Anime gatekeeping has always been a hot topic since the internet matured and anime matured along with it. But the “gatekeeping” aspect became more of a thing during a certain controversy in 2021.
The news was so big all the bluechecks and some people who never cared about anime came crawling out their caves.
How did it start? It was all thanks to BlackSageD, a Twitter account by a black creator who consistently calls out:
And the BS involved with anime and
The famous gatekeeping tweet
“If all your common knowledge of anime, is
Demon Slayer, Naruto, Inuyasha, Bleach, One Piece, Fate, Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Gundam, My Hero Academia, Yugioh & Ghost In The Shell then you’re NOT an anime fan!
Normies stay the f*ck out of Anime!” – BlackSageD
This Tweet back in February 2021 (15th) blew up so big that:
- Mary Sue.
And similar sites came out in droves attacking and complaining about anime gatekeeping, as if these sites themselves truly care about anime when they’ve proven to NOT give a F before.
“Gatekeeping, is your civic duty, as a nerd & a geek. Don’t let any of these females & blue checkmark activists , tell you otherwise!” – BlackSageD
And that lead to gatekeeping officially trending on Twitter with the help of so many accusations from NON anime sites. Including some anime fans as well.
It also lead to me being thrown into the mix since I spoke about gatekeeping during and before the controversy began.
Now let’s talk about gatekeeping in DEPTH as far as:
- How it starts off and why.
- And how to gatekeep the right way.
The process of how niches and industries are ruined (including anime):
1. The core fans enjoy their hobbies
This is the beginning and is the expected behavior when an industry, niche, or hobby is new and not so known. Video
In this stage of the process, fans:
- Enjoy their hobbies together.
- Build community together.
- Talk about their hobbies.
- Invest and spend on their hobbies.
And things in general are smooth with no negativity in sight (as a general rule).
Relevant: The BEST List Of Rappers Who Like Anime
2. More people join in and the fandom grows
You could say as far as anime, this stage took place in the 2000’s or 2010’s depending on your viewpoint and understanding.
You could say Hip Hop went through this phase in the 2000’s. And Video
On the surface this is a GOOD thing because it means:
- The industry grows and makes more money.
- More friends and associates are made.
- More business relationships are formed.
- Fans who were there from early appreciate and enjoy the growth of their hobby.
And everything is happy days as far as the eye can see.
3. The mainstream creeps in and new fans DEMAND changes
Everyone is familiar with this step in the process. With Hip Hop it was the shift from
With anime it was the 2010’s, about half way through where a growing loud minority continued to cry, moan, outrage, and DEMAND changes where changes weren’t needed or necessary.
Twitter is a cesspool for this shit.
4. The original charm of the industry is diluted and stripped away
This is the stage that anime has thankfully NOT reached and won’t ever reach. The Japanese don’t give a f*ck about western crybabies on Twitter with no power in the real world (except bullying and attacking others).
I’d say video
Films and TV in the west is even more of an obvious example with Disney, Hollywood, and the WOKE politics involved.
5. Original fans are demonized as haters and elitists for calling out the BS
The FINAL stage of the process as far as industries and hobbies being ruined…. Is the original fans being demonized, criticized, and attacked by culture vultures who took part in the destruction of the industry.
At this point you’re basically being:
And it’s all done in a way that’s patronizing and you can hardly defend yourself because so many idiots are now the influencers.
The RIGHT way to gatekeeping anime (or any industry):
1. Fund controversial anime products (Blurays, etc)
The fact of the matter is funding controversial anime products, the one’s people complain about will guarantee that MORE of these anime are produced and adapted.
This is especially true for anime shows that are unnecessarily considered controversial (like
Money talks, and putting your money where your mouth is will always keep the culture vultures and those with BAD intentions at bay… Because money dictates what gets made and what doesn’t.
2. Buy more of what you like despite backlash
This continues on from the last point.
Berserk is a good example since people are crying about on Twitter right this second, and people moaned about it the other month or so when I blew up the news.
This isn’t a case of “controversy sells” even though that’s true. It’s more a case of not letting backlash and fake outrage dictate what YOU as a fan spend your money on.
All that fake pressure that comes solely from Twitter means nothing in the end. It’s all talk. The same is true when this fake pressure comes from so called activist groups and what not.
Letting someone who doesn’t even support anime tell you what anime you should buy based on backlash or controversy is daft. Buying it keeps these people from having any control whatsoever.
3. Share and PROMOTE anime, regardless of your stance on it
You don’t have to like all the controversial anime that the industry produces. You don’t even have to like certain anime in general regardless of what the content is about.
All that is irrelevant. What matters is:
- Protecting the hobby you enjoy.
- Funding the hobby you like.
- Putting money into the industry the RIGHT way.
- Supporting it to prevent agenda’s interfering and taking over.
And putting aside any feelings that are counterproductive to the bigger picture.
This goes for ANY industry and ANY hobby or niche. The fans dictate everything, including whether the industry falls apart or flourishes without any outsiders trying to ruin it.
4. Find ways to pay the industry as directly as possible
Streaming services are basically middle men. And even though Sony now owns Crunchyroll it’s still not the most direct method.
Some authors, writers, mangaka’s, and even studios or publishers sell their stuff directly through platforms like Amazon (and others). That’s one method.
Rightstufanime is similar if I’m not mistaken.
There’s also buying directly from Japan, buying certain merch, buying from certain conventions, fundraising campaigns, cinema, and more.
5. REFUSE to support anime (or dubs) where dialogue is manipulated, etc
Miss KobayashI’s Dragon Maid is a perfect example of this. Part of the dialogue in this one short scene is changed to political drivel which is shoehorned in so hard you can’t help but cringe.
The fact that the translation was off the mark and completely unnecessary only makes the point of REFUSING to support this BS more evident.
The more you ignore it and let it slide as a community, the more it becomes the norm and is accepted, which only ruins the original quality of a series.
Of course this is why more people are moving to SUBS these days to avoid this nonsense, but even that can depend on who is doing the translation when it comes to subbed anime in particular. And whether they stick to the original content.
6. Call out the bullshit and ignore the gaslighting culture vultures
ALWAYS call out the bullshit, the political drive, the gaslighting, the culture vultures, and the patronizing nonsense the opposition attempts to spoon feed you forcefully.
Just think about what a community or a niche actually is.
Google’s definition of community:
“a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.”
“a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.”
As pointed out – it’s a “group” of people, meaning it’s NOT for everyone to come in, join, or take part in. No different to a Church who practice a certain religion, a mosque, a community event, a type of convention or otherwise.
This is why I laugh when people try to equate gatekeeping to being toxic when allowing everyone in (the bad ones in particular) literally takes away the community aspect, and commercializes it to the point of it being a commoditized bullshit product that has no substance.
Communities are to be protected, and anime is no different just because it’s a piece of entertainment (same for video
And there you have it! That’s the RIGHT way to gatekeep anime or any industry/hobby/niche that may be under threat. The gatekeeping that involves “if you haven’t watched Naruto you’re not an anime fan” is BS.
Real gatekeeping and the most important kind is the type I’ve talked about and laid out from start to finish.
Do more of that. More of that is good.