I’m what you would call a casual anime watcher. No, perhaps that title is a bit too much for me. I’ve barely managed to watch five shows a year ever since I met my friends in college.
Truth be told, I never really got into anime. As a child, I would watch Sailor Moon and InuYasha after school, but that was all I could get into. I never had an anime phase in high school, despite being surrounded by classmates immersed in the shows. Instead, I found myself falling in love with hiking nearly every weekend in the San Bernardino Mountains.
It wasn’t until I met my two friends in college – who I will call Lucy and Chuck. The three of us are majors in environmental science and got to know each other in a study group. One long night of studying, I noticed that Lucy had a really cute keychain. I asked her about it, to which she said the keychain was a male J-pop idol character of some sorts.
I kept pressing Lucy since I wanted to know why a 20-something woman would be so infatuated with a cartoon idol. And boy, did she gush and glow while explaining the series and playing some of the songs on her phone. I was caught off guard since Lucy is typically reserved. Chuck couldn’t help to contain his laughter and interject that he also likes cartoon idols, but the female kind.
A couple of weeks ago, my friends begged me to watch Anime-Gataris with them. I don’t typically watch ongoing anime, but I made an exception since the new semester just started and I wanted to bond with them.
I was surprised by how much I connected with Minoa. I never really connected with a fictional character before, so it was a weird sort emotional high. Her interactions with her anime loving friends, confusion at the jargon, not knowing where to start watching – those were all emotions I’ve felt.
Like Minoa, I don’t feel that I can contribute towards an anime discussion, but I adore how my friends glow while gushing about some show. I don’t get on an “intellectual level,” but I do on an emotional level.
It’s not always easy for me to keep up with all the different series going on due to my studies. I also prefer to spend my free time out hiking and camping. But, I do my best to make time for marathoning sessions with my friends in exchange for hiking trips! Exploring each other hobbies have made us even closer friends, and I’ve learned that I don’t have to be a hardcore anime fan to appreciate the medium.
Like what Minoa does, sometimes the best thing a friend can do is listen to another nerd out.