In this Fall 2016 Anime season, there is an anime that is may fly under the standard Anime radar. The show does not contain high-intensity action, over-the-top slapstick comedy, or unbelievable science fiction tech, but rather a normal, everyday modern life involving adult characters. It is The Great Passage/Fune wo Amu, an anime based of a novel by Shion Miura.
Overview of The Great Passage/Fune wo Amu
Airing on the Noitamina programming block, which is made for a slightly older fanbase, the show centers around a meekly salesman for a publishing company. He is scouted to succeed a retiring dictionary editor and make a great new dictionary despite aversion from the the publication company itself.
Now this is a series that is NOT meant to be popular. It won’t be as famous as the likes of Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, One Piece or Cowboy Bebop. A show about working adults and their realistic struggles and fears will not gain a giant following, but that is not a bad thing. Like me, as an older Anime fan, it may even be heartwarming and comforting to know struggles you face in real life are not alien; you are not alone.
Specifying your Unique Passion
In this series, main character Mitsuya Majime may be labeled as a bookworm, or even a language nerd. But more specifically he is a word nerd; he is obsessed with words and their meanings. Like him, maybe you have a unique focus on your hobbies that you have attained after years of loving your hobby or profession. It might be even to the point that others within your hobby might not understand your view.
I do not see myself as typical anime or video game fan, as I prefer series that are Iyashikei, mecha, slice-of-life, and sometimes moe series. I don’t have the desire to watch every series that are either Shonen Jump popular, or every Magical Girl series, or even whatever is popular among the majority of Anime fans. Series with what seems like a decent story, great art, and of course great music is what compels me to watch. Even for video games, I usually stick with JRPGs, Mecha simulators, Musou-style games, and some fighting games.
Even for audio, I focused on Hi-Res audio centered with releases around Anime, Video Games, and Vocaloid. The majority of the audiophile community focuses on either classical, classic rock, jazz and acoustic albums. As much as I see and appreciate those genres, I have to say what I am into and what I grew up on was anime and video game soundtracks. That uniqueness is who I am. I have so many earworms from Anime and Video Games that they play on continuous loop in my head!
Staying Uniquely You
I have my own blend of fandom, focusing on things important to me and not on things I honestly do not care about. Perhaps you have your own way of enjoying your hobbies, and even felt other fans may not focus on what you consider important, and vice-versa. You might a favorite Anime or video game that is under the radar and does not have a giant following, and that is not a bad thing.
Like Majime, he focuses on word meanings for his job as well as on his own time. I mentioned before that I was part of a Hi-Res recording studio and label, and I learned a great deal on quality recordings and had great conversations with artists. But also with my interests in Anime and Video Games, I started to see both worlds come together. I then decided to start this blog and see if there were others like me.
I don’t even just want to stop at just talking about Anime, Video Games, Vocaloid, and Hi-Res Music and equipment. There are more broader topics I am considering to talk about and cover in future posts. If I even had to say an over-arching theme at this point, it is “upgrading your life slowly and effectively.”
As for you, whatever your combination of hobbies is, stay true to yourself and don’t let anyone else look down on your focuses, not even other fans. Though at the same time, don’t let your hobbies consume your life or hinder others. Find people who share your unique interests, or those at least willing to listen helps. Within every passion, there are negative aspects that may bring you down. But keep at your unique insight!
(even after the bad sides of your hobby, would you still continue?)
You Are Not Alone
In The Great Massage, Majime may know a lot about words and their meanings, but is rather clueless about love and relationships. Focusing on your hobbies and balancing your everyday life is not easy, but you make it work. Perhaps watching a series like The Great Passage, you feel relieved that the struggles you have in your life is not just your own. Having people who share your burdens helps.
What is your own unique combination of hobbies/passions?