TV, and they're all dubs anyway). Samurai Champloo was on SBS last year, and SBS show an anime movie at least once a month in my experience (often a Saturday night feature).

Sci-fi has an Animax block that shows 4-5 series back to back, I think it was on Wednesday night. There's plenty of Naruto and Pokemon and Yugioh and other stuff on kids blocks in the morning too, afaik.

There could be a lot more, sure. But there's still far more in the past few years than there ever was when I was growing up. There's certainly no shortage of it here in AU, on TV or otherwise.
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Old 2009-06-11, 09:02   Link #13
Kafriel
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Anime and manga are the new trend here, since few or none were really popular until only a few years ago. In america, I've come to the belief that people are fanatic-either totally into it or absolutely hating it. I doubt there's a country where anime is taboo, that's taking it too far...except in the case of death note, it's been banned in a few countries because of its impact on students.
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Old 2009-06-11, 10:20   Link #14
Kitsu
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Well...I never met someone in Germany who is against Anime or Manga. It's getting popular here and conventions seem to be everywhere. Also the TV reports about it. Not in a negative way..more like "we don't really gathered info" many book publishing houses do "Manga"-drawing competitions and release Manga. Most people in my class now all at least three anime (not mentioning me, and a few other friends *cough*) And I'm actually liked by a few because of my "drawing skill" (non existent^^). Most of our teachers heard of it to..and my favorite art teacher actually bought an art book to the lessons for references and such.
So I think in Germany it's not a taboo but..hm~ at least were I come from

Oh and they sell ANime and MAnga in normal book shops, every genre is represented, not only stuff like Action and generic Shonen for example Gore, Yaoi, ecchi and a few that can be more or less labeled as Ero (but all those are so high stoked in the shelves that someone who isn't a giant will be never able to buy Black Lagoon T.T) And in normal electric shops they sell Anime as well.
So were I come from it's not a taboo at all
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Last edited by Kitsu; 2009-06-11 at 12:11.
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Old 2009-06-11, 11:38   Link #15
Kakashi
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There was a very similar thread...well anyway, it's likely the stigma surrounding anime is stronger in some areas and with some groups of people than others...

I told one of my friends about anime and directed him to Death Note, he watched it and enjoyed it, but he never fell in love with anime or anything. For some reason he then told a few of my other friends that I watched Naruto and they poked fun at me once or twice. Had that been leaked to the *wrong* person I'm fairly sure I'd have gotten more stick.

Don't advertise it. That's the safest bet. But if you really must tell everyone, be discerning. Take into account tolerance levels. Hide CardCaptor Sakura, stuff which will just make you seem retarded to first timers etc. etc.

Over the time more people will gradually be exposed to more anime which will increase support for it.
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Old 2009-06-11, 11:50   Link #16
Vexx
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I'm going to say the negative experience of the OP's friend is really an exception rather than the rule in the US. Most high schoolers are either "cool" or "meh" about anime. The most nonsensical argument in the "meh" or worse is the "childish" argument of course (especially as they criticize it and then romp off to play a video game).

I will say that I've spent a year or two in upstate New York and if the OP's friend lives in *some* of those little towns --- well, its pretty backward and mean-spirited in the same way most little towns are mean-spirited and backward anywhere. If you're a mid-teen, you're "supposed to be" acting like an asshole, misogynistic, and doing "tough things". Yes: have "maturity" and "immaturity" entirely upside down.
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Old 2009-06-11, 12:32   Link #17
animeboy12
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graduated from highschool about two years ago and pretty much everyone there didn't really care let alone know what was. Granted most of the people really into anime didn't exactly come to school wearing it on their chested everyday but they had a noticeable devotion to anime. I get if anything it depends on how aggresive people are with their hobby
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Old 2009-06-11, 13:27   Link #18
Dilla
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Originally Posted by Mooglar View Post
I usually don't tell people and because of my personality people don't question me or even consider me being interested in it. Thus if they say something about it in a negative way i don't really care about defending it lol.
This was basically me. From my personality, classmates were surprised if I knew anything going on in the media, I was considered a super bookworm back then. I did let slip that I watched anime on occasion and all of the people I told basically were like, "Oh, that cool. . . Hey! Did you the new Boondocks episode last night?" or "Oh, that cool. . . Hey! Did you that awesome catch by Randy Moss last night?"

It's bit awkward, but that's something I would take anyday. Of course, I never been one to share my hobbies like that. The only times I watch something with a group are sports games on TV or movies with the family.
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Old 2009-06-11, 14:15   Link #19
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No, but anime is politics and thus, it explains why the reaction in some cases.
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Old 2009-06-11, 14:22   Link #20
Kakashi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
The most nonsensical argument in the "meh" or worse is the "childish" argument of course...
Good thing I'm into anime and not cartoons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Minato View Post
No, but anime is politics and thus, it explains why the reaction in some cases.
But of course, anime and politics are impossible to disentangle.
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