Does being an anime fan change as you get older?

My life has gotten busier and busier these days. I work a lot more than I ever did, and I have to devote chunks of my week to cooking and grocery shopping (something I never actually did in college – I just ordered Chinese food like, every week or ate the Absolutely Awful cafeteria food). As a result, I don’t watch nearly as much anime as I used to.

anime sleepy
Me, falling asleep as soon as I try to pull up an anime episode on my computer.

I still watch a decent amount, for sure, but the way I consume anime media is a lot different. I actually think I read more about anime other people watch more than I actually watch anime these days. I don’t have time to watch every seasonal as they air anymore, so reading what y’all post on here helps me get a feel for which shows I should check out and which ones I should skip. At work, I get a lot of time to myself, just typing and sitting at my desk, so I can listen to podcasts about anime. But I just don’t have time to watch the anime myself.

I’m disppointed in me, too, old-man-from-Naruto-whose-name-I-forget.

I started getting into anime around sixth grade, and the amount of anime I would watch was ridiculous. Back then, I was one of those stereotypical Naruto nerds who would, like, get in trouble for drawing anime pictures in class and would “Naruto run at gym. I was a disaster, honestly. I would even try to throw Japanese honorifics into my everyday speech. I ate up every shounen series that was on at the time – so, NarutoBleach, and even a bit of Prince of Tennis. I remember reading Shounen Jump at the orthodontist’s office all the time (because, of course, this 12 year old otaku tragedy also had braces). I watched just about any show I could get my hands on, regardless of whether or not it was age-appropriate. Specifically, I remember watching one of those racy incest shows when I was like, 13, and being really shocked…only to find out that there were about a million of those exact stories in anime. I also remember constantly finding highly acclaimed shows like Ergo Proxy and Neon Genesis Evangelion, watching the first two episodes, and then realizing they were waaaaaaaaay more than lil’ ol’ me could handle. I tucked a list of those shows away so that I could watch them later.

Now I’m remembering the time my teacher confiscated my Naruto fanart & passed it around the whole class……how embarrassing.

By the time I got to high school, I was really insecure about how much of a dork I was in middle school, so I dropped anime almost altogether. I honestly think I only watched one or two series throughout my entire high school career – Eureka Seven, one of my all-time favorites, being one of them. It was the high school way – lying about who you are even though it literally didn’t matter. And, of course, later, it turned out most of the people I became friends with were all secretly big anime fans, so I was truly in the anime closet for nothing.

When I got to college, I remembered, “hey, I used to be really into this shit,” and just dove right back in full-force. I made a bunch of anime friends at school, and we would hang out and just binge-watch series. Me and my friend Connor watched through like, four Gundam series over the course of a year. On top of that, I would use to stream shows with my friends from home (you know, those friends who were also secretly into anime in highschool). And, I found that list of shows I wanted to watch but knew I wouldn’t “get” from middle school and watched a bunch of them! Little me had good taste, even if she couldn’t handle it yet!

But, now, I just don’t have time to watch a million shows at once. I moved, too, so I don’t get to see my anime pals from school as much. Now that I have an ~actual income~, I am more into manga, though. I just read through My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness and I’m starting Yotsubato! in Japanese! It’s easier to be into manga since it’s a little more portable and I can go at it my own pace.

I wonder if I’ll ever end up “growing out” of anime. I don’t think I will, but I do wonder if I’ll end up slowing my intake of it even more. Is this relatable for anyone else? Has the amount of anime you watched changed since you were younger, or is it about the same? Do you find yourself reading/writing about anime more than you actually watch it?

Catch y’all next post~

24 thoughts on “Does being an anime fan change as you get older?

  1. I’ve had to limit my intake as I get older because I’m one of those people who never gets Priorities in the right order. Now that I’m writing about anime in a more critical manner than I used to, it’s about striking the right balance between getting an episode watched, getting a post done in a way I’m satisfied with (no contradictions, typoes etc.) and getting the other stuff I really should be doing as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Turning 30 pretty much made me decide that not only do I want to watch more anime but I also want to somehow make it my job (or least a source of income). Wether or not I’ll be successful time will only tell, but I’ll continue to increase my anime intake until its unsustainable! Maybe that’s not responsible but that’s how I want to live my life!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You know, I’d like to live this dream, too! There should be some kind of ‘support group’ for aspiring professional anibloggers. 😀 Sharing questions, ideas, insights, encouragement, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I used to watch more American television and movies and less anime (mostly due to lack of access) and as I’ve gotten older my patience for things I don’t like in American television has gotten shorter. There are very few shows I really watch these days that aren’t anime (though still the odd movie that grabs my interest when I have access).
    My tastes in anime however continue to evolve as I get tired of some genres because I’ve just watched too many, or I suddenly find a particular character appealing to me that wouldn’t have appealed to a younger version of me. I think this is why I won’t get sick of anime as a whole. I just kind of change what sort of anime I’m interested in.

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    1. I get that. My tastes have definitely changed, and while I still watch a lot of live action movies, I feel like it’s easier to find unique/interesting anime to keep me interested. I can’t remember the last time I watched through an entire American live-action series, now that you mention it!

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  4. Discounting the weirdly timed hiatus I took from anime mid-university, for me watching it has only got more fulfilling and exciting in the sheer variety open to us now. The select series I loved from early on mean more as I gain new life experiences, and it can be so powerful and inspiring to watch simulcasts and experience a story every week with a community. It’s something I can’t imagine my life without now, even when keeping on top of episodes week to week falls out of priority. I’ll always come back, for sure.

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    1. I totally agree that the shows I loved before just get better and better. I spend more time rewatching than watching new stuff now, I think, not that that’s a bad thing. I’m pretty attached to all the memories I have with friends both online & IRL, so hopefully it just keeps growing from here 😀


  5. In addition to agreeing with the general consensus here—that your tastes in anime change, but your love for anime is forever ;-p —I’ll note one (presumably) unusual aspect of my animexperience. After I started a family, I didn’t feel I had time to devote to anime. Fastforward about 10 years. and now as the kids get older I find myself with time to enjoy it again, and often with them. (Except for the shows which, like your younger self, they won’t appreciate yet!) I never expected family life to reach a point where I had more time for anime instead of less!

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  6. My feels for anime also had a resurgence in college, which actually dovetailed into me reactivating my artist feels and actually trying fanfic writing. It’s a wild ride. I find that being older i tend to be pickier due to lack of time, and also derive half of my fun from good fandom/fanart and how healthy the fandom in general is. I never tired podcasts! And actually lean towards reading manga than watching anime to cut on watching time. Plus i like imagining the voices and directing the scenes in my head. Idk. I like seeing such a nice anime blogging community, it makes me feel young at heart(?????????)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I definitely get a lot pickier, partly because less time but also because I just don’t really have the same interest in all the shows about high school anymore. Like, there are a lot of romance shoujo shows I wanted to watch that I know now I’m just never going to get to because I just don’t care enough anymore haha. I do think it’s inspired me to do other things, too, though. I’ve been trying to pick up drawing again, and so I’ll doodle fanart as practice/sketch warm-ups and stuff. & the blogging community is really nice and I do get that young at heart feel! Plus it just feels kinda nice to know I’m not the only adult out here still getting suuuuper into cartoons hahaha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh god let me tell you something. I have a life mentor who I found out was into anime and she’s like 20+ years older than me and SHE’S the one dragging me to cons !!!!!!!! And her condo is full of books and toys AND she’s successful in the career she chose to do. Plus her husband absolutely loves her and calls her waifu. I don’t know it definitely felt like (1) goals (2) extremely validating. Like who said adults can’t have in depth analysis of a medium and at the same time be able to scream about it ?? Icandie. Also! I can definitely relate to seeing the high school themed animes differently. If anything guys I used to crush on feel so young/naive now that I feel like I’m mothering a brood , and adopting too many children. I was always more into shonen though so it wasn’t such a big deal.

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