As with many hobbies, the deeper and more intimate your passion goes, eventually you will hone in on what you like precisely like. You find that you talk more with someone who shares a similar breadth or depth of knowledge that you have.
Let’s take Anime for example:
- You prefer mystery and suspense over action and romance.
- For mystery and suspense, you prefer serious stories over lighter fare.
- You also prefer stories that take place in a small area or town over ones that involve the world.
- You also want a series that is 13 episodes or less, and won’t watch anything over that.
- You want your characters to look serious and more realistic, than say moe or cute looking.
- There are possibly more specific choices on what you prefer, options are unlimited.
Now when you have narrowed down what you like you will find that there are very few choices, and with that even few friends who share your views and likes.
This is not a bad thing! You may find camaraderie with those who share a like at step three or four, anything deeper than five would be amazing. Even then you might disagree on a minor detail, say a favorite character, or the direction an anime went compared to the manga source material!
Gamers! (the Anime)
(no, this is not that kind of show…)
Okay with this topic in mind, I was watching a show on the current (Summer 2017) schedule of anime, and chanced upon Gamers! The premise of the show is this: it is about high school students and the main theme is centered around video gamers. Except it is not about playing video game and critiquing on this or that game. If anything it looks like a rom-com just with video games as the centerpiece of it all.
For main character Keita, he is a video game loner that gets invited to a video game club at his high school from one of the most beautiful girls in his school, and with others who love video games as much as he does. But at the end of episode 1, he flatly says “No” to the invitation. Now, why the hell would he just say “No” to a club that can fulfill his needs of friends and sharing his passion?
Not every one need to be around a group of people with the same broad interest as you. You might not prefer large crowds, or want to avoid potentially toxic people and topics. Or maybe you enjoy best when you take out all distractions and just focus and enjoy deeply. As an introvert I can interact with others concerning my interests, it is just I want to enjoy my interests at the privacy of my own space.
Going Alone (And Preferring It)?
Having been a long time Anime fan, I have experienced my fair share of fellow fans that I like and don’t like. I didn’t like those hyper, glomping, over-the-top otaku people at conventions that basically let the world know that they are a hardcore anime fan. They can be that all they want, it is not for me to tell them how they should behave.
That is not my cup-of-tea. I realized I prefer a smaller, intimate setting to enjoy anime. I am the same for the majority of my hobbies like video games, music listening, reading, and others.
In the inverse, the same can be said about yourself by others. Maybe your taste is not the same as theirs. Others might even think theirs is far superior and more sophisticated than yours. I myself am not a movie nerd, and the last movies I have seen in theaters were all comic book-based. Heck I am not even a big comic book nerd, needing my friend as well as information websites just to get clues on who is who.
To even hone it further, ask yourself ” Do I enjoy my hobby with others or without?” Picking either choice is not right or wrong. I personally enjoy anime and video games with my best friend or with 2-3 other friends who I hope would enjoy it too. Not a fan of large groups and clubs; tried that, didn’t like it.
For music I usually enjoy alone (driving or busing to work, at my room, etc), then I recommend to others what I like. It is really hard to convince people of Hi-Res music, and that difficulty becomes tenfold when I narrow it down to Anime, Video Games, and Vocaloid music. But I do not expect people to see the same way as I do, and I do not think of them as inferior or superior. Just different.
Don’t Feel Like You Are Alone
Please listen that I am not advocating being a hikikomori or a shut-in basement dweller and shun the world. If anything my advice is to try and find others who can relate to your hobbies, but at your own pace. You do not need to befriend everyone who says they like anime or video games. Hone it down, and people are drawn together (friendship or even more) sometimes naturally.
It is a universal struggle to find those that would agree on your narrow set of rules in life, from your hobbies to your morals. We all try to get understood in life, and the lucky ones of us find it in a best friend, spouse for life, or even somewhere we might least expect. So when you do find that comrade in hobby, cherish the time you have with them. And if you prefer alone (or at least at an arms or internet distance), then that option is fine too, as long as you are comfortable enjoying your hobby.
What friends do you have that share a detailed hobby that you have?