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Loving Anime: (now) a family affairLoving Anime: (now) a family affairDiary

TheCliveTheClive13 days ago
I see lot of folks talking here from time to time (and more so on the figures subreddit) about collecting with parents around, or dealing with potential (or real) judgment from parents, or worries about displaying figures. Even as anime (and Manga and LNs in general) become more widespread, it still can be seen as a “weird” thing by folks who haven't been exposed to it before or bother to look into themselves, and that can sometimes make collecting more difficult than it should be, socially. Now, I'm very fortunate that these aren't real issues for me given my age (35+ and living on my own); none of my friends collect (a few watch anime here and there), but they are at least supportive of something that makes me happy. Reading these posts by others, it made me think about my family and anime, and I wanted to celebrate and share that.

As I said, I'm older than some and I didn't even get into anime until I was moved-out and living with friends at the time. It was my mid-to-later twenties when I started watching anime, having been shown Ghost In The Shell and then moving right into Fullmetal Alchemist after. At the time, there wasn't as much merch around, so the most collecting I did besides buying DVDs was a few prize figures from some local shops at the time. I fell out of anime for a number of years, but around 2017-2018 I got back into it and rediscovered my love of the medium and started collecting figures for serious now that I was older and had a better job.

So while that's my (brief) history with anime and figures, I really just wanted to share how anime is important to me and, surprisingly, my family. Well, most of it at least. Of course my younger brother got into anime when I showed him some of the “good stuff” a handful of years ago (Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Soul Eater, etc), but currently he has a fiance and is 'too busy' to really watch anime right now, and I noticed he took down what figures he had collected when she started coming over to where he lives funny enough. But, him and his fiance came with me to the last SacAnime convention and both cosplayed with me, so it was a fun family trip. BTW, I was costumed as Maes Hughs (Fullmetal Alchemist), he was one of the survivors from Dead By Daylight, and she was Tatsumaki (One Punch Man).

My sister doesn't like anime at all and doesn't see anything attractive about it as a medium or genre. But, even given that, she was the one that really encouraged me to start sharing my figure photography on Instagram, and that has been a major creative outlet and source of fun and joy for me, so I'm forever thankful for her in that regard in pushing me to actually start doing it. She's also let me use her backyard for some figure photography, so that's pretty cool as well.

I've always been very close with my family and since I love anime, I wanted to share that as well with them. But, as we know, that can be a high hurdle at times, especially when dealing with folks of an 'older generation', so my mission was set. It wasn't too hard with my dad though honestly, he likes good stories, and doesn't care too much about the 'medium'. So, whether it's a book, a stage-play, TV show, movie, radio-play, whatever... he appreciates a good, fun story. In the end, this part was pretty easy, just had to also show him (what I think) some of the amazing ones were first to introduce the medium, and then go from there. He'd grown kind of tired of the same tried-and-exhausted narratives you see in western movies/shows and really likes the “fun” that anime brings. It made me smile last time I was over at the parents house and my dad stopped me and asked where he could “watch the Danmachi season 3 OVA?”. At this point, he's even watched some shows I haven't and I've been making a dedicated effort to make a dent in my Watch List recently.

The tough one was my mom. While never discouraging my interest or hobbies, she saw anime as “those weird foreign cartoons” and that “she's an adult, she doesn't want to watch cartoons”. This was the long game. For several years I talked about the shows I was watching or manga I was reading and just sharing my joy of it; I also have all the figures I buy shipped to my parents house (since someone's always home), so she also gets to see all the figures I have coming my way. I forget how, but at some point a few years ago, myself and my brother convinced her to watch Summer Wars by Mamoru Hosoda. That's a great film about love, connections, and family. It also has some trademark 'anime weirdness' to it, but wrapped up in a very accessible package. She enjoyed it, didn't much change her mind about anime as a whole, but the door was cracked open a little.

It was several years later when I saw Your Name in theaters that I realized this was my chance. I waited very patiently for the blu-ray release and had already talked her into watching it before it came out. Needless to say, she really liked the movie, a lot. Building off of that, I then showed her the powerhouse that is A Silent Voice. These two films really impressed her and showed her that anime is all the weird and terrible things you hear about it... but it's also beautiful, mature, heartfelt, and powerful. From there, I took the safe route and we began going through the Studio Ghibli catalog when I'd come visit on weekends. If I remember correctly, I think her favorite out of those was Spirited Away, and least favorite (but still enjoyed) was Porco Rosso. From there we went to Garden of Words, which is such an underrated and wonderful film.

It was from here I took the leap and tried to go all in. Up until now, we'd just been sticking to movies, which tend to have tight(er) story-lines, really good animation quality, and standout stories... it was time to try to finally go for a series, which is a much bigger commitment to make. Without much hinting at what we were going to watch, we started (myself, mom and dad, though I'd already seen it), the Rising of the Shield Hero. She really got into the story, deeply hated Myne (as everyone does), and really liked the voice of Naofumi's English VA. Long story short, from there, it was all downhill into anime.

