What does it means to be an anime fan these days?
Just like every other fandom, anime has its unique community, lingo, and other distinctions that help it stand out.
Becoming an anime fan is simple and straightforward though, no matter how weird or complicated it looks from the outside in.
Let’s break it down.
How To Become An Anime Fan: The Simple Guide
1. Decide WHAT TV shows you’re into
Anime is entertainment, no different to music, video games and especially western TV shows and films.
Each type of entertainment comes with its own set of genres, categories and everything in between to choose from.
Are you into:
These types of genres exist outside of anime, but also “inside” of anime. If you’re just starting you might as well start with what you know about certain genres.
Then when you’re ready to explore more anime genres like:
- Slice of life.
Then you can get into those with an understanding of how anime genres work, and what types of anime you can expect from certain genres.
2. Choose the streaming platform that suits your tastes
What streaming platform will you start using to watch anime? And how much are you willing to pay?
Aside from the problems associated with the anime industry, like:
- Anime shows not being available on certain platforms.
- Some platforms having more shows available than others.
There are still a good amount of platforms to choose from. You can start with legal sites like:
- Crunchyroll (a partner of Anime Motivation).
- Anime Lab (for Australia and New Zealand).
Crunchyroll offers the most of any legal streaming platform for anime. And it’s a good place to get started without complicating things.
But the older the anime you decide to watch, the more likely you’ll need a pirate site (KissAnime) to watch it.
3. Watch 10 different anime series to get a “feel” of what to expect
You can never play one video game and expect to know WHAT to expect from video games. No different to how you can’t watch ONE anime series and have a good understanding of what to expect.
That’s why you’ve gotta watch at least 10 different anime series.
10’s a good starter number for a lot of reasons:
- You’ll know by that point whether anime is worth pursuing.
- You’ll know whether anime is interesting enough to keep watching and getting into.
- And you’ll have a “taste” of what different anime series can offer. Especially from different genres.
It’s no good watching the same genre over and over again, because that becomes your frame of reference. And you’ll start believing anime is all about “that” when there’s really more to it.
So try 10 different anime shows, with a mix of genres, and you’ll get a good idea of what you can expect as a “new” anime fan.
4. Join social networks that suit your tastes
Some fans of anime use different social networks for different reasons. And some use most of the MAJOR social networks, regardless.
I’m more of a:
… kind of guy. Even though most of my energy is spent creating vs consuming.
For you, Twitter might work best. For anime news and content.
Or Instagram might work because it’s all about images. Just like Pinterest.
There’s YouTube as well, where a lot of anime fans congregate..
Choose whichever social networks work for you, based on how much time you’re willing to spend.
5. Attend conventions, if that’s your thing
I don’t personally attend conventions, but I have plans to do it for the experience. To see what it’s like.
But not every anime fan does. It’s a matter of choice.
If the idea of:
- Doing something offline.
- Seeing how anime fans interact in a different environment.
- Buying merchandise that can’t be found online (sometimes).
- Testing the waters.
If the idea of that sounds good, then go for it.
Anime conventions will work well, and you’ll get a “fast” idea of how some people are in the anime community. And what types of businesses are about in the industry.
Not to mention what kinds of things they’re trying to accomplish, and who’s behind the businesses.
6. Anime Cosplay
Source: Deku and Bakugo Cosplay
This can come later. But if you were already into cosplaying from a different industry like video games or marvel comics, anime cosplay is a big thing. And it’s one way to become an anime fan.
In fact – some cosplayers become “anime fans” because of their love for cosplaying as characters who interest them.
Whatever your reasons, cosplaying is a good “addition” and another way to express your interest in fictional characters. Or in this case: anime characters.
7. Become a part of the industry
Becoming a part of the industry means “work” in the industry, and contribute as an anime fan.
This kind of thing comes later on, but it’s still another method a lot of fans use to dive deeper into the anime industry, and the things they love about anime.
I’m an example of that type of person. Anime Motivation’s purpose is to make a difference in the anime community. Through content, recommendations, business and partnerships.
As a result of that, I get to be a fan AND a creator at the same time.
8. Learn the lingo
The lingo of every community is different. The “gamer” community has its own lingo, just like every other entertainment business.
Anime’s no exception to that rule.
A lot of words you’ll become familiar with:
And too many others to name.
The more anime you watch, and the more anime memes you discover online, plus the more communities you become a part of, that’s when the lingo will start to make sense.
There’s a lot of it, and some of it can only be understood by insiders.
9. Choose a handful of sites to consume anime content
Think about the site you’re using now: Anime Motivation.
If you want:
- Anime quotes.
- Life lessons.
- Resources and helpful content.
Anime Motivation is the best anime related site you can use to get “educated” on anime.
But if it’s:
- Anime news.
And things of that nature, sites like:
- Anime News Network.
- Random Curiosity.
They’re the best sites to check out.
Here are two articles to read about that:
10. Buy anime merch that tickles your fancy
This is something that’ll probably come later, but it’s still worth mentioning. In fact – the thing with merch is:
- If you like a certain T shirt, figurine or accessory…
Then buying it is easy. Even if you’re not an official “anime fan” yet. And that curiosity for merch will spill into the desire to watch the anime it represents.
Buying anime merch isn’t a necessity to get into anime, but it’s a good idea if you wanna get a little “deeper” into the culture.
11. Play anime games online
Doki Doki Literature Club is a good example of a “free” anime game online.
You download it to your PC, and from there you can get right into it. It’s a type of dating sim game that’s a little dark but cheerful on the surface.
There are plenty of other anime games you can find in the APP store for IOS and Android.
Not to mention even better games you can find online with added bonuses, add-ons and more.
12. Listen to anime/Japanese music
Anime music is a different beast all together, compared to western or any other type of music OUTSIDE of Asia.
Japanese music is the same, since anime is Japanese.
All you’ve gotta do is YouTube it (or Google it) and you’ll come across all types of music and instrumentals to try out.
You’ll find something you’ll love that will make you more curious about anime, and more curious about watching the anime each song comes from.