Over the years I’ve written about how I came into anime during the early 80’s with Robotech and discovering a subtitled Macross movie tape a comics convention that opened my eyes more. Not that I got more into anime until the early 90’s when you could actually order tapes and pay for them through comic book stores. It was an interesting time as few people were really ordering them overall and you’d get lots and lots of stares and questioning eyes when they’d come in. They were a novelty to be sure, but if you were a comics fan and hit the convention circuits, you always saw that one packed table where a loop of Lupin or Ranma 1/2 episodes or key scenes would play to entice. Or the nods towards the big stack of hentai tapes that were available. Little was subtitled from there, or just rips of fansubs being sold, but it was an interesting and exciting time of discovery.
But before being an anime fan, I was a comic book fan. But even that entry was because of science fiction as I got into Star Wars comics first and foremost. I had a smattering of superhero comics before, and toys, but it was just fun. It wasn’t serious. It wasn’t until I went looking for more Star Wars comics in the late 70’s that I discovered the “variety” of comics that existed at the time and became hooked on Marvel’s books. And, of course, during all of this time it was the boom of video gaming as well with the Atari 2600, Colecovision and Intellivision systems. Only to have the NES and Sega systems debut later on and oh so many more. Video games, comics, the expansion of big blockbuster science fiction films and the dabble of anime. And yeah, I read a ton of fantasy and science fiction novels as well. But what I found among my group of friends was that for the most part, they were into particular things and rarely went elsewhere.
The one area where this didn’t seem quite so fierce was with roleplaying games. We all grew up playing a lot of Dungeons & Dragons but also played everything else that TSR put out, from the the spy game to Gamma World and even to the Old West game. We expanded to the Warsaw games, GURPS and heavily into Warhammer 40,000. Add in the real fun of things like Champions and my true love of Villains & Vigilantes and it was a glorious time. Oh, Star Frontier, how I miss you. When we gamed, we traveled the genres and just immersed ourselves in it. Unless it was Paranoia. Then we just went crazy and had weird, caffeine fueled nights of craziness into our early teens.
But outside of that, it was strange. And as I got into the anime side more and more, I still held onto the other areas of interest, even as the anime dominated. Things varied to be sure. But with getting into anime, it was also with the growth of the Internet and I connected with many, many anime fans over the years through my time at AnimeOnDVD. And it was really interesting to see that with so many fans, a large majority of those that I dealt with, most would say that they liked only anime. Many to the extent where they’d shun anything not Japanese as inferior. I certainly didn’t begrudge them their opinions; after all, at the time things I was into wasn’t considered cool in the slightest nor mainstream. But it left me feeling a little on the outside because as much as my passion was for anime, it really extended to so many other things. Which is pretty obvious from the variety of things that I cover here at the Post. I’m the type of person that really doesn’t like to restrict myself to any one thing as there’s so much to explore out there.
But that leaves me asking. Are you a crossover fan, someone who explores different things? Or are you pretty much set with the type of entertainment that you consume? Obviously the majority of people here followed me from my anime days, so I expect a lot of anime-strong fans, but I’ve always wondered how many expand and explore. Drop in to our forum for the subject and let us know. No registration is required for that particular section, though you can certainly register and you can connect via Facebook as well to post.
Questioning Fandom appears every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with different topics where we want to know where the fans stand on them. Check the forum for past topics and join in the conversation. You can also suggest topics in there as well!