As a family, we've now watched the likes of FMA, Ancient Magus Bride, Made in Abyss, SAO, Snafu, Re:Zero, Konosuba, Violet Evergarden, and many more. Right now, I'm showing my parents Reincarnated As A Slime Season 2 Part 2, and we wrapped up Golden Kamuy season 3 last weekend.

I'm really happy that I have some friends that are (kind of) into anime, and very lucky that I have parents that now enjoy it as well. So, anime is now a 'family thing', and that's a huge blessing on me. It's at the point where mom can identify most of my figure collection by name and what show they're from. She still has some trouble keeping track of all the Japanese names, but remembers quickly once it's put into the context of what show the name is from.

I know this is really only tangentially linked with figure collecting and I'm not 100% sure why I wrote this article, I doubt anyone really cares; but I was just reflecting on how blessed I am that anime is an important common thing in my family these days and just wanted to celebrate that.

My dad's favorite shows: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Overlord, Rising of the Shield Hero, Gate, How Not to Summon A Demon Lord, Re:Zero, Konosuba.

My mom's favorite shows: Violet Evergarden, Arifureta, Danmachi, Ancient Magus Bride, Jobless Reincarnation, Konosuba.
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Comments15

Your parents have some good taste in shows, haha.
I remember being really surprised when I was younger, just going about my business and suddenly hearing the Sword Art Online OP coming from my older brother's room. I'm younger, but got into anime first, and considering we didn't share a lot of interests at that point it was a big surprise; especially considering that, now that I think about it, we both pretty much started on the same show, at least as far as I know. It's honestly really nice sharing some real common ground with him, especially now that I've grown up and am more confident showing my own interests and talking with him about them. We even went and saw the Demon Slayer movie together with his friends, though we don't share sub/dub preferences so I did end up seeing it a second time myself, haha. I've also caught my dad watching Demon Slayer once, which was an even bigger surprise, but for better or for worse I don't think it hooked him. My mother doesn't have any interest at all (I can't even convince her to watch Into the Spider-Verse), but they're both supportive, so it's no bad thing.

Getting back to the main point, though, that was a really nice read, thank you for writing the article; it put a proper smile on my face.
12 days ago
Sort of off-topic, but you made a typo that made me laugh haha

"These two films really impressed her and showed her that anime is all the weird and terrible things you hear about it"
12 days ago
wait, they like those over golden kamuy? weird.
12 days ago
Uh so this became very long
Growing up in a household were any non Christian media was banned I had to be sneaky about all my interests from a young age not just anime but music, games etc. Needless to say both my brothers noticed something was up and before long we were being sneaky watching inuyasha and shugo chara together. Now they are both hard-core weebs and I feel like I corrupted them.View spoilerHide spoiler Today neither of them are sneakily watching anime and I think its because as the oldest I always came up with the excuses misdirected our parents and manipulated them until they accepted anime. If they gave us anime bans I'd go oh but this is chinese. And they'd let it go. If there was a particular series that didn't sit right with them I'd put on a different one and keep watching when they weren't looking. My biggest manipulative achievement is successfully convincing them kurosaki ichigo was Jesus and that bleach was an anime adaption of the Bible. (I have no idea how my 11 year old self managed that) collecting figures has received a fair amount of scepsism in our household. Though I do no longer live at home I have the figures ship there because it's easier for me to pick them up there which means they see everything. That's why I have strict rules on what figures I buy and slowly have been introducing riskier ones. I have successfully introduced horns that can be seen as animals recently and figures with very exposed thighs like musashi casual wear. If I talk to my parents about figures they always have some fitting bibleverses like do not gather treasures on earth but in heaven. Or be sure these figures don't become more important than God yada yada. They think its a waste of money and kinda weird but also cute and by extention childish. A part of them blames themselves for raising me wrong. Think its because they bought me too many toys as a kid or because I was sick for along time and missed out on alot of things. View spoilerHide spoilerMy dad doesn't care all that much though. He is gotten to the point were he can with scary accuracy guess retail prices. So yeah in the middle of all of this its very nice to have supportive relatives like my aunts and the cousins I live with. I have one aunt who collects legos and one who simply think my collection is cool(this is the one I live with) my youngest cousin has helped me unbox figures before .its great to have another pair of hands so long as she doesn't take any decisions in her own hands. I almost died when she was trying to push shimarins arrow through the plastic and it was bending in protest! Fortunately it survived. So yeah it's great to be bonding over Toys with my small cousins and my aunts and over anime in general with my brothers.
13 days ago
This was a nice read, I think I should check out some films you mentioned. My sister has seen Black Butler years ago with me. And we started watching NGE but we did not finish it, though its one of my personal favorites. My mom has also seen parts of NGE and enjoyed it. My mom went with me on the premire weekend to see the new My Hero World Heroes movie. She enjoyed the music most of all, especially the song during the traveling part. But I think it also had a lot of action and flare that keeps you interested. Also Deku’s just a sweetheart and endearing. Rody is a good movie only character.

My family also supports my figure collecting. ITEM #604392 was a holiday gift from my sister. ITEM #872716 was a birthday gift from my mom and one of my most loved figures. My mom also paid for the preorder on my first 1/4 scale ITEM #1240482. She was happy to see the MHA movie since she was like now I get to see you're favorite character that you get stuff of. Bakugo’s fight during the movie was very impressive but I think my mom knows now between him and Asuka of NGE that I love tsundere.

My dad doesn’t much like anime, he’s seen studio ghibli stuff, parts of Violet Evergarden. I think I might try to get him to watch the Rebuild Eva movies. Also I remember I scent a pic of ITEM #886786 and my dad just wrote ‘cute’ which was his first comment on a figure.
13 days ago
This is so wholesome! I watch anime with my family as well. My sister and I watch it together nightly, but sometimes our parents join in, too. My youngest sister is probably the most 'normie' out of us, but she actually got addicted as well after she started watching anime with her boyfriend-now-husband. It didn't take much work to get my dad addicted. We grew up watching cartoons with him...anime is just that, but prettier...and usually with better stories. :'P

No one asked, but...top 3:

My favorites: Mob Psycho, FMAB, MHA (only the first 3 seasons...the latest movie was incredible, though!)

Middle sister's favorites: Mob Psycho, FMAB, Yowamushi Pedal

Youngest sister's favorites: Mob Psycho, MHA, Demon Slayer

Dad's favorites: One Punch Man, MHA, Mob Psycho

Mom's favorites: Weathering with You (movie), the Ghibli films (I think her favorite is Castle in the Sky and Howl's Moving Castle), and she talks fondly about Mob Psycho, even tho she only saw a small portion of it...lol. Thanks for the reminder that I need to get her to finish that one with me. :)
13 days ago
Julia125 Kyojuro Rengoku's Wife
SebastianLover13 days ago#103790012From the title of the article, I was thinking maybe you had/were soon going to have a baby that you'd raise as a cultured anime fan.XD

I thought the exact same thing lmao
13 days ago
Julia125 Kyojuro Rengoku's Wife
I appreciate the article, I think it’s fun to write about and reflect on this kind of stuff and especially to share it with others. You can see how much other people have in common with you when you least expect it. Also think that’s awesome that you can still enjoy anime (both as a culture and medium) as a family, even if you’re all adults and “grown up”. I feel like most people who aren’t familiar with anime view it as cartoons for children because they don’t actually know the context of it.

It’s great to have supportive family members, even when they’re not into it like your sister. I kind of have the same initial response from my parents regarding anime. My dad is really supportive of me collecting and doesn’t know shit about the culture but doesn’t seem to care. My mom is less appreciative of the hobby and gives me the most grief about it. Pretty sure she also has the mindset of “it’s weird cartoons that adults shouldn’t watch” but won’t admit it lol. I would never dare to try to make them watch anything because I know they just wouldn’t get it, my mom especially, so it’s cool to see other people who are able to share it with their parents.

I definitely think you have to have the right mindset for anime; you just have to be open to it and appreciate how weird it can be because it’s definitely a weird medium, no matter what show you pick. Like you mentioned, almost every show, no matter how “normal” it may be, still has that anime weirdness that appears throughout the series. I had a coworker who’s not into anime watch A Silent Voice since it’s the most “tame” imo, and honestly one of my favorite movies. I think that movie is the best single piece of Japanese media that portrays how beautiful it can be as a whole and how well-made and executed stories can be, no matter what method they’re presented through. People often overlook anime because it’s strange, but I’ve seen some of the best stories I’ve ever come across through anime.
13 days ago
From the title of the article, I was thinking maybe you had/were soon going to have a baby that you'd raise as a cultured anime fan.XD

This was a nice read. I do think most families including mine have a negative reaction to anime/figures so it's nice to read about supportive families. I think it helps that you got into it in your twenties vs your childhood. My folks always saw it as childish because my brother and I grew up watching it. What's weird is how my mother loves Pokemon and was always supportive of that. She even is excited when I get Pokemon figures even though she doesn't like figures in general. Same for the games. I would get snide comments when I played games in front of her, but she's okay with me playing Pokemon. Pokemon was my first anime and video game so if she's only going to like one series, I'd rather it be Pokemon anyway.

My friends though are all fellow weebs. None of them collect but all of them either appreciate my collection or are happy that I enjoy it. My brother is a fellow collector and actually is the one who got me into it. I'm getting him a couple Inuyasha figures for Christmas this year since that's one of his favorite series.
13 days ago
Nice article :) Reminded me of the time my family saw A Silent Voice in theaters- I was not into anime in 2017, but my mom heard of the movie from a blog and wanted to go. It certainly impressed us more than the slow-paced Ghibli films we watched years before, lol.

I did manage to hook my Dad on Demon Slayer, after completing season 1 he tagged along with me to see the movie in April. No interest in anime whatsoever, yet really enjoyed it. Inosuke was his favorite out of the bunch.
13 days ago
Be proud of your inner child

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