The other day I was grabbing an iced coffee (for the girls) at my local Tim’s and I saw these kids roll up in their bootleg Naruto shirts. These kids looked cool. They had a basketball in hand, cool sneakers, they were wearing Nike head to toe – they were not nerds. So the juxtaposition with the Naruto gear was definitely something interesting. It’s not like I only realized this then but that moment emphasized something to me – that anime is cool now. And as a fan who has logged 350+ seasons and films of anime – it made me feel some type of way. Was it pride? Was it recognition? Or maybe it was just a sensation of jubilance as my favourite thing in the world is finally getting the credit it deserves. Absolutely not – I was not feeling any feelings of such positivity. I actually felt hurt, disdain, and upset. Let me explain to you why I felt these things.
When I was young I loved anime and manga just as I do now. It was the media that I consumed the most of, I would try my best to stay on all the latest trends, and I truly believed and still believe that it is the greatest medium for fiction. However throughout my teens I was often ridiculed for my love of Naruto and Dragon Ball Z. Two of the most basic ass yet most beloved series ever – I was told were lame and weird. It gets me heated that the stuff I used to get picked on for, is now cool and not just that but people are farming clout on it. I remember once in my teens, I found another kid who also liked anime. I wanted to talk about anime with him so badly but he didn’t want to. Why? Because he didn’t want other kids knowing that he liked anime. One time, with another kid – I posted some anime stuff on their Facebook wall (back when we used Facebook) and he asked me to delete it because he also found it embarrassing. This is like when I was in my first year of uni and an Asian girl told me that she didn’t date Asian guys, oof. Did I have to go there? Absolutely not, but that girl was dumb and I like calling her out. I digress.
Like what the fuck is this bullshit? You mean to tell me that my fat high school ass who got picked on for wearing a One Piece shirt, had his ego die for this?? You’re telling me that white boys are now coming to me looking for recommendations? Am I saying that I’m a martyr for my favourite art? Maybe I am. Should you consider me the savior to which you can now bring up your love for Attack on Titan or One Punch Man at the office? OK, fine. But don’t you dare believe that for even a second that I did this for you. I did this for me. My greasy ass, sweaty ass, peach fuzz having ass, 210 pound ass did not do this for you. YOU WEREN’T WITH ME WHEN I WAS SHOOTING IN THE GYM, SO WHY WOULD I PASS THE BALL FOR YOU TO SCORE